Jesus Gives the Parable of the Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25–37

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

President M. Russell Ballard said:

“Every time I read this parable [of the good Samaritan] I am impressed with its power and its simplicity. But have you ever wondered why the Savior chose to make the hero of this story a Samaritan? There was considerable antipathy between the Jews and the Samaritans at the time of Christ. Under normal circumstances, these two groups avoided association with each other. It would still be a good, instructive parable if the man who fell among thieves had been rescued by a brother Jew.

“His deliberate use of Jews and Samaritans clearly teaches that we are all neighbors and that we should love, esteem, respect, and serve one another despite our deepest differences—including religious, political, and cultural differences.

“That instruction continues today to be part of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In enumerating the key doctrines of the restored Church, Joseph Smith said, while ‘we claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience,’ we also ‘allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may’ (A of F 1:11).

“Thankfully, many of our members understand this doctrine and live it during the course of their daily lives. . . .

“. . . If we are truly disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will reach out with love and understanding to all of our neighbors at all times, particularly in times of need. . . .

“While it is true we declare to the world that the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith and we urge our members to share their faith and testimonies with others, it has never been the policy of the Church that those who choose not to listen or to accept our message should be shunned or ignored. Indeed, the opposite is true. . . .

“As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we understand that we are perceived by some to be ‘a peculiar people’ (1 Pet. 2:9). Our doctrines and beliefs are important to us. We embrace them and cherish them. I am not suggesting for a moment that we shouldn’t. On the contrary, our peculiarity and the uniqueness of the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are indispensable elements in offering the people of the world a clear choice. Neither am I suggesting that we should associate in any relationship that would place us or our families at spiritual risk. We must understand, however, that not everyone is going to accept our doctrine of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the most part, our neighbors not of our faith are good, honorable people —every bit as good and honorable as we strive to be. They care about their families, just like we do. They want to make the world a better place, just like we do. They are kind and loving and generous and faithful, just like we seek to be. Nearly 25 years ago, the First Presidency declared: ‘Our message . . . is one of special love and concern for the eternal welfare of all men and women, regardless of religious belief, race, or nationality, knowing that we are truly brothers and sisters because we are sons and daughters of the same Eternal Father’ (First Presidency statement, 15 Feb. 1978).

“That is our doctrine—a doctrine of inclusion. That is what we believe. That is what we have been taught. Of all people on this earth, we should be the most loving, the kindest, and the most tolerant because of that doctrine.”

(“Doctrine of Inclusion,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 36, 37.)

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