Thursday, October 21, 2021

Elder Ulisses Soares on serving with compassion

Elder Ulisses Soares (born October 2, 1958 in Brazil) has served as a Seventy since April 2005, and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since January 2013. He was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles on April 1, 2018.
"My dear friends, as we intentionally strive to incorporate a compassionate attitude into our way of life, as exemplified by the Savior, we will become more sensitive to people’s needs. With that increased sensitivity, feelings of genuine interest and love will permeate our every action. The Lord will recognize our efforts, and we will surely be blessed with opportunities to be instruments in His hands in softening hearts and in bringing relief to those whose 'hands … hang down' (D&C 81:5).

"Jesus’s admonition to Simon the Pharisee also made it clear that we should never make harsh and cruel judgment of our neighbor, because we are all in need of understanding and mercy for our imperfections from our loving Heavenly Father. Wasn’t this exactly what the Savior taught on another occasion when He said, 'And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?' (Matt 7:3.)

"We need to consider that it is not easy to understand all the circumstances that contribute to someone’s attitude or reaction. Appearances can be deceptive and oftentimes do not represent an accurate measurement of someone’s behavior. Unlike you and me, Christ is capable of clearly seeing all facets of a given situation. Even knowing all our weaknesses as He does, the Savior does not rashly condemn us but continues to work with us compassionately over time, helping us to remove the beam from our eye. Jesus always looks on the heart and not on the appearance. He Himself declared, 'Judge not according to the appearance' (John 7:24)."

- Ulisses Soares, "The Savior’s Abiding Compassion," General Conference October 2021, Saturday morning
Click here to read or watch the full talk

Elder Soares addressed a principle that is one of the most significant and important aspects of Christian discipleship—compassion and service. As we grow in our desire to help others, we'll be more sensitive to their needs, and our actions will reflect what is in our hearts.

I was grateful for this reminder—opportunities to serve will come to those who are prepared and seeking them.

As we seek for those in need of help and love, we must never judge unrighteously. People can be in need for many reasons, often not their own fault; only the Savior can truly evaluate what is in the heart and spirit. Our responsibility is to give, unselfishly and lovingly, whenever we see a need.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)

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