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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Learning from Mistakes

Bruce C. Hafen:
“A young piano student once became very discouraged by her mistakes. Each time she learned a piece, her teacher assigned a new and more difficult piece, and the student would begin playing wrong notes all over again. She concluded that she wasn’t learning anything, because she would always make mistakes in her new pieces. Then her teacher explained that nobody ever learned to play the piano without making many, many mistakes. The successful students are those who learn from their mistakes.

We learn many other life skills the same way—through the practice of trial and error. We can learn to love, for example, by responding to the sour sounds of wrong notes that jangle in our emotional ears when we thoughtlessly hurt someone close to us.

Life is a school, a place for us to learn and grow. We, like Adam and Eve, experience “growing pains” through the sorrow and contamination of a lone and dreary world. These experiences may include sin, but they also include mistakes, disappointments, and the undeserved pain of adversity. The blessed news of the gospel is that the atonement of Jesus Christ can purify all the uncleanness and sweeten all the bitterness we taste.”
(“Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Liahona, Apr. 1997, 39)
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