Mother Teresa lived for over 87 years, and during that time she developed quite a following. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for people to ask her for her autograph. In a recent episode of David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman’s Don’t Miss This, they spoke of a powerful exchange that Mother Teresa had with one such man who made contact with her.
On one such occasion, she responded in a letter to Richard Jones and signed her name but additionally gave him some advice that is incredibly powerful. Her letter read:
Dear Richard Jones,
Thank you for your letter. More important than autograph is what we do for Jesus and through Him for others. Look around and see – there are so many in the world who are lonely, unwanted, who have no one to call their own – may be in your own home. It is easy to love the people far away. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Be the sunshine of God’s love to your own – for this is where our love for each other must start.
God Bless You, Mother Teresa
This is a picture of the letter that she wrote.
I haven’t stopped thinking about this #MotherTeresa letter since I first heard about it on this week’s “Don’t Miss This” episode. Richard Jones asked Mother Teresa for an autograph. This is how she replied.
“Be the sunshine of God’s love to your own.” ☀️ 💛 pic.twitter.com/US69oBPIxZ
— Lindsey Williams (@lindsey5brooke) April 19, 2020
The theme and purpose of her quote are very similar to another quote that has been attributed to Mother Teresa. In it, she says, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”
This is one that we have hanging on our kitchen wall because it is the hardest thing for many of our children to do so it remains a focus.
As Dieter F. Uchtdorf said in April 2016’s General Conference: “Whatever problems your family is facing, whatever you must do to solve them, the beginning and the end of the solution is charity, the pure love of Christ. Without this love, seemingly perfect families struggle. With it, even families with great challenges succeed.”
We have often shared the following quote with our children as well, hoping to stress the importance of familial love:
If you treated your friends like you treat your family, how many friends would you have?
Mother Teresa was a wonderful example of one who reached out to the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted. May we have the courage and desire to do the same in our day, and in our own unique way.
Do you have any favorite quotes that speak of the importance of loving those who are in your own family?