Can we all agree that the world is a mess right now? It only takes one glance at the social media comment section of an announcement from Church headquarters to see that even among Church members, disagreement is rampant. We separate ourselves off into all “manner of -ites” based on our political beliefs or our friend groups, and our actions hint that we have forgotten our covenants to love everyone the way the Savior did.
When Elder Soares told the story of Jesus Christ’s experience at the home of Simon the Pharisee, I found myself feeling called out instead of comforted. Simon was disgusted when a woman came to Jesus and washed and anointed his feet. He believed her moral character was suspect--in Luke 7:39, she is simply referred to as “a sinner”--and I’m guessing Simon might have felt a little embarrassed that she was in his house, making him look a little less socially acceptable. Elder Soares describes Simon’s feelings as having a “superiority complex” that kept him from empathizing with the woman’s situation. These words left me wondering how often I am guilty of having a superiority complex. Do I sometimes shake my head at the actions of people whose sins are different from mine? Do I find myself withholding forgiveness or not giving someone the benefit of the doubt because I felt offended?
The Savior shows us that when we truly understand someone, we can’t help but have compassion for them. When we nurture the seeds of charity in our hearts, we are capable of looking beyond opposing beliefs and hurtful remarks. Instead, we focus on the divine child of God in front of us. Forgiveness and fellowship no longer feel like burdens but rather become natural extensions of our character as daily obedience and repentance chip away at the natural woman and shape her into a true disciple.
xo, Lorren Lemmons
I view those around me with eyes of compassion. I am generous with my patience and mercy and as I come to know their story.
What perfect timing for this talk as we kick off another Light the World campaign and service initiative. The focus this season specifically is to light the world with love. This is a beautiful way to practice exercising Christlike compassion and selflessness with those in our families and communities.
Print out the prompted service calendar from ComeUntoChrist.org and decide how you and your family will participate in helping others feel Christ’s infinite love this season.