Do Good and Love God, Part 8

Standard

The story of the Good Samaritan reminds me of the scripture in Ezekiel about the shepherds who do not watch over their sheep. “Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd” (Ezekiel 34:2-5). We should serve others and emulate our Savior. Of the Savior Isaiah prophesied:

“The Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;…to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; tat they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3). Just as the Good Samaritan cared for him who was broken and poured oil into his wounds in order to cleanse and purify them, the Savior applies the oil of joy for our mourning. He binds up the broken and the brokenhearted, freeing them from the captivity of pain, sin, and sorrow. In our own way, large or small, we too can help bind wounds and free captives. As we do this unto our brothers and sisters we do it unto the Lord.

“But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.” (Moroni 7:13). We should do that which is inspired of God – that which invites us to do good continually, to love God, and to serve Him. As we seek wisdom out of the best books, study the words of the prophets, particularly Isaiah, and serve others, we do that which is best – that which leads us back to our Father in Heaven.

Link to part 7 of this essay.

Do Good and Love God, Part 7

Standard

What are various ways we serve God? The Savior said, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). How we treat other people is important. Jesus taught that how we treat others is how we treat Him. In other words, if we serve and help others it is like serving and helping Him. Actually, that is not true. When we serve and help others we are serving and helping the Lord. The Savior lived a life of service and sacrifice; He also taught of service.

“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee” (Luke 10:30-35).

Samaritans were, to many Jews, unclean, apostate people. However, the Levite – a member of the priesthood class – and the priest – who may have been returning from or headed towards his temple service – both ignored the man in need. The Samaritan man took care of the injured in his immediate needs and paid for his further care. He was the one who served God, unlike the Levite and priest, by serving and saving his neighbor.

Link to part 6 of this essay.