To the Rescue

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(This is an excerpt from the chapter "A Special Witness" in the book To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson.)

Jesus Christ, in His ministry at the meridian of time, “went about doing good, . . . for God was with him.” He blessed the sick, restored sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, and caused the halt and maimed to walk. He taught forgiveness by forgiving, compassion by being compassionate, devotion by giving of Himself, and love of His Father in Heaven by loving others—one at a time.

In like manner, Thomas S. Monson has spent his life going about doing good. He has lifted, encouraged, listened, counseled, and shared personal experiences, always for one single purpose—to encourage faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ called His disciples to follow Him and become “fishers of men.” His disciples today have the same charge. President Monson’s most productive “fishing hole” can be likened to the pool of Bethesda, where “a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered”in New Testament times went for healing—to be “made whole.” He understands from whence such healing comes: “Let us remember that it was not the waters of Bethesda’s pool which healed the impotent man. Rather, his blessing came through the touch of the Master’s hand.”

For a long time—a lifetime—Thomas S. Monson has gone to those waiting by the “pool,” those draped in despair, disappointment, infirmities, pain, and even sin, and joined his faith with theirs that they might be made whole.

The man healed by Jesus Christ at the pool of Bethesda was seemingly obscure. No one reverenced his presence or found greater stature being by his side. But the Savior went right to him. So it is with President Monson. He too goes to the weary and often forsaken, lays hands on their heads, and, in his singularly recognizable voice, provides inspired counsel. “I firmly believe,” he has said many times, “that the sweetest experience in mortality is to know that our Heavenly Father has worked through us to accomplish an objective in the life of another person”—to help make someone whole.

“Reach out to rescue . . . the aged, the widowed, the sick, the handicapped, the less active,” he has said, and then he has led the charge. “Extend to them the hand that helps and the heart that knows compassion.”

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