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Strengthening Our Humility with Maria Eckersley

Tue Jun 20 05:00:50 EDT 2023

Do we sometimes look at being humble as being self-deprecating or diminishing our strengths? Being humble doesn’t equal being unimportant. Humility isn’t shrinking out of sight or shying away from being strong, and it isn’t hating on yourself. When we are truly humble, we can appreciate our own strengths and lift others as well.  Like the saying goes, “All ships rise with the tide.” Being humble is another way to know our divine worth and the divine worth of others as children of God.

If you start focusing on yourself, then you’re not humble anymore. I find that if I look up, I look up, I can see that we’re not in a race against each other, but we’re in a race against sin.
Maria Eckersley

Kathryn is joined by Maria Eckersley as they discuss how humility can lead to more peace in our lives, and what it takes for both of them to focus on the gifts and strengths God gives his children as a way to be more humble.

Top Takeaways from this episode

  1. We’re all on God’s team, so we can help encourage and strengthen each other instead of envy. Like the saying goes, “all ships rise with the tide.”
  2. We are often quick to look at the things we are not good at, but part of humility is actually acknowledging our strengths and recognizing where they come from.
  3. We don’t have to develop a relationship with God that looks like other people’s personal relationships with God. We can grow from our own relationship with him and learn what kind of armor we have.
  4. When we are humble enough to ask the Lord for help, he will show us what tools we need, just like he helped Nephi find ore when he was supposed to build a boat.
  5. Humility doesn’t have to be self-deprecation. We can follow the Savior’s example when he said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Small & Simple Challenge
When you think about your struggles this week, instead of praying to be relieved from those burdens, pray for ways to find tools to get through them. Heavenly Father wouldn’t give us challenges without the tools to get through them.


Kathryn Davis 0:00

Self deprecation isn't humility. Stepping into the shadows to let someone else shine isn't humility. What if we looked at humility as a way to create stronger, more meaningful relationships with God and with others?

Hi, and welcome to Magnify an LDS Living podcast where we cheer, inspire, and embolden each other as women and followers of Jesus Christ. We hope to use our influence to make a difference in the world. I'm your host, Kathryn Davis, a mom, a seminary teacher, and a grilling enthusiast who loves God. Do we sometimes look at being humble as being self deprecating or diminishing our strengths? Being humbled doesn't equal being unimportant. Humility isn't shrinking out of sight, or shying away from being strong, and it isn't hating on yourself.

When we are truly humble, we can appreciate our own strengths and lift others as well. Like the saying goes "All ships rise with the tide." Being humble is another way to know our divine worth and the divine worth of others as children of God. My friend and previous magnify guest Maria Eckersley is with me today to talk about this Peacemaker attribute humility. Before we dive into our discussion, Maria, since you've answered a lot of rapid fire questions, I want to do something a little different and we're gonna play a little game. You're ready?

Maria Eckersley 1:26

I think so. Okay.

Kathryn Davis 1:28

The game is high, low buffalo.

Maria Eckersley 1:30


Kathryn Davis 1:33

I know it sounds weird, huh?

Maria Eckersley 1:34

What does that mean? Exactly, Kathryn.

Kathryn Davis 1:37

So the high low buffalo, I want you to tell me something that is going great right now in your life for the high, something that maybe is difficult or tricky, and then buffalo just something super random that's going on now. So high:

Maria Eckersley 1:54

Okay, definite high is that it's summer and I'm not carpooling anymore. I hate, hate, hate wasting time in like pickup lines. So summer is my favorite because I don't have to do any of that. And most of my kids aren't in there, like music and activities anymore. So it's just that's my high. I love it.

Kathryn Davis 2:10

Such a beautiful time.

Maria Eckersley 2:12

What about you?

Kathryn Davis 2:13

My high right now is that I have all of my kids home under one roof. And I know this is going to be for a short period of time. So I am trying to like soak up every minute. Even the fighting.

Maria Eckersley 2:29

Yeah, and all their friends. And I mean, it's summer, and you have 1000 people at your house right now.

Kathryn Davis 2:34

Which I love. I love it can be exhausting. But I love it and just knowing that they're all here for this these few short days.

Maria Eckersley 2:45

Few days? Are we down to days?

Kathryn Davis 2:46

We're, yeah, we're getting down to days. Yeah, he keeps telling me everyday, "20 more days, 90 days." Okay, a low.

Maria Eckersley 2:57

Oh, low for me right now is the weather. It's been so rainy. And my biggest outlet is hiking. I love to hike, get outside. And I can't count on the weather ever. And the trails are kind of muddy. And so that's my low. I miss the trails. How about you?

Kathryn Davis 3:11

I feel really guilty for saying this, because I should be so excited that my son's going on a mission because I know how great it is. I know what a blessing it is. Yeah, but I'm also sad, like, you know, in between the weather yesterday, in between the two storms, we went out and he's like "Mom do want to go golfing?" And so he and I went golfing and and we were just riding around in the golf court, which was so fun. But then he said, "Oh mom, there's only like another week of this. So you better soak it in" and I'm all, "Ah."

