We must follow that same principle as the Lord gathers more and more people who are not like us. What will become more obvious to us is that the Atonement brings the same changes in all of us. We become disciples who are meek, loving, easy to be entreated, and at the same time fearless and faithful in all things. We still live in different countries, but we come into the Church through a process that changes us. We become by the gifts of the Spirit what the Apostle Paul saw:
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
The children of God have more in common than they have differences. And even the differences can be seen as an opportunity. God will help us see a difference in someone else not as a source of irritation but as a contribution. The Lord can help you see and value what another person brings which you lack. More than once the Lord has helped me see His kindness in giving me association with someone whose difference from me was just the help I needed. That has been the Lord’s way of adding something I lacked to serve Him better.
Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher [critical or verbally abusive] repulsive.
Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.
I realize now that such little tiffs are not uncommon in the early stages of most marriages. However, I believe they are representative of the many obstacles that can frequently interfere with the tremendous potential for fulfillment and happiness that exists in an eternal marriage, potential that too often goes unrealized.
In the course of moving forward, it is normal to generate a few sparks. Misunderstandings, differences of opinion, and diverse personalities and styles can produce friction. Remember, if we are not careful, little things can easily become big things.
Decide now to extinguish the sparks of conflict by thinking well of others. As the Lord taught, “Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him” (3 Nephi 12:25).
Don’t criticize. What you say about others may (and usually does) get back to them. See the good in people, and develop that goodness by your unwavering friendship, acceptance, loyalty, trust, and love.
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