Our hearts go out to the victims of natural disasters such as Katrina and the earthquakes in Haiti and Chili. We feel great compassion for them and want to serve them or at least send money to help their cause. Yet there are many people in our own families, neighborhoods, and communities who suffer from heavy hearts, loneliness, and despair.
We can develop compassion for those who are suffering around us. The first step in doing this is to pray for compassion. The prophet Mormon taught his son Moroni to "Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ" (Moroni 7:48).
The New Testament records the many acts of kindness and compassion shown by Jesus Christ in his short life upon earth. He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf and caused the lame to walk. His disciples through all ages have followed His example of showing forth compassion. We can pray mightily for those who are in need of compassion, but we can do greater deeds by being the answer to their prayers. We can reach out to others and help them with their burdens. We can mourn with those who have cause to mourn. We can offer comfort to those in pain and be a friend to the lonely. We can extend our arms in love and kindness and give gifts of compassion and charity. We can bless, help, and strengthen each other. We can nurture and help the young, care for the poor and lift up those with broken hearts.
We can become true followers of Christ by following His counsel to "Feed my lambs" (John 21:15).
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