That's mean! That's how you know how much you love them, Katheryn. That's a good thing. I hate like the last few weeks before your missionary leaves, they're like so busy. You know, you're doing everything.

So busy. Yeah. I hate that. I hate the checklist of everything that I have to get me to. Okay, buffalo.

Maria Eckersley 4:04

Like random buffalo? Okay. Right now my biggest issue is I'm at home often because the weather's not great. And everyone's here. And I'm realizing how much I neglected my house throughout the whole school year. Like every closet needs to be revamped. Everything all the things I've fixed in the past have slowly atrophied. And so being aware of all of that damage is causing me some struggles. I've got some projects on the horizon.

Kathryn Davis 4:28

I know I keep just trying to close the doors and shut the cupboards.

Maria Eckersley 4:32

I've already shut the door on my deck. It's pretty big and it glares at me every day, but.

Kathryn Davis 4:38

Okay, so my buffalo, my random thing is I'm going to go skydiving next week.

Maria Eckersley 4:43

Oh, are you excited?

Kathryn Davis 4:45

I am so excited. I'm a little nervous. Oh, that's good. You and maybe if I actually say this out loud now there's no backing out.

Maria Eckersley 4:54

Yeah, no, you're in.

That's why I just did that. I said that out loud. So like, next time, I'm gonna have to report on how that went.

For me, it was like when they shut the airplane door, I was like, Oh, this is it like I can't, there's only one way out of this plane, and it means I have to jump out of it. That was terrifying to me, but also really exciting. You're gonna love it. You'll make awesome memories. Are you doing it with your son?

Kathryn Davis 5:16

I'm gonna do it with my son. It's something he wants to do before his mission. It's also my birthday. So we're gonna do it for my birthday and before he leaves,

Maria Eckersley 5:25

Go, girl, you're gonna love it. And hate it. But you'll love it both.

Kathryn Davis 5:29

I'll love it when I'm on the ground. So awesome. So, Maria, why did this talk stand out to you so much about President Nelson, when you heard this talk? Why was this for you such a landmark talk?

Maria Eckersley 5:44

To me, I know, we don't have the women's general session anymore. But I really felt like this is a talk that could have been in a women's general session. That's part of the thing that caught my ear is I thought he did such a good job of talking about what we do. Not that men don't do this as well. But I think women in particular, are constantly trying to make space for peace. And so I loved that he was inviting us to amplify those natural talents that are already in us. And I just, I found myself kind of leaning in when he started to speak because I was like, there must be something he can see down the road that I need to know. Or maybe he can just see it my current circumstances. But I think he knew that for me to find the joy I want like today and tomorrow, I'm going to need to find a way to make space for peace. What about you? What do you love?

Kathryn Davis 6:31

Well, honestly, when he was speaking, it was one of those moments where I knew he was speaking as a prophet. I just felt it like as a prophet for the world, and calling all of us to understand what it means to be a peacemaker. And it's interesting what you said about what's to come, and the prophet as a watchman on the tower. But I also think right now, like, this is what I need right now in my life. And how can I focus on this to bring peace to to my heart and to the hearts of those that I love in every sphere of influence that I have? How can I work on some of those attributes and traits of being a peacemaker? And why is that so important?

Maria Eckersley 7:17

I think they're our natural talents. I think that's why it matters so much is I feel like so for example, I don't know that we can necessarily make peace, I think what we can do is make space for the Spirit to come in and make peace. But one of the ways I mean, women do this all the time. So for example, when I make a job chart, and I stick it on my wall, that's my way of making peace before contention can even come into play, right? By already deciding who's going to do the dishes, and who's going to do the counter and who's going to do the floor, then I stopped the fight that would normally happen if I just said, Okay, we're all gonna go into the kitchen, we're all going to clean. Like, it just creates space for peace. And I think we do that in very natural instinctive ways as women and so he's asking us to take those talents that we already have and just expand them to bless bigger than our family bigger than our ward bigger than our immediate surroundings and and help the world heal through that process. I just think it's invigorating to me, it makes me want to be a part of it.

Kathryn Davis 8:12

Well, I love how you said that some of that is our natural strengths. And I think I want to focus a little bit today on one of the aspects that President Nelson talked about one of the attributes of a peacemaker is humility. And he actually said this in his talk, he said peacemakers do not envy others and are not caught up in their own importance. They are not easily provoked, and do not think evil of others. And I think it's interesting, maybe some of our natural inclination as women is to be peacemakers. But President Nelson is cautioning us not to be easily provoked and not to envy. So what is the difference between not being caught up in our own importance but recognizing our natural strengths and abilities?

