16 May 2011

Grounded in the Gospel

Welcome to the Neighborhood News

Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you

 In the scripture above, Jesus asks us to have no fear. I believe that if we allow fear to guide us and direct us, we’ll have no room to exercise our faith.

Let’s share the following story from the Friend, Friend to Friend: “Be of Good Cheer,” by Elder Athos M. Amorim of the Seventy.
“Let me tell you how I got my unusual first name. In my family, there were three boys. My parents wanted their children to be unified, so they named us for the three main characters in a famous book, The Three Musketeers. My older brother’s name is Aramis, my younger brother’s name is Dartagnan, and my name is Athos. Each of us is very different, yet we have always been very close.
When I was about ten, my older brother had a serious health problem. The blood in his hands was not circulating properly, and they hurt very badly. At that time, my family lived in a small town on the border of Brazil and Argentina. The medical facilities there were not very good, so my mother and my brother traveled to the big city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to see the doctor. Because my father had to work during the day, my baby brother had to stay with another family. So every day I went to visit him. And every day I prayed for my older brother.
The doctors told my mother that they needed to amputate (cut off) my brother’s hands. Mother refused. “No, I know that the Lord will take care of my son,” she said. One night after my mother and brother had returned home, he was in great pain. I shared a room with him, and I remember him crying because his hands hurt so much. While he cried, Mother knelt by his bed, praying. The next morning, I saw him sleeping peacefully. Mother was also asleep, still kneeling at his bedside. We were not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but Mother had great faith. Eventually my brother’s hands did get better. He lost the tips of some of his fingers, but he did not have to have his hands amputated.
Mother also had great courage. And she taught us to be of good cheer. She told my brother that even though he had lost part of some fingers, he still had everything else. So my brother did not get discouraged. When he got older, his first job was as a typist. Today he is an attorney.”

We all go through different challenges in life. Not everyone will lose the tips of their fingers, or be without family in the world. The challenge is to find that place where we can have joy and be of good cheer, an ‘example to the believers.’ 

As always we welcome your comments.

To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Monday 9 May, click here.

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