Arms opened to repentant sinner

Serving with Christlike love without judging others ought to be among the daily actions of the followers of Christ, said Elder Glenn L. Pace. At the October 1990 general conference, Elder Pace, then second counselor in the Presiding

Bishopric and now a member of the Seventy, said: "King Benjamin addressed the sin of judging a person in need very clearly:" `Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just -

" `But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent.' (Mosiah 4:17-18.)

"We know many wounds are self-inflicted and could have been avoided simply by obeying gospel principles. However, to shrug it off as their problem' is not acceptable to the Lord. He said,Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' (Matt. 11:28.) Although He does not condone sin, His arms are always open to the repentant sinner. In modern revelation the Lord has asked us to go one step further: `I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.' (D&C 64:10.)

"Our forgiveness must be manifest by reaching out to help mend wounds even when they are the result of transgression. To react in any other way would be akin to setting up a lung cancer clinic for nonsmokers only. Whether the pain has come to someone who is completely innocent or is something of their own making is irrelevant. When a person has been hit by a truck, we don't withhold our help even when it is obvious he didn't stay in the pedestrian lane."

Further, Elder Pace said: "When we get emotionally and spiritually involved in helping a person who is in pain, a compassion enters our heart. It hurts, but the process lifts some of the pain from another. We get from the experience a finite look into the Savior's pain as He performed the infinite Atonement. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, a sanctification takes place within our souls and we become more like our Savior. We gain a better understanding of what was meant when He said, `Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' " (Matt. 25:40.)

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