Kindness is not a trait, it’s a choice—one we have to make even when it’s hard.
It’s no secret that we live in a contentious time. We have found ourselves facing a global pandemic, political and social unrest, and the rise of social media and its cancel culture. Not surprisingly, the value society places on kindness has decreased dramatically. However, God does not follow the world’s trends. Betty Jo N. Jepsen’s talk “Kindness—A Part of God’s Plan” is just as relevant today as it was when she gave it in general conference thirty years ago.
Sister Jepsen asserts that kindness “implies action.” She feels that kindness was exemplified in how Jesus lived his life, “searching for the weary, the sick, the poor, and the lonely, that he might show kindness toward them.”
Notice the list of people Jesus actively shows kindness toward. He doesn’t just love his family members or close friends. He looks out for those who are struggling, those who aren’t accepted in society, and even those who aren’t kind to him. We can all follow that example.
Most probably consider themselves to be relatively kind people except for the occasional mistake. However, when we really step back and think about it, are we truly kind to everyone? Do we pick and choose who deserves our kindness? Are we kind even when it’s hard?
We must follow Sister Jepsen’s advice and make the conscious decision to treat everyone we meet with kindness. We can all choose to be kind, even when we don’t want to be and even to those who aren’t kind to us.
Read Betty Jo N. Jepsen’s talk, “Kindness—A Part of God’s Plan,” to learn more about choosing to be kind in difficult situations.
—Emma Campbell, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY MENTATDGT
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To learn more about how kindness heals the world, read Eric B. Murdock’s Liahona article, Kindness: Something the Whole World Needs.