Certainly the day is here when, if we are to follow in his paths, we must take the weary, lonely, depressed, the troubled soul, and the gospel-hungry by the hand and lift and help.

-thus Marvin J. Ashton, from the Sunday morning session of the October 1973 General Conference.  He is referring to a episode where Jesus took a sick man by the hand and lifted him up.

  • Troubles and doubts: we swing between thinking that these are signs of sin and shame, and boasting about them.  Neither is right.  We say that when someone is being shunned socially “they are treated like they were diseased,” but actual diseased people we do not treat like that.  We are solicitous and extend our hands.  At the same time, no one preens themselves on being diseased.  Everyone recognizes that health is better than sickness and works toward health as much as they can.
  • Elder Ashton nowhere says that we have to be bursting with rude spiritual health ourselves to take others by the hand and lift them up.  There is a wonderful gospel alchemy where the troubled can help the depressed, and themselves feel lifted in the process.  “Me help thee, and thee help me.”

Other Posts from the Sunday morning session of the October 1973 General Conference

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