Saturday, September 1, 2012

For Isaac

Being baptized is a beginning.

When we are baptized, we make promises to our Heavenly Father, and He makes promises to us.

One of the promises we make is to help each other. David O. McKay, a prophet of the church from long ago, reminds us of that promise: “Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others.”

What does it mean to lose ourselves? It means that we look first at what we can do to help others be happy and to be obedient to the commandments of God before we worry about ourselves.

It means serving other people – and service can come in many simple ways, from helping do chores around the house not because we want to get paid for the work but because the work needs to be done.

It means comforting other people when they are sick or when they are sad. None of us like to feel sick and nobody wants to be sad, but getting sick and getting sad is something that happens to everyone from the littlest baby to the oldest adult. We were reminded recently of what simple things can be done to help another feel better when we visited my mother. She’s not able to get out of the house much, so she writes lots of letters. The letters are simple notes of love, sent sometimes with jokes and cartoons. To keep the letters coming, we brought her a present of notepaper and pens, envelopes and stamps. We shared a little ice cream with her and had a pleasant visit.

As we drove home that night, I thought, checking things off on the list in my mind: Well, that’s done.

But then I was reminded of a scripture:

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me.

We did more than remember the promises we made to Heavenly Father when we were baptized. We did more than bring a few trinkets and company to a lovely lady who needed them. We brought the spirit of Christ with us, to increase the spirit already in that lovely lady’s home.

I said baptism is a beginning. It is a beginning, as we learn to show the love our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have for us as we fulfill our promises and help others who also need to feel that love.

I know Heavenly Father loves us. I know he wants us to do what is right. I know he will help us do what is right as long as we remember what we promised when we are baptized: Obey his commandments and love one another. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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