Today I want to share with you another way that the Savior uses His grace to influence and guide our lives. In his recent conference talk Elder Gary E. Stevenson shares a story about a scientific experiment on bunnies. I am not going to tell the whole story here but I encourage you to go and listen or read it. I will link that in the show notes. It is really quite remarkable. After sharing the story he concluded by saying, “In recent years, Dr. Kelli Harding published a book titled The Rabbit Effect that takes its name from the experiment. Her conclusion: “Take a rabbit with an unhealthy lifestyle. Talk to it. Hold it. Give it affection. … The relationship made a difference. … Ultimately,” she concludes, “what affects our health in the most meaningful ways has as much to do with how we treat one another, how we live, and how we think about what it means to be human.”
Now apply that to the way the Savior taught us. In the New testament in John 13:34 we are commanded to “love one another as I have loved you,that ye also love one another”.
But it seems this simple commandment is often overlooked in today’s world. Everywhere we turn we find judgement cast upon others. Whether it be a disagreement on social media that sparks heated discussions and contentious encounters with people we may not even know, to neglect and abandoment of those who may be less fortunate or afflicted in such a way that we feel repelled by them. And so we fear getting involved. That is not Christ’s way!
If we are to be true disciples of our Lord and Savior, we will do everything we can to lift up the hands that hang down to mourn with those that mourn. To love those that despitefully use you and persecute you. None of us are any better than another. We are all God’s children and we all deserve the love of a God that LOVES ALL of his children deeply.
Yes, some are harder to love than others but that is not our call to make. We are commanded to love one another as I have loved you. It’s not optional. We are commanded to share the grace that we have found through the Savior with everyone that we encounter. Jesus spent his days with those who were deemed unloveable. But he took them by the hand, picked them up, and loved them until they were whole again.
I’ve told you before that I believe a lot of what I share here is for my own benefit, so don’t think for a minute that I don’t struggle at times with this commandment.
We are human, we are going to make mistakes and hurt people. That’s part of how life is on this side of the veil. But I think we owe it to our Savior who gives us so much grace, more than we could ever handle, to then turn that grace, that strength that love to someone in desperate need of the “rabbit effect”.
Elder Stevenson goes on to say, “We have a primary responsibility to set a tone and be role models of kindness, inclusion, and civility—to teach Christlike behavior to the rising generation in what we say and how we act. It is especially important as we observe a marked societal shift toward division in politics, social class, and nearly every other man-made distinction.
The Lord expects us to teach that inclusion is a positive means toward unity and that exclusion leads to division.”
My invitation to you today, is to soften your heart. Open your eyes to see and your ears to hear those around you that are suffering or are in need of the grace that our Lord promises. Love them, include them, give them the “rabbit effect”. And then watch how the Savior’s grace will not only descend upon them, but upon you as well.
Have a great day my friends. And we’ll do it all again tomorrow!