The Visiting Teaching message for December is Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Compassionate and Kind. When I saw it, I smiled. I wonder if they saved the very best for last? Because, to me, kindness and compassion are the ultimate Christlike attributes.
As you are well aware, in the past month there has been much talk amongst the LDS community about the policy surrounding gay marriage. The unkindness I have personally witnessed (mostly on Facebook) from members to other members has been somewhat shocking to me (it shocked me so much I wrote a post about it here: On Choosing Kind). This is not what our church teaches, regardless of which side of the issue you stand. We can always state our beliefs boldly, but with kindness. As soon as unkindness enters in, most of what we say loses credit in the eyes of others, anyway. We cannot bully people into keeping the commandments or listening to the prophet, but we might be able to love them into it.
Compassion is the art of mourning with those that mourn, which is actually a covenant we make at baptism. (See Mosiah 18:8-10)
Another favorite scripture of mind reminds us that “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained. . . only by kindness.” Later we are told to “reprove betimes with sharpness” but do you know what that really means? Those words are not giving us license to be unkind because another person is wrong. It means to “correct immediately with clarity.” And that can be done with kindness and love unfeigned and gentleness and meekness just fine. (See D&C 121:41-46)
Choose Kind my friends!
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