With the current political turmoil and what seems like a new tragedy daily with anger and sorrow and death so prevalent in our news and other media feeds, when it seems like Longfellow had it right, ”There is no peace on earth, for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will toward men”, I am extremely grateful and excited for this upcoming weekend with its General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the opportunity to listen to the spiritually powerful messages from prophets and apostles.
A thought has been repeating itself regularly in my personal scripture study and pondering – and it is summed up by this sentence from the Bible Dictionary, “As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part”
That sentence describes, to me, the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As soon as we understand the true nature of God, and our relationship with him, then at once we understand that all people are children of God, and not in some abstract, metaphorical way, but absolutely and literally. And if we come to know that we are children of God and that everybody we have ever known or ever will know is also a child of God, then we are quite literally all family, all brothers and sisters. And with that understanding there should develop in our hearts a love for all mankind and a desire to do more to help others, to step outside of ourselves and become a force for good in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our neighborhoods and communities. There needs to be more love, more willingness to listen to others, to help others who need it, simply because they need it and we have the ability to help.
We need to find more ways of saying yes and not default to a “No” mentality. We need to find more ways to come together, to celebrate and accentuate the commonalities we share, while finding joy and excitement in our differences that make each of us unique, not shunning or demonizing all those who disagree with us in any slight way.
Go and do what you can in your sphere of influence, no matter how large or small, to make someone else’s day a little easier, to make someone else a little happier, to show a little more love and kindness to someone else.
God is our Father, and he has shown us what a perfect Love is. We would do well to strive to emulate that perfect Love of Christ, and “go about doing good” as he did, and do “only those things that please God” as Jesus did. There is so much to be happy about, so much to be hopeful for, so much to love and enjoy in this life, but this life is the time for us to prepare for the next, this life is the time for us to learn how to love and how to be part of God’s great eternal family.
Come listen to a prophet’s voice, this weekend, and hear the word of God. Come see what your Heavenly Father has prepared for you and come learn how you can have more love and joy and goodness in your life. Come listen and see if yo will hear something that touches your heart and inspires your mind to be more and do more. Come and see.
Come visit gc.lds.org for messages from previous General Conferences and to watch with us this weekend, and to read or watch the addresses as they become available. If you have any questions or want to talk, I am always willing to listen.