FFF #40—Go, and Do Thou Likewise

So my blogging efforts have not been as regular as I would have like them to be.  Spike Spike has been sick for three days, fever, throwing up, and awake in the night.  Today he must be feeling better because he is actually eating and he wants me to do everything with him!  “Mommy, watch my show with me.”  “Mommy, sing Wonder Pets with me!”  “Mommy, come and play with me.”  I don’t mind and I like spending time with my little guy, but it was just slightly easier when he was on the couch in a blanket sleeping because he didn’t feel well.  Not complaining!  I just can’t believe how demanding he is today.

Slim is on his way to Utah for a wedding this week.  We have friends who offered to drive him out there with them and he knows people he can stay with, so his trip is relatively inexpensive.  (Not like we can support multiple trips across the country!)

Speedy made his school’s basketball team!  That will add practices to our already kind of crazy schedule, though it is getting to that season.  Everyone plays basketball at our house, except Sun.  So right around Thanksgiving, it is time to sign everyone up for their teams.  We will be working on that in the next couple of weeks.  And we have parent/teacher conferences where we get a face to face update with how our children are doing in their classes.

Today I took lunch to a friend who just had a baby.  In our church, when a family has a new baby, or when someone is sick, or there has been a death in the family, we all band together and do what we can to assist the family.  We bring dinners, maybe we watch the other kids, maybe we wash laundry or help get the house ready for guests, or anything else the family might need to assist them during their time of transition.

 People have done this for us, as well.  I cannot tell you the relief it has been to me in such times of stress or sadness.  When Slim was so very, very sick as an infant, we had people who didn’t even know us donate money to our family.  It paid for two months of our rent.  We had one of our friends do all of our laundry.  One of the families in the ward stocked our refrigerator with with easily prepared foods so we could spend most of our time at the hospital.  People came and sat with us at the hospital.  People prayed for us and fasted for our family.  I think our ward paid our electricity bill.  You can bet I spent most of the month crying, not only because I was worried and stressed about my baby, but because of the love and support we received from those around us.

I just got off the phone with a friend who has been so very, very frustrated with all of the social media hype about the Prophet Joseph Smith and his stance and participation in polygamy.  And with all the discussions about the Church’s stance on homosexuality and same gender marriage.  I have to tell you, with all of the contention and wide and varying opinions on these issues, we are missing the bigger picture.  Where is our humanity?!

Without contending on controversial issues, can we just remember that we are all children of God?  That He loves all of us?  That He wants all of us to be happy, safe, loved, nurtured, fed, sheltered, helped?  Can we decide today that we are going to be one of those people?  Can we reach out in our small, intimate circle of people and represent the Light He sent us?  Can we follow the example that has been set for us about how to show our love for the Savior by serving our fellow men and women?  If that is not how others have treated us, will we decide to set a different example for those we interact with?

I don’t know about you, but I for one have decided that I want to follow the Savior, Jesus Christ!  I want to help others and love others, and serve others.  They may not be like me, look like me, smell like me, talk like me…….but I know He loves them too and I know He wants them to feel safe and happy and loved.  He knows I might be able to help them receive that, whether that is my children, my family, my neighbors, or my brothers and sisters who live across the world and who do not know me, or believe as I do.

I do not believe I should enforce my beliefs on others by force.  I acknowledge and respect their agency to choose for themselves.  With our differing beliefs, can we not come together and acknowledge our shared humanity, our shared existence, our shared desire for life, family, children?

I think we can!  I wish we would!  The most important thing we can do today is to decide that we will!!  (Even when others don’t do that for us!)  If each one of us decided to do that today and then again tomorrow and those we share simple acts of kindness with do likewise, think of the awesome force for good and change we could become!!  Will you do it?  Will you join me?

Here are the words of Elder Hugo E. Martinez and his feelings about this topic: (Full text here!)

I believe the words of the Savior in the parable of the good Samaritan apply to us: “Go, and do thou likewise.”4
 

On September 21, 1998, Hurricane Georges hit Puerto Rico, causing extensive damage. Sister Martinez, our five children, and I managed to survive that great storm and its hurricane-force winds by staying in our home. However, we went two weeks without running water and without power.

When our supply of water ran out, obtaining more was difficult. I will never forget the brethren who ministered to us by providing that precious liquid, nor will I forget the loving way the sisters also served us.
Germán Colón came to our house with a large plastic water container in a pickup truck. He told us he was doing it because, in his words, “I know you have little children who need water.” A couple of days later, Brothers Noel Muñoz and Herminio Gómez loaded three large water tanks onto a flatbed truck. They showed up at our house unexpectedly and filled every available water bottle with drinking water, also inviting our neighbors to fill theirs.
Our prayers were answered by their personal ministries. The faces of those three brethren reflected the love that Jesus Christ has for us, and their service—in other words, their personal ministry—brought much more than drinking water into our lives. To every son or daughter of God, knowing that people are interested in and watching out for his or her welfare is essential.

I testify to you that Heavenly Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ, know us individually and personally. For that reason, They provide what we need so we will have the opportunity to reach our divine potential. Along the road, They place people who will help us. Then, as we become instruments in Their hands, we are able to serve and help those They show to us by revelation.

In this way, the Lord Jesus Christ will reach all of Heavenly Father’s children. The Good Shepherd will gather all His sheep. He will do so one by one as they make good use of their moral agency—after hearing the voice of His servants and receiving their ministrations. Then they will recognize His voice, and they will follow Him. Such personal ministry is integral to keeping our baptismal covenants.

Likewise, being a good example of a disciple of Jesus Christ is our best letter of introduction to those with whom we can share His gospel. As we open our mouths and share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we become “His undershepherds, charged with nourishing the sheep of His pasture and the lambs of His fold”5; we become “the weak and the simple”6 “fishers of men.”7
Think of the good one person can do!

Have a great weekend!!

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