Sunday, September 7, 2008

Love

We had Regional Conference today. It was wonderful. The message that seemed to be underlined by several of the Speakers was to exercise compassion and kindness for those who struggle with certain addictions, for those who have different values than us or for those who might not measure up to our "ideals". We must not ever walk in arrogance, assuming we are somehow better than others or worth more to God than any of His children.

At this conference it was reminded to us that we are ALL "lost sheep" who have gone astray and that we ALL need the "Good Shepherd", Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 53:6)

The words to the primary children's song, "I'll Walk With You" was recited in reference to the members of the Church-

Note: In an attempt to drive the point home, I have inserted "Mormon" in parenthesis and italics to make personal application of today's Sunday message.... in the song the word is originally "people":

"If you don't walk as most (Mormons) do,
Some (Mormons) walk away from you,
But I won't! I won't!

If you don't talk as most (Mormons) do,
Some (Mormons) talk and laugh at you,
But I won't! I won't!

I'll walk with you. I'll talk with you.
That's how I'll show my love for you.

Jesus walked away from none.
He gave His love to everyone.
So I will! I will!

Jesus blessed all he could see,
Then turned and said, "Come follow me."
And I will! I will!
I will! I will!

I'll walk with you. I'll talk with you.
That's how I'll show my love for you."

- John 13:15

All of the Sundays that I go to church, all of the times I pray, read scriptures, go to the Temple or pay my tithing etc. will amount to absolutely nothing if I am not kind to others. Don't get me wrong, going to Church and praying and these such things are extremely important... but they do me no good at all if I miss the all important virtue of loving God and loving my neighbor!

I am making the goal today to do better at seeking out those who might feel as if they don't "belong" and offer more quickly my love and my fellowship to them. I never want anyone to feel like they are "less than" or inferior ... My prayer is to follow the Savior's counsel to leave judgment up to Him and be quick to love those who might seem "different" than me.

P.S.
I found some helpful pamphlets that give encouragement, counsel and love to members of the Church who struggle with Same Gender Attraction, Pornography or behavioral / substance addictions:

Same Gender Attraction- http://www.lds.org/topics/pdf/GodLovethHisChildren_04824_000.pdf

Pornography Addiction - http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=1dc72ce2b446c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=704a862384d20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____

Addiction Recovery Program- http://www.providentliving.org/familyservices/AddicitonRecoveryManual_36764000.pdf

3 comments:

Tony said...

I think this is such an important thing to remember. I belive it was Paul who said that even though he could speak with the tongue of angels, and do all sorts of wonders and works under heaven, if he didn't have Charity it would be nothing. I have often had to think twice before judging someone, remembering how I was before I came to know of the great truths that are contained in the Church. It is a wonderful thing to possess, arguably the one virtue we should attain to next to gratitude.

I also have read some of those pamphlets you cited, such as the one on same-gender attraction (I have quite a few gay relatives) and am comforted by the fact that the Church leaders have such a deep love and care for people who struggle with these things. I think that if some of the non-members who are so quick to criticize them about their stand on things actually read these, they would have a greater appreciation for what they do.

Leah said...

Thank you this was wonderful and much needed today.

Alicia said...

Thank you Tony and Leah for your comments!