Today and yesterday having been very humbling days for me. I have felt the spirit very strongly and have had remarkable encounters for which I am truly thankful.
Yesterday I met a friend in Salt Lake after coming from a meeting that had changed my way of thinking for the better. I had been comforted and blessed in ways that I cannot express into words. Upon meeting my friend we visited at length about life, lessons and other topics. I was hurt to know how my friend had been treated at different times in his life by members of the church. It had bothered me all night. Amazingly enough, I received a phone call this morning asking if once again I could meet with someone. This was a different person than the first, but held the same calling. I asked what it was concerning, He answered, please come and visit with me. So..... back I went. To my surprise this person woke up thinking about the exact conversation I had with my friend yesterday. He shared his thoughts with me, I cried and told him how mean people can be, members and non members alike. I spoke at length with him, I told him that my heart ached for my friend, that is all I could think about, that I did not how to help him or change the behavior of others. This gentle man said to me "Karley, have you thought about mercy" I asked him what he meant then he quoted this from President Hinckley "Mercy is of the very essence for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The degree to which each of us is able to extend it becomes and expression of the reality of our discipleship under Him who is our Lord and Master. I remind you that it was He who said "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" It was He while hanging on the cross in dreadful agony, cried out "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. He, the Son of the everlasting Father was the epitome of mercy. His ministry was one of compassion toward the poor, the sick, the oppressed, the victims of injustice and man's inhumanity to man. His sacrifice on the cross was an unparalleled act of mercy in the behalf of all humanity. How great a thing is mercy. Most often it is the quiet and unassuming. It receives few headlines. It is the antithesis of vengeance and hatred, of greed and offensive egotism" close quote. I just sat there after and cried, he cried with me. He asked me to tell him how I was feeling, what made me sad. I did. He looked me in the eyes, and said simply, be a good friend. I told him I would be, but I did not know what to do, he said "emulate the Savior" I asked him how? He said be loving, love your friend with no conditions, just love. He went on to express his sorrow for the way that some members of our church act. He reminded me to simply love. How lucky all of us would be if we chose to just simply love each other for who we are, where we are in our lives and what we can do to be better. I spent the later afternoon and this evening thinking how can I love my friends more, how can I love strangers, how can I be a more understanding person. I can be simply choosing to love as the Savior has.
Please understand in no way am I trying to lecture anyone, I just think it is so important for us to love unconditionally. We are all struggling in some way or another. If we choose love as the Savior would, we learn to be loved as He loves each of us.
This is very personal to me and very tender to my heart. Yet, I knew for some reason I should write about it. Please know I love you all, I want to be there for you as so many have been there for me over the years. Let's take care of each other and talk soon!