Visiting Teaching Message (Dec ’15)
VISITING TEACHING MESSAGE – Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Compassionate and Kind (Ensign/Liahona Dec 2015)
Faith, Family, Relief
This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring divine attributes of the Savior.
“In the scriptures, compassion means literally ‘to suffer with.’ It also means to show sympathy, pity, and mercy for another.”1
“Jesus provided us many examples of compassionate concern,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “The crippled man at the pool of Bethesda; the woman taken in adultery; the woman at Jacob’s well; the daughter of Jairus; Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha—each represented a casualty on the Jericho road. Each needed help.
“To the cripple at Bethesda, Jesus said, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ To the sinful woman came the counsel, ‘Go, and sin no more.’ To help her who came to draw water, He provided a well of water ‘springing up into everlasting life.’ To the dead daughter of Jairus came the command, ‘Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.’ To the entombed Lazarus, ‘Come forth.’
“The Savior has always shown unlimited capacity for compassion. … Let us open the door of our hearts, that He—the living example of true compassion—may enter.”2
Psalm 145:8; The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
Zechariah 7:9; Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother
1 Peter 3:8; Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous
Mosiah 15:1, 9 1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
9 Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.
3 Nephi 17:5–7 5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
From the Scriptures
“My husband and I knelt by the side of our 17-year-old daughter and pleaded for her life,” said Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “The answer was no, but … we have come to know … that … [the Savior] feels compassion for us in our sorrows.”3
“One of my favorite stories from the Savior’s life is the story of Lazarus. The scriptures tell us that ‘Jesus loved Martha, … her sister [Mary], and [their brother] Lazarus.’”4 When Lazarus became ill, word was sent to Jesus, but when He arrived Lazarus had already died. Mary ran to Jesus, fell down at His feet, and wept. When Jesus saw Mary weeping, “he groaned in the spirit, and … wept” (John 11:33, 35).
“That is our charge. We must feel and see for ourselves and then help all of Heavenly Father’s children to feel and see and know that our Savior has taken upon Himself not only all our sins but also our pains and our suffering and afflictions so that He can know what we feel and how to comfort us.”5
Who could be blessed by your compassion?
1. Guide to the Scriptures, “Compassion.”
2. Thomas S. Monson, “The Gift of Compassion,” Liahona, Mar. 2007, 4–5, 8.
3. Linda S. Reeves, “The Lord Has Not Forgotten You,” Liahona, Nov. 2012, 120.
4. Linda S. Reeves, “The Lord Has Not Forgotten You,” 118.
5. Linda S. Reeves, “The Lord Has Not Forgotten You,” 120.