"And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men."
Was reading this and thinking... wow, that's tough. To always avoid offending everyone, including God. A great goal, but kind of overwhelming. And then I thought about it more and looked at it a little differently, and the word "exercise" jumped out at me. Just like physical exercise, which tones up our body, there are spiritual exercises that we can do to tone up our souls. :) And this is one of them. Keeping our consciences clean isn't something that is possible for most of us if we think of it as though it has to stay pristine all the time. Just like your body collects dirt, and we have to wash it... our spiritual selves collect spiritual dirt if we aren't exercising them constantly. Skip reading your scriptures one day and you get a few little spiritual dust mites. :) ... don't say a deep sincere prayer when you wake up... a few more. At some point we need to get to those things and clear the air between us and God... make sure that things are okay, and that exercises our souls, and shakes off the dust. :) Sometimes it takes more... baptism or taking the sacrament washes us clean. Occasionally if it's really bad, it's time to talk to the bishop about how to get the blackness out. (They're really good with the spiritual stain remover.) ... so now I look at this verse and it isn't about always avoiding offending people. That is a good goal, but I know that when I slip and offend someone, part of my spiritual exercise is to clean off that mistake, to apologize, or do what I need to do to make it right. Then it is like daily calisthenics or going to the gym. If I keep working at it, then it isn't overwhelming. Every day, I work at polishing off the spots and getting back some of the cool glowy shininess that I imagine when I think of looking at a soul. :) Today, let's remember that spiritual accomplishments can be done through daily exercise and don't have to be done all at once... and let's work on cleaning off those back spots and getting back our glowy shininess. :)