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Do you Get it?

By Justine Dorton

I realized something Wednesday that has probably already occurred to everyone else but me, but play along, okay?

Not everyone gets it.

Now, I’ve known, in the academic sense at least, that there are plenty of morons out there who don’t get it, but I kinda assumed they were choosing to ignore the plain and obvious truth about how the world works. After Wednesday, I think there are really people out there who just don’t get it…at all.

I watched my close neighbor’s house burn to the ground Wednesday. I stood by, helplessly, watching them mourn the loss of everything they own. Thankfully, no one was injured.

I picked up her kids from school, and sat with the principal as we explained why they couldn’t go home — why they had to come to my house for the next 7-10 hours. When the parent’s finally called to retrieve their children, I explained how the discussion in the principals office went.

“We told them everyone was ok, it was going to be ok, mom and dad were safe, but that they couldn’t go see you for awhile…” I went on and on, stumbling over the words I was trying to somehow infuse with sympathy and love. Behind the mom and dad were another couple — friends of theirs. The man standing behind started hollering at me.

“How can you say everything is ok!? Their house is gone! Their stuff! Everything! So what if they all got out alive! They may as well have died in there! Everything they own is gone! What will they do now, huh!?”


“Anyway,” I went on, trying to ignore him, “the kids were only concerned about you. Once they knew you were alright, they calmed down quite a bit.” Mom and dad were in tears once again, but they scooped up their kids and sobbed out quick thanks before leaving for their hotel.

It was at that moment I realized it. That guy didn’t get it. He actually didn’t get it. He wasn’t pretending or anything. He really didn’t get it. He could certainly use a little of the Holy Ghost in his life, of that I was quite certain.

That got me thinking about a whole bunch of other people in my life — people I had assumed were just being purposefully dense. My cousin who once tried to lure me to a strip club two months after both of us got married. An old neighbor who would laugh at his wife’s tears. A friend who decided that the pursuit of money and power were more important that God.

They really didn’t get it? Did my cousin really think it was ok to stuff ten dollar bills…well, you know? Did my neighbor really not recognize the pain he caused? Did my friend actually think her warped words were the right course of action?

But just as quickly as my thoughts turned to all these people in my life, they turned once again. To me. What don’t I get? What am I too blind to notice? Where are my fatal flaws that are obvious to all around me? Am I being purposefully dense, too?

Ether 12:27 — And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

So, now I’m praying for Moroni to be right. I’m also praying that it won’t be too painful.

I’ve got a lot of weaknesses.

Having them all shown to me might not be good for my health.

But I want to get it. Moroni promised I could. Bring it on.

What do you get? What don’t you get? Do you even have any idea? How do you deal with being shown?

About Justine Dorton

Justine is a mother to five children, and has a husband lodged somewhere (probably in the den). She is not very fond of speaking of herself in third person.

14 thoughts on “Do you Get it?”

  1. I so agree with you: that having all of my weaknesses shown me would be bad for my health, or at least my sanity. Maybe that's why the line-upon-line principle applies here?

    As for what I get, I think I get some things about what's really important in life (that man had no clue, did he?). And I think I'm getting how to be a loving, supportive wife, most of the time anyway. 🙂

    There are some things I get intellectually but not always emotionally, such as not worrying about what others think, and having love is more important than having control (or being right).

    How I deal with being shown depends on how I am shown, and probably my own emotional state at the time. When I received negative feedback in a lame way at a job, I fell apart afterward. When I was taught via an article and the Spirit that I had become a somewhat critical and naggy wife, I was ready to hear it and I got to work changing that. This week the Spirit has been trying to teach me something, but I've been so angry about the circumstances that I've pushed the promptings aside.

    As for what I really don't get, I don't yet consciously see it, and I'm sure others do. We talk about this in my book club sometimes . . . our blind spots, what others could tell us about ourselves that we might not like hearing, etc. I am certain there are things I still am blind to. I hope when it's time for me to learn those things, I will be receptive.

    Great thoughts, Justine!

