One of the most obvious and well known teachings in this section of scripture is the Savior's admonition to "love one another as I have loved you". There was a devotional given at BYU by Stephen A. Smith called "Being Christ's Compassionate Hands" that I really enjoyed. Below are a few quotes from his address, and also a short video of a story taken from his talk.
The call to alleviate suffering in others can be one of our more challenging Christian duties. We may perceive ourselves as being inadequate and thus excuse ourselves for not helping. However, as difficult as this duty may appear to be, it can paradoxically prove to be one of the most satisfying. Stopping to help, giving what we can—even when we feel inadequate—may not only alleviate the suffering of one of Heavenly Father’s children but can also, through our choices to help those in need, actually engender small changes in our character and give us greater confidence in our ability to be a compassionate disciple.
Compassion and empathy require real work. It can be difficult to understand oneself or another person. It is even more difficult to enter suffering with oneself or another. Perhaps this difficulty is one of the things that leads us to the other side of the road, wanting to help but struggling to find the ability to enter suffering with self or with another. Yet a willingness to enter and understand suffering can be one of the most healing things we can do.
A humbling duty we have as disciples of Christ is to be His hands in helping make this happen. We can be there to pick others up, dry their tears, and even heal their wounds. In the words of the hymn, “I would be my brother’s keeper; I would learn the healer’s art.” It is my heartfelt conviction that doing so is not only our Christian duty but also one of the greatest blessings afforded us by a wise, loving Father in Heaven.
This article by Camille Fronk Olson is a beautiful piece on what it means to know God. I shared a few quotes in my weekly email, but here are a few more highlights that I loved:
Eternal life is experiencing life as God knows it. It is living forever with the Father and the Son and living like the Father and Son.
Drawing on the full canon of holy writ, Robert L. Millet has defined the term thus:
"Eternal life is God’s life. It is life in the highest heaven, a life in which we enjoy fellowship with God our Father, his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, with members of our family, and with friends who have developed like passions for Christ and his gospel. Enjoying eternal life is therefore being with God. But it is even more, so very much more. It is a state of being—being like God, having acquired many of his attributes and characteristics, having enjoyed the cleansing power of the Savior’s blood, and having been sanctified by the Spirit made pure and holy and completely comfortable to stand (or kneel) in the divine presence.
Simply knowing about God or his Son and acknowledging their existence, however, does not constitute knowing them. In the extreme, evil spirits recognize Jesus and even testify of his divinity, but possess no knowledge that could merit God’s promises
When the Savior invites us to “know God,” he indicates that sufficient truth and tutelage are available and that we are capable of succeeding. From scriptural examples and exhortations, we may conclude that God is not incomprehensible, as sometimes claimed, but profoundly knowable."
God’s blessing of prosperity is his presence, not necessarily wealth or health or family. In coming to know God, we count it a pleasure to serve him every hour of every day, forever and ever, because such service invites us into his presence. In the parable of the unprofitable servant, the blessing is not having an overabundance of time, money, or ease. The blessing is being in the presence of God, a gift he freely offers through the companionship of the Holy Ghost to all who covenant with him.
As the Great Exemplar, Jesus never asks us to do what he does not do himself. Earlier the same evening that he offered his intercessory prayer, Jesus washed the Apostles’ feet in the upper room and explained to them, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (John 13:15–16). Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ is shown as the one who continually serves, obeys, and imitates the Father. To know the one is to know the other (see John 14:7–10).
You can read the fill article here: To Know God is Life Eternal by Camille Fronk Olson
Christ's Prayer Before Gethsemane
This is a great video highlighting a few points of the Savior's Intercessory Prayer:
I saved this video for last because it was my favorite one this week! I love this message about how our willingness to keep the commandments can have a cascading effect, but I also appreciate that he pointed out that sometimes we keep the commandments and life gets worse. I believe this is true, but it also isn't the end of the story. I hope you love this video as much as I did!