Jesus Christ taught that God is our Heavenly Father. The Lord’s Prayer begins, “Our Father who art in heaven.”
We are His children. All of us. All of us are spirit sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Each of us has His divine characteristics in embryo. This includes the capability to love. We can nurture and develop these characteristics.
If we are all spirit sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father, that means that we are all spirit brothers and sisters. While we may look different on the outside, inside we’re very much the same. We’re much the same, not only physically, but also spiritually.
When Jesus lived in Palestine, he lived a perfect life. He is our example in all things. Although his mission in life was to the house of Israel, he ministered to anyone he met who had faith in him. (See Matt. 15:24)
When in the region of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman asked Jesus to heal her daughter. Because of her faith, her daughter was healed. (Matt. 15:21-28)
The Jews looked down on the Samaritans, who were a remnant of Israelites that had intermarried with natives. Jesus traveled through Samaria and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink at a well. She was surprised because the Jews avoided all contact with Samaritans. Jesus stayed there for two days and taught the people, many of whom believed on him. (John 4:5-42)
Conversely, the Romans looked down on the Jews. They were the conquerors; the Jews were the conquered. When a Roman centurion came to Jesus and beseeched him to heal his servant, Jesus offered to go the centurion’s home. The centurion did not feel worthy to have Christ come into his home but asked only that Jesus say the word and his servant would be healed. According to the faith of the centurion, it was done. (Matt. 8:5-13)
Jesus ministered to both rich and poor. A nobleman came to Jesus and asked if he would heal his son. According to the faith of the nobleman, his son was healed. (John 4:46-53)
As Jesus came to Jericho, a blind beggar sat by the road and called out to Jesus. Jesus had the man brought to him and asked him what he wanted. The beggar asked that he might receive his sight. According to his faith, he received his sight. (Luke 18:35-43)
Jesus was no respecter of persons, whether Samaritans or Romans, rich or poor. As followers of Jesus Christ, we should do likewise.
As we look each day at the people around us, we should remember that these are our spirit brothers and sisters and act accordingly. When we see others as “less than,” our thoughts, words and actions may become less kind. We may begin to treat them differently
Certainly as Heavenly Father looks down at all His children, it must pain Him when we are hurtful one to another. On the other hand, it must give Him great joy when we care for each other and treat each other well. Let us emulate the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and minister to all who are around us, treating them with the dignity they deserve.
Dennis Rehm is a member of the Carlisle Ward congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Find more information at ComeUntoChrist.org.