Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Command to Mourn with and Comfort Others Has No Disclaimers or Limitations

I watched General Conference this past weekend and was uplifted and edified by many of the talks I heard.  Pres. Uchtdorf's message of understanding and love Saturday morning and Elder Holland's treatment of depression Saturday afternoon were especially powerful for me.  However, I also have friends I love and respect who were hurt, in real and deep ways, by some of the other things that were said last weekend. 

In the aftermath of those statements, I witnessed faithful members with differing perspectives arguing with each other and, in some cases, even ridiculing each other - specifically because they disagreed about the statements being discussed. 

This post intentionally does NOT take any position with regard to any statement or talk during General Conference last weekend.  Rather, it is nothing more than a re-post of something I wrote at a couple of locations as I was observing the bickering and, in two cases, attacking statements - by members on both sides of the discussion.  What I want to share is short, but I believe it is a core element of charity and the Gospel of Jesus Christ - and I also believe it is one of the hardest aspects of divinity we are asked to internalize.  If we could master only this principle, I believe we would draw nearer to the creation of Zion than nearly all other principles - since I see it as fundamental to true charity, the pure love of Christ. 

I am going to set it off in quotes, just to highlight it apart from this introduction:

Mourning with those who mourn and comforting those who stand in need of comfort have no disclaimers or limitations. They are important even when the cause of the mourning and need of comfort aren’t understood or shared. In fact, I believe one of the truest measures of charity is how we act toward those who mourn and need comfort for reasons that we don’t understand or share.

For everyone who listened to and loved Pres. Uchtdorf's message, please:

Stop the arguing and bickering with each other and strive to incorporate what he preached, no matter how much you disagree with each other.   Mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort - even if you don't share their sorrow, and even if you think that sorrow is misplaced.  Ultimately, the most important thing is not your view; the most important thing is that someone else needs to mourn and be comforted.  So, mourn with them and comfort them, despite your differences. 

It is what He asks of those who desire to follow Him, as difficult as it is initially. 

2 comments:

David said...

Amen!

Laurie Robins said...

Well said. If we are most concerned of the well-being of others, then we have no need to argue about anything. Charity.