because i needed to be reminded…

From Elder Boyd K. Packer:

If you suffer from worry, from grief or shame, from jealousy, disappointment, or envy, I have something to tell you.

Somewhere near your home there is a vacant corner lot. Although adjoining yards may be well tended, a vacant corner lot somehow is always full of weeds.

There is a footpath across it, a bicycle trail, and ordinarily it is a collecting place for junk. First someone threw a few lawn clippings there. They would not hurt anything. Someone added a few sticks and limbs from a nearby yard. Then came a few papers and a plastic bag, and finally some tin cans and old bottles were included.

And there it was—a junkyard.

The neighbors did not intend it to be that. But little contributions from here and there made it so.

This corner lot is like, so very much like, the minds of many of us. We leave our minds vacant and empty and open to trespass by anyone. Whatever is dumped there we keep.

We would not consciously permit anyone to dump junk into our minds, not old cans and bottles. But after lawn clippings and papers, the other things just don’t seem all that much worse.

Our minds can become veritable junk heaps with dirty, cast-off ideas that accumulate there little by little.

Years ago I put up some signs in my mind. They are very clearly printed and simply read: “No trespassing.” “No dumping allowed.” On occasions it has been necessary to show them very plainly to others.

I do not want anything coming into my mind that does not have some useful purpose or some value that makes it worth keeping. I have enough trouble keeping the weeds down that sprout there on their own without permitting someone else to clutter my mind with things that do not edify.

I’ve hauled a few of these away in my lifetime. Occasionally I’ve tossed these thoughts back over the fence where they came from, when it could be done in a friendly manner.

I’ve had to evict some thoughts a hundred times before they would stay out. I have never been successful until I have put something edifying in their place.

I do not want my mind to be a dumping place for shabby ideas or thoughts, for disappointments, bitterness, envy, shame, hatred, worry, grief, or jealousy.

If you are fretting over such things, it’s time to clean the yard. Get rid of all that junk! Get rid of it!

Put up a “no trespassing” sign, a “no dumping” sign, and take control of yourself. Don’t keep anything that will not edify you.

The first thing a doctor does with a wound is to clean it out. He gets rid of all foreign matter and drains off infection—however much it hurts.

Once you do that spiritually, you will have a different perspective. You will have much less to worry about. It is easy to get all mixed up about worry.

The full talk, entitled The Balm of Gilead and which is amazing, can be found here.

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