Eric Shumway Story

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told by Eric Shumway

Sometimes we don’t do good things to the "least of these my brethren," because we judge them.  We put a label on them and then rationalize our misbehavior or our non-behavior toward them.  Years ago, we moved in next door to an older couple who yelled so loud at each other, I was first disturbed, then disgusted by what sounded like constant quarreling. 

My resentment of the couple for all this noise kept me from making their acquaintance.  "Little wonder no one visits them," I thought.  As time went on, however, I suspected that they must be lonely.  I was not aware of any family coming to see them.  After many months, I mentioned this to another neighbor and wondered if I should visit them.  This neighbor said, "I think it would be a great idea, but when you visit them, you’ll have to yell because they are both nearly deaf."

There is abundant scripture warning against judging others or withholding our attention or our comfort because they "aren’t our type," or they don’t quite fit in our circle of friends.

Story told by Eric Shumway, President of BYU-Hawaii, at a Dev. at BYU-Idaho on April 1, 2003