GOAL: To focus on living the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) for one year.

These weekly check-ins are forcing me to sit down at my laptop and ponder the lessons learned from trying to live more as the Good Samaritan. No more putting off writing in my journal, I have a deadline to meet—I must make the time to put down something!

Jesus Christ LambIn a 2013 Mormon Message, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, an apostle of the Lord, spoke of our Savior,

“With His Atonement, we become different people than we would be without it. And its power is infinite, truly infinite, and can reach down and sanctify and make holy to the uttermost any soul. There’s a purpose in life far beyond living comfortably. The bread [meaning the Savior’s atonement] is to enable us to act and help and serve.

Not only are we helping, but we’re being blessed and helped and changed. We’re not transformed overnight. These things come in process of time. The changes are incremental, and people don’t see them until they look back—see where they are, as opposed to where they were.”

These weekly assignments are helping me to see the growth happening within myself—I am becoming a different person because of the teachings of our Savior in this parable.

Instead of being overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy that my home doesn’t look like a magazine layout—I am focusing on the needs of the people living here.

Instead of being overwhelmed that I am not as fast as the other runners on the road—I am focusing on the individuals running with me.

runner-888016_640Instead of being overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy when I speak to others about their accomplishments—I am focusing on really listening to their journey and their experiences.

Instead of being overwhelmed that I am not ENOUGH, that somehow when God was handing out gifts, He ran out when He got to me—I am focusing on serving those around me with what everyone has: a listening ear, a loving heart, and hands able to DO.

At the beginning of this journey, I wanted to REALLY do something to help—I wanted to make a large impact with my wonderful journey on the Road to Jericho … and I got nothin’ … lots and lots of small, touching moments of service, but no big sha-bang.

This week, I got some sha-bang … and I was taught that the Lord truly touches people using small acts of love.

A woman in our congregation had her apartment building burn down to the ground. She escaped by climbing down a fireman’s ladder from the balcony of her second story apartment with only the clothes on her back.  She was not even wearing shoes.

As we met together as a family to discuss what we could do to help her, I thought, “Here is our opportunity to really do something BIG!” Visions of a shopping trip where each child picked something for her new apartment filled my mind.

sun-451441_640Then my children started making suggestions of what they wanted to do to help. My son pointed out that he would miss the pictures of our family if we lost everything. My youngest chimed in that she would miss her drawings on the fridge, and my tween snuggled her favorite blanket around her and said that she would miss ‘Fuzzy.’ (That’s her blanket’s name.)

In my mind, I thought, “No, no, no! You guys are missing the picture! We need to do SOMETHING!”

But then my heart quieted my mind and I thought, “Okay, this is what they want to do to serve, so let’s do it their way.”

Over the next few days, I pieced together a quilt, my daughters industriously colored beautiful pictures and made fridge magnets, and we framed pictures of the Savior and of the woman and her family (Thank you Facebook!) for her new apartment.  

When I delivered the items to her new apartment, I learned how right my children were to give from the heart. As the quilt was spread over the bed, it brought a sunny cheerfulness to the empty room. As the fridge was covered in drawings and magnets, it brought color to the white bareness of the kitchen. As the framed photos were set on the dresser, the image of the Savior seemed to say, “Service isn’t about buying a bunch of stuff from the store, it’s about giving from the heart, with love.”

To read more of Emlee's articles, click here.

To read more of Emlee’s articles, click here.

My Savior expects me to daily remember Him. He expects me to do as I have promised Him I would do—daily look for opportunities to be an example of the believers by my actions. Every day, I pray to ask Him to help me see who I can serve. To whom can I act as a Good Samaritan? And every day, He is showing me that He cares about and loves each person around me so intimately, so deeply.

He cares about each person’s pain, their joys, and their cares. I am learning through this experience that my Savior is an actual part of the details of my life. He cares about the details of a woman’s apartment that make it warm, inviting, and a genuine home. Through service to others, He is showing me how deeply He loves and knows me and understands my personal needs.

About Emlee Taylor
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years. 

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