Do as Samaritan, show compassion

Relieve suffering

Teach by example- Be generous with time

The lesson taught by Jesus to the lawyer, who challenged the Savior on a point of doctrine, was to go and do as the kind and caring traveler from Samaria did.

"Go, and do thou likewise," Jesus simply said.

Speaking during the Sunday afternoon session, Presiding Bishop H. David Burton said: "To help relieve suffering is to cultivate a Christ-like character. We are charged, as were those who listened at the feet of the Savior 2,000 years ago, to `Go, and do thou likewise.' "

As Bishop Burton began his address, he related the conversation between Jesus and the lawyer. "We should be very grateful," he said, "for the lawyer's second question," that of "who is my neighbor?"

"From it came one of the most insightful of the Savior's parables," Bishop Burton said and then related the parable of the Good Samaritan.

He then referred to Moroni who saw in vision that the people of the last days loved money and substance more than the poor and needy.

"Moroni was troubled by what he saw," Bishop Burton explained. "Are we troubled enough to set aside our love of substance and hear the cry of the hungry, the needy, the naked, and the sick?"

He told of some of "the many Samaritans" who are easing the plight of the needy: a volunteer team that installed a mammography machine and film processor in Poland; several skilled volunteer couples who established a small cannery and a poultry feed mill to assist Cambodians in becoming more self-reliant in basic food production.

In 1996, more than 8.5 million pounds of surplus clothing were sorted and distributed through Deseret Industries, with much of the clothing going to needy populations in Russia.

"Good Samaritanism is contagious," continued Bishop Burton. "Providing in the Lord's way humbles the rich, exalts the poor and sanctifies both. (D&C 104:15-18.)

"Good Samaritanism starts in the home as parents teach children by example and precept. Acts of assistance, kindness and concern . . . reinforce the desire to `Go, and do thou likewise.' "

Among other incidents of "go, and do thou likewise" that Bishop Burton related, he told of a family of six who lived in a dirty and cluttered one-room apartment. The ward welfare committee felt discouraged when considering the family's needs since bishops, for years, had tried to help, but without success.

But during a discussion, "a new idea began to dawn," he said. "Perhaps, if the committee called upon the resources in the Lord's storehouse

andT the talents and skills of ward members, even this difficult situation could be assisted."

The committee went to work. The family committed to help improve their situation. Slowly, the apartment began to show signs of order and cleanliness.

Today, this family is active in the Church.

Bishop Burton concluded by saying: "May we be generous with our time and liberal in our contributions."

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