Merry Christmas everyone! To be honest, Christmas at the MTC is kind of odd. Although we do get a lot of mail...probably cause everyone is feeling the Christmas spirit. So THANK YOU!! Mail is basically like gold when you are a missionary.
This week I have been studying a lot about compassion. It is kind of a hard principle to think about. To give you a better idea of what compassion means, here are a few words associated with it: Charity, comfort, love of God, kindness, love, mercy, pity, welfare.
When I saw these words immediately I thought about the the one person that is the ultimate example of all of these things: The Savior. He healed the sick, the wounded, the sinners. He took upon him all of our sins and afflictions. He suffered a terrible death. All of these with only the plea to come unto Him (Matthew 11:28-30).
In Spanish the word compasión literally means "to suffer with another." How beautiful is that? Not only did Christ suffer at that moment in the garden of Gethsemane or on the Cross, but he suffers with us in the exact moment that we are suffering. No matter how many times we make mistakes or how many times we are wronged or hurt, he will ALWAYS understand, because he suffers with us. He has true compassion for His brothers and sisters.
Why would the Savior suffer so much, when he never did anything to merit the pain? My thoughts have led me to this conclusion: He was willing to suffer so much for us because he truly knew us before this life. He knew what are desires were and where our passions would lead us. Because he knew us then, he desired to know how to help us now. He "suffered pains and afflictions of every kind...and took upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people...that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12) He has wanted to help us from the very beginning and no matter where we are at in life, he is still willing to carry us through. Our Savior knows what will happen to us and what choices we will make throughout our lives. He knows our intentions and our hearts. He knows exactly how we will respond to each situation we will go through. Not only does he know who we are, but more importantly, he knows who we can become.
So, maybe it is impossible to know exactly how to have perfect compassion for others, but we can learn from the example of our Savior and strive to do all that we can to lift the burdens of others, even if for just a moment.
I love you. God loves you. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!