How to be Kind

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“Sisters and brothers, how often do we intentionally ‘speak kind words to each other’?

“We might test ourselves by asking a few questions. With a little adaptation, these questions can apply to most of us, whether we are married or single, whatever our home situation might be.

  1. When was the last time I sincerely praised my companion, either alone or in the presence of our children?
  2. When was the last time I thanked, expressed love for, or earnestly pleaded in faith for him or her in prayer?
  3. When was the last time I stopped myself from saying something I knew could be hurtful?
  4. When was the last time I apologized and humbly asked for forgiveness—without adding the words ‘but if only you had’ or ‘but if only you hadn’t’?
  5. When was the last time I chose to be happy rather than demanding to be ‘right’?”

Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President
We’ll Ascend Together,” April 2015 General Conference

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“I would like to invite each of you to do at least one Samaritan-like act this coming week. It may require that you reach beyond your usual friends or overcome your shyness. You may courageously choose to serve someone who doesn’t treat you well. I promise that if you will extend yourself beyond what is easy to do, you will feel so good inside that kindness will start to become a part of your everyday life. You’ll see that benevolence can bring joy and unity to your home, your class, your ward, and your school.”

Mary N. Cook, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Remember This: Kindness Begins with Me,” April 2011 General Conference

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“[Be] a good neighbor and a good friend. Set an example of righteousness and kindness. Let your smile radiate love, peace, and happiness.”

Silvia H. Allred, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Go Ye Therefore,” October 2008 General Conference

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“The Savior taught us to love and do good to one another—even those who have different standards. These differences are no excuse for avoiding others or being unkind.

“A friend of eight-year-old Chelsea said that she didn’t like a certain boy because he wasn’t a member of our church. What do you think Chelsea did? What would you do? Chelsea told her friend it’s OK that he is not a member of our church; he is still a good person. We show we know how to follow the Savior when we treat others with kindness and respect.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
Show You Know,” April 2003 General Conference

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“What about the kindness we show to our own family members? The most important and sometimes the most difficult place to show kindness is in our own homes, to our parents and to our brothers and sisters. When our son Mitch was 10 years old, he wanted to help our family, especially if he could make it fun. When no one was looking, he put a bell on a string around his neck and pretended to be a bellboy as he helped with family jobs. When family members noticed things were done, he would just say, ‘It must be the bellboy.’ Mitch was a great help to us and also brought fun and delight to our family.”

Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President
Show You Know,” April 2003 General Conference

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“Standing as a witness in all things means being kind in all things, being the first to say hello, being the first to smile, being the first to make the stranger feel a part of things, being helpful, thinking of others’ feelings, being inclusive.”

Margaret D. Nadauld, Young Women General President
Stand as a Witness,” April 2000 General Conference

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“When we give our time, our energy, our commitment, our testimony to others, we are giving of ourselves. We are sharing intangibles, not easily left on the doorstep but easily deposited in the heart.

“So it is with kindness. Nothing will bring the Spirit of the Lord into your meetings, your homes, and your personal associations more quickly than showing kindness. ‘Charity … is kind.’ Kindness should be right at the top of everyone’s list of things to do. Write it down every day: ‘Be kind.’ Kindness comes in many different packages. Be thoughtful to your neighbors. Be patient in a crowd. Be considerate of your children and your husband. Be honest with your sisters. Trust them and they will trust you. Go out and bring them into this grand circle of sisters we call Relief Society. As we increase our kindness, we add charity to our storehouse and we are strengthened.”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
Strengthened in Charity,” October 1996 General Conference

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“Wherever we are, we can carry with us a reserve of our balm of Gilead and we can spread it around. It can be as simple as finding a seat in the room by someone who needs you. It may be a thoughtful comment in a lesson that answers another one’s prayer. It may be catching someone’s eye, lifting a child for a drink from a fountain, sending a note in the mail, reading the scriptures with someone. Or it may be visiting someone you’ve missed at meetings, someone you hear mentioned in your heart by the still, small voice. These little actions inspire us; they take the edges off our problems. Indeed, ‘Out of small things proceedeth that which is great.’ The giver and the receiver are both blessed.”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
Relief Society: A Balm in Gilead,” October 1995 General Conference

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“We don’t need a bishop’s assignment to be kind. We don’t need to sign up to be thoughtful. We don’t need to be sustained by our wards to be sensitive. Rejoice in the power you have within you from Christ to be a nucleus of love, forgiveness, and compassion.”

Chieko N. Okazaki, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Rejoice in Every Good Thing,” October 1991 General Conference

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“Kindness has many synonyms—love, service, charity. But I like the word kindness because it implies action. It seems like something you and I can do. Kindness can be shown in so many ways. My favorite examples of kindness come from what Jesus did. He spent his ministry searching for the weary, the sick, the poor, and the lonely, that he might show kindness toward them.”

Betty Jo N. Jepsen, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Kindness—A Part of God’s Plan,” October 1990 General Conference

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“We can develop our own sort of ‘kindness instinct’ by consciously seeking opportunities to act kindly. Wouldn’t it be a fine world if we had a natural instinct for kindness and just couldn’t help ourselves when we had the opportunity to be kind? We can nurture others with kindness, and our acts can become the sweet honey in this garden of life.

“There may be times when we excuse ourselves for unkindness because we are not feeling our best or our mood is not just right. It is easy to act kindly toward others when things are going well in our lives. But perhaps the real measure of our kindness comes if we can be so when we are tired, disappointed, or suffering because of an unkind deed done to us. Are we kind when all is not well?”

Betty Jo N. Jepsen, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Kindness—A Part of God’s Plan,” October 1990 General Conference

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“Helping others through a time of special challenge requires understanding and patience. People respond to grief in different ways. Not everyone recovers in the same period of time, and not everyone acts the same. The griever might be irritable, depressed, quiet, or withdrawn, but through kindness and friendship, he or she will almost always recover and will come to acceptance…Being sensitive to such needs helps everyone find joy in the precious reality of everyday living and look forward with faith to the future, knowing that sorrow and struggle and endurance to the end are necessary parts of mortality.

“It is said that love is tested and proved in the fire of suffering and adversity. How sensitive we should be to those who are suffering or hurting, to those with special problems—the sister who has had a miscarriage or a stillbirth, a premature or handicapped child; the one whose beloved husband has died; the lovely woman to whom marriage and family have not yet come; the new convert whose family has rejected her because of her baptism.

“What we do or say is not as important as that we do or say something—’I care about you,’ or ‘Let me help.’ Where love is, heart will respond to heart and burdens will be lightened.

“We must never feel that we have done our share or had our turn.”

Joy F. Evans, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Lord, When Saw We Thee An Hungred?” April 1989 General Conference

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