Our greatest joys are found when we lift, encourage, inspire, and bless the people around us.
Last week, three friends reached out to me over text message or in person seeking comfort from a minor hardship they were facing. One friend had a struggle with school, another with work, and another with a relationship.
Unfortunately, each time my friends reached out to me, I found myself busy with homework or at my job. I was able to respond to them only half-heartedly, and eventually each of these friends turned elsewhere to find the solace they sought.
As later I pondered these events, the words of a song by Michael McLean, a LDS songwriter, were brought to my mind:
Do you listen with love
When someone’s soul is aching?
Or do you simply choose
Which judgement you’ll be making?
If this describes you or me, then the next two lines offer an encouraging invitation to repent:
Well it’s time to turn around
And find out where your greatest joys are found.
(Are You Giving the Least To Those Who Matter Most?, 1994)
With these thoughts in my mind, I suddenly remembered that the day previous, I had heard that one of the sisters I home teach was sick. Quickly, I sent her a text message asking if my home teaching companion and I could stop by to give her a blessing. She responded affirmatively, grateful for our mindfulness, and we visited her later that evening to administer the blessing.
I do believe that our greatest joys are found when we lift, encourage, inspire, and bless the people around us. Fortunately, when we fall short of our divine charge to “to mourn with those that mourn… and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9), the Savior steps in to offer peace to those who otherwise cannot find it (John 14:27).
Even, then, as our Truest Friend sets the example of selfless charity, we too must set aside all judgement and distraction and keep our hearts open to the opportunities to minister to those around us.
As we do so, our lives will be less complicated, our troubles will seem much smaller, and our hearts will be filled with great joy!