Maria Eckersley 9:05

Yeah. Well, okay. Here's my opinion. I think our natural strength is to create opportunities for peace, but our tendencies even you could say, maybe some of our natural weaknesses as women is to sort of like sweep things under the rug, or like, I don't want to talk about that it's too hard, or I don't want to, you know. Like, I think we also tend to kind of shy away from resolution. And so I think he's inviting us to be good at both. Like, yes, seek peace. But remember when he said like, not at any price? Like that wasn't what he was seeking. It was, I want you to be good at resolving conflicts peacefully. I want you to be good at dialogue with people who are not like you. And in fact, people are going to come to the Church because they see you. That's what that scripture promises that if you're a disciple of Jesus Christ, then people will see how you interact with others and they will know what is a disciple looks like. So I think that's what he's inviting us to do. It's like, take your natural talents and now add what the Savior taught you about how to use those and do it in his way instead of the easier road.

Kathryn Davis 10:01

So how do we recognize our strengths and our natural talents without being prideful?

Maria Eckersley 10:08

I think for me, I think the biggest visual that helps me is to picture a team. So I played a lot of sports. Did you play sports in high school?

Kathryn Davis 10:16

Yes, I did.

Maria Eckersley 10:17

Yeah, I played volleyball and softball. Those are my favorites. And what I love about team sports is you kind of come to the court with the understanding that I'm bringing something specific to the table. You know, like, if somebody new came to play on our volleyball team, our first question would have been like, what do you play? Now, what position are you? We assume that people have natural talents that we don't have, and we can't wait to have them join forces with us, because we know that overall, our team is going to get stronger and better. And I think that's essentially what our baptismal covenants are. When He directs us to take His name upon us. It's like putting on a jersey that has His name on the back. So we're no longer playing just for our points and playing for our glory, we are playing for something so much bigger. And the blessing of that is probably the same thing you felt in high school where you have this sisterhood that happens. And in a bigger scope, I think as we work with men, and we work with youth, we have this Zion, you know, this kingdom of God thing that happens on this eternal court. And that's what he wants us to do. So I feel like as long as you understand that you all your talents are wonderful, and you should showcase them to bless the team rather than like, Hey, I want the spotlight just for me. You know, we all have those kind of players on our teams growing up.

Kathryn Davis 11:28

The ball hogs.

Maria Eckersley 11:29

Yeah, "the ball hogs". So I think he wants us to play for the team.

Kathryn Davis 11:33

You know, it just reminds me my daughter, Sarah, when she was in high school, she was studying for the ACT, and she had taken a number of times. And she wanted to get two points higher for this certain scholarship at BYU. And so she asked me once she's like, Mom, do you think we can get a tutor to help me with my ACT score? And I thought, Oh, your AC T is fine. It's fine. She goes, No, I really want two points higher. And so we hired this tutor. And I remember on the first day, Sarah is a little bit more like me, like her reading and her English scores were really high, and her math score was really low. And so we went to meet with this tutor, and as that first day, and she sat there and asked what our expectations were and what Sarah wanted. And Sarah said, I wanted two points higher on on her overall score. And so I just kind of said, Yeah, like, so maybe you could help her with some math, because there's a lot of room to grow right there. There's a lot of room for growth. And the tutor said, Oh, I'm not going to help her with her math at all. And I thought, well, I don't have to pay you at all. What are we doing? And then she looked at Sarah, and she said, Sarah, it is so much easier to improve your strengths than it is to improve your weaknesses. So we're gonna work on your reading. And I think so often, in this world, we are so quick to look at our weakness, and maybe what we're not good at, and is part of humility. Looking at our strengths?

Maria Eckersley 13:18

Ooh, I like that idea. And like honing in almost getting like a specialty? Is that what you mean? Like you become a specialist?

Kathryn Davis 13:24

Well, yeah. But, and if this is my strength, how does God want me to use it?

Maria Eckersley 13:31

Yeah, I think that's absolutely I think that's his pattern. Right? I mean, I think if you think back to even like the Grand Council in heaven, when when there's this need presented, the Savior didn't say, Well, I mean, anybody could do it, like I'll wait and see, there's probably less people who are better. No, he's he knew exactly who He was, and He said, "Here I am. Send me." that is a bold, bright statement of what he knows about himself. And what he hopes can be true, right? Like He, He has enough confidence in God the Father that He knows that if He God the Father asked him to do it, He can do it. I think most of us know what our strengths and talents are. We just are afraid to stand up and say, Put me in coach. You know, like, that's essentially what He did when He volunteered to do that. He said, Okay, I'm in. And He doesn't know exactly how it's all going to play out. He just knows he can do what God has asked him to do. And I feel like that's what He's asking us to do, too, is like, you know, what you've been blessed with, and you'll get spiritual promptings when you're supposed to expand. I mean, I don't think we're supposed to just rest on the talents we knew we had when we were 15. I think you're constantly building and growing, but you'll get inclinations and then you're just supposed to have the guts to say, Okay, the only way I'm gonna know if I can actually do this is if I try it. So I got to go in and experiment on the word.

Kathryn Davis 14:47

So how is that being humble?

