"A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another; as I have loved you,
that ye also love one another."
I think that we can all agree that life is never what we hope it will be. Sometimes it is infinitely more beautiful than we could ever dream. Other times, it is more of a disappointment that we think we can bear. This is the reason that our world is in such great need of more compassion and charity.
"And of some have compassion, making a difference..."
Some may see being kind as a sign of weakness. Or, perhaps a sign of condoning sin. There are even those we feel that compassion makes those around us dependent instead of independent. I would say that when we show genuine Christ-like compassion and charity to those around us, it not only will make the world a kinder place, but it will lift those who would otherwise stay in the squalor of everyday life to a higher plane.
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
and he shall lift you up."
James 4: 10
In order to help those around us and to show genuine charity, there are many things that we have to do. It is impossible for us to share love that we do not feel or have for God and for ourselves. As we strive to strengthen our relationship with God and come to understand our divine potential as His children, we feel of the comfort and assurance that this life will be ok, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in.
"Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts...in family relationships."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
After we find greater love for God and ourselves, we are more capable of sharing that love in our families. So many families in our world are filled with hatred, abuse, unkindness towards those we should show the most love to. Resentment is a feeling that can be common in such close relationships. Anger and disappointment will come to all. These are failings of the flesh. God can make them into feelings of greater love and kindness for those we are in contact with on a daily basis. There are many people in the world who abandon family relationships as unfixable because of words said in a fit of rage or due to the inattention of personal feelings. We turn to those who are not related to us for the comfort we should find in our homes.
If we want peace in this world, I truly feel it must start in our homes. This is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, things that can ever be accomplished on this earth. To create a heaven within our homes is to bring God's love into our lives each and every day. It truly is as simple as forgiving and acting in the best interest of those we claim to love the most. When all in the home participate in these acts, all are uplifted and all feel safe and cared for.
"Oh, how we need each other."
Marjorie P. Hinkley
As our homes become more divine places, the next step in sharing compassion and charity will be to reach out to those around us. God will shine His mercy and wisdom into our hearts and show us those of His children that we can more greatly enrich and succor. The more you serve, the greater your capacity for service will be. The more you listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the more God will speak to your heart and mind. This is how the world is changed--in small, simple daily acts and not in the large gestures that come less frequently. A phone call, a letter sent, a smile, an offer to help--these are the actions that will create peace on this earth.
"Many things are good, many are important,
but only a few are essential."
D. Todd Christofferson
Each step towards greater compassion can only happen successfully if the previous stepping stones are securely in place. It might mean that we devote more time to family or to self when our foundation is not as firm as we need it to be. To know this and to step back and work on what is essential in our individual circumstances will be what makes us a perfected soul. Sometimes the two steps back will help us to realize that there are things of a more important nature that are being neglected.
Never feel that following the promptings of the Spirit to take time for yourself or your family are selfish. This is God teaching us what is most important in our lives. Each of us is under a vitally important charge to do the best in our individual situations, and the choices we make are incredibly important not only to ourselves, but those around us. No other man on earth can tell you what is most important for you in your life--these promptings will only come from a loving Heavenly Father who knows and loves you perfectly. It is my prayer that we will ever be near to Him so that His Spirit can teach us what these essential things are each and every day, and that we will be seen as compassionate and kind in all we do and say. I leave these thoughts with you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.