Thursday, July 8, 2021

Elder Robert D. Hales on caring for one another

Elder Robert D. Hales (August 24, 1932-October 1, 2017) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
"Our responsibilities are clear; we are to: 
"Reach out in love and be anxious to forgive those who have wronged us. 
"Help by fellowshipping and caring for those who want to come back, receiving them with open arms and willing hands. 
"We must do as Jude, the brother of James, admonished: 
"'Have compassion, making a difference' (Jude 1:22). 
"There are principles that will help us to 'have compassion, making a difference.' These principles are encompassed in Luke, chapter 15, where Jesus used three parables to give us examples of the importance He placed on finding those who are lost and rendering 'compassion, making a difference.'" 
- Robert D. Hales, "Some Have Compassion, Making a Difference," General Conference April 1987
Click here to read the full talk

This is wise counsel from Elder Hales, about some of the ways we can make a difference in the lives of those around us.

There are so many ways we can help, depending on the needs of those we are trying to help! Inspiration will help lead us in the right direction. But I'm expecially intrigued by the simple phrase that Elder Hales quotes from the book of Jude:

Having compassion is the first step—being sensitive and caring, "feeling with" those around us as we strive to understand their challenges or burdens.

And then making a difference. That's a simple statement. We don't have to change the world, make everything all better, fix all the problems. We just need to make a difference. That is often the thing that enables the Savior to then step in and continue the process with more complete healing or re-directing.

And so our call is to "reach out in love and be anxious to forgive." What a great quest. Where would the Lord have me make a difference today?
(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
March 16, 2015

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