Elder Jeffrey R. Holland shares the story of the older brother of the prodigal son and reminds us that "no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all."
Among the most memorable parables the Savior ever told is the storyof a foolish younger brother who went to his father, asked for hisportion of the estate, and left home to squander his inheritance, thescripture says, in "riotous living." Then the scripture saysencouragingly, "He came to himself." He determined to find his wayhome.
But being caught up in this younger-son story, we can miss, if we'renot careful, the account of an elder son, for the opening line of theSavior's account reads, "A certain man had two sons." And He mighthave added that both of them were lost.
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And the older brother "was angry, and would not go in: thereforecame his father out, and entreated him." Surely for this father, the painover a wayward child is now compounded with the realization that thisolder, wiser brother, the younger boy's childhood hero, is angry thathis brother has come home.
Need a hand?
I got it covered.
I was thinking we could fix up the old truck, get it up and running.
I don't really have time. I've been really busy running the familybusiness.
I'm sorry for letting you down.
You didn't let me down. Whatever you did or plan to do with your lifeis your business. Now stay out of my way. I've been doing just finewithout you.
But the older brother lives in some confinement, too. He has, as yet,been unable to break out of the prison of himself. He is haunted bythe green-eyed monster of jealousy. One who has heretoforepresumably been very happy with his life and content with his goodfortune suddenly feels very unhappy simply because another has hadsome good fortune as well.
It has been said that envy is the one sin to which no one readilyconfesses. How does this happen? Every day we see allurements ofone kind or another that tell us what we have is not enough.Someone or something is forever telling us we need to be morehandsome or more wealthy, more applauded or more admired than wesee ourselves as being.
I remember the first time you and Michael trained together.
That was a long time ago.
Not for me. Your mother was so afraid you two would fight nonstop.But I said no, the boxing would help you two respect each other. I told her we would have one rule for this family. What was the rule,son?
Keep it in the ring.
Hey. Wake up.
It's a Saturday. Let me sleep.
Start it up, brother.
How can we overcome such a tendency so common in almosteveryone? For one thing, we can do as these two sons did and startmaking our way back to the Father. We should do so with as muchhaste and humility as we can summon. Along the way, we can countour many blessings and we can applaud the accomplishments ofothers. Best of all, we can serve others, the finest exercise for theheart ever prescribed.