When we learn to see the people around us as their family sees them, we can more thoroughly understand how the Savior loves us.
Several years ago while at BYU, an old friend and companion from my mission called me and asked if I would accompany him to visit the family of a missionary who was still serving in the field. We both knew the missionary well and I agreed to go along.
We arrived at their home in Springville, UT, and the mom let us in. We were delighted to first meet all the young siblings who were still full of energy, even though it was late in the evening. We sat down in the living room and talked, and they began to relate to us some of the trials they had experienced since their missionary had been in the field, including a grandchild being born 5 months prematurely and a son developing a life-threatening liver condition. But they also shared with us a few of their family traditions, including the dance studio in their home that they used to host dance lessons every Saturday night. Eventually, the mom pulled out a laptop to show us some of their funny family photos, and we laughed together for the rest of the night.
Of that evening, I wrote in my journal,
I began to see this missionary that I had served with in a different light. My new understanding of the family situation and of the joyful traditions that they shared inspired in me a new love and a greater respect for this missionary. (Nov 28, 2016)
In an interesting duplication of events, this week, I had the privilege of meeting the family of my current missionary companion, Elder Ewell, who is also from Springville. The Ewells understand how to have a strong family. They love each other thoroughly, they are generous to all, and they’re faithful in the gospel.
After we said goodbye to his family on the last night of their visit here to Nauvoo, Elder Ewell asked me, “So now does everything make sense about me?”
I laughed and said, “Yep, everything!”
I’ve learned time after time that when we learn to see the people around us as their family sees them (or even better, as their mother sees them!) we can more thoroughly understand how the Savior loves us.
I love all of you and hope that, with the Savior’s help, you can discover a new love for the people around you!