Not long ago, I went on a trip to Ireland with my choir. My sweet and gifted photographer friend allowed me to make a picture album with her photos from the trip. I took many of my own photos that were of the same locales since we were together most of the trip. When I began organizing out of the thousands of pictures she had taken, a marvelous experience began to unfold before my eyes: I saw Ireland through her eyes. How different my experience suddenly became and I began to wonder if I was really on the same trip as her or if counting all those Irish sheep zonked me out? Seeing through her eyes gave me such a different perspective on life and I realized it was the people she captured in her pictures who gave each place more life and character as well as purpose.
How many of us go along in life seeing things and not people? Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Would if who you saw was someone different? Someone greater? Perhaps even one of the great and noble ones? Would if who we think we are seeing isn’t the same person other’s see? Do we see others for who they really are? Is it possible our eyes need to see through special lenses to really see oneself and others? How do we see ourselves and others the way the Lord sees us?
The mission of Paul was to help the Gentiles see themselves as Jesus Christ sees them. In his humble approach, he declares,
Why does an apostle of God and witness of Jesus Christ compare himself to the least of all the saints? Knowing he himself feels less than any saint, how does this act of brotherly love manifest his discipleship? What does he see in each of us that would have him say this? Is this not a clear answer to his purpose in helping all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery?
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 1 Cor. 13:2
Paul realizes his power and authority is meaningless if he does not have charity? Without charity we are nothing. When we look deep into the eyes and souls of our brothers and sisters, we should see a child of God of infinite worth and ability! How can we see beyond the flesh and into the heart especially with all the worldly adornments? Should not the first thing be to see ourselves as the least of these my brethren as Paul does? But how can we when it’s so easy to judge by the outside?
Paul admonishes us to share our beliefs and testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to help minister with the apostles as we are all Saviors on Mount Zion and the least of these saints. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints has a four-fold mission which is to perfect the saints, preach the gospel, redeem the dead and help the poor and needy. In proclaiming the gospel to the least of these saints, we begin to exalt one another and in that process we become sanctified by His blood. Through His atonement and sacrifice, we can become perfected thus enabling us to go out and perfect others who have never heard of the gospel or who have died before they were able to hear of the gospel of baptism and repentance. And finally, when we serve the poor and needy we are forming a fellowship and the mysteries of God begin to unfold before our eyes: Our ability to see what God sees in each of us begins to develop.
The gospel was first given to the Jews and from them to the Gentiles. After all the apostles were killed, the Lord took his power and authority to act in his name away from his children (priesthood power), thus dispelling His primitive church which caused a great apostasy that withdrew the fulness of His church and the keys of the Priesthood from off the face of the earth. The gospel was restored again to earth in 1830 through the prophet Joseph Smith and since that time, the keys of the restoration or the former church have all been restored on earth through John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, Elijah, Elias, and approved by the Savior Jesus Christ. The gospel has been restored through the Gentiles and is going out to all four corners of the earth and especially to the Jews, thus the prophecy that the first shall be last and the last shall be first has come to pass as Jesus taught in (Matt. 19:30) and through the Parable of the Laborer.
We are in this fellowship of the mystery of God together as we hold on to one another and God in faith. We learn to love ourselves, honor our principals founded upon the rock of our salvation -Jesus Christ- and we respect the laws and commandments of our Heavenly Father. My photographer friend “gets” it, all the disciples of Jesus Christ “get” it. They know who they are and are able to see others for who they really are; children of our Heavenly Father who loves them. Is it safe to say that life’s mysteries are seeing and knowing the beauty and light of Christ in each one of us and then helping one another down the restored gospel path as we Be steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15: 58 & 2 Nephi 31:20 .
We are all of Noble birth rite, possessing the DNA of our Heavenly Parents, and are so much greater than we realize. I hope we can look in the mirror and into our souls to see who we really are: Children of our Heavenly Parents who are perfect and exalted and who love us dearly and WANT us to return to them. It is my prayer that someday I can see the absolute beauty in all people like the Savior and my dear friend and photographer sees.