“For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (Old Testament | 1 Samuel 16:7)
A friend recently sent me a private message over Facebook. He explained that a good friend of his is suffering from an addition to drugs. It is literally killing the friend, and emotionally and spiritually draining to the mother and my friend as they watch this happen to their loved one. He asked me to offer my prayers for the situation.
Said my friend, “Some people look at [him] and see nothing but a useless junkie. I see someone that Christ died for and who has so much potential! Please pray that he would be free from drugs and other sins and reach his potential and give glory to his Father in Heaven!”
I love that attitude. He is right. “For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Not knowing the friend, if I met him, I would probably feel sorry for him at best, but also probably assume that “the man has brought upon himself his misery” and not want to become involved (see The Book of Mormon | Mosiah 4:17).
But at the request of my friend, whom I trust, I’ve began praying for a man I’ve never met. As I’ve continued supplicating for his welfare in my personal prayers, I’ve felt a love for him, which was not what I expected. I’ve tried to remember that, although I don’t know him, our mutual Heavenly Father does.
And so did His Beloved Son, Jesus the Christ. “The Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of ALL men, that ALL men might repent and come unto him” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:11, emphasis added).
He did it because “…the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10).
Jesus did accomplish this great purpose! But I left one important word out of the verse which I just quoted. The first word in the sentence is “Remember.”
That word “remember” belongs to us to do.