As I approach this Christmas season, I look around and I see and know of many in need. My son is serving as a missionary in Mexico; One of his friends is in Africa, and even here in Salt Lake City I see and know of people in need. My son’s friend in Ghana Africa tells us about the people there that don’t have food in there houses, or clean water to drink. I think he feels uncomfortable because he had grown up not realizing people had lived like that when he grew up in a place where we enjoy so much abundance. I see and know of people in need right here in my city. There are the homeless and the panhandlers I see every day. I know of people suffering from Alcoholism and drug addiction. I know of people suffering from loneliness and depression. My first thought is, “I wish I had more money so I could do something that would help them.”
I have been thinking about this subject over the past couple of months as my son, and his Friend have been serving as missionaries in countries where people enjoy so little. Then yesterday in church I remembered something that had happened to me in my own life that may be the answer. One of my companions, when I was a missionary, was from Papua New Guinea, another one of those places where they don’t enjoy many luxuries. Jimi Kairi remembers him, his mother, his brothers and his sisters going without food because his father would spend the little money he earned on Alcohol. One day an older couple, who were missionaries from the US, invited Jimi’s sisters to primary. Primary is the meeting for children in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The girls enjoyed primary and told their brothers and sisters about it. The whole family was taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. The family, including the parents made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and joined his church. Jimi said that this made a tremendous difference in his life because his father stopped drinking alcohol. And used that money to buy food for his family. Jimi said they were never hungry again.
In America, and throughout the first world, we don’t have a famine of food like many areas of the world, but there does seem to be a famine of happiness and peace. Some places have a famine of all three things. This I do know. If people make a commitment to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, they will stop the famines in their lives. Making a commitment to follow Jesus Christ does not stop life from being difficult, it will not bring you worldly possessions, but it will bring us happiness and peace to our lives. Some may argue the teachings of Jesus are old fashioned and explain they don’t need the binding chains of Christianity to make them happy. I say let them try, maybe they can find happiness. But I can make you a guaranty. If you make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ, it will make you happy and bring happiness to your life.
So at this season of giving and throughout the year. Even when I have no money to give. I can give others hope for happiness and peace.
Think about the basic teachings of Jesus Christ. If all people would follow these principles, it is easy to see that the world would be a better place.
Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Do not lie. Do not Steal. Do not Kill. Do not sleep around.
And a couple from the modern era. Do not take substances into your body that are dangerous and addictive. Eat healthy
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple and easy to understand. It is almost impossible to argue if all people would do those things then the world would be a better place.
My admonition to all the young men serving missions in these areas of famine; Remember, the message you carry will have more effect for good in the lives of people you talk to, than any amount of money, food, water or electricity could ever have.