Day 4: Love Thy Neighbor | Light the World

Well friends, I’m currently well on my way to developing a rather spectacular tension headache. But Lighting the World isn’t always easy or convenient, and I have no intention of taking a sick day.

Today is all about loving thy neighbor. Jesus taught:

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
—Matthew 22:39

Let me tell you a little bit about my neighbors. They’re the sort of people who climb onto your roof to re-hang that one strand of lights when one of the bulbs go out, mow your lawn when you had a particularly bad year, and bring their dogs over to visit you. They’re the neighbors that help throw cul-de-sac picnics and chat with you randomly. They dig you out of the snow and shovel your sidewalk. My neighbors are the type of neighbors you think of when you watch It’s a Wonderful Life. I love my neighbors.

I’m not a super people person (like my dad), but I love giving my neighbors Christmas gifts. Usually cookies because there’s nothing quite as fun as making and then sharing holiday treats.

Do you know, though, what the Savior said when somebody asked him who our neighbor was? He told the story of the Good Samaritan, implying that all people, strangers and enemies alike, are our neighbors. We start with those close to us—our family—and then reach out with our influence, making our neighborhoods and communities strong, and then working on our towns and cities and states.

How to Show Love for Neighbors:

Here are a few ideas to show love for our neighbors, both the ones that live next door and those that live an ocean away:

  • Shovel walks, mow lawns, and bring trashes in.
  • Give out neighbor goodies (at any time of year. My Dad gives out pumpkin bread and cookies year round).
  • Have actual conversations with the people living around you (or even with you: family members are neighbors, too).
  • Send Christmas cards.
  • Take an angel from a local or church giving tree and buy something for someone in need.
  • Donate to a local charity.
  • Go to justserve.org and find local service projects in your area.
  • Vote in local elections. It’s those local leaders that are in charge of your parks and roads.
  • Make emergency bags for those who suffered a natural disaster.
  • Knit blankets for people in third world countries (or, if you don’t knit like me, gather supplies that they may need).
  • Send letters to deployed soldiers.
  • Donate to a national or international organization. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Red Cross both have a far reach.

How do you love and serve your neighbor? What do you do? All ideas are welcome! Until tomorrow, friends and neighbors, choose to Light the World.

Choose Joy.

—A

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