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Elder Jose L. Alonso, General Authority Seventy

During the Last Supper, the Savior’s disciples were given a new commandment: “That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

“In today’s world of so much suffering for different circumstances, sending a text message with a funny emoji or posting a nice picture with the words “I love you” is good and valuable,” said Elder Jose L. Alonso, a General Authority Seventy, during the Sunday afternoon session on Oct. 1. “But what many of us need to do is leave our mobile devices behind and with our hands and feet, help others in great need. Love without service is like faith without works; it’s dead indeed.”

Charity, which is the pure love Christ, inspires people to provide service and also have the strength to forgive, regardless of the situation.

Elder Alonso spoke of an experience, shared with permission, from the life of his friends, Ted and Sharon, and their 4-year-old son, Cooper. The experience “has impacted and changed my life,” he said.

In 2008, Cooper was riding his bicycle and was struck by a car. When Ted learned what had happened he drove to the site of the accident. His little boy was lying on the grass, struggling to breathe.

Ted and a fellow priesthood holder gave Cooper a blessing before he was flown to the hospital, where the child died. “I felt Heavenly Father was telling me that my earthly stewardship had ended and that Cooper was now in His care,” said Ted.

On the way home from the hospital, Ted and his grief-stricken wife talked about the boy who was driving the car. Later, arrangements were made by a counselor in the stake presidency for Ted and Sharon to meet the young driver.

“Sharon and I embraced him in a big group hug,” said Ted. “We told him we knew what had happened was the definition of an accident.”

Ted and Sharon, by God’s grace, came to love “this good young man.” A lasting friendship developed between the two families.

“What a marvelous story of real love and forgiveness,” said Elder Alonso. “We, likewise, can have joy and happiness as we serve and forgive others.”

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