Young Women general presidency: Stand as witnesses of Christ by seeking to do good

‘Have you ever stopped to consider what impact your interaction will have on Heavenly Father’s children?’

Can you think of the last time you were met with a warm and inviting greeting? What impact did that have on you? Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently said: “As our Church population grows ever more diverse, our welcome must grow ever more spontaneous and warm. We need one another” (“The Doctrine of Belonging,” October 2022 general conference).

Spontaneous and warm? What a beautiful invitation for a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

The scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). He sent quail when He already provided manna (Numbers 11). He saw Zacchaeus in the tree (Luke 19:3-5). He allowed Mary to wash to His feet (Luke 7). He stayed when the Nephites wanted Him “to tarry a little longer” (3 Nephi 17:5). He forgave Joseph Smith and called Him “again” to the work (Doctrine and Covenants 3:10). He is our perfect example. 

Have you ever stopped to consider the number of Heavenly Father’s children you will meet in this lifetime and what impact your interaction will have on them? Many of us have routines in which we interact with many of the same people. We go to work, visit our children’s schools, shop at the same grocery stores, ride the same trains, eat at many of the same restaurants and go to church with the same people. Those interactions allow us to form more steady relationships where we have opportunities to talk about matters of the heart.  

The Young Women general presidency: President Bonnie H. Cordon, center, Sister Michelle D. Craig, left, and Sister Rebecca L. Craven.
The Young Women general presidency: President Bonnie H. Cordon, center; Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor, left, and Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

But what about those we may only see one time in all of mortality? Is our interaction with them warm and welcoming? Would the attendant at the gas station know that you are a Christian? Would the individuals sitting in front of or behind you at the sporting event feel goodness and light in your presence? Did the heavy-hearted individual you passed at the train station feel hope from a smile you offered (even though you didn’t receive one in return)? What would others say about your commitment to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ? 

Paul testifies to the Galatians, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet, not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

So, what might it look like to have Christ “live in me”? Perhaps many of us make this more complicated than it really needs to be. Moroni testifies, “all things which are good cometh of God ...” (Moroni 7:12). His direction simplifies our actions to this litmus: “Am I doing good? Is that which comes from me good?” 

We love to hear the miraculous and heartwarming stories of God’s divine intervention where lives are changed, and stories seem to have a “happily ever after” component. While these stories are inspiring, they can also be discouraging for some because of feelings of inadequacy or fear. Thoughts like, “Oh, I’m not that person” or “Why don’t I ever get those opportunities?” or “Every time I try, no one wants to listen to me” or “I wish I had more courage” may also come to mind.  Perhaps at times we are underestimating the power of our simple and “good” influence.

It has been said: “Live in such a way that people who know you but don’t know Christ will want to know Christ because they know you” (author unknown). What does that look like for you? Well, that depends. In many ways, it is as simple as “doing good.”

Rather than passing by a stranger, you may say hello to them.

When you see trash on the ground, you may pick it up (even though it isn’t yours and nobody is watching).

At a sporting event, it may be tempering your frustration.

In a discussion with co-workers, you may be honest in telling them that your favorite books to read are the scriptures.

When driving, it may be simply withholding unkind words about the person who just cut you off.

When at home, it may be doing a task without being asked.

When at church, it may be pausing judgment by asking yourself questions that would help you better understand someone’s behavior rather than assuming you know about them. Or at church, simply giving a warm welcome to everyone who you haven’t met yet.

When scrolling on your device, it may be refraining from clicking on a site that seems appealing, but you know will lead your heart and mind to a place that is not healthy for you to go.

When thinking about a friend who is suffering, it may be sitting with them and being OK with not having “the right thing to say.”

When getting dressed, it may be choosing clothing that will allow you to “glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

When praying in the morning, it may be asking Father to help you “do good” today and be at peace with possibly never knowing the outcome of doing what He tells you.

When you are one who loves to have a plan, it may be a willingness to be spontaneous and veer from your plan to do the “good” He is asking.

When battling mental illness, it may be making effort to live the gospel even though you don’t “feel so now” (Alma 5:26).

Because Jesus Christ “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), when we seek to do good, we stand as witnesses of Him — sometimes in word, sometimes in deed, sometimes in simple intent of the heart. He can and will live in us. Let us never underestimate the power of a warm, spontaneous and “good” effort. 

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