At work we've been having a lot of discussions about distracted driving, the root causes, and what we could do to affect some change. Most public information efforts are aimed at teenagers with a goal of discouraging texting while driving, but there is a lot of information that indicates that the problem is more prevalent in middle-aged drivers. Either way, don't do it.
This sketch is one I did during one of our strategic discussions.
We had an Area Conference last Sunday in which Elder Dale G. Renlund spoke. He offered some great words. This is how he described what he said on his Facebook page:
This past Sunday, I participated in a satellite broadcast for stakes in the North America Northwest and West Areas of the Church. One thing I felt impressed to share was a bit of advice from my wife, Ruth. She was a plaintiff’s attorney for 23 years. She was always working with others who strongly held different opinions than she. I was impressed by how two lawyers who were fierce adversaries in the courtroom could sit down calmly together and eat lunch. She said that she had learned early in her career to disagree without being disagreeable. She might say to opposing counsel something like, “I can see we are not going to agree on this issue. I like you. I respect your reasoned opinion. I hope you can offer me the same courtesy.” Most often, this allowed for mutual respect and friendship.
Our Church doctrine does not lend itself well to sound-bite debate and argument. But if we are allowed the opportunity to explain our belief in living prophets, the plan of salvation, and the ultimate destiny of all of Heavenly Father’s children, others will at least understand why we believe as we do, even if they disagree. After offering such an explanation and respectfully listening to another’s opposing viewpoint, it might be wise to say to someone who disagrees something like, “I can see we are not going to agree on this issue. I like you. I respect your reasoned opinion. I hope you can offer me the same courtesy.”
We may on occasion find ourselves in uncomfortable situations where we differ in doctrine with our acquaintances, friends, and family members. But the doctrine can never be used to justify treating others with anything less than respect and dignity. We can stand firm in our beliefs and have a loving relationship with those who hold differing opinions. It is never an either-or choice. We love and live our doctrine, and we love those who do not live it. We need not create false dichotomies. The late Elder Marvin J. Ashton shared this insight from an inspired leader: “The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people.”
As a missionary I lived in a couple of areas where we had "house moms" who took care of our cooking and cleaning. One was particularly fond of taking our clothes to the river and washing them on the rocks (really!). I don't know how she did it, but somehow the sleeves of our T-shirts and garment tops became stretched and distorted — and extremely floppy. You could easily tell the elders who had served in that area because they wore that particular badge of honor.
When I was a kid, my piano teacher asked my parents to come in after one of my lessons. It wasn't to show off my skills — she advised them that her time and their money could be put to way better use by having me explore another instrument. Preferably one that was taught by someone else!
I've been cartooning since I was a teenager, and have been published in magazines ranging from AASHTO Quarterly to the LDS Church magazines and several other periodicals, trade publications and newsletters.
Feel free to contact me with comments, complaints or questions!