I"m way off on my days. I thought yesterday was Thursday.
This week I studied the sermon Love—the Essence of the Gospel by Thomas S. Monson. All quotes are taken from this talk unless otherwise noted. I could have simply copied and pasted the whole thing. President Monson is so wise, his love shining through all he does and says.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," Matthew 22:36-39.
"We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellowmen if we do not love God, the Father of us all...We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and, as such, are brothers and sisters. As we keep this truth in mind, loving all of God’s children will become easier...There are many attributes which are manifestations of love, such as kindness, patience, selflessness, understanding, and forgiveness."
The man after whom we named our youngest child, Spencer W. Kimball, said. “We must remember that those mortals we meet in parking lots, offices, elevators, and elsewhere are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve. It will do us little good to speak of the general brotherhood of mankind if we cannot regard those who are all around us as our brothers and sisters.”
"Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears...I would hope that we would strive always to be considerate and to be sensitive to the thoughts and feelings and circumstances of those around us. Let us not demean or belittle. Rather, let us be compassionate and encouraging. We must be careful that we do not destroy another person’s confidence through careless words or actions...Forgiveness should go hand in hand with love. In our families, as well as with our friends, there can be hurt feelings and disagreements. Again, it doesn’t really matter how small the issue was. It cannot and should not be left to canker, to fester, and ultimately to destroy. Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals."
It's been a goal of mine the past six months to mark my words more carefully, refraining from saying unkind or unnecessary things. Surprisingly, I participated in this behavior more than I realized. After a lifetime of playing in the mud, it has been a difficult journey. Needless to say, I've a ways to go. I try to remember the commandment above and a quote by C. S. Lewis in his book, Weight of Glory.
"It is a serious thing," says Lewis, "to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner."