Today I read Doctrine and Covenants section 18, which was given to Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer through Joseph Smith. I think I have mentioned that I have not read the Doctrine and Covenants in a couple of years so I have forgotten many things about it. And so it is with this section that I had forgotten that a part of this section is actually written to the 12 apostles that had not even been chosen at this point when the revelation was given.
However, as neat as that is to think about, perhaps the most well known verse in this section is what stood out to me. In verse 10 of this section the Lord reminds the 3 men that the worth of souls is great in the sight of the Lord. It is good to be reminded of this from time to time.
This can be a hard thing to remember at times because of the way we are treated or the situation in the world or any number of other reasons. I know I have talked about this in the past, but it saddens me how the culture of this nation has gotten so bad. Things that even 10 years ago would have shocked us, is now commonplace and can be seen everyday. Crimes that just a few years ago would have stood out in our minds and horrified us, are now committed every few minutes and we never even hear about them they are so commonplace.
In a society such as this, it can be really hard to remember that every person on this earth is a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven. And yet, all you need to do to remind yourself is look into the eyes of a baby and see the pure innocence that is there. I have found that the easiest time I have ever had in my life with thinking well of people all the time was on my mission. Being a missionary and so full of life, it was really easy to remember that each person is loved of our Heavenly Father and that each decision that they make that takes them further away from Him, causes Him pain.
It is especially easy to see in the eyes of a parent that is making unwise choices. I have several brothers and sisters, and with exception of 1 brother and myself, all have strayed away from the gospel at some point in their lives. I am happy to say that almost all of them have returned to the gospel, but it was really hard, even as a child, to see the pain their choices caused my parents. It's not so hard to imagine something similar happening to our Heavenly Father.
Another reason it is so easy for missionaries to see the worth of souls despite current choices is the fact that we love those we serve and missionary work is all about service. That is one of the reasons everyone loves babies so much, especially the mothers, because all you do for a baby is service. That is why everyone says the same thing about marriage, put your partners needs ahead of your own, because when you do that, you are serving them and you grow in love for them and eventually you forget that it is service.
I remember I had a friend once that came to me telling me she was going to get a divorce from her husband. I remember looking at her and saying that is the most selfish thing I have ever heard and then sat and talked with her for about an hour. I remember her saying things like she was tired of giving and giving and giving and wanted to be selfish for a change. She wanted to know when it all ended and when she could expect it to get better. I told her that it never ends that we always serve throughout our entire marriage and that is what a healthy marriage is.
I know now, having been married for 3 years and going on eternity :), that it can be really, really hard to feel like you are the only one serving and giving it your all and putting your spouse ahead of you. However, I think in most cases, both partners feel that way. But you should never, ever stop putting your spouses needs ahead of your own. That is when resentment will creep in and when trouble starts. My wife and I marvel all the time how people can fight about money and other things that don't even phase us even slightly, because we are each more concerned with the other's happiness than our own. Now obviously, since we are not perfect, we still have arguments and fights but they are very minor and very far between. It can get better, but I can't imagine it is by much we are so happy.
The worth of souls is truly grate in the eyes of God, and if you serve and forget yourself and keep the Spirit about you at all times, they will great in your sight too. Until tomorrow.