Maria Eckersley 14:49

Because I think you're playing for the team. I think, if you start focusing on yourself, then you're not humble anymore. If you start focusing on how you compare with others, you're at risk. So one of the reasons I or one of the things that I struggle with is, sometimes if I'm looking out around me like looking horizontally, then I struggle. But if I look up for reassurance, then I don't have to worry so much, you know, I can see, we're not going to race against each other. We're just in a race against sin, right? So the goal here is just to be a better version of me than I was yesterday. And that I feel like is humility. It's only when you start pitting yourself against others, or you start focusing on your talents or your gifts that are better or different than others that you struggle. That's how I feel about it. What do you think?

Kathryn Davis 15:33

Yeah, and I think it's easy to compare. We live in a world where comparisons are at our fingertips in everything. And I think sometimes I don't recognize my strengths that Heavenly Father has given me because I'm too busy comparing them to others.

Maria Eckersley 15:52

Yeah. When if I was being totally honest, I think sometimes it gives me an excuse to bow out. You know, when I get really good at seeing my weaknesses, and comparing my weaknesses to other people's strengths, it gives me a really easy out from doing anything hard, you know, because all the things I want to do that are hard are scary and vulnerable, and I have to stretch myself and I very well might fail. And that's hard. But that's progress. Right? It's, I just think that's the game we're in. I think that's what He sent us here to do. And so we have to push ourselves to be like, No, I don't, I'm not supposed to be comfortable. I'm supposed to be comforted. I'm supposed to have helped, but I'm not supposed to be comfortable in this life.

Kathryn Davis 16:33

Right? God cares more about our growth than he cares about our comfort. Yeah, like any good coach, right. And sometimes I wish it was the reverse.

Maria Eckersley 16:41

I think that comes later. Actually, I'm not sure that ever comes.

Kathryn Davis 16:45

But I just think there's this notion of when we talk about humility, that that means that we shrink, or we diminish ourselves. And I think the opposite is true, especially for looking at the example of Jesus Christ. Right? True humility, is understanding that our strength come from Him, So can we own them?

Maria Eckersley 17:08

Right. And he was so careful throughout his entire ministry, whenever praise came his way to defer to the Father, you know, a key would constantly put attention to the Father. So when people came to tell Him how wonderful He was, or how great His miracle was, He talked about the Father. In fact, I love that after feeding the 5,000, He doesn't like relish in that moment. You know, this is a moment where He's got, well, some people think even like 15,000 people who now see Him as a miracle worker, and wouldn't you just want to stay in that space for just a minute? But instead, He goes off and he prays. You know, that's when His apostles go out on the water. And the key is off by himself where nobody could come and follow Him and nobody could praise Him. He didn't want to he don't want to soak it in. He wanted to just connect with God the Father and say, Okay, are you happy? Or is this what you wanted me to do? What should I do tomorrow? You know, like, He's constantly moving forward, saying, I've done this work, what, what's next? And that I think, is the bigger richer version of humility.

Kathryn Davis 18:05

And true humility comes in our relationship with the Father. Just like that did for the Savior, his relationship with the Father and taking that time to commune with Him. In fact, Elder Renlund said this, which I think is interesting, he said, "The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement." And I think about that in my life with with my relationship with Heavenly Father. If there's a great distance in my relationship with him, am I expecting things? Am I thinking it's because of me that this is happening? Boasting in my own strength.

Maria Eckersley 18:45

I, just this week, I've been studying very heavily Come, Follow Me. I'm studying the crucifixion and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And it's amazing to be so up close. I mean, I've had the scriptures on my fingertips all the time. But these last couple of weeks, I've been so close to understanding bigger things. I think that's what he was saying. Like, the closer you get to God, the more grateful you are, and the more you realize how big He really is. That's what I felt as I've started the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The closer I get to it, the more I realize how big it really is, and how much I appreciate and take advantage of it. And I feel smaller if I do. I don't mean smaller in a, like, I'm less important to God, I mean, smaller, like I realized my portion of this great work that He's doing is so small. Almost like if you picked your you know, David and Goliath sort of situation. Like you start to realize how you've only got five stones and you've got this sling and there's this great big thing that's happening, and He makes up that difference. You know, He is this infinite expanse of strength and and I feel like the closer you get to Him, the closer you understand His character in His life, you realize it's easier to stay humble, I think because you're like, Oh, no, He's huge. You know, like, you get it.

Kathryn Davis 19:56

So do you think he cared that David only had five stones?

Maria Eckersley 20:00

No, I don't think so. I mean, only needed one. Right? I don't think it mattered. I do think he cared that David came to the table. Like I think David had a role to play, you know, otherwise, Heavenly Father would come up with some other way to kill the Philistines. He could have sent a flood or done whatever. He wanted David to know who David was, and one David to know who he could turn to. And one things I love about his story is he went to Saul first and remember? Saul's trying to give him his armor, and it doesn't fit. And he's like, this isn't going to work for me. And I just think that's what we all have to do. We all have to, it's tempting sometimes to take on the armor of somebody else. I see somebody else's solution to a problem, I see their discipleship, and I'm like, Well, maybe that that'll work for me. So instead of me wrestling with the Lord, to figure out how often I'm supposed to read my scriptures, or how often I'm supposed to go to the temple, I tried to put on somebody else's armor, and it doesn't quite fit, because I'm supposed to have my own communication with God and find out, What do you need from me today? Like, what? What do I need to do? And I just think it's those moments where you lean in and say, I know you see me and I know I need you. What do you need specifically for me? That's when you start to realize what you're capable of. That's when you can really bring something to the floor. He needs women who are articulate and confident and strong, and at the same time, have an understanding of that strength compared to God's strength.

