Monday, October 24, 2016
christian love and service
Yesterday, I was feeling low. I don't often feel this way, but I was feeling overwhelmed by my heavy load at home while Mike is in school, and by an assignment I have been given at church. Like, so overwhelmed that I almost felt paralyzed and a little panicky and I wanted to cry. This could very well be hormonal. In fact, I am going to blame it on hormones 100%, but that doesn't make it any easier. What does make it easier is the fact that I have a very capable partner in my assignment at church and many women in my neighborhood who are willing to help in that assignment, and that Mike is at least home on the weekends, which eases the burden on me a little. In an effort to feel better, I searched the most recent General Conference addresses to find one that would speak to me and this difficult assignment and time in my life. I found it in Elder Robert D. Hales' talk, "Come, Follow Me" by Practicing Christian Love and Service.
Elder Hales begins by saying, "When the Savior called His disciples to follow Him, they were living the law of Moses, including seeking 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,' but the Savior came to fulfill that law with His Atonement. He taught a new doctrine: 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.'
"The disciples were taught to turn from the ways of the natural man to the loving and caring ways of the Savior by replacing contention with forgiveness, kindness, and compassion. The 'new commandment' to 'love one another' was not always easy to keep. When the disciples worried about associating with sinners and certain classes of people, the Savior patiently taught, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' Or, as a Book of Mormon prophet explained, 'When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.'
"As the Savior's latter-day disciples, we come unto Him by loving and serving God's children. As we do, we may not be able to avoid tribulation, affliction, and suffering in the flesh, but we will suffer less spiritually. Even in our trials, we can experience joy and peace."
Elder Hales then goes on to talk about how Christian love and service naturally begin in the home. He gives lots of good advice about taking advantage of teaching moments in our own families and reminding us that holding a consistent family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study can be some of our most impactful Christian service. Maybe I need to recommit to making these practices a priority in my home, even if I'm the only parent here to make them happen. His promise brought me lots of comfort: "The calling to be a parent includes the gift to teach in the ways that are right for you and for your children."
And then he says, "If you are suffering deeply, with others or alone, I urge you to let the Savior be your caregiver. Lean on His ample arm. Accept His assurance. 'I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you,' He promises."
As I fulfill my assignment in the coming weeks, and as I continue to run our home alone while Mike spends long hours at school, I am going to try to remember that it is through Christian love and service that I come to follow Christ. And while that service might be difficult or inconvenient, and most definitely a sacrifice, if I give it with a willing heart, with love for those I serve, I know I will be blessed. And it won't feel like such a sacrifice anymore.
At least my bed is made. It's the first thing I did when I woke up this morning and I already feel a million times better.
Read, watch, or listen to the entire talk here.
posted by stephanie at 7:30 AM