I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
Somehow his sad passing and even sadder life has caused me to reflect on my own desire to make changes. I believe most of us strive to make changes- improvements. Michael's life is chronicled by pictures which tell the story of his driving need to change. Now, at the time of his death, those images flash before our eyes and invite dialog and disagreement regarding his character. I feel a sense of ambivalence toward the debate between those who viewed him as an artistic genius and those who consider him a deeply disturbed pedophile. I guess we will never really know where the truth lies. I just know his story is sad. So much talent. Such a public life. Yet a life cut short, leaving questions, speculation and criticism. I am grateful that a loving and merciful Heavenly Father will determine the eternal consequences for Michael.
The lyrics above (from "Man in the Mirror") cause me to take pause to evaluate my own life. Serving as a full time missionary has opened my eyes to the changes I need to make within. At this late date in my life, I am finding how God will still uncover my weaknesses and through the atonement of his Son provide the grace that will allow me to turn my weaknesses into strengths. Turn envy into joy for other's accomplishments. Turn frustration into patience and acceptance. Turn a desire to change others into recognition and motivation to make changes in myself. The Spirit softens my heart and opens my eyes allowing me to see all I meet as God's children. Discouragement over my flaws is replaced with joy in God's love and His power to heal and transform His children.
How grateful I am to have this knowledge. What a blessing to set aside this time of life to share what I cherish with others. I invite you to read the quote below, made by Ezra Taft Benson- a modern day prophet. May this principle inspire you to overcome those traits that weigh you down. May the knowledge that you are truly a child of God bring you strength, hope and peace as it ever does for me.
"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."