I have found trials to be universal. Whether we have lost a loved one, suffer financial difficulty, cannot have children, or are in marital or family distress, all of our problems teach us the same lessons. (Interesting how that is… it’s almost as if there are universal lessons we are all required to learn.) This came after listening to a talk posted by another widow in our group. I felt like it had so many nuggets of truth that I needed to sit down with it and write out my thoughts as I read it again. I think this talk refers to so much more than just murmuring, but it addresses the bigger issue of commitment to the gospel and staying committed and even becoming more committed through difficult circumstances. I find that writing while I study gives me so much better understanding and helps to open up communication with my Heavenly Father. I find that He is better able to school me when I am showing Him that I are really ready to study, listen and apply what He is going to tell me.
Murmuring is defined as a half-suppressed resentment or muttered complaint.
A basic cause of murmuring is that too many of us seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking places just in front of our destinations!
We expect and want life to be easy because we do not understand that we must have difficult times for growth. Eve so clearly understood this when she partook of the fruit. Deeply contemplating all the ease that she would give up by remaining in the garden, she knew that it was better to pass through sorrow so that we could better know the good from the evil and move forward on our journey towards becoming more like Him.
We beggars are so concerned with our entitlements.
Murmuring often reflects discontent we have with our blessing. We feel the Lord owes us something more. Occasionally it is also the “sorrowing of the damned” (Mormon 2:13) because we wish that we could remain in our sins without the natural consequences of those sins.
First, the murmurer often lacks the courage to express openly his concerns.
Are we going to people privately with whom we have concerns or are we talking about those problems behind their backs?
Second, murmurers make good conversational cloak holders. Though picking up no stones themselves, they provoke others to do so.
Negativity breeds more negativity.
It is so easy for others to jump on our bandwagon and for us to be the cause of bringing others down, causing them to sin as well.
Third, while a murmurer insists on venting his own feelings, he regards any response thereto as hostile.
When we are not humble and open to solutions discussing our problems does no good. Constructive discussion leads to solutions and changes in our behavior as well as the sitituation. We will accept some responsibility for the problem.
Fourth, murmurers have short memories. Strange, isn’t it, brothers and sisters, how those with the shortest memories have the longest lists of demands! However, with no remembrance of past blessings, there is no perspective about what is really going on. Perspective makes such an enormous and constant difference in our lives.
Lack of gratitude for our blessings closes our eyes to Heaven’s inspiration and understanding
Perhaps when we murmur we are unconsciously complaining over not being able to cut a special deal with the Lord. We want full blessings but without full obedience to the laws upon which those blessings are predicated.
We wish to some how get all of the perks of obedience without the work that those blessings entail.
Those of deep faith do not murmur. They are generously disposed, and they are reluctant to murmur, even while in deep difficulties
This is a great check for our faith. If we want to be one of those with deep faith, then we need to control our tendency to complain and look for the blessings in our situation and look for solutions.
Damage to ourselves is sufficient reason to resist murmuring, but another obvious danger is its contagiousness. Instead of murmuring, therefore, being of good cheer is what is needed, and being of good cheer is equally contagious. We have clear obligations to so strengthen each other by doing things “with cheerful hearts and countenances.”
Our charge during our trials is to be a light and an example for good. As we do that, we allow that Lord to bless us and take away some of that burden that we carry.
Letting off steam always produces more heat than light.
We can be more productive in dealing with problems and trials than simply venting.
Murmuring can be another form of mocking God’s plan of salvation. (See 3 Ne. 29:6.) Yes, such individuals say, God has an overall general plan, but we don’t care for His specific timing. We want things to be done in our ways, even though our ways are much lower ways.
Complaining expresses a rebellious nature against turning our will over to the Lord. We are unable to except His will as our own.
God accomplishes things, “in process of time.” This calls for our patience. Moreover, doing things in process of time is often His way of either preserving our agency or of providing us with needed opportunity. In fact, certain experiences, over which we might understandably murmur, can actually be for our good. (See D&C 105:10; D&C 122:7; Gen. 30:27.) Thus you and I may think God is merely marking time, when He is actually marking openings for us, openings which are sorely needed. Even then, we are so slow to use those openings in order to escape from the familiar cell of selfishness.
The difficult opportunities in which are placed, if we use them for growth and learning instead of complaining, can be in the long run huge blessings to us as they will improve our strength and character, allowing us to take on trait closer to divinity while overcoming the tendencies of the natural man.
Murmuring can also be noisy enough that it drowns out the various spiritual signals to us, signals which tell us in some cases to quit soaking ourselves indulgently in the hot tubs of self-pity!
Our goal in life is to learn to suppress the outside noise of mortality and the natural man in favor of listening to our spirits. Only when we gain that control, spirit over body, will be able to inherit all the Father has.
The heaviest load we feel is often from the weight of our unkept promises and our unresolved sins, which press down relentlessly upon us. In any genuine surrendering to God, one says, “I will give away all my sins to know thee.” (Alma 22:18.) To Whom shall we give our sins? Only Jesus is both willing and able to take them!
Often we hang on to our favorite sins, unwilling to give them up for a far better reward. We punish ourselves and prevent true joy in our lives in exchange for temporary satisfaction or pleasure. What are we waiting for? It’s time to reevaluate and give some of those things up so that we are in a better place to receive the spiritual light and knowledge that we need to move forward. What ARE we waiting for?
Nonmurmurers are permitted to see so much more. Regardless of how things seem, or come to seem, in troubled times, “They that be with us are more than they that be with them.” My brothers and sisters, if our lips are closed to murmuring, then our eyes can be opened.
There is so much power to be untapped in remaining committed and stepping up our commitment to the gospel. Satan blinds our eyes to what is really available to us. The help out there to make it through our trials better than we were, the help to get our children through this better than they were. So much light, knowledge, and understanding awaits us if we will turn our hearts to him and truly consecrate our lives to his work.
It has been so impressed upon me that this is what my husband is doing now. He has completely consecrated himself to God’s work. I so very much want to be with him again, and I want to be on the level that he is so that we can just pick up where we left off. I have a lot of work to do, and I have come to the conclusion that the only way to do it is to step up my commitment to the gospel. I am approaching my one year mark, and I am so grateful for the lessons that I have learned this year and the person that I am becoming. I like her so much better than the girl from a year ago. I still have so much to do and become, but I am glad that the Lord has shown me this path.
Questions to Ponder:
1. In what ways have you been guilty of complaining? How can you use gratitude, faith and patience to limit complaining? 2. How does refraining from complaining allow us to feel more light and get more help from God?
Check out this post in the Gratitude Badge