Thursday, September 3, 2009

2 Nephi 26

27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.

I went out to visit someone last night who had not attended church in a long time. He was gracious and welcomed us. As we visited, he told us that he has a partner -- another man -- and that they have been together for many years. We talked about that, but what struck me was when he described the reaction he had gotten when he moved back into our area and called an old friend who is a church leader. The friend inquired about his circumstances, and when it was clear that he still had a male roommate and partner, the friend said, "I'm amazed that people can be so wicked but still have some desire for religion." I was sad to think that a leader who is called to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ would pass judgment in this way and not extend himself in love and compassion.

29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.
30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing.

We don't have to accept the sin to love the sinner. The Savior paid the price for our sins, including the sins of those who have not yet returned to righteous living. He invites all to come to Him and to repent. And so should we, approaching all with love and compassion -- understanding that sin touches every life.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

That is so sad. One of the most powerful gifts of the Atonement is compassion and forgiveness. C.S. Lewis says this: "To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." That is from "On Forgiveness" in Fern-Seed and Elephants. I find that people who have the most difficult time letting go of judging the sins of others, either cannot let go of their own guilt or will not recognize it in themselves.