Charity through action

Years ago my friend’s parents were involved in a car accident and badly injured. I received an impression that I should call Susan and offer to tend her children. I ignored the prompting. I went about doing things for myself. The next day a relative related to me that Susan had called a number of sisters to babysit so she could visit her parents in the hospital. No one could help. In discouragement and sadness she lay on her bed and sobbed. And how did I feel? Words cannot describe my regret.

I tried to practice more fervently to listen to the Spirit. I vowed to act upon inspiration. The Holy Ghost inspires us to serve. My father had taught me, “If you get a feeling to do something kind for someone, then do it.”

President Thomas S. Monson stated in his October 2009 general conference address, “My brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness — be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.” He reminds us, “Often we live side by side but do not communicate heart to heart.”

In years past I have been the recipient of true charity from sisters in the gospel who have delivered dinners, cleaned and tidied up my home and helped with my children. These charitable angels who cared for me and my family showed love and kindness. One of the most valuable acts of charity they gave came through listening intently, without judging, as I expressed my pain.

Often we underestimate the value of empathetic listening as an act of service. Through their examples, I received support and confidence that helped me feel the love of the Savior. These acts of love testified that they were true disciples of Jesus Christ. They did as He would do. I will never be able to repay the members and friends who sacrificed for me. I can only follow their examples in serving others. I doubt I will be able to give to the extent they gave.

The familiar words of King Benjamin are written in Mosiah 2:17, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” Jesus Christ gave the ultimate act of service.

—Jelean Reynolds, Highland Hills Ward, Tacoma Washington Stake

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