Monday, November 2, 2015

Wilford Woodruff on loving and helping each other

Wilford Woodruff (1807-1898) was called as an apostle in 1839 by Joseph Smith, and sustained as the 4th president of the Church in 1889.  He served until his death in 1898 at age 91.
"We can best exemplify our love for our God by living our religion. It is vain to profess a love for God while speaking evil of or doing wrong to His children. The sacred covenants we have made with Him strictly impose upon us the duties we owe to one another; and the great office of religion is to teach us how to perform those duties so as to produce the greatest happiness for ourselves and for our fellow-beings. When the obligations of our religion are observed, no words are spoken or acts are committed that would injure a neighbor. If the Latter-day Saints lived as they should do, and as their religion teaches them to do, there would be no feeling in any breast but that of brotherly and sisterly affection and love. Backbiting and evil-speaking would have no existence among us; but peace and love and good will would reign in all our hearts and habitations and settlements. We would be the happiest people on the face of the earth, and the blessing and peace of heaven would rest upon us and upon all that belongs to us.
"If there be unhappiness and heartburnings and quarrelings and hatreds among us, they exist because we do not observe the religion which we profess. They are not its fruits. Where these evils exist there is a crying necessity for repentance."
- Wilford Woodruff, "An Epistle to the Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Millennial Star, November 14, 1887, 729-30

President Woodruff echoes the Savior's message, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). A true disciple should show evidence in his life of following the Savior's example, in "the duties we owe to one another" to produce the greatest happiness for all. And actions contrary to that spirit, including "speaking evil of or doing wrong to His children" are evidence of a lack of true devotion. If we truly follow God's plan in loving and caring for one another, "We would be the happiest people on the face of the earth."

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