In the things that really matter--our covenants, the commandments, and following the prophet--we need to be completely united. In the non-essentials, we have our agency to handle things as we see fit. But, in all things, regardless of whether we make the same choices or not, we are to treat each other with dignity and respect, both of which are evidences of charity in our hearts and lives.
Very well. He'd lighten up. As a matter of fact, he felt as light as the bubbly froth that flew from the lips of the waves. Whatever else his long, unprecedented life might have been, it had been fun. Fun! If others should find that appraisal shallow, frivolous, so be it. To him, it seemed now to largely have been some form of play. And he vowed that in the future he would strive to keep that sense of play more in mind, for he'd grown convinced that play--more than piety, more than charity or vigilance--was what allowed human beings to transcend evil.
You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them.
is not about individuals becoming great in order to impact the world, it is about discovering the greatness of individuals as they use what they already have to touch the lives of the dying, sick and poor. It is about normal people with careers, families, and responsibilities, asking 'How can what I already do and what I already am make a difference in lives half a world away?
I feel obligated to point out, though, that I have always been a sucker for ideas I find aesthetically pleasing. The cosmic sweep of the thing - an interstellar kula chain - affirming the differences and at the same time emphasizing the similarities of all the intelligent races in the galaxy - tying them together, building common traditions... The notion strikes me as kind of fine.
Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.
When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy - if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this easily managed.