Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Doctrine and Covenants 112:11

"I know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy brethren.  Be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and unto all who love my name."
Doctrine and Covenants 112:11

This chapter, which also has the statements "Be thou humble" and "Exalt not yourselves," seems to be telling us how to treat people.  That we shouldn't prefer anyone (especially ourselves) over anyone else.  I think it is natural to do so... to prefer people within our comfort zones (people we already know... family, friends) over people we don't know.  To have tiers... this group is preferred, and this group is less preferred. :) ... But perhaps that is the point.  It is natural, as in "natural" man.  We need to rise above that, difficult as it might be, and love everyone... the strangers we meet every day.  We may have caught a taste of this before... maybe on a mission, or in a testimony meeting, or during a disaster, when the feeling is there; everyone has gathered together for a purpose, and they are united in some way, and you can look around and truly say that you love everyone there, whether you know them or not. ... We need more of that, without the crutch of a disaster to bring us together.  But we also need more of loving people without bias after we get to know them.  I find this difficult.  If someone has argued with me frequently in the past... whether or not that person apologizes and we get past it... I find myself less likely to treat that person with grace and kindness than someone else, even a stranger.  And I think that God is saying here, and in other places... we can't group people like that.  We can't put people into the okay category and the not okay category... we have to make an effort to treat everyone with equal care and kindness.  Especially when we consider how often we have argued with God... how many times we have rebelled against him.  Will he be biased against us because of past trials?  No... because he truly does love everyone, and he sees past the trials and loves us anyway. ... I know how hard it is.  I do... but today, let's try to love as he does.

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