Ours is to Love
In following up on my last post entitled From This Very Moment , I would like to address our views towards those who have chosen this moment to start anew. We, as the natural man, tend to create our own answers to things we don't know about. Assume, if you will. Take for example, we see a very large person out "running" and maybe think "wow, you really should be running!" When in reality, maybe that person has already lost 100 lbs and we should be congratulating them on a job well done. Or a young woman at church suddenly starts wearing more modest clothing to church and we are "glad she finally figured it out" when we should be so excited for her that she is growing spiritually and purposefully making different choices. Or how about the Priest who always blesses the sacrament and one day isn't. He's sitting with his family instead. "oh", we think "guess he's not a worthy priesthood holder". When maybe we should be so proud that he's made the choice to be completely clean before the Lord so he can worthily serve a mission.
It's easy to only see the negative to situations we don't actually know about. We are told not to judge. There's the age old adage about walking a mile in someone else's shoes. As children of God and as brothers and sisters in Christ, shouldn't we be loving each other? We have all failed, fallen and tried to get up and start anew. Should we be surprised that our friends, family and ward members are doing the same? Imagine an early returned missionary who came home to make things right with the Lord, how hard that has to be! Everyone knows. What a difference it would make to this missionary to return to a group of people who loved him, were proud of him for doing what is right, who admire his faith in and testimony of the atonement! This kind of reaction would be called Charity, the Pure Love of Christ. It's something we all have to work at, to overcome our natural man who likes to judge and assume. We have to purposefully point our thoughts toward loving and helping and supporting those around us whose situations we don't fully understand. We were counseled to Start Where You Are. None of us are in the same place as our neighbor.
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. Alma 34:32
Let us be kind and loving to each other as we pick ourselves up, choose this very moment to start where we are and move closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. Hold back our criticism and judgments and rejoice over a brother or sister who has chosen the path that leads to eternal life, no matter where on that path they may be. Let's join hands and forge through the hard times together, with love and patience and kindness. Let us love as our Savior does!
Love - the Essence of the Gospel