30 March 2011

Love Thy Neighbor

Welcome to the Neighborhood News
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”
(Matt. 22:37–40).

It’s interesting to note that Jesus not only taught that we should love our neighbor as we love ourselves, but He also said the following:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5: 44)

Which one is easier? I don’t know. Throughout the years of my life I’ve found people that I never really got to know well that were easy to love, and there were other people that I knew well that made it very, very difficult for me to even like. Why is that?

Some people may explain it as a ‘chemistry’ thing. All I can say is this: we don’t get to choose which commandments we’re going to obey. It’s all of them, and we should trust the Lord with all our hearts and show our obedience.

So, whether it’s doing our Home/Visiting teaching for the month, stopping by to see someone ill, or accepting the one who’s different (Down’s, quadriplegic, different race, clinically depressed, infirm, the list could be very long), we are the ones who decide if we’re listening and obeying our Savior and Teacher.

Elder Robert F. Orton has said:

“Most of us profess to love God. The challenge, I have observed, is loving our neighbor. The term neighbor includes family, people with whom we work, those whom we see in geographical proximity to our home and at church, and even the enemy, though we do not condone what the latter does. If we do not love all of these, our brothers and sisters, can we truly say that we love God? The Apostle John declared “that he who loveth God love his brother also,” and added, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar” (1 Jn. 4:21, 20). Love of God and neighbor must therefore be inseparably connected.”

Jesus finished the Sermon on the Mount by saying:

"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?" (Matthew 5:46)
Indeed, what do we expect to receive if we only do what comes easy and naturally?

As always, we welcome your comments.

To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Monday, 30 March, please click here.

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