What Jesus Taught First

“What Jesus Taught First,” Friend, Oct. 1993, inside front cover

What Jesus Taught First

(Adapted from an April 1992 conference address. See Ensign, May 1992, page 19.)

Remember … brotherly kindness (D&C 4:6).

To our knowledge, the Sermon on the Mount was the first sermon that Jesus Christ taught His newly called disciples. It’s interesting that the first principles He chose to teach them were those that center around the way we treat each other. Could this be because the way we treat each other is the foundation of His gospel? Imagine what could happen if each of us would cherish, watch over, and comfort one another!

One young woman, serving in a stake Relief Society presidency, and at that time also working under great pressure on a difficult project at home, lost her temper one morning during a presidency meeting. The reason she was unhappy had little to do with what they were talking about in the meeting but was due to the pressure she was under at home.

Afterward, she was embarrassed at her behavior and called to apologize for losing her temper. Her friends in the presidency were generous and told her not to think another thing about it. Still, she wondered if they might think less of her, now that they’d seen her at less than her best.

Late that afternoon, however, the doorbell rang, and there stood the other members of the presidency with dinner in their hands. “We knew when you lost your cool this morning that you must be just worn out,” they said. “We thought a little supper might help. We want you to know that we love you.”

The young woman was amazed. In spite of her losing her temper that morning, her friends were there to offer support rather than criticism. Rather than bash her, they helped her.

Be a person who helps and supports someone who needs it. Be a person with an understanding and a forgiving heart, one who looks for the best in people. Lend a hand to those who are frightened, lonely, or burdened. Leave people better, happier than you found them.

Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett