Love Thy Neighbor

July/August/September 2015

- by Kathleen Haley

 How have you been feeling lately? Have you felt happy to be alive or has there been some sadness in your heart? Are you wondering why? Have you spoken ill of someone? Do you feel sorry for telling some truths, or half-truths, out of turn? Did you have an argument with someone that has not been properly resolved? Are you carrying a grudge for something that someone said about you or that you think was said out of spite?

These are all questions that you should ask yourself if you are hurting in your heart. Are you feeling a little depressed? Maybe you have injured someone by speaking an unkind word. Or you have been hurt by something that has been said against you.

There is one thing that you can do to resolve the situation. Go to the other party and talk about your feelings. I know, that is a very hard thing to do, but maybe, just maybe, the other person is feeling the same way about you. This is what the Lord requires you to do. You do not need to carry this in your heart. Over time, the feelings just fester and become almost unbearable.

When our hearts are burdened with discouragement, dislike, mistrust, and hurt, it is hard to find room to let the Savior come in. He cannot dwell where sin exists. Harboring these bad feelings just shuts the door on God. We are required to go to our enemies, ask for their forgiveness, and love and forgive them.

The Lord says, "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men" (Doctrine and Covenants 64:2e). What a wonderful piece of advice. He is taking the weight off our shoulders and is carrying the load for us. We are being asked to leave it in His capable hands.

But sometimes that is a very hard thing to do. We have a tendency to want to pick the load up again and continue to carry it. If we find satisfaction with this cumbersome load, and it continues to grow in our hearts, what room do we have left in our hearts for the Savior?

How is your heart? Is it heavy with discontentment? Does it have any hatred in it? Are you being seen as a happy person? If not, isn’t it about time you tried to lighten your load by seeking out the party that has injured you and make amends with them, or at least try? Remember, they just might be feeling the same way about you! By doing this, you will allow the Spirit of the living God to enter into your being and bring you comfort and peace. The deep sense of joy that you will feel is a gift from the Heavenly Father. Your step will be lighter and your spirit will be filled to overflowing with the true love of God.