"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
March 19, 2013
Be Thou Humble
by Vickey Pahnke Taylor

I love the hymn “Be Thou Humble,” which is a testament to the blessings of being led by the Lord when we keep the wolves of temporal wistfulness — or foolish thought that we can accomplish what’s needed here without the help of heaven.

What are my weaknesses? I’ve spent time and effort pondering and focusing on them, putting them in their place (as best I can) and leaning on that Everlasting Arm for strength. I’ve also kicked against the pricks more than a few times in my life.  For my trouble, I’ve prolonged the lessons Father would have me learn — and it has been anything but fun.

Why, when I know better, do I sometimes stomp my proverbial foot, so to speak, letting pride go before the next fall?  I don’t know, except that I’m reminded I have miles to go before I get where I’m going. 

These comments from President Gordon B. Hinckley are so soothing — so comforting — when we are seeking to be humble as followers of a real God and a real Savior, trying to keep the faith while we enjoy the mortal ride:

“This is my prayer for all of us — 'Lord, increase our faith.' Increase our faith to bridge the chasms of uncertainty and doubt… Grant us faith to look beyond the problems of the moment to the miracles of the future… Give us faith to do what is right and let the consequence follow.” (“Lord, Increase Our Faith,” General Conference, October 1987)

Humility and faith go together. The more humble and teachable we are, the more we can acquire traits that come from the One Source of best blessings and goodness. There is more faith inside us to help us grab hold of those blessings, and add to them.

Among the ways we can become really is in the calling of being a parent. Sheesh. I’ve never felt less prepared, more overwhelmed, or inadequate than in trying to shepherd my children. To bite the tongue, to see from their point of view, to look heavenward when I have no clue how to deal with a current situation, or teach with loving power the things that must be offered.

Turns out, parenthood is a grand course in humility and love. It is the way I’ve most realized that if I want progress in meaningful ways with my children, regardless of age, I need the Lord’s guidance. I need to be humble — really humble. 

Humility has brought me hope when I felt none; it has granted me peace when the winds of adversity are blowing; it has burst through clouds of sadness and brought gladness.  How great is that?

We are not bound by circumstance! Circumstances may bow to us, when we have the faith and will allow ourselves to be led by a loving Father, through the gift of the Holy Ghost. Slowly, eventually, we can tie ourselves tightly to the Savior and ride the difficult moment while not being dictated — in negative and destructive ways — to the circumstances of our lives.  

Somehow, this article turned out to be more like a Sunday School lesson today. I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m up on my soapbox. At least, I hope the soapbox is one that isn’t offensive. I’m just genuinely grateful for the knowing of humility.

When I don’t use it properly, it’s my fault.  When I do, I feel the internal tide change. I feel the hope. I can take the chastisement with gratitude. And I can keep on keeping on.  That’s a really good thing.

And goodness matters.

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About Vickey Pahnke Taylor

Vickey Pahnke Taylor is a wife, mom, grandmother, teacher, author, and songwriter. Her undergraduate study at BYU was musical theater. She has a Masters degree in interpersonal communications.

A Billboard award-winning songwriter with hundreds of songs to her credit, she uses music as a teaching tool. But her favorite way to use music has been to sing to her children. You should hear the family's rousing versions of "Happy Birthday"!

In addition to three solo albums in the LDS market, she co-wrote "Women at the Well" with Kenneth Cope and "My Beloved Christ: with Randy Kartchner. She is co-writer of the theme song for Utah's Make-A-Wish foundation, the song for the Special Olympics program, and EFY's theme song.

She writes for several online magazines and columns, and has authored several books. Her website, www.goodnessmatters.com, is her way of continuing to grow goodness in the world, pointing people gently toward Christ and eternal principles of truth.

She has spoken for the Church's various Youth and Family programs for 25 years. She and her husband Dean have eight children and four grandchildren. She adores being a wife, mom and grandmother. She loves flowers, brownies, cooking Italian and Southern foods, the ocean, and laughing every chance she gets.

Vickey was baptized a member of the Church as a teenager in Virginia. She serves as gospel doctrine teacher in her ward, and Dean serves on their stake high council.

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