Happy President’s Day! In the United States, today is a day to honor two great American presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. In my continuing quest to glean healthy living nuggets from the Book of Mormon, I’m quite sure they celebrated great leaders in Book of Mormon times as well. While many iconic Book of Mormon heroes might easily have a holiday named after them, today my vote goes for Moroni, the iconic war leader in the lengthy book of Alma. “Moroni Day …” It has a ring to it, don’t you think?
As epic battles and war strategies dominate page after page, his legendary character and leadership skills are brought to our attention time and again. Could he be compared to General George Patton? Or Winston Churchill? Or other contemporary war heroes? While that makes for an interesting study, what applies more directly to us today is that Moroni was a man who was capable of change himself and inspiring change in others. His impressive life, both while on the earth and then as it relates to the restoration of the Gospel with his angelic visits and instructions to Joseph Smith can be a guiding star for anyone who wants to change their own life.
For those of us who have health habits that we need and want to change, his life is sheer inspiration.
We meet Moroni in Alma 43, where his call to be a military leader at age 23 marks him as a truly exceptional man. In chapters 43-48, we get to know Moroni better through the accounts of the battles, spy tactics and his passion to do what is right for his people, God and his country.
It is in Chapter 48:11-13, however, that we have a concise character description: “he was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding, yea a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his bretheren from bondage and slavery … he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ …”
I repeat for emphasis, “a man that did not delight in bloodshed …” yet he led his soldiers without reservation into the killing fields of gruesome hand-to-hand encounters. If his nature was peaceful, where did he find the strength and ability to overcome the natural man to do this? In prayerfully pondering over this, perhaps the following thoughts will have some inspiration for you as they have for me:
1) Emotions create passion that can be powerfully channeled: The dramatic background for creating the Title of Liberty (Alma 46:11-13) stems from Moroni’s anger over Amalicikah’s dissent. His fury over the dissensions caused him to tear his coat and create a banner that read “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom and our peace, our wives and our children!” that would inspire his soldiers and people to victory.
2) Defense of the good allows us to do bigger, better things than we could ever do for ourselves: After passionately carrying the banner within his immediate vicinity, he caused that additional Titles of Liberty be created (Alma 46:36) and “hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites.” In essence, it was a campaign to remind and inspire his people of what their lives must be about in order to literally survive..
3) Taking action is not necessarily pretty or convenient: As chapters 46 to 50 unfold, there is no relaxing. There are no days off. In a war torn state of affairs, every individual lived with uncertainty as to whether they would even be alive from hour to hour, yet eventually, through Moroni’s brilliant directives, they created a safehaven and built cities ((Alma 50:17-20) where they prospered, felt safe and in short, “there was never a happier time among the people of Nephi than in the days of Moroni.” (Alma 50:23).
All in all, there’s a surprising relevance to managing our own health battles. Have you ever felt anger over your present health or weight? I know I have, and still do at times! For some of us, as we have seen in our own family and close situations, what we are eating and what we weight is in very deed a matter of life and death. For me, there is anger that non-nutritious foods taste so good and are always so available and affordable, anger that other people can eat them without seeming to gain a pound, anger that when I’m feeling responsible and don’t want to eat them, there’s a social expectation that I will in order to please someone, anger that my metabolism isn’t as speedy and effective as others in my own family, anger that my body type does not allow me to hide even five or 10 pound. Then there’s the anger and sadness that people I love are literally killing themselves with their diet and lack of exercise. What about you? What are the things about your weight and body, (or of someone you love and worry about) that create feelings of anger?
And what do we do with that anger? Of course, it’s easiest to just eat something fattening and hope the feelings will go away. Truthfully, they do not go away on their own. For many of us the pounds we carry are the manifestations of heavy feelings in our hearts. Prayer helps, and so does education and training. As a member of Stake Relief Society presidency many years ago, our wise Stake President sent used approved funds to send several leaders to an anger management program that would teach us how to teach others how manage feelings of anger. We learned that feelings of anger are very acceptable, healthy and not at all to be feared when one knows how to steer them. For several months we went from ward to ward to present the material: l that it’s OK to be angry and how to deal and direct the powerful (and sometimes frightening) energy that anger stirs up.
Moroni would have been a poster child for this training program! In truth, he could have just vented to his wife or his soldiers or subordinates, but instead, he took powerful action: he addressed the issue and his anger by creating the Title of Liberty. It not only reflected his own thoughts, it inspired his people in a huge way to action!
The Title of Liberty was something tangible and visible. Creating a banner is actually something that we could easily do for any just cause. Practically speaking, it’s a poster for a refrigerator or mirror. Nevertheless, how powerful it would be if the next time we feel the clanking and banging of anger or frustration over our weight, we were to spend a bit of time creating a poster or document that read something like “In memory of my body – God’s great gift to me -my freedom, my peace, my family and my children …” posted where we would see and remember it?