Kathryn Davis 21:19

So can you think of a time when you were able to bring your 1-2-3 or five stones to the table? And what that was, and that God magnified that?

Maria Eckersley 21:32

Oh, that happens all the time for me, literally, you know, because I just, I think sometimes you don't realize how little you brought to the table until afterwards. There are times when I desperately need help. And He finds a way to answer my prayers. I just have to be willing to be humble enough to ask.

Humble enough to ask for help?

Yeah, and even humble enough to recognize that I need help. I'll give you an uncomfortable example from from my life. So when Jason was struggling, he has had some big health issues over the last few years. And we were in a really hard spot, and which meant most of the weight was falling on my shoulders, and I was struggling, like struggling a lot to just put out fires everywhere. He was in chemo and the kids were their grades, were starting to fall apart like things were not good. And I just remember being so frustrated, and I went to really study, I sat on the very back row and the sister who was speaking she was teaching about how we can turn our troubles over to the Lord. And I, I remember being almost envious of what she was saying. So I was like, I wish I had problems that I could turn over to the Lord. That's that was what was in my head. I said, How am I supposed to turn the laundry over to Lord? There's a science fair project that's due next week, how do I turn that over to the Lord? I kept thinking of all these things that I couldn't delegate to God. And then it wasn't until I got into my scriptures that week, and I was actually reading about the prophet Elijah and his servant, you know, they're in that hotspot of battle, and he can't serve it can't see how they're possibly going to make it. And so Elijah prays that his eyes will be opened, and he'll be able to see what is actually out there. And so then he looks out, and there's all these chariots in every direction. And it was when I read that scripture that I was like, What if there are chariots, and I missing it? You know, what if He's actually sending me help? But because I'm so determined that I know what God is capable of, he can't possibly do science fair projects, he can't possibly do laundry. I was setting these mortal limits on an immortal God. And so as soon as I let that shift, things changed. I started to change my prayers. And I was like, Heavenly Father, I'm struggling with laundry, bless me with eyes to see, where are the chariots? You know, and then I would see things like a text from my mom or something who said, Can I stop by today? What can I do to help? And the week before, I would have said, No, we're good, everything's good. And this week, I'm like, Maria, this is a chariot, you're supposed to climb inside it. And she's gonna help you. So then I could send a text and be like, actually, that'd be great. Come on over, you know, things like the science fair, or my kids algebra questions that I was struggling with little miracles got planted in my day, when I started to pray for chariots that I would recognize and be like, Maria, that's a chariot, and you just tried to send it on its way you need to tell them stop and come back, you need help. And that that posture of humility changed how I think God sees me like I started to feel in that Relief Society lesson, I felt like He didn't understand me, and He couldn't help me. And within like a week, that shifted to be like, He knows exactly who you are, and He's planted all these blessings right around you. You're just not seeking them. And so when I started to seek for chariots, I found him.

Kathryn Davis 24:28

And true humility and understanding how big our God is.

Maria Eckersley 24:32

Yeah. Yeah, we can't put those mortal limits on him. He can do all things. That's the promise.

Kathryn Davis 24:38

And it's in those moments where we turn to Him and recognize that, and I think that distance narrows that relationship that Elder Renlund was talking about where we truly, in great humility can have faith and confidence that great things are going to happen, that He will magnify our strengths that we can do it all with Him. Well, and I think that's an important part of being a peacemaker is is having humility and recognizing God's strength and God's power and looking for those chariots and looking for those answers and recognizing God's hand. And asking to recognize his hand, I think there's power in that I've seen miracles happen when I have been looking for his hand.

Maria Eckersley 25:23

Well, and don't you think that's what, I don't mean to sound judgey, but I wish we would testify of that more. Sometimes I think we testify of miracles that happen to us. But I wish we would testify more of like, how small we felt in the moment, how hard it is, and the bigness of God that that helped us, you know. Because I think we need to hear more of each other's testimonies that talk about those feelings. When President Nelson said, I can't I don't have the exact quote in front of me, but he was like, true disciples build and they lift and they... I think what he was saying is like, you are a sisterhood. I sent you here, not so that you could independently survive this to hard life, but that you could lean on each other. And when you get confident, and you get strong in your testimony, that you share it with somebody else, and then they can pull it those threads until they feel steady. And I just think it's this, we're supposed to be in a team. And he wants us to knit our hearts together. And so when we each are humble and vulnerable, and you know, willing to fall a little bit, then I think we actually grow closer together.

Kathryn Davis 26:24

And to understand that we all rise with the tide. If we can build each other rather than looking at it, I think, through the scarcity mindset that if somebody else succeeds, then that means that I must fail. Because President Nelson says that peacemakers do not envy others. And when you look up envy in Wikipedia, it says, "Envy occurs when a person lacks another's quality, skill, achievement, or possession, and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it." And don't you think sometimes that's where we get caught up is in this envy? That if somebody has something that means that I must not.

