Friday, February 5, 2016

Lorenzo Snow on overcoming personal gloom by Christian love and service

Lorenzo Snow (1814-1901) was an early convert to the Church along with his sister Eliza R. Snow. He was called as an apostle by Brigham Young in 1849. He served as the 5th president of the Church from 1898 until his death in 1901.
"We should have before us a strong desire to do good to others. Never mind so much about ourselves. Good will come to us all right if we keep our minds outside of ourselves to a certain extent, and try to make others happier and draw them a little nearer to the Lord....
"When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated."
- Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, Apr. 1899, pp. 2-3

This is an expression of true Christianity: if we worry less about our own happiness and more about the happiness of those around us, blessings will follow and all will be right. Our desire should be to "do good to others" and to "try to make others happier," and even more importantly, to "draw them a little nearer to the Lord."

I appreciated the clarity of this teaching: it's the Spirit of the Lord that accompanies acts of kindness and love, and helps drive away the gloom and despair that can consume us. As we show charity and concern to others in the way the Savior would, we find His spirit is with us.

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