“As I Am”

This is part of the General Conference Odyssey.

It’s been a couple weeks since my last post on this. I don’t have much to say about this session. But a portion of Marion D. Hanks‘ talk really stood out to me:

Christ knows the worth of souls. He came as Isaiah had prophesied and as he affirmed in the synagogue in Nazareth: “… to preach the gospel to the poor; … to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18.)

He taught the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin and the lost son, and he lunched with accused Zacchaeus; admonished men to emulate the compassionate act of the demeaned Samaritan—“Go thou and do likewise.” He exalted the humble Publican, who, in contrast to the self-righteous Pharisee, “would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13); and he confronted the accusers of the repentant woman.

So closely is he tied with his fellowmen that in one of the most powerful parables he taught that bread given to one of the least of his brethren is bread given to him, and so is any kindness or act of grace or mercy or service. To deny help to one of the least of his brethren, he said, was to deny him.

His message is one of hope and promise and peace to those who mourn the loss of loved ones: “And ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:22.)

To the lonely and the hopeless and those who are afraid, his reassurance reaches out: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5.)

As Elder Hanks summarizes, these things “represent the manner of person [Christ] was.” Consider how inclusive this list is: the poor, the captive, the wayward, and even the rich. Both the Samaritan and Publican could be an example to all so long as they were compassionate and humble. More important, both were considered capable of these traits.

Something to consider before harshly judging others or yourself.

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