Early in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi receives a vision of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry, seeing, nearly six hundred years before His birth, the life that Jesus was to lead. Nephi wrote:
And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory…. [A]nd I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits…. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. (1 Nephi 11:28, 31).
In addition to the many sermons that Jesus gave, the many parables that He delivered, and the many miracles that He accomplished, Jesus demonstrated a life of service—healing, blessing, and lifting all those that He encountered. As the ancient apostle Peter put it, Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), setting an incomparable example of love and kindness.
Speaking of Jesus’ example, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. And He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation.” Everywhere He went, the Savior left people better than He found them. That pattern of lifting all those He met, President Uchtdorf went on to say, “is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples.”
Indeed, all that Jesus did, in addition to being an expression of love for those He lifted, was an example for us to follow, a model of true Christian living. He said as much to His disciples near the end of His mortal ministry: “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). Thus, if we are to count ourselves true followers of Christ, we ought to be anxiously engaged in doing good, in lifting and in loving those around us. Attending church isn’t enough, owning a Bible isn’t enough, having good feelings about Jesus isn’t enough—if we only embrace the precepts of religion without adopting the lifestyle of love and service that religion requires, we are only living with partial faith. Jesus’ ministry was not limited to good ideas—it was substantiated by good actions. If we are to truly follow Christ’s example, our actions must reflect our faith. As James puts it, “I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18).
We, as Christians, have a sacred charge to follow the example of the Savior and to go about doing good, leaving everyone that we meet better than we find them. The exact nature of our personal ministries will vary depending on our circumstances, but the purpose—the Christian love—that motivates our ministry will be the same. Speaking of that central responsibility to reflect Christ’s love in our lives, President Uchtdorf encourages us to action, saying:
I hope that we welcome and love all of God’s children, including those who might dress, look, speak, or just do things differently. It is not good to make others feel as though they are deficient. Let us lift those around us. Let us extend a welcoming hand. Let us bestow upon our brothers and sisters in the Church a special measure of humanity, compassion, and charity so that they feel, at long last, they have finally found home.
Every individual we meet on this journey of mortality is a child of God, a soul of infinite worth and eternal potential. With the eye of faith, we can see others’ true worth—and by the power of faith, we can act in order to confirm others’ worth and lift them, wherever they stand. Jesus lived and died to prepare a place for all of God’s children in our heavenly home. We can follow His example of love by making sure that we help God’s children to feel at home, to feel that they are a valued part of God’s eternal family.