Maria Eckersley 27:04

Right. And I think it's this big, wide funnel that Satan uses to get you to do other sins, you know, most of the Ten Commandments would be, you wouldn't even be tempted to do them if you weren't envious. You know, if I don't envy someone else's property, then I'm not going to covet, I'm certainly not going to steal. A bunch of the commandments are resolved, if you can just cut off envy. So I think that's what President Ellison is trying to teach us. He's like, You need to stop this at the headwaters instead of letting it trickle down into all these other problems. I think Satan's goal is always to get us to separate from the power of God. Not so much to get us to sin. I think he uses sin as a way to separate us. But he really, his big goal is separation, because that's how Satan is. He is separated from God, and it can never be repaired. And so he wants everyone else miserable, just like he is separate. And so I think when we knit and when we are sharing, and we're helping each other and we see ourselves as this team on a court, we fight back against the adversary, because he wants us individual and separate. And the Lord wants us knit.

Kathryn Davis 28:07

And envy will keep us individual and separate and separate us from God. Do you ever think that envy creeps in without you realizing it?

Maria Eckersley 28:17

Oh, I think it's yeah, that's its very nature. So I, sometimes don't realize it until it's way too late. I think, for me, envy is the basically, when you feel envy, what I think it implies is that I don't trust God can make me happy with what I currently have. Right? I don't trust that there's something out there that could make me happy. So I see other people's joy or blessings or happiness, and I think, well, if I had her life, then I would be happy. Or if I didn't have this baggage that I've gotten my stewardship, then I would be happy. And so you start to envy both directions. My favorite example of this, I was teaching this to my ... When you think about Nephi, when he has to build the ship, right? And he is in a new place, he's out in the wilderness, he doesn't know how he's going to build this ship. But his first question to the Lord is, Okay, where can I find ore to make tools? My first question would not have been, Where's my ore? I would have thought, Okay, how do I get back to Jerusalem, so I go by tools before we have to cross the great waters? You know, it just wouldn't have occurred to me, but Nephi, because he's so close to God, and because he feels strong and capable, and he's, like, you know, a young confident guy, he's like, okay, I can make some bellows. I can... You know, like, and so he just trust that all the things that he really needs must be planted in this stewardship, this place where he is right now. And that mindset really helps me because oftentimes, I'll run into a problem and I don't see immediate solutions, and I don't get clear revelation. And so then I have to go back and be like, okay, Maria asked for where the ore is. You know, like, I might not find a person who can help my son with his math problems. But I might find ore, which is like, here's a course online he could take that will help him or here's it, you know, like there's smaller things that can build together to become a solution. We're in a place here to progress. I think a lot of times, He doesn't give us tools, He gives us ore. So it's not like this sweet little miracle story you can stand up and talk about at church on Sunday. It's going to take some time while you, you know, molten the ore, and you form a tool, and then you put it to use and see if it works. I just think that's His nature. He wants us to progress. But we can trust that there is always ore in our hills. We just have to have the guts to go and seek it out.

Kathryn Davis 30:16

So what is ore that you are seeking for right now?

Maria Eckersley 30:20

Peace. I'm seeking peace. I worry a lot. I don't want to worry, because of Jason's health stuff, I'm always worried. Because we always, you know, anybody who's dealt with cancer knows you kind of live life in three month increments or six month increments. And so I'm constantly trying to set contingency plans for what I'm afraid might happen, or what has happened in the past. And I'm. So the order that I'm seeking is peace and my Heavenly Father, I mean, this. I mean, this moment, how can I find joy and peace, given my current circumstances, and really, the best place I found is, in studying my scriptures, like deeply studying them, sometimes it's hard, and I'm not always great at it. But when I do it, it's basically like this living witness of people who found peace in hard circumstances. You know, almost every page is, here's our circumstances, and here's where they turned. And so when you read it, you're like, Oh, my peace isn't going to come from Him manipulating my circumstances, whether cancer comes back or not. My peace is going to come from being like, exactly who He needs me to be and centered in Christ. Then I can find joy, no matter what

Kathryn Davis 31:24

So powerful. It's to try and find that peace in the eye of the storm.

Maria Eckersley 31:30

Yeah. It's hard. And I feel that sometimes. And I get resentful, and I struggle, but I just think He promises it's there, right? He's not gonna give you a commandment, if He doesn't give you the tools to accomplish it. That's what Nephi taught us. So then if his commandment is be cheerful, you know, or have joy, which He commands throughout the scriptures. In fact, I think was Elder Holland, who said, this is the most rejected commandment of all, you know, that we often we refuse to have joy or refuse to feel peace. I think that's what that means for us. It means I'm going to honor that commandment that the blessings that will allow me to actually legitimately feel peace and feel joy must be in these hills around me, there must be...

Kathryn Davis 32:12

I have to search for that ore to feel that peace and that joy.

