Everyone loves windfalls. When someone pays my rent, bails me out of debt or saves my pet from getting run over in the street, I am very grateful. Life is punctuated by grand gestures where gaps in our ability are bridged by someone more capable and able to help. These are the stories we read in the news — the rescue of a drowning child, the deliverance from the burning building, or the miraculous save in a medical emergency. They are life-changing, but they are rare and precious.
I was thinking about the grand saves that have mattered most in my own life, when it dawned on me that I was focusing on the wrong things. What do I love most about my mother? My Mom hasn’t saved me from a burning building, though she may have paid my rent. But that is not why I love my Mom. I love her because of the little things she has always done for me. When I worked in the yard, there was almost always a cold glass of water or milk and cookies waiting for me when I went inside for a break. When I was doing the dishes, she would come up behind me, bump me aside and tell me to go read a certain article while she did my dishes for me. When I finished, we would have a long talk about all the neat things I had read. Turns out that small kindnesses have changed my life as much, if not more, than the windfalls I’ve been blessed with.
If you really want to make a difference in someone’s day, try practicing the following three kindnesses.
A Kind Word – Try to have something supportive to say to everyone you meet. Give genuine compliments freely and specifically, and try never to criticize or put down a person or their work. A kind word might not only brighten someone’s day, but change a life, giving someone the insight or confidence to attempt something new or seemingly out of reach.
A Genuine Smile – I once saw a big, rough-looking Polynesian walking down the street. He looked scary. As he got closer to me he looked me squarely in the eye and his face lit up in a huge smile as he warmly greeted me. He looked positively radiant. I went home and penned this line:
“The light of the soul is released through the teeth of a bright and happy smile.”
After that interchange I found myself smiling the rest of the day.
A Thoughtful Gesture – We may not have the opportunities the Savior had to heal the sick, the lame, or the blind, but we can spread the love of God through our actions all day, every day. Open a door for someone, pick up a dropped pen, give directions to someone who looks lost, help someone carry their things. The number of things we can do to show kindness are limited only by our own imaginations.
We don’t need to save someone from a burning building or perform some heroic act to help God succor His children. The Lord did little acts of kindness everywhere He went, and we can do the same. Fortunately for us, the rewards are great, and being kind to others makes us happy in return.
This article was written by Kelly Merrill at Mormonbasics.comRead More
Religious freedom is under constant bombardment from those who vehemently oppose anything that is closely associated with, or remotely resembles anything of a religious nature. It seems that at almost every turn, some effort is being made to eradicate Almighty God from any facet of human life. There are some, who in their finite wisdom, believe that they are all powerful, and all knowing, and there is no need for God. Therefore, if they feel that there is no need for God, then their objective is to deprive any God –loving, God-fearing person of the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. As a result, man begins to find himself on a never-ending downward spiral, and will continue on that downward journey unless good Christian people arise and speak up in defense of religious freedom.
The Church of Jesus Christ Introduces New Freedom of Religion Resources
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon” Church by the media and others) are all too familiar with religious persecution as it was an integral part of early Church history when Saints were forced out of communities because of their religious beliefs.
In an effort to help people of all religious faiths and denominations to have a better understanding of the importance of protecting religious freedom, The Church of Jesus Christ has made new resources available on the worldwide web. The new resources that are now available include videos, including an animated whiteboard presentation, that teach what religious freedom is and what each person can do to help preserve religious freedom, a new Facebook page “Support Religious Freedom” that is updated regularly to provide current information about the religious freedom issue, and a topic page that presents the principles of religious freedom and offers helpful suggestions for everyone to get actively engaged in protecting religious freedom.Read More
If you have questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the Mormon Church), whether you know a lot or a little (or next to nothing) about Mormonism already, MormonBasics.com might be a great way to start. Not an official website of The Church of Jesus Christ, MormonBasics was set up by Kelly Merrill. Kelly’s goal is to explain all aspects of Mormonism plainly, along with definitions of Mormon jargon that are often tough to understand for friends of other faiths. Although Kelly hands out simple explanations of doctrines and practices, he provides references to scriptures, talks from Mormon authorities, and other resources for a deeper search into all things Mormon.
Kelly started mormonbasics.com as a way to help in the global discussion about the LDS Church. He has found over the years that many life-long members of the Church need clarification and education, not just the new and returning members. Everything at mormonbasics.com is meant to be kept simple and straight-forward. Much of what is written there is in story form or prose to simplify the concepts. There are even helps for Mormons teaching lessons in their Sunday classes in the form of simplified lessons and ideas.
Reader contributions are welcome at MormonBasics. See the submission guidelines on the website.Read More
I recently watched Shawna Edwards’ new song and video, “Stand,” which was posted to YouTube on July 29, 2013, and I was struck by the beauty and inspiration of the message. The video portrays young women serving others, developing talents, and learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Young women are invited to “stand in holy places, and be not moved,” a direction based on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 2013 motto for youth: “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved,” found inDoctrine and Covenants 87:8.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon Church,” has a program designed for young women ages 12-18, which is intended to teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ, to apply it in their lives, and to prepare them for adulthood and their divine roles of wife and mother. Not too many years ago, I was a young girl attending Young Women, as the program is called, and heard countless songs very similar to Shawna’s beautiful new piece. However, it wasn’t until I left home, and Young Women, that I learned the vital importance of the song’s message to stand in holy places.Read More
Prior to becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church by the media and others), I knew of several people who had a keen interest in tracing their family roots. To some, it was more or less a pastime, but others had a true passion for wanting to learn more about their ancestry, and spent a great deal of time doing genealogical research.
Mormons and the Purpose of Genealogical Research
In addressing the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul asked the profound question, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29). This is a question that has generated considerable discussion among the various Christian denominations, and is the foundational scripture which Mormons, or Latter-day Saints as they are officially known, use as part of their doctrinal teaching concerning the sacred ordinance of proxy baptisms that are performed in their temples.
For members of The Church of Jesus Christ, genealogical research is more than just an avocation or a fun family project, albeit family members are active participants in the research processes. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ do not believe that death signifies finality, but rather, life is perpetuated beyond the grave. Therefore, though it may prove of great interest to learn the names of deceased ancestors, what their stations in life were, and some of their life’s story, Latter-day Saints believe that each individual name that is discovered is an individual soul of worth, and that person, as well as members of his family, who have passed on without having the opportunity to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and the full blessings thereof, should still be afforded that blessed opportunity.Read More
On the heels of the historic announcement by the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church) in October 2012 regarding lowering the age requirements for missionaries, more developments were announced in a worldwide missionary broadcast held June 23, 2013.
Mormon missionaries, mission presidents, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ, and Latter-day Saints throughout the world came together via satellite and the Internet, in a two-hour meeting originating in the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The Provo Missionary Training Center is located adjacent to the campus.
“Teach All Nations”
President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ, reminded members of the Church that there is “no proclamation more relevant, no responsibility more binding, no instruction more direct than the injunction given by the resurrected Lord” to “teach all nations” the gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19).
The ultimate goal of missionary work in the Church is to invite all the inhabitants of the earth to come unto Christ, gain a personal testimony of Him, and make and keep covenants to follow Him. In the worldwide meeting, Elder Russell M. Nelson, one of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ, said that God wants all of His children to return to Him, worthy of His blessings.Read More