Gospel Teachings: Perspective and Eyes of Faith

Gospel Teachings: Perspective and Eyes of Faith

Through God’s Eyes

Dale G. Renlund

keyTo effectively serve others, we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes.

In my past profession, I was a cardiologist specializing in heart failure and transplantation, with many patients who were critically ill. My wife jokingly says that it was a bad prognostic sign to become one of my patients. All teasing aside, I saw many people die, and I developed a kind of emotional distance when things went poorly. That way, feelings of sadness and disappointment were tempered.

quote-renlund-serveIn 1986 a young man named Chad developed heart failure and received a heart transplant. He did very well for a decade and a half. Chad did all he could to stay healthy and live as normal a life as possible. He served a mission, worked, and was a devoted son to his parents. The last few years of his life, though, were challenging, and he was in and out of the hospital frequently.

One evening, he was brought to the hospital’s emergency department in full cardiac arrest. My associates and I worked for a long time to restore his circulation. Finally, it became clear that Chad could not be revived. We stopped our futile efforts, and I declared him dead. Although sad and disappointed, I maintained a professional attitude. I thought to myself, “Chad has had good care. He has had many more years of life than he otherwise would have had.” That emotional distance soon shattered as his parents came into the emergency room bay and saw their deceased son lying on a stretcher. In that moment, I saw Chad through his mother’s and father’s eyes. I saw the great hopes and expectations they had had for him, the desire they had had that he would live just a little bit longer and a little bit better. With this realization, I began to weep. In an ironic reversal of roles and in an act of kindness I will never forget, Chad’s parents comforted me.

I now realize that in the Church, to effectively serve others we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes. Only then can we begin to comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Only then can we sense the Savior’s caring concern for them. We cannot completely fulfill our covenant obligation to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort unless we see them through God’s eyes.3 This expanded perspective will open our hearts to the disappointments, fears, and heartaches of others. But Heavenly Father will aid and comfort us, just as Chad’s parents comforted me years ago.

We need to have eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that know and feel if we are to accomplish the rescue so frequently encouraged by President Thomas S. Monson.4

Only when we see through Heavenly Father’s eyes can we be filled with “the pure love of Christ.”5 Every day we should plead with God for this love. Mormon admonished, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.”6

With all my heart I want to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.7 I love Him. I adore Him. I witness of His living reality. I witness that He is the Anointed One, the Messiah. I am a witness of His incomparable mercy, compassion, and love. I add my testimony to that of the Apostles who, in the year 2000, stated “that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. … He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world.”8

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