For some of us anger is not the issue, It’s just complacency as Moroni struggled with in his people. He reached out effectively to the complacent with his emphasis on doing what was right as in terms of defense of others. This is an important consideration: if we can’t muster the energy to do it for ourselves, then we can be inspired by Moroni to were to do it for our FAMILIES, our SPOUSES and our children who need us to be with them, who need us to be strong, who need us to help them positively build their lives.
In addition to a banner or poster, another concrete strategy to cope with both anger and complacency is to create a vision board or journal to take those feelings and channel them into specific directions and actions that will bring about lasting progress. The link I’ve provided below is a fabulous little e-book on vision boards that have born rich fruit for me.
In honor of President’s Day, I’m proposing “Moroni Day” as inspiration for us to individually and collectively take action on our health and our lives for our families and our lives! Have you noticed that people who “get the job done” are rarely whiners or complainers? I’m quite sure that Moroni was extremely vocal, but his expressions were not idle tirades or complaints. Perhaps it is these reflections on him that have left me so inspired by an article that I’ve included for you below. I hope you’ll read it with thoughts of how you can get on with taking positive action for your own health, if not for yourself, then to bless the lives of those you love, and that love you.
9 Irresistible Reasons to Stop Complaining! (From internet life coach Christine Kane)
It’s a commitment in my coaching programs that each participant will go complaint-free, criticism-free, whine-free, and gossip-free as they work with me in the program. That’s 49 days, baby!
What does that have to do with Upleveling your Life?
First off, let’s get one thing out of the way:
This is not about “being nice.” This is much deeper. It’s about understanding the power of your Attention. If you have a big juicy Intention or Dream – then your attention is the daily practice of manifesting that goal or dream. It is the essence of Creativity.
So, I want you to experience the power of shifting your attention from the so-called problem, so it can attract the many solutions!
Here are 9 Irresistible Reasons to Go Complaint-Free Today:
1 – When you’re complaint-free, you find solutions rather than staying mucked in the problem.
If you don’t offer yourself the option of complaining, then you train your brain to actually find solutions and get ideas. As Maya Angelou says, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
2 – When you’re complaint-free, you shrink your ego.
Complaining is like weight-training for your ego.
It makes your ego stronger because it makes someone or something else wrong. And it makes YOU right. Your ego gets puffed up. When you cease the complaining/criticizing/gossiping habit, you tell your ego that your spirit is in charge, not your ego!
3 – After 21-Days, you’ve started a new habit and created a new you.
Research shows that it takes 21-days to form a new habit. And while it does take some trial and error to get through those 21-days, most of my clients notice that after only 7-days, they tolerate negativity less. After 2-weeks, they report that when they slip up, they instantly self-correct!
4 – When you’re complaint-free, it’s a conversation starter.
Hal rushes into your office to gossip.
You get to smile and say, “Gosh Hal, you know, I’d love to join in, but I’m in the middle of improving my life. I signed a contract to go Gossip-Free. Wanna look at it?”
Hal says, “Huh? What’s that?”
Poof! The energy of the conversation shifts! It goes in a different direction, and you experience wildly exciting lightness where gossip would have once existed!
5 – When you’re complaint-free, it’s a conversation deepener.
Hal will listen for a while and then say, “Wow, that’s a great idea. I’ve noticed how easy it is to complain, and I want to be more self-responsible…”
You’ll share a deeper connection when you each admit your authentic dreams and goals.
6 – When you’re complaint-free, you attract new energy.
My clients report this one change so frequently, I barely blink an eye anymore.
When you go complaint free, you simply start attracting more positive people to you. The negative people will walk away and think you’re a complete idiot. But then, you’ll start noticing positive curious people entering your life because you’re so much fun to be around.
7 – When you’re complaint-free, you banish lazy thinking.
Think about it.
You can’t get much lazier than complaining and gossiping. It’s the same well-worn neural pathway you’ve trudged down day after day, along with 99% of the population. When you’re complaint-free, you go a different route. With alertness and alacrity, you find new ways of seeing things. (Plus, you get to use words like alacrity!)
8 – When you’re complaint-free, you create happiness.
It’s challenging at first, yes.
But after a few weeks, the common response I get from my clients is this: “You know what? I’m SO much happier!”
That’s because complaining is just a habit, and it does nothing but drag us down. When your attention is forced to find new places to land, your subconscious becomes a “happiness-seeking missile.” And because you’re so powerful, you find it!
9 – When you’re complaint free with a group, you get to soar on the updraft of the great group energy.
When groups work together, magic happens. This is why Uplevel Your Life works. When you link up with a group of like-minded people, effortlessness is created.
Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success – One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She is the owner and president at MyMiracleTea.com, an herbal detox tonic in keeping with the Word of Wisdom. She is the mother of five and the grandmother of a growing number of delightful grandsons and granddaughters and lives with her husband, Bob, in Springfield Virginia, where she serves as the Visiting Teaching District Supervisor. She has been writing for Meridian since 2007. Her favorite foods are broccoli — lots of it! and chocolate frosting … just a taste every now and then. Her book is available at both Amazon.com and her website, www.MyMiracleTea.com