A lesson from “The Mansion”

This Christmas I re-read “The Mansion”, by Henry Van Dyke. This is a book that I first read ¬†on recommendation of President Monson. It is on his annual December reading list, as mentioned here.

It is a short story, with a lovely lesson on living your life with meaning, the kind of meaning that brings eternal rewards, not just wealth and comfort in this life.

“But how have I failed so wretchedly,” he asked, in all the purpose of my life? What could I have done better? What is that counts here?”

“Only that which is truly given” answered the bell-like voice. “Only that good which is done for the love of doing it. Only those plans in which the welfare of others is the master thought. Only those labors in which the sacrifice is greater than the reward. Only those gifts in which the giver forgets himself.”

I hope that I can be the kind of person that does the kind of good, just for the love of doing it and without worrying about myself.

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