Monday, September 29, 2008

Doing Good

“We believe in . . . doing good to all men.” (13th Article of Faith).

As members of the LDS Church, we believe that we should follow the command by the Savior, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35).

Love is the best motivator. When we love others, we seek to serve them and to do good. When I was younger and would hear people say in church, “I just love all of you so much,” I’d think to myself, “How can that person love me? He doesn’t even know me.” As I’ve aged, both physically and spiritually, I’ve come to realize that it is possible to love my fellowman without actually knowing each person. When I try to help others, I am showing my love for the Savior.

When we love others, we “ . . . are willing to mourn with those that mourn, yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort . . .” (Mosiah 18:9). A friend of mine recently lost her teenage son. When I heard the news, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. I imagined how I would feel if I lost one of my children and I spent the following days thinking about her and her family. I tried to figure out how to serve her and let her know of my love and concern. Since my sister is much closer to her, I volunteered to watch my nieces and nephews so my sister could travel and be there in person to comfort her. As I thought about this tragedy, I felt this scripture come to pass because I felt that, along with his mother, I was mourning the loss of this young man.

I remember well watching the news when the Twin Towers fell. I remember the aching I felt inside for all of the families directly affected by this enormous tragedy. I did not know any of the victims personally, but I still felt such sorrow. I cried tears of grief with them and prayed for them.

We believe in doing good to all men, regardless of whether or not they deserve it. This can be especially true when we donate to charities or give to others. When we were traveling back from Arizona one night, we stopped at a gas station. A very drunk Native American man approached the vehicle while my husband was inside a convenience store helping some of the kids with a potty break. The gentleman slurred as he spoke and told me how he had no money. As he looked around our van and saw some Cheetos on the floor he said, “I ain’t got no chips.” I quickly handed him the bag. When he then said, “I ain’t got no woman, either,” I apologized and told him I couldn’t help him with that problem, but would gladly give him more chips.

Doing good to all men means we try to help one another. We see a need and we serve. We try to be kind and generous with our time and our resources. We show respect and try to empathize with those around us. When we do our best to help our fellowman, we are doing good and we are showing the Lord that we are his disciples. If we are truly trying to become like the Savior, we will be anxiously engaged in a good cause and looking for opportunities to do good to those around us.

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Jennifer said...

I love that you gave the guy the chips, but not the woman. LOL.

When we were in CA once, a man like that approached us at a gas station and begged for money. My mom didn't want to give him cash because she didn't want it spent on drugs or alcohol, etc. So she said she'd buy food for him, but he wouldn't take it. He didn't want the food - he just wanted cash. Strange. You'd think he'd at least take the food so the next buck that came along could be spent on booze without worrying about also having to eat.

Rebecca Talley said...

I always give them food, instead of money, or offer to take them to a restaurant so I know it isn't going to pay for more booze or drugs.