While the Savior was among the Nephites, he asked a searching question: “What manner of [people] ought ye to be?” Then he gave the challenging answer: “Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Ne. 27:27).
During 1995, visiting teaching messages will focus on the traits of Jesus summarized in the hymn “More Holiness Give Me” (Hymns, 1985, no. 131). This hymn gives voice to our heartfelt desires to become “more, Savior, like thee.”
President Howard W. Hunter has urged members of the Church to “live with ever more attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the love and hope and compassion He displayed” (Ensign, July 1994, p. 4).
More than any other quality, it is the Savior’s love that defines what manner of person he is and what manner of people we ought to be. As members of a worldwide church, we represent many different languages, cultures, educational levels, and economic conditions. We are in our teens and in our nineties. Some of us enjoy good health and material comfort. Others struggle with illness, poverty, or loneliness. But whoever we are, and whatever our challenges or limitations, the love of the Savior is extended to us.
And we, in turn, have the privilege of extending that love to others.
President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, tells of Kathleen McKee, who passed away when he was her bishop. She had no family, so she had requested that Bishop Monson give away her few possessions. In her apartment, he found a note asking him to find homes for her three canaries. Two were beautifully marked and were to go to friends. But the third, a scruffy canary with gray on its wings, was to be the Monsons’. “He isn’t the prettiest,” Sister McKee’s note read, “but his song is the best.”
Bishop Monson reflected that Sister McKee had been much like her favorite canary. Not blessed with great beauty or numerous posterity, she nevertheless had befriended those in need, given comfort almost daily to a neighbor with disabilities, and brightened each life she touched (see Ensign, Aug. 1987, p. 2).
Some may feel they have little to offer. But the truth is, we all have marvelous gifts to share, for they are the gifts the Savior has given us. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has observed that “our Father in Heaven has endowed His daughters with a unique and wonderful capacity to reach out to those in distress, to bring comfort and succor, to bind up the wounds and heal the aching heart” (Ensign, Nov. 1989, p. 97).
Lidia Gantier, a Quechua sister living in Bolivia, exemplifies the Savior’s love by sharing her limited resources. As she helps prepare food at work, she saves the meat and poultry trim for the needy in her ward. She also sets aside unpopped kernels from popcorn. “These are for the birds,” she says. “They are hungry, too.” Her concern for all of God’s creatures is demonstrated in her daily actions as she lovingly gives whatever she has to help others.
Let us unite this year in discovering the divine gifts within us and sharing them with others as we strive to become “more, Savior, like thee.”
In what ways does the Lord help us become more like him?