There is a hymn that is seldom sung at church called “All Creatures of Our God and King.” It’s one of my favorite songs. The first stanza says, “All creatures of our God and King/Lift up your voices and with us sing/Alleluia, alleluia . . .” Every time I hear this song, I always think of Shurleah. Shurleah loves animals. She has a beautiful garden and at the time she had nine cats plus all of the birds and strays that came and visited. It wasn’t something that I understood but looking back, now I understand why she loved them so much.
One day, Sister M and I left Shurleah’s house. It was just another wonderful visit that we had with her. The typical visit went something like this:
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Shurleah: “Who is it?”
Me/Sister M: “Shurleah, it’s us–the Sisters.”
Shurleah: “Oh, okay. Come in Sisters!”
Us: “Good morning, Shurleah! How are you?”
Shurleah would then tell us about her day or something that one of her cats did or something like that. She LOVED her cats. Sister, Penny, Snow, Buttons, Tigger, Bebop, plus three more whose names slip my mind at the moment…were the cat names. They were all adorable. They loved Shurleah; and Shurleah loved them.
I’ve always been a cat person. Expect until my mission. The dandruff made me sneeze and my eyes really itchy. And sometimes my asthma would flare up but I learned to just deal with it because I desperately wanted to see Shurleah.
Anyway, one day Shurleah told us the story of how she found her cats. Most of them were strays that she had taken in and were pretty beat up when she found them.
Me: “Shurleah, why did you take them in?”
Shurleah: “Because they needed a good home and needed to be loved. Everyone needs to be loved, feel kindness towards them, and be cared for. Jesus created them and He loves each of us. So, I have to love them because Jesus does.”
Shurleah continued on for a few minutes about how much she loves the Savior. As she spoke, I thought about how true her words were. Jesus loves all of us–including the cats, bugs, dogs, and other creatures that He created. So, how could I not be kind to them? How could I not love them? The Savior taught to love everyone and to treat them kindly too. He taught us that kindness begins with one person. Kindness spreads fast. Kindness is something that every person and thing needs. The Savior shows every single one of us kindness on a daily basis. So, how could I not show kindness to those nine cats that drove my allergies up the wazoo? How could I not show kindness to everyone around me?
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Lesson #3: Fitness is Important will be posted shortly!