Maria Eckersley 32:17

Yeah, because He won't give you a commandment without providing the ore. Right? He's not going to ask you to build a ship without giving you ore.

Kathryn Davis 32:22

And I think one thing that is easy for me to have my peace diminished, is when I allow envy to creep into my everyday and creep into my heart. And for me, that's going to look a little different than it is for you. So how does humility help you overcome that envy?

Maria Eckersley 32:42

Well, for me, I think it just means you trusting God, right? Going back to that same chapter where he was asked to build a ship. It's really interesting you can compare Nephi's response to their circumstances, and Laman and Lemuel's response. So Laman and Lemuel are like, This is the worst thing ever. In fact, it would have been better if our wives had died. Like they're suffering; it's so hard. And all they can think about is what it could have been like in Jerusalem. I actually think one of the hardest parts of envy is that you start to imagine what could have been. You know, you start to play out your life, like you might see a happy marriage at church or something, and maybe you just went through a divorce, and you're like, you start to play out what could have happened. Like, you start to imagine your life, well, if I didn't have cancer on my shoulders, then I could have and I think that's the trap that Laman and Lemuel got stuck in, because they start to imagine this happy, vibrant Jerusalem that they had to leave behind. And what Nephi knows, because he listened to his dad, the prophet is Jerusalem's getting destroyed. It's not the imagined happiness that you picture it. You need to live in this time. So I think Nephi has the humility to say, Heavenly Father, how do I make this place a good place? And if you look in the first verse of that chapter, that's basically what he said. He's like, our women have the food they need; they're able to have babies out here, and they we can still make it and he doesn't gloss over their afflictions, but he says, like, we're doing this. Like, look, we're making it. And I just think the fact that all three of those brothers experienced the exact same wilderness and have such vastly different interpretations of what it is. It was really instructive to me. I need to look at my world like Nephi does.

Kathryn Davis 34:12

Yeah, not only are Lamna and Lemuel, kind of looking back at the past and maybe wanting what is happening there, what they think is happening, they're also really threatened by the success of others. They're threatened by the success of Nephi. They're threatened by his humility and his strength, and his goodness. They like to rejoice in the hardship of Nephi, not in his success. I think part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is being able to celebrate the successes of others as well.

Maria Eckersley 34:48

Yeah. Yeah, that's a cool way to say that. I absolutely agree with that. I think the closer you are to God, and we know Nephi's close to God because he's constantly praying to God. He's seeking tools, he's seeking ore, he's praying to get his own version of the vision. Like, he's constantly seeking a closest to God. And when you seek a closeness to God you, I mean, I think it's in President Nelson's talk, he says, "One of the results of discipleship is you will be blessed with the love of God. Your charity will swell up in your heart. And then you'll see people as they really are." And Laman and Lemuel can't see things as they really are, but Nephi can, because he's close to God, and he's blessed with the Spirit, which will like, sort of open your mind to what is real. And I think we definitely need that when it comes to comparison, because we tend to imagine, everything's great. You know, you sit next to people at church, and you're like, their life is so great, I could be a better disciple. If my life was that great. You know, like, you just get, you get kind of grumpy. And so I think it's staying close to God. The Spirit helps you be like, oh, actually, there's more to that story, and that you have more blessings than you're accounting for Maria, let's look again.

Kathryn Davis 35:46

Well, Maria, I just had this thought. And I wonder if Nephi knew there was ore in those hills, because he had to go find them, and if he knew there was enough ore. Did he ever doubt or not have faith that there would be more ore?

Maria Eckersley 36:02

I think he just figured, if there wasn't more ore, then that must mean, there's some other way I'm going to do this. You know, maybe I'm going to figure out some other way to make a bellows, and it's not going to be, you know, I just think he was constantly in the mindset of, no, God has given me everything I need. Where is it? You know, like, and I think that's how we have to approach life. Like, I have all the tools I need to be happy today. And I like we mentioned before, I think it involves work. Like you're gonna have to work to make changes in your life and to let some things go to separate from certain relationships. But happiness is available at any day at any time, if we are focuses on I trust you, God. Where is the ore?

Kathryn Davis 36:37

And having faith that God is a God of abundance. I think that is part of our problem is when somebody else succeeds, maybe why we think that diminishes from our success. I don't think we are looking at God in His fullness and in His glory and understanding that He is a God of abundance, and there are a heap load of blessings.

Maria Eckersley 37:03

Right? Yes, I do agree. And He's, I heard as an institute teacher say, "We tend to put more to limits on an immortal God." And I love that phrase, because it reminds me like, you know, I when I think of scarcity, I always think of things like promotions at work. Like, there's only one person who can get that job, and if she gets it, that means I don't get it. Or you know, like, we think of it in a scarcity mindset. But His promise is that He is an infinite God, which means he can bless you infinitely. In fact, I was just reading in the New Testament where He talks about how there are many mansions. You know, He says, I've prepared a place for you there. Yeah, I think His message there is like, hey, there is room, anyone who wants to come. Turns out I have infinite control to make this universe as big as it needs to be. I will take anyone who wants to be here. Everyone can come. I don't think He's saying I've made 72 mansions. I hope you get in. I think He's saying, I've prepared a place for every one of you. Anyone who wants to come can fit here. And I just love that about the nature of God. He never, He never shrinks. He is always expansive and bright and inviting. And I think that's what He wants us to be to.

