Lorenzo_Lotto_-_Christ_Carrying_the_Cross_(detail)_-_WGA13694

Lorenzo Lotto, Christ Carrying the Cross, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

Amos 8:11–12
Mark 8:34–38

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • How can we see the world not as “members and nonmembers” but as brothers and sisters all searching for happiness? Are you able to keep in your mind, as you look at others, that Christ suffered as much for them as He did for you?
  • How does Christ’s truly unconditional love model the attitude we need to have toward others?

It Has to Be You!

My husband often refers to the ward in which he grew up in a small Utah town. For years there had been the traditional two groups: the actives and the inactives. Then a new man moved into the ward, an out-of-towner, and he was immediately given many of the inactive members as home teaching families. Within a short period of time many of the inactive families became active. The story goes that “he didn’t know they were inactive!”

Although this interpretation is a good one, and supports the “as if” principle (treat a man as if he has certain qualities and he will develop them), I believe there is another possibility. It may be that this man looked upon his contacts as friends, as brothers, and not as the stereotype “inactive members.” It may be that his warmth and sincerity found a place in the hearts of his families where others, going through the motions of activating an inactive family, had failed.

Traveling from Virginia to Utah recently, we attended Sunday School in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Gospel Doctrine lesson that Sunday was on the subject of love, and many thrilling and thought-provoking ideas were introduced. One woman in the class was very responsive, and as it looked like the teacher was running out of time she became anxious. Finally she raised her hand and said, “I’ve got to say this. Everything you have said here is true, and it’s beautiful. But there’s one thing about love that nobody has mentioned.

“You can’t say, ‘I’ll love my family,’ and ‘I’ll love the Church,’ and let it stop there. Either you are a loving person or you’re not. You have to care about the clerk in the supermarket, though she may be grouchy and sharp after a hard day. You can’t turn love on or off at your convenience; it has to be you!”

She was right! And I remembered what she said at every service station and restaurant between Cheyenne and Salt Lake City. I wasn’t surprised that not only did strangers react more positively, but as a result of my newly developed habit of caring about others, I discovered amazing improvements in our family relationships, too. Equally important, I learned that with an attitude like this, fellowshipping would be much more simple. If I could learn to shower warmth and love on everyone, I wouldn’t have to worry about who would be a likely prospect! (Afton J. Day, “So They Don’t Join the Church,” Ensign, Oct. 1977).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Nothing Can Separate

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Signs of Christ’s Crucifixion

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Do you see signs of Christ’s second coming?
  • What are you doing to prepare for that day?
  • Is it ever too late to repent?

 

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