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LIVING BY THE SCRIPTURES

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"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." (Luke 15:20)

This scripture, concerning the prodigal son's return, has touched me deeply, particularly as I've seen it put into action time and time again by our ward Relief Society president, Jody Elsholz.There are many brothers and sisters in the Church who are "a great way off" from where they should be. They are those whom we don't see at Church each week and who don't fully enjoy the fellowship of a ward family.

Some are "a great way off" spiritually and perhaps have asked to not have home teachers or visiting teachers come by. Often, these members who are "a great way off" feel unworthy of gospel blessings and don't want to burden others with their difficulties.

These members need the blessings of the gospel just as much as those we see every week at Church. However, in most cases, they don't come to us seeking fellowship and help. It often requires a caring leader who is listening to the promptings of the Spirit to see these brothers and sisters who are "a great way off," who has compassion, and who knows when to run to them and embrace them with love.

I have seen this scripture come alive as Sister Elsholz has heeded the promptings of the Spirit, and with compassion and love, has gone to the home of a sister who was "a great way off," touched her heart and brought her back into full fellowship.