Devotional highlights: ‘That ye should not be offended’

Spratling speaks to the students Photo credit: BYU-Idaho

On Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center, Troy Spratling, an engineering technology professor, delivered his devotional address. He spoke on what it means to not be offended and how individuals can avoid offense by forgiving.

He opened his talk by sharing a personal experience in which he had agreed to fulfill a task for his ward. When the ward activities chairperson, who assigned the task, followed up with him, Spratling told him he wouldn’t be able to do it. The chairperson told Spratling that he had agreed to do it, it was expected from him. He began to take offense but felt he needed to be careful in his reaction.

“Our power to choose a response in a large sense defines who we are,” Spratling said. “All of us are created with a conscience or the ‘light of Christ’ in that we have an inner awareness of right and wrong in regard to our personal behavior. We choose our thoughts, our words and our actions.”

He went on to give a scriptural example of Pahoran, the third chief judge of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon, who, according to Spratling, was a great example of someone who didn’t take offense. He explained how Captain Moroni accused Pahoran of being slothful and careless. Pahoran responded with grace and self-restraint rather than brashness and anger.

“One form of personal conflict is when we hold a grudge because we have chosen to be offended by what someone else has done or may have said,” Spratling said. “And quite often, the other person doesn’t even know that they have offended us. In the end, the Spirit withdraws unless we make things right with the other person.”

Spratling shared scriptures about humility from the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. Spratling said that humble living and not being quick to offense are parts of the repentance process. The gospel can provide a desire for improvement.

Spratling shared his testimony and invited those in attendance to follow the examples of Christ’s disciples — both ancient and latter-day, in being humble and controlling emotions when others may say offensive things.

“The Lord’s perfect Atonement can enable us, through our imperfections, to accept reproofs and to make amends,” Spratling said. “Schooling our feelings is liberating and allows the light of Christ to be more present in our lives.”