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What Would Love Do?

From The Rev. John Odhner
July 29, 2014

I enjoyed spending some time in the Borough Park last Sunday for some perfect weather, friends, family and music. A great summer activity. Many of us are scattered on vacations or summer projects, and it may be hard to think ahead to the fall.  On October 5 we kick off our New Church Journey Campaign, What Would Love Do? That may seem like the distant future, but actually now is a great time to think about getting involved.

     What Would Love Do? Is based on the Lord’s teaching about different ways to love others: “I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink.” I was a stranger, naked, sick and in prison (Matthew 25:31-46). On a physical level we can help others by providing food, water, shelter, clothing, medicine and freedom.  These are vital to all people, yet even more important is meeting spiritual needs—helping people find usefulness, understanding, community, hope and trust, healing and freedom. Physical needs correspond to spiritual needs, so our goal is to meet not only temporal, worldly needs, but at the same time spiritual and eternal needs, so that “while we benefit the outer person we also benefit the inner person at the same time” (Secrets of Heaven 9209). These six needs embrace the “whole teaching about charity” (New Jerusalem 107). Serving our neighbor outwardly or physically gives us a foundation from which we can learn to help people on a deeper level.  “From these classifications they knew what they ought to do for one person and what for another” (Secrets of Heaven 4955).

If you want to help people with some of the more practical needs in your own community, consider connecting with the Pay It Forward Crew, a group of volunteers offering their talents to help people with practical issues.  If you would like to go a step further and help people with deeper needs, one way to do this is by hosting a group for What Would Love Do? If you have two friends, you can start a group. The workbook makes leading a group easy. All you need is a willingness to open your home once a week (or arrange some other meeting place) and follow the reading and instructions in the workbook.

The Heavenly Doctrine says that “anyone who belongs to the church certainly ought to know” these different ways of serving the neighbor. The spiritual meanings of the hungry, thirsty, etc. have now been revealed “in order that the teaching of charity may be restored” (New Jerusalem 86). What Would Love Do? is a great opportunity to more fully live the teachings the Lord has given us.

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