Today I read Philemon and the part that stood out to me was the part about being a servant or a brother. It reminds me of Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants. He starts out being addressed by the Lord as Joseph my Servant. Later the Lord addresses Joseph as Joseph my Son, and finally as Joseph my friend. The reason I bring this up and why I think I thought about it is because of Paul's verbiage how he starts off referring to Philemon as a servant but then changes to his brother.
This is because when you experience certain things together, it changes your relationship with that other individual. Anytime you experience something traumatic it strengthens the bond between the two individuals and one can't help but grow together. A good example of this is missionary companions. After my mission I lived out West for a number of y ears attending school and experiencing life. There were quite a few times where I went to an old mission companion's home to visit him. After the first time I did that, he thought it was very amusing because his family was confused. He said that I'm not the normal type of person that he usually hangs out with but they can tell that we are very close and best friends and so it confused some of his siblings, not so much his parents. But it's almost impossible to go through something with strong emotions connected to it, like a mission, and not develop good, strong bonds and ties to the other person.
This is why Paul calls Philemon his brother, for he is his brother in the Gospel. We are all brothers and sisters in the Gospel as we are all in this together. Each one of us has a responsibility to share the Gospel and to live our lives as an example of the Gospel and its blessings. It is very important that we look upon each person as our equal and that we have true humility and not lift ourselves up, even in just our own eyes, but rather that we recognize that we are all beggars as King Benjamin put it. We are all equal to each other in every regard and should not allow our worldly status to puff us up and look down on others who do not have as much worldly status as we do. We are all brothers and sisters in the Gospel of Christ and that is what is important. If we treat each other like they are our brother or our sister, no matter what, then we are going to treat them with the respect that they deserve. We will treat them the way that Jesus does, the way He would if He were here. Until tomorrow.