The gospel mentors God's children — who are learning to become inheritors of all the Father has — to look beyond what they see, said Elder W. Craig Zwick during the Sunday morning session of general conference.
"To look beyond what we see, we must look at others through the eyes of our Savior," he said.
Speaking in general conference on Oct. 1, one day after being made an Emeritus General Authority, Elder Zwick shared an experience of looking beyond what he could see.
While serving as a mission president, Elder Zwick was approached by an elder, who said he wanted to go home. Thinking he could easily fix this, he counseled him to work hard and to pray about it for a week. A week later, the elder still wanted to go home and received the same counsel. Still nothing changed.
"It finally occured to me that I might not have the whole picture," Elder Zwick said. "It was then that I felt a prompting to ask him the question: 'Elder, what is hard for you?' What he said pierced my heart. 'President, I can't read.'
"The wise counsel which I thought was so important for him to hear was not at all relevant to his needs. What he needed most was for me to look beyond my hasty assessment and allow the Spirit to help me understand what was really on this elder's mind."
People often separate themselves from others by the differences they see and feed on comparisons, labeling and criticism, said Elder Zwick said. "Instead of seeing through the lens of social media, we need to look inward for the Godly attributes to which we each lay claim."
Accepting and loving others doesn't mean a person must embrace their ideas, he said. "Truly loving others requires the ongoing practice of accepting the best efforts of people whose life experiences and limitations we may never fully know. Looking beyond what we can see requires conscious focus on the Savior."
The Savior frequently opened the eyes of the physically and spiritually blind, Elder Zwick said. "Opening our eyes to divine truth, literally and figuratively, prepares us to be healed of mortal shortsightedness. When we pay attention to spiritual 'alarms' that signal a need for course correction or larger eternal perspective, we are receiving the sacramental promise to have His Spirit to be with us."