“Ye Visited Me”

In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus lists a number of needs people may have and identifies ways we can serve them. We can feed the hungry, give the thirsty something to drink, and provide shelter and clothing where needed. But for the last two examples, we don’t actually solve the problem. He doesn’t say, “I was sick, and ye healed me,” or “I was in prison, and ye set me free.” Instead, in both cases, we visit them and minister to them. (See Matthew 25:36, 39, 43-44.)

King Benjamin made the same distinction in his similar list: “feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief” (Mosiah 4:26).

Jesus came to heal the sick and to liberate the captive. (See Mosiah 3:5, Isaiah 61:1.) We can’t always do that, but as His disciples we are under obligation to “mourn with those that mourn” and to “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9). Just knowing that you’re not alone can make a trial easier to endure.

In our modern world, there are many ways to reach out: text messages, emails, phone calls, and video calls enable us to provide support and show solidarity. But wherever possible, there is no substitute for an actual visit. Spending time together enables us to provide meaningful support and “administer to their relief.”

James explained that an important part of pure religion is “to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27). Elder Gerrit W. Gong taught that ministering is more than “a sincere hello in the hall or a casual ‘Can I help you?’ in the parking lot.” He added, “In many places, we can reach out, understand others where they are, and build relationships when we regularly visit members in their homes” (“Ministering,” General Conference, April 2023).

Today, I will visit someone. I will remember that even if I can’t remove the challenges they face, I can strengthen them by being with them. (See Doctrine and Covenants 20:53.)

2 thoughts on ““Ye Visited Me”

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  1. Thanks Paul. I really like how Jesus did this same thing before bringing Lazarus back from the dead in John 11. I love His example of mourning- when “Jesus wept” (v35) with Mary, he didn’t skip mourning and try to comfort her or skip ahead to raising Lazarus…he just mourned with her. He set a perfect example of just being there, present and mourning with someone he loved. Even though He had the capacity to fix the problem, and eventually did fix it, it was important to do what He did. We don’t have the capacity to fix many things, which is all the more reason for us to get better at mourning, comforting and just showing love by being present. Thanks again for sharing the great insight Paul!


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