Developing the virtue of kindness can help us in our efforts to build the kingdom of God.
In “The Virtue of Kindness,” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin highlights the importance of kindness with two powerful sentences: “The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father.”
Kind words can lift our spirits just as quickly as bad words can devastate them. Occasionally, we may make critical remarks or act negatively without thinking of the consequences that may follow. The tone of our voice, the emotion in our words, and the attitude behind our body language are detected by all who interact with us.
Treating others kindly may often be challenging. However, Elder Wirthlin reminds us, “Each one of us will travel a different road during this life. Each progresses at a different rate. . . . Strengths that you possess may seem impossible to another. Never look down on those who are less perfect than you.” We can practice helping others reach their potential on a day-to-day basis as we strive to be kind.
At church, we can gather together and support one another with kindness as we work toward our goal to return to our Heavenly Father. Elder Wirthlin concludes his remarks with words we should always remember: “If you are criticizing others, you are weakening the Church. If you are building others, you are building the kingdom of God. As Heavenly Father is kind, we also should be kind to others.”
Read or watch Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s article “The Virtue of Kindness” to learn more about the spirit of kindness.
—Meagan Knight, Mormon Insights
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For additional practical advice on developing kindness, check out this Mormon Channel blog post on “5 Ways To Reach Out With More Love & Kindness.”Read “Kindness: An Outward Expression of True Conversion” by Kendall Ayres to find out how expressing kindness can help you improve your commitment to the gospel (from the Religious Studies Center).
This is a great article. We need to always be kind to each other because we do not know what other people are enduring. As we act kind towards others we will find that we feel happier and are more kind to ourselves. Nothing brings greater joy than being charitable and kind to someone.
What an important topic – the world is in dire need of kindness, and words have so much power to hurt or heal. Personally, sometimes I find it difficult to know how to air a legitimate grievance or constructive criticism without making the person I’m talking to feel attacked. If anyone has advice on this topic, I’d love to hear it.
I love the opening quote by Elder Wirthlin. It is so important to have an open mind at church and be perceptive to the feelings of others. Not only should we seek to build others, but we should not expect perfection from others.
There are some great points here. Kindness is such a simple Christian thing we can make a part of our daily lives.
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