By JENNIFER WAGNER
When a person looks in the mirror, the reflection he or she sees may not be accurate.
Sometimes when people view themselves, they focus too much on their weaknesses and overlook their eternal potential, said Julene Butler, assistant university librarian of public services, at Tuesday’s Devotional.
Butler quoted the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see through a glass, darkly,” to illustrate her meaning.
In Paul’s day, a mirror was a piece of metal that needed constant polishing, Butler said.
“So often in our mortal state, we view life through a tarnished metal mirror. There may be smudges here and there that obscure our vision,” Butler said.
If the mirror were more highly polished, a person would be able to see his or her full potential instead of focusing on faults, Butler said.
One thing that might be clouding the glass is that mortality places limitations on a person’s ability to see his or her full potential, Butler said.
“With recollections of our pre-existent life blocked, we must work hard to discover our God-given gifts and talents,” Butler said.
All people have their own quest and must find the contributions they can make to life that are uniquely theirs, Butler said.
Butler, who was stricken with polio when she was three, has spent most of her life in a wheelchair.
She endured teasing and stares and the knowledge that she could not do all the things other children could do. However, in her senior year of high school she began to realize that her wheelchair was not the defining element in her life, Butler said.
“How often, in life’s circumstances, do we focus only on our weaknesses, on those areas where we fall short, where we would like to improve? Do we give equal time to our strengths?” Butler said.
Butler described how birds see the world as an example of how people view themselves.
Birds have eyes on the side of their heads. They can see things through one eye at a time or use both eye to see a total picture, Butler said.
Sometimes people only see themselves through one eye. They focus on one view instead of seeing the complete picture, Butler said.
Butler suggested that people should look at the wider picture instead of focusing on physical problems or limitations.
One way to see the full picture is to “honestly assess your strengths, to listen to the feedback others give you and to refrain from concentrating only on your weaknesses,” Butler said.
People must recognize the Lord’s will when assessing their true potential, Butler said.
For many years Butler wondered if she could be healed from her disability if she had enough faith.
She realized, when reading her Patriarchal Blessing one day, that her specific mission, as defined in her blessing, could be best fulfilled in a wheelchair, Butler said.
It was not her faith that kept her from being healed. It was the Lord’s will for her at that time to be in a wheelchair, Butler said.
As people try to see themselves as Heavenly Father sees them, they will come to know themselves more fully and realize their individual potential, Butler said.