Editor’s note: “Matters of faith” is a column that provides local religious leaders a place to write about how their respective faiths provide hope, courage and strength in these modern times.
What may seem as a small act of kindness or gentle words of understanding, often go a long way in making a positive impact on the lives of others.
It’s been north of 50 years, but I still remember Cal Jaynes placing his arm around my 10-year-old shoulders after I had struck out three times in the same baseball game.
A longtime family friend, Cal happened to be watching our game at the old International Field — now Elton West — on Tooele’s Birch Street.
He knew I felt lousy after whiffing pitch-after-pitch-after pitch. Following the game, I headed in the opposite direction of my teammates who sprinted toward the snack bar to grab a soda provided to all players.
Cal simply pulled me to the side, looked into my eyes, and said, “It’s OK. Charlie. Mickey Mantle struck out four times in one game the other day.
“Really?” I responded, then thought, if Number 7 in Yankee pinstripes topped my sorry performance, life probably could continue onward.
Every day we have opportunities to brighten the lives of others, just as Cal lifted up my spirits. It reminds me of my favorite hymn:
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
It’s especially important to do so during the Christmas season when many among us fail to grasp the joy our Savior Jesus Christ can bring into our lives.
For the past few years, primarily through social media, the LDS Church has encouraged its members to “Light the World.”
The idea is during the 25 days leading up to Christmas Day, we practice Christian principles by randomly helping someone.
Although we are nearly halfway through the month, there is still plenty of time to reach out and lift the spirits of those around us.
Most of the ideas cost little or no money, and all require us to consider the needs of others before our wants.
We can be as creative as we want or we can simply Google “Light the World LDS” to generate ideas.
A short, clear, concise teaching of Jesus accompanies each day to help get the creative juices flowing.
Here are a few examples: “Blessed are the merciful. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad. For I was hungered and ye gave me meat. I was naked and ye clothed me.”
Although the December days continue to rush by, there’s still plenty of time to help those who may feel a little blue this Christmas season by bringing the light of Christ into their lives.
Charlie Roberts is a former LDS bishop of the Tooele 6th Ward.