Hi Neighbor! Will You Be Mine?

Happy Valentine’s Day! A day dedicated to thinking and talking just a little more than usual about love. I recently watched a new public service video [posted below] and it made me think of a Mr. Rogers song. Were you lucky enough to know Mr. Rogers? Everyone of a certain age – at least if you’re an American – will remember watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on PBS. At the beginning of the show he “arrived” to his studio house singing his famous greeting song, and while he sang, he would carefully remove his work shoes and put on his play sneakers, and he would remove his jacket and put on his sweater. [He would reverse the whole process at the end before leaving his “house”] Fun fact, Mr. Fred Rogers sweaters were all knitted by his real-life mother (true). His red sweater was always my favorite. He sang songs, told stories, made crafts, fed his goldfish, took us on adventures, and played pretend with a magical trolley car, and endearing puppets. Mr. Rogers gave wonderful pep talks, and offered gentle lessons and practical advice about life and growing up. He represented all that was kind, fascinating, fun and good about life.

I loved Mr. Rogers.

Fred Rogers, (1928-2003) host of "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (first episode 1968-final episode 2001)

Fred Rogers, (1928-2003) host of “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (first episode 1968 – final episode 2001)

The Neighborhood Song

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A Beautiful Day for a neighbor

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty-wood, a neighborly day for a beauty

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you

I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day

Since we’re together we might as well say

Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Won’t you please? Please won’t you, please?

Please won’t you be my neighbor?

Mr. Rogers understood people. He had very wise things to say about how to treat people, and how to help a person grow into their best selves. That was his mission. Mr. Rogers was an ordained minister in ‘real-life’, but he was never “preachy” on television. He simply taught universal lessons of truth that helped everyone.

fred-rogers-knowing-loved-quote

Mr. Rogers understood that it takes practice to be loving. It isn’t always easy to love. In fact, it actually takes some time and effort and is a life-long process to LOVE. Here’s what he said:

mr-rogers-love-is-struggle-and-strive

LOVE = STRIVE

When I was growing up, there was another wonderful man who taught me all about life and love, named Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985).

Elder Spencer W. Kimball holding a grandchild, circa 1972 (family photo Courtesy of Ed Kimball, shared @Times and Seasons)

Like Fred Rogers, Spencer Kimball was an ordained minister. He served as a bishop, general authority, apostle and eventually as the President and prophetic leader of my church throughout my youth. President Kimball was wise, kind, gentle, compassionate and tenderhearted. A man who taught the law of Christ not by being “preachy”, but by example, in every word and deed. He led a remarkable life of service to community, church and family. He courageously battled life threatening illnesses – including undergoing major heart surgeries and a throat cancer that ravaged his vocal chords. He miraculously re-learned how to phonate, and gave powerful speeches to global audiences – always on a theme of love and kindness – with his raspy, endearing voice [he sounded a lot like YODA in Star Wars]. To this day, Spencer W. Kimball remains one of my most influential examples of bearing trials with patience, cultivating unconditional love, and giving selfless acts of service.

I loved President Kimball. If I’d ever had a son, I planned to name him Spencer. [maybe it will be a grandson?]

spencer-w-kimball-god-watches-over-us

I HAVE THIS QUOTE FRAMED ON MY WALL!

I think it is very fitting and inspired for this new public service message to be released on Valentine’s week. The message highlights one of Spencer W. Kimball’s beautiful teachings about LOVE – the individual people that God puts into your neighborhood and my neighborhood to love and to serve.

Wow.

Have you ever really thought of EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. you meet each day being placed in your path by God?

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this;

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Gal. 5:14

I like to imagine Fred Rogers and Spencer Kimball sharing a good chuckle together in heaven and enjoying a delightful friendship. These two men did so much good on earth, helping so many people have better lives! God must have given them some remarkable assignments on the other side, don’t you think?

May we strive to honor their legacy of love and service in how we choose to treat our “neighbors” on a daily basis.

It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood, so I’m off to make the most of it. I think I’ll wear my favorite red sweater!  – MoSop

~~~~

P.S. Did you take the Secret Valentine Challenge? 

A few days ago I blogged about why valentines day is for everyone, and suggested that we all try to choose someone in our lives we could be a “Secret Valentine” for. Did you do it? It’s not too late! If you need some ideas, here’s what we did – after someone actually did this to us first!

(Not only is it cute, it’s super cheap & simple)

“THE HEART ATTACK”

Cut out paper hearts. Put a treat inside a paper sack with a little love note [“You’ve just received a HEART ATTACK! Love from your Secret Valentine”]. Sneak up to the front porch (or the office desk, or the wherever your person “dwells”) spread the hearts, ring the doorbell [if applicable] and run & hide! ♥

Doorbell ditching this Valentine "heart attack" on the porch! #valentines #ShareGoodness #love #secretValentine #fun

A post shared by Mormon Soprano (@mormonsoprano) on

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