A Servant's Prayer

After being taught by Jesus Christ that we must love our neighbor as ourselves, a lawyer once asked the question “Who is my neighbour?” Indeed, that is a question we all should ask—“Who is my neighbor?” Jesus Christ, the perfect teacher, went on to provide a penetrating, unexpected answer to the lawyer. He taught him with a parable; the parable of the Good Samaritan.

An unfortunate victim traveling to Jericho fell among thieves. He was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. A priest, on his way to the temple, saw him and passed by. Likewise, a Levite, who in that day assisted the priests, passed him by. Later there came a Samaritan, and although they were despised by the Jews, he saw the suffering victim and had compassion on him. He went to him and bound up his wounds, and he cared for him (see Luke 10:29–35).

This parable delivers a clear message of how we must treat everyone of God’s children and Jesus Christ invites us all to “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37).

There are many people who have exemplified what the Savior taught in his parable, as they have reached out to the poor and needy, sick and afflicted. I remember hearing from my mother of an experience her, my father and another kiwi family had while living in Australia, which demonstrated to me what it means to “love thy neighbor as thyself”.

“As we came into church one Sunday, we noticed a visitor in the congregation. He immediately stood out to us because no one was sitting next to him or behind him. I hate to say it, but it was because he smelt. His clothes hadn't been washed properly for who knows how long, his hair was unkempt and to those around him he appeared as though he were homeless. It was clear that majority of the members had made a first impression of him based on how he looked but we decided to introduce ourselves to him. We quickly discovered that he had been inactive for 13 years and that his wife had passed away years earlier. The missionaries came across him and invited him to come back to the ward.

We first invited him over for dinner and that soon became a regular weekly thing. I also invited him to join my choir and the night before he joined the choir, we had him stay the night with us. He bought a new white shirt, which he was so excited about, and he had a hot bath for the first time in months (he only had cold water running in his house). I cut his hair and cleaned his jacket.

Since his wife had passed away, he had let his house get on top of him. Our Bishop of the time (Bishop Heterake) and daddy were the ones who initially helped him to sort it out because he too embarrassed to have myself and Bishops wife see the state of the place. Once it got to a certain point we all then came together to get it looking nice. We had it re-carpeted and fixed the plumbing etc.

After helping him to get his life sorted out physically, we then helped him get spiritually ready to enter into the temple where he was able to be sealed to his wife. By now he was coming to our house twice a week and staying over occasionally. He had become like a grandfather to us and our kids. Meanwhile the ward members had come to know him and accepted him and realized how nice a guy he was.

What a transformation this man had made! He was now in the choir, sparkly clean with new clean white shirts, clean house which he maintained for months, active in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and very happy being sealed to his wife.” – Fiona Walmsley

So, who are our neighbors? They are all of our Father’s children. What a blessing we can be to them as we, show Christ-like love and compassion towards them and help them come closer to Christ through our words and deed.

May we all seek to do as the Savior said and “Go, and do thou likewise”.

A Servant's Prayer - 

Words by Elder Michael Pinegar  
Music by Jenna Walmsley

 Dear Lord, give me two eyes to see 
The needs of those surrounding me.
 Let thy eyes my poor sight improve
 To see some broken heart to soothe.  

Dear Lord, give me two listening ears 
Attuned to cries so faint, yet dear, 
Ascending to thy throne divine -- 
Let my ears be attuned like thine.  

Dear Lord, give me a generous heart 
That seeing, hearing I impart 
To those in need, who stand alone, 
Who mercy seek before thy throne.  

For I, like them, a beggar am 
In need of grace, a fallen man. 
Thy power alone can us restore 
To yonder realms we knew before.
But oft on earth thy power is shown 
As fruits of seeds in silence sown 
By those who see and hear and do 
The service thou hast led them to.