Recently, I received an e-mail with several photos of people “holding the sun.” Each photo showed someone with the sun in their hands, between their knees, or on top of their nose. Of course, we can’t hold the sun because, among other things, it’s far too large. But, from the perspective of these photos, it appeared that people were actually doing just that.
Objects in the foreground always look larger than what is in the background. A six-foot tree may look as though it looms over mountains in the distance, depending on your perspective. A telephone pole a few feet away may appear much taller than one a mile down the road, even though they are both the same height.
It’s all about perspective and how you view things. As mortals we tend to have a limited view and a much different perspective than Heavenly Father. He sees the whole picture, while we tend to focus on only one corner of it.
My son was born with Trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down syndrome, which means he has an extra chromosome. The presence of this extra genetic material affects each person differently, though people with Down syndrome tend to have common physical characteristics. Because of these characteristics, people with Down syndrome can usually be easily recognized. With this recognition comes prejudice and pre-determined judgments because those who make these judgments have short-sighted perspectives, they choose to not see beyond the physical characteristics.
Does Heavenly Father only see my son as someone who has an extra chromosome? Absolutely not. When I peer into my son’s eyes, I can see far beyond his physical being. I have no doubt at all that he will accomplish his purpose here on earth because I see him with an eternal perspective. I know that mortality is only a portion of his life and when he leaves mortality, he will not have the physical limitations he may experience here.
When we can see past others’ choices, limitations, or weaknesses and see them as Heavenly Father does, as children of God with divine natures and individual worth, we can then see why it is so important to bring them the message of the gospel. An eternal perspective changes everything and with that kind of perspective, we can be more effective in sharing the gospel. Heavenly Father wants all of his children to return to him. He wants everyone to have the peace that comes from the gospel. The more we can see beyond what’s right in front of us, the more Heavenly Father can use us to bring about his purposes.
We need to put off our “natural man” and see the whole picture. Instead of judging others and making decisions based on our own limited perspective, we need to reach out and share what we have with everyone that we can. Most of all, we need to have an eternal perspective and realize that just because a tree looks taller than a mountain, it isn’t necessarily so.
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