Metanoia or Metanoya

Every six months Mormons across the globe gather around their televisions, radios, computers, in their stake centers, or chapels to listen to the First Presidency, General Authorities and other General Auxiliary leaders address them. These leaders present 20-30 minute speeches or "talks" about principles of the gospel, i.e. faith, repentance, baptism, the nature of the Godhead, etc.
General Conference is divided into four, two-hour sessions. Two are scheduled for Saturday with two more on Sunday. LDS men gather for an additional "Priesthood" session on Saturday evening. Serving as a missionary on Temple Square, I always looked forward to Priesthood session because the Square would overflow with men dressed in white shirts and ties. Ladies, it is an event not to be missed, especially if you are LDS.
As I was watching Conference on Sunday afternoon, Elder Russel M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke about Metanoia or Metanoya. Fascinated, I intently listened as Elder Nelson explained metanoia (a Greek verb) means a change of mind, knowledge, spirit and breath. The change metanoia describes always refers to a positive change. Metanoya is used as a noun. Metamelomai subsequently means to have remorse or regret; it is therefore a feeling.
Last semester I took a class at the University of Maryland. One of our first assignments was an etymology project. One of my dorkiest characteristics is my affinity for dictionaries and thesaruses. At BYU Ramses (Kim knew him too) and I used to sit on the couch every Sunday and play the dictionary game. He would randomly select a word in the dictionary and we would spend the next thirty minutes using the word, appropriately in a sentence. The next week we would try to remember the word chosen the previous week before finding a new one. I miss the dictionary game and hope to find someone who will play it with me again someday. Yeah, I'm a dork.
In all honesty, I truly appreciated Elder Nelson's perspective on change. Mormons are always encouraged to "stand a little taller and be a little better." I have decided that one thing I need to work on is changing my spirit. I need to show forth more love when I speak to people. I have noticed that I often give members of the opposite sex a difficult time. My words can be acerbic and demeaning, at best, even though I don't really mean for them to be. Ok, that's not entirely true.
I often justify my behavior with thoughts of, "well Catherine, in the Taming of the Shrew acted in a similar manner and she eventually changed. I'll change, too, when I'm ready," or, I may say to myself, "well, I only treat men that way when they do or say stupid things. Besides, it seems the kinder I am to men the less they appreciate me," but that's not really true either.
This life we are taught, is a time to prepare ourselves to meet God. If one really thinks about what that means, they must simultaneously realize there is no justification for treating another unkindly. If God really is a loving Heavenly Father who longs to bless, forgive and comfort us, which He does, then how can I, who longs to be like Him, demean others? If Heavenly Father speaks to us with a still, small voice shouldn't I do the same?
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying I will alter my voice to mimic the sing-song voice many Mormon women use while giving talks or teaching Sunday School, however, I am honestly going to attempt to change the spirit of my conversations to be more positive and uplifting; especially when talking to men. I KNOW this will not be easy but I am determined to try.
Besides, change is good. During a time when change seems to be my watchword why not add something else to the mix? One never knows how long the time for change will last?

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