Kathryn Davis 38:07

I think humility helps us understand not only the abundance of God, but helps us want others to shine as well.

Maria Eckersley 38:14

Oh, yeah, that's beautiful. Why do you think that?

Kathryn Davis 38:17

I think if I understand that God is gonna bless all of us, that it's that same idea of that we all rise with the tide. If I can help those around me lift and shine and inspire, then they're in turn going to lift me lift others, and it's going to be this continual rise and this continual light that can can shine forth and God needs all of us. Well, actually, He doesn't need me. But I need I need Him.

Maria Eckersley 38:46

Well, I think you definitely need Him more for sure. But I think He needs all of us. That's why you were created. I think He delights in us. That's why He made us so that we could become something and He can have joy in it. I think it's a beautiful thing. But I think it's the same thing we talked about at the very beginning with like sports. I think if if some girl had come to our team, like maybe she joined midseason, and she was an incredibly good setter, we all would have been like, great, you know, like, awesome, now we're all going to do better or if somebody's great at serving, we would have been thrilled, because the whole team has a better chance of success when when somebody can shine. And so I feel like that's what He's inviting us to do. He's like I gave you these talents. I gave you these abilities. Shine. But shine as a team so that other people are drawn to join your team not to be intimidated by you.

Kathryn Davis 39:32

And our strengths come from Him. And it is not prideful. I love that from Alma. Right. I don't boasted my own strength. But I recognize where my strengths come from, and that He can use me to be a tool and that if I focus on those strengths, if I develop those strengths, then God can use me.

Maria Eckersley 39:56

Yep. And you shouldn't be ashamed to like pray for every good gift. I mean, that's in the Doctrine and Covenants. So if you see somebody who's able to do something that you can't do yet, and you want to glorify God, say, Heavenly Father, I'd love to do that. Like I feel like that about, I'm not a good singer, I would love to be better at singing so that I can glorify God when I sing. And I don't think it's wrong for me to say like, Heavenly Father, I want to do better that, and then put myself in, lessons, and then try to develop that talent. So I don't think I have to just stay in my little niche, and, you know, stay in my lane. But I do think I should get great at my lane so that I'm confident in God. You know, my lane teaches me to trust in God, and that he listened to me and he'll help me. And then I can take that testimony that I've built up and I can apply it in a whole bunch of other lanes as I expand and get stronger and better in these other things that I'm not so great at yet.

Kathryn Davis 40:39

It's such a different take for me to look at humility that way. Just to understand that humility is strength. Humility is recognizing where our strength comes from, recognizing that there's ore, recognizing that God will multiply and magnify.

Maria Eckersley 40:55

Yeah. And that you are needed in this work. I don't think you're ever not needed. David was needed. Nephi was needed. Otherwise, God would have solved that problem in a different way. You're needed. So do the best you can and then pray to be multiplied?

Kathryn Davis 41:09

Well, Maria, you know that we love to end every episode with a small and simple challenge, something that we can think about for the week. So what would be your small and simple challenge for us as we work on finding peace in humility?

Maria Eckersley 41:26

My challenge would just be to pray for ore. That's my challenge to you this week is when you think about your struggles, instead of praying to be released from your burdens, because they might not be able to be, He might not be able to lift them from you and still have you turn into the woman he needs you to be. So pray for ore. Say, Heavenly Father, I know you wouldn't ask me to do something hard without providing tools. Where do I go to make these tools? And then just see what the Spirit teaches you. I just have found that when I change my prayers to be that accepting of what His will for me and okay, I'm going to do whatever you tell me to do, let's go, answers come. When I pray to get out of my sit circumstances, or for cancer just to go away, or whatever my issues are, those those prayers hang in the air. But when I pray to be part of that process, the help comes. So that's my challenge.

Kathryn Davis 42:14

Such a good challenge. And it just reminds me of the Savior and his dependence on the Father, especially when He said in John 5, "I can have mine own self do nothing. I seek not my own will but the will of the Father, which has sent me." And through the will of the Father to find that ore. I love that idea. He's planted it and will help us through it.

Maria Eckersley 42:39

Yeah, that's great way to phrase it.

Kathryn Davis 42:41

Thank you so much, Maria.

Maria Eckersley 42:43

Kathryn, I love talking to you. That was ...

Kathryn Davis 42:45

I love talking to you!

I think it was really interesting when Maria said that true humility comes from understanding that we are on God's team, that we all wear His jersey and His name is across the back. He can give us strength. He can give us the ore to make all things possible. Thanks for being here. And hop on over to Instagram at Magnify Community for more inspiration and conversation. And of course, subscribe and listen to the Magnify podcast wherever you get your shows. Let's meet up again next week.

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