I really like the message for this month. There are two main components.
How Can I Develop and Increase in Compassion?
- We can pray to be filled with the Love of God. I know that this can help. Sometimes it is difficult to find compassion for others naturally – especially when we are expressing compassion towards someone who may have hurt us in the past. Often, when I try to change my heart, I pray that I will be filled with God’s love and begin to see that person the way God sees them. I’m not always good at this, but it seems to help.
- We can be an Answer to Prayers. I love the quote included by Elder Uchtdorf:
“Disciples of Christ throughout all ages of the world have been distinguished by their compassion. . . . In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers” (“Happiness, Your Heritage,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119, 120).
I remember praying for my children once, I can’t remember what I was asking for, specifically, but I remember realizing that I was the answer to their prayers – that many of the things I wanted for them could be delivered to them if I would continue to pray for them, and then allow the Lord to help me be a blessing to them.
- We can live up to our privileges. In other words, we can use our blessings to bless others.
How Can I Nurture Others through Compassionate Service?
- We can help others to reach their divine potentials. What a concept! This is especially obvious within the context of motherhood, but we can also help others reach their divine potentials. I think of the people who have touched me: I’ve had seminary teachers, friends, ward members, visiting teachers – all influence the way I want to be. I feel I’ve been nurtured by righteous women in so many ways – not only in the obvious ways – (i.e. meals brought into the home when we’ve been sick), but also through simple means like genuine friendship and thoughtful comments. Staying close to the Spirit helps us both edify and be edified by others.
- We can Visit Teach. I have to admit -I’m not always the best at visiting teaching. I have moved around a lot, and that makes it hard – to constantly change wards and find new friends. However, visiting teaching always helps the adjustment. It is a blessing to be able to serve others. And, I can testify, that when I’m doing my best at visiting teaching, I feel happier about my service, more connected to the women of the ward, and closer to my Heavenly Father.
Compassion and service are all about stewardship. Heavenly Father has given us various blessings and has asked that we be wise stewards. I hope that this month I can really think about increasing my compassion towards others – that I will be an answer to prayers; that I will be a woman who edifies.
Now, it’s time for me to go visit teach!