I get to teach the Sunday School class in my church group, and we were discussing Tender Mercies. We studied how the tender mercies arch over all of God’s creations, and that the Sun and Rain shine on the just and unjust, Matthew 5. (Isn’t that interesting how the Lord doesn’t label bad, and good, but just and unjust?) This information helps us when we are feeling like poo, and don’t feel deserving of a tender mercy, now doesn’t it?
Anyway, we also read a verse in the Book of Mormon,1 Nephi 1:20 where we learned that his tender mercies were for His chosen. This we didn’t understand, but in doing a search for 1 Nephi 1:20, chosen at the search engine at lds.org, we found the talk by Elder Bednar, about Tender Mercies of the Lord, (pre-found by me of course) that states that the ones who are chosen, are those that choose to look to God.
Yesterday I recognized the tender mercies in the book I was reading, Joan of Arc, that prepared me for a trial; I received a special phone call out of the blue from someone who really made my day, and a chapter I opened to in this randomly picked up church manual, called Daughters in my Kingdom truly opened my eyes.
It seems to me that there are tender mercies just waiting to burst upon us if we would search in the best books and open those manuals and scriptures….and then the Lord drops special bundles into our laps, like my precious phone call. But looking to Him alone, increases their frequency so much!
I have to share the below section on charity by President Monson that I opened to. It blows my mind, absolutely blows my mind. I could really see where my charity was sagging and needed a major lift. Such rich good counsel by this gentle and loving man, who sees the godly in every soul he meets it seems.
Bless you President Monson and thank you for your words that helped me see where my charity was muddled by anxieties instead, and ensconced in some selfishness. This chapter fueled my heart with stores of love…I was a car lacking in gas, and needed refueling.
I am thankful for tender mercies. Some are a little painful to receive, being a little wrong here and there is always a painful sting, but tender mercies make up for this sting in filling our souls with richness and goodness.
Not only do I pray for this charity for myself toward others, but I am very thankful to all those around me, who have had this type of charity for me, especially during difficult times in my life when I was less deserving.
Strengthening Sisterhood through Expressions of Charity
“True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere” (Thomas S. Monson).
In an address to Relief Society sisters, President Thomas S. Monson shared thoughts about how expressions of charity strengthen the ties of sisterhood in Relief Society:
“I consider charity—or ‘the pure love of Christ’—to be the opposite of criticism and judging. In speaking of charity, I do not at this moment have in mind the relief of the suffering through the giving of our substance. That, of course, is necessary and proper. Tonight, however, I have in mind the charity that manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.
“I have in mind the charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.
“There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.
“Needed is the charity which refuses to find satisfaction in hearing or in repeating the reports of misfortunes that come to others, unless by so doing, the unfortunate one may be benefited. …
“Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.
“Charity, that pure love of Christ, is manifest when a group of young women from a singles ward travels hundreds of miles to attend the funeral services for the mother of one of their Relief Society sisters. Charity is shown when devoted visiting teachers return month after month, year after year to the same uninterested, somewhat critical sister. It is evident when an elderly widow is remembered and taken to ward functions and to Relief Society activities. It is felt when the sister sitting alone in Relief Society receives the invitation, ‘Come—sit by us.’
“In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.
“Charity has been defined as ‘the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love,’ the ‘pure love of Christ … ; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with [her].’
“‘Charity never faileth.’ May this long-enduring Relief Society motto, this timeless truth, guide you in everything you do. May it permeate your very souls and find expression in all your thoughts and actions.”25
Charity is felt in the invitation “Come—sit by us.”