Thursday, November 19, 2015

scribes and samaritans

Forgive me already; I have slept a total of 1 hour in the last 38 hours. But I felt impressed to write, and it is Thursday, and it has been a while.
"A poor, wayfaring Man of grief / Hath often crossed me on my way, / Who sued so humbly for relief / That I could never answer nay. / I had not pow'r to ask his name, / Whereto he went, or whence he came; / Yet there was something in his eye / That won my love; I knew not why."

Many of us, religious upbringing or not, are familiar with the parable of the good Samaritan. A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, when some thieves ambushed him, taking his clothes and his belongings and injuring him. They left him to die on the side of the road. A priest soon came walking by, and upon seeing the man, hurried to the other side of the road and kept going, giving him nothing. A Levite soon came down the road, and repeated this same action when seeing the Jew, naked and dying, on the side of the road. Finally, a Samaritan, whose people have a bit of a tense history with the Jews, came along this road and saw this man, his enemy. He was moved with compassion. He stopped, washed and bound the man's wounds, and took him to an inn where he paid for him to stay and be fed until he was restored to health.

In the New Testament, Christ speaks often with the different groups in charge of religion in the holy land. It is not uncommon that He calls them out on their hypocrisy, on how hard they make it for others to enter the kingdom of heaven, how they make the calls and act without love in their hearts, and many other awful things. The Scribes and the Pharisees get plenty of this talk in Matthew 23; Christ calls them out on being hypocrites time after time after time, culminating in informing them of their condemnation for killing the prophets of God.

Finally, in Christ's teachings, He commands us to love our fellow men as we love ourselves and our God. What we do unto "the least of these [our] brethren", we do to Christ. All of our actions, whether they be love or malice, selflessness or envy, charity or hatred, come down to the simple truth that we do these things to Christ. Our Savior bore all things; does it not make sense that He bears the things we do to each other in these ways?

Even as it is taught in the Book of Mormon, when Christ visits the people of the Americas and delivers the same sermon He gave on the mount in 3 Nephi 12:
22 But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee—24 Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.

We are taught that we have to love our brother, with no hate or anything, before we can stand righteously in front of God and our Savior and deserve entry into Celestial glory.

How should we treat those Syrian refugees? How should we treat the Muslims slaughtered by the cowards that hide behind their peaceful faith? How should we treat those that choose to live here among us as our fellow men and citizens in this blessed country?

It will never cease to amaze me how many of those who claim that this country is God's, who post scripture and doctrine, turn to spit hatred on those of a different faith. Even as the children of Israel were told to love strangers, for they too were once strangers, so should we. We are all strangers, we are all wanderers in this life. It is only through love and love only that we will find our way.

I do not intend to show any ideas of how to fix this problem. I am a 19 year old college student, and if I could fix all of this, it wouldn't be a problem. I simply mean to show my testimony of Christ and what a true disciple of His should be. I simply believe that we can never go wrong when we listen to the Spirit and serve and love our fellow men, especially those poor wayfaring men, women, and children of grief.
"Then in a moment to my view / The stranger started from disguise. / The tokens in his hands I knew; / The Savior stood before mine eyes. / He spake, and my poor name He named, / 'Of me thou hast not been ashamed. / These deeds shall thy memorial be; / Fear not, thou didst them unto me.' "

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