03 January 2016


Kindness seems like a very elementary type of a subject to talk about especially to adults. This is a subject we usually take on when we are raising a child and trying to train and teach that child how to be kind and nice to their friends. However a recent set of circumstances in my life has really prompted me to religiously search out this particular characteristic.

I really find it interesting that we can teach our children how to be kind to other children but when we start talking and teaching about kindness to adults it's almost a slap in the face as if we have not quite grasped this basic and preliminary characteristic to adulthood.

But we as adults according to the teachings of Christ need to be more childlike in  our characteristics. According to the book of Matthew and many other biblical scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, we are to seek humility even as a little child is humble. He says, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

LDS missionaries have a preamble (at least that's what I call it) which is usually memorized from Doctrine and Covenants Section 4 where the Lord teaches the Saints Godly attributes required for missionary work. “Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.” - D&C 4:6

The Apostle Paul in the New Testament gives a fantastic discourse on charity. Within this discourse the he teaches critical things needed to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, Faith, Hope and Charity. But within these 3 Godly characteristics the greatest of these is charity. He says, “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8.  And then he teaches something very interesting about charity. He says, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind…” 1 Corinthians 13:4,

Some of the most unkind things are said when kids or adults are making fun of another person, or as the scriptures call it, “mocking.” Our Book of Mormon scriptures are very clear about this. One of the many great discourses we find in the Book of Mormon is by a man by the name of King Benjamin The account reads, “And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother… Wo unto such an one, for he is not prepared, and the time is at hand that he must repent or he cannot be saved!” - Alma 5:30-31

King Benjamin continues his address by saying we need to avoid even arguments.“ye will not have a mind to injure one another... neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.” -Mosiah 4:13-14

What does the Savior teach about contention? He says, “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away. - 3 Nephi 11:29-30

We also find in the scriptures a powerful lesson to those who have obtained the priesthood.  The Lord's words are clear that, “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness… D&C 121:41-42..... (And when we are not kind or are contentious) behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. -D&C 121:37


Jesus taught his disciples that in the last days, "...men's hearts shall fail them..." (D&C 88:91) and "the love of many shall wax cold..." (Matthew 24:12). Today we see this happening both within and without of the LDS church.

I have worked at a dry cleaners for several years. One day as I walked into the doors of my workplace there were several employees at the front desk making a small commotion. It was soon told me that a customer had been upset that we had forgotten to replace a missing button on his shirt. He was so angry over this button that he slammed his hands on the counter and yelled at the employee. The employee was so shocked at his behavior that she didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

It is amazing how such a small thing as a button can cause such unkind and contentious feelings. Elder Neil A. Maxwell once said, "Even something as small as a man's thumb, when held very near the eye, can blind him to the very large sun...Blindness is brought upon the man by himself. When we draw other things too close, placing them first, we obscure our vision of heaven." (The Enoch Letters) This man's button was too close to his eye to see clearly.

We must always strive to remember that we are members of Christ's restored church. We should be striving discipleship in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.  "Follow Me," was Christ's admonition to all. Jesus was the perfect example of kindness. He had never acted or said an unkind word.
One night while I was carpet cleaning the Missionary Training Center me and a friend were discussing music. He told me of all the instruments that he liked to play and the style of music that he enjoyed listening to. I told him that I was interested in playing the Sitar because it sounded so beautiful to me. The friend then quickly replied, "I don't like the sitar, it just sounds so annoying."
This to me was a very unkind thing to say after I had just told him how I would like to play the instrument because of the beautiful relaxing sound. Do I take offense? Will anger swell up inside of me? How does someone react to such a thoughtless  and perceived contentious statement?

Instead of me acting out in anger to such a statement I simply explained to him WHY I like the sound of the sitar. This actually (without thought on my own) padded the conversation. I then turned the conversation into an interest in him and his music. "What other instruments do you not like the sound of?"

The Savior directs the saints to shun contention at all costs saying, "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him." (Matthew 5:25) Perhaps meeting we are engaged in the work of the lord we don't have time to take offense with each and everything that comes in our way. We need to move on with the work and in the process move on with others in the great work of the Lord.

Being kind to others should be at the forefront of discipleship. Let us study it. Let us pray for it. As you do I promise you will begin to feel the love of the Savior. You will feel a greater peace flow into your lives. Your friends will love you more. Family relationships will heal and become strengthened. Your enemies will be no longer and you will find greater peace, greater happiness and joy in this life.
Location: Spanish Fork, UT, USA


BYU Carpet Cleaner

I carpet clean the Mission Training Center and love the gospel of Jesus Christ. These posts contain my experiences, thoughts and opinions on spiritual things.

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