Sunday, May 6, 2018

Loving Dandelions

Today in our fast and testimony meeting a young women spoke about how she loves dandelions. She said it was her favorite flower. Most people do not like dandelions and try to get rid of them when they grow in their yard; just yesterday I was out pulling them up and throwing them away. She said that even though the dandelion is hated we should look for the beauty that the flower has and she suggested that it is even useful in salads. She said there are many beautiful flowers and some are loved more than others and some are hated like the dandelions. Heavenly Father created the dandelions and he loves all of his creations.

We live in a world that has many different types of people. There is a variety of races, religions, good people and evil, those that keep the commandments and those that don’t. Heavenly Father loves all of his children – even those that have strayed from his commandments and have fallen off the gospel path. We need to emulate the love that Heavenly Father has and strive to love all his children even those that we feel, like the dandelion, have no place in our lives or should be cast off.

I am reminded of the time that Christ goes from Jerusalem to Galilee through Samaria. Samaria was what was left of the Norther Kingdom of Israel when they were defeated by the Assyrians. The conquerors took the children of Israel and replaced them with others and those that remained intermarried with them and were called Samaritans. The Jews thought that the Samaritans were unclean and would avoid going through the country or even talking to a Samaritan. Jesus chose to go through Samaria on his way to Galilee. He stopped at Jacob’s well and asked a Samaritan women to give him something to drink. The Jewish leaders would never have had a conversation with a women, let alone a Samaritan women. When the disciples found the Savior speaking to the Samaritan women, they wondered among themselves why he was speaking to her (though they did not have the courage to ask him directly).

When the Samaritan women questioned him about the Messiah that should come, Jesus simply said: “I that speak unto thee am he”(John 4:26). She believed and went into the village and told everyone to come see the Christ. Many villagers came and were converted and Jesus spent two days teaching the people of the village.

Why would Jesus go out of his way and go through Samaria and then speak to a women that was living in adultery? Could it be to teach us that all of Heavenly Father’s children are loved by him? We need to have the same love for all of our brothers and sisters, even those we consider to be unclean, sinners, or lost.

The Savior speaking to those in the Americas after his resurrection told them to welcome everyone to their meetings and minister unto them and pray for them “for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them” (3 Nephi 18:30-32).

If you were sitting in church and someone came and sat next to you and they smelled of alcohol or had tattoos or piercings that you did not like what would you do? Would you move or would you introduce your family and welcome them? We know what the Savior would do, he would seek them out and welcome them and teach them as he did the Samaritan women.

There are many of Heavenly Father’s children that think they are the dandelions of the world and have no place and are cast off. We need to have that Christ like love and look for the beauty that everyone has and truly minister to everyone because we “for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them”.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

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