Anxiously engaged

Throughout His ministry, the Savior challenged His disciples to look beyond themselves and do good for its own sake rather than seek an earthly reward.

His counsel in the Sermon on the Mount was to look beyond the written law of Moses and perform good deeds and other acts of charity out of personal responsibility to each other and not because they might win the praise of others.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

This counsel was to remind His followers that there is a higher purpose to living than merely being able to recite scripture and verse. Living the commandments each day and looking beyond oneself was the Savior's challenge to those to whom He spoke.

To the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord said, "Verily, I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward" (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27-28).

One does not need to wait for permission or an invitation to welcome new neighbors into the community or assist someone struggling with everyday troubles. We can remain alert to the needs around us, in our communities, neighborhoods and families by performing small acts of charity each day. Then, when larger difficulties arise, we are more prepared to lend a hand, assist others or help out in other ways.

By helping those around us, we truly show our love for them, and our love for the Savior and His teachings.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has said, "In your associations one with another, build and strengthen one another. 'No man is an island; no man stands alone.' We so need help and encouragement and strength, one from another . . . . It is a responsibility divinely laid upon us to bear one another's burdens, to strengthen one another, to encourage one another, to lift one another, to look for the good in one another and to emphasize that good" (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 45).

Each of us has witnessed others doing good. We learn by their example to assist those less fortunate than ourselves. We learn by doing that the reward for unselfish acts is spiritual strength and peace of mind. Our own acts of kindness and charity toward others may seem meager, but our spiritual growth is enormous. As we reach out to others, we can feel the blessings associated with giving of our time, means and ourselves.

In counseling his son Corianton, the prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon said, "Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again" (Alma 41:14).

The Savior reminds us, "For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven" (Doctrine and Covenants 58:2).

Let us continually seek out those who may need our help and be ready when opportunities present themselves to lift and strengthen each other.

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