  2. I don't get why my brain has to constantly be working overtime to figure everything out.
    I get why it seems others don't get it but that is just a form of our judgement of their personal paradigm.
    It's kind of like I tell my kids when there is that oh so annoying sibling rivalry, "Stop!, you are your own full-time job, you don't have time to fix your sibling"!

  3. No, I don't get it. One of the things I most "don't get" is work. I've never had to really work the way my parents or grandparents did. By "work" what I mean is backbreaking sweaty labor all day long, and not just today, but tomorrow and for the foreseeable future. All the things I've worked most at have been spiritual or mental labor, not the grinding stuff that was just a part of life a hundred years ago.

    I think "not getting it" is what spiritual blindness means–Satan works to harden our hearts and blind our eyes. My life is a process of figuring out where I am spiritually blind, and opening my eyes to see things with greater clarity.

  4. Justine, can I just say that I love you? I know, I know, I don't know you, but I really love your spirit that comes through here.

    Conference is helping me get a lot more — like, no, REALLY, priorities matter and my time is not simply mine to use up however I choose if I really care about my family and my (and their) relationship with God.

    I'm getting that faith is sometimes hard, and really being Christlike can be really hard.

    I don't really get yet that I'm not in control and even though I should do all I can (whatever that really means), it's grace and God's will that really control what happens to me, now and forever.

    I think I want to get it, but then sometimes it hurts too much to try to get it all at once so I go back to line upon line.

    If there is anything I get, it's that I have a long way to go. And I don't fully get yet that that doesn't mean that I might as well shoot myself. God does care about progress and desire. Right? RIGHT?

  5. Michelle, conference for me was so stunning. There were so many messages that I particularly needed to hear.

    And your idea about control is exactly me. I want to relinquish control (or my wildly exaggerated claims of such), but it is SO HARD for me. I am not a strict determinist, and I cherish my free agency, so I just need to figure out where in the middle of those two I lie.

    And Emily, I really mourn for my inopportunity to work sometimes. To just have to worry about my basic survival, and not have to worry about all this other garbage that fills up my life.

  6. I finally get that everything here on this rock, and I mean everything, is here just to benefit me. The lame guy at Home Depot yesterday, the fresh milk I got at my sister's, shoes, bioluminesent fish that swim 3 miles below the surface…all for me.

    My weakness? Not living up to my potential, forgetting that all this stuff is benefiting me, wallowing in the muck instead of seeing the education in it. Forgetting to praise God and thank Him for every nit, trial and blessing. Forgetting how good life is if I let it just "be" life.

  7. I love that Moroni says "weakness" not weaknesses, not necessarily a list of all the ways we're failing, but a general weakness in being mortal, in needing the Savior. I've been experiencing a bit of pregnancy blues the past couple of weeks, but every time I go to pray with my husband and my kids I just feel overwhelmed at all that I have. I think there are times I need to ask the spirit to help me overcome my weakness and times I just need to thank Heavenly Father for all that he's given me.

  8. Justine, I love this post. I know there is a lot that I don't get. What I DO get is that life is fleeting. I am trying to learn how to enjoy where I'm at and to make the most of it. General Conference opened my eyes to the importance of prioritizing and doing. You've given me a lot to think about.

  9. Heather, I honestly had never thought of it that way! I always assumed there was some laundry list of things wrong with me that I was slowly supposed to tick off until I was perfect. I like the idea that weakness can be singular and be more general in nature. Well wait, that might actually be more overwhelming — I'm not sure.

    and yeah, s'mee, I agree. It's all here for me — even the rude Target girl.

  10. I think about this sometimes, mostly because I have had seasons of NOT getting it myself, and usually in a spectuactularly visible way. What am I not getting now that I will regret in five years? Also, I have so many dear loved ones in my life who don't get the gospel at all. As much as I respect their right to make that choice, I also ask myself, "Is there a different way I could explain things to somehow help them see what I see? To not miss the truth because of the flaws in me, the messenger?"


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