Monday, April 28, 2014

Mormon Monday: Love One Another

The other day I had an interesting, special experience.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are taught to love everyone. However, that is not always an easy thing.

The other day, I was interacting with some people I didn't know, and when I met one of them, my general impression was somewhat negative. As I continued to work with this woman, I really didn't like the fact that I kept having these critical thoughts and feelings. Finally, sick of thinking that way, I began to pray that I would be able to feel the love that the Lord felt for her.

It was nearly instantaneous.Immediately, a warm feeling began to fill me. The difference was incredible. I don't know if I can accurately describe this, but I've had a few opportunities in my life to feel a little bit of what the Lord feels for His children, and the feeling is overpowering. It's like someone fills my chest with hot air, to the point that I almost burst.

I was immediately able to love this woman and the thought entered my mind as I looked at her face, "She's had a hard life." Empathy and love quickly replaced any judgmental or critical feelings I had felt for this incredible daughter of God.
John 13:34
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
It is often easy to love those that love us, but we are being asked to do so much more. As much as parents want their children to get along, our Heavenly Father wants that for us as well. I can testify that I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children. No matter what mistakes they have made or bad decisions that they have chosen. Obviously I'm not yet at the point I want to be, but I'm trying to learn to love everyone I meet. 

Sometimes it is tricky to disagree but still love. People sometimes make choices or say things that I feel very strongly opposed to. However, it is okay to disagree with others. Sometimes disagreeing is how we show love.

If someone is about to walk into a deep pit full of spikes is it love to let them fall just because it's their life and they should be able to choose whatever they want? Or do you show love by warning them and trying to help them steer clear of the danger? Then, if they decide to walk in the pit anyway, do you show love by letting them sit and bleed or do you try to help them out?

I'm trying to help other people steer clear of dangers by loving them enough to warn them. The world is getting more dangerous and subtle by the day. Often the dangers aren't as obvious as a pit filled with spikes, but they are no less deadly in a spiritual sense.

Let us all show love to those around us and pray daily to feel the love of the Lord for those around us. When you love someone, it is a lot easier to be patient with their choices and mistakes.

I do love all of you. I'm working on following the Savior and treating others as He would.

Most importantly, pray to feel the Lord's love for yourself. Often it is easy to rip ourselves down and ask why God would even love us, but I can promise you that He does. The love that we feel for our children, families, and pets isn't even the tip of the iceberg compared to what the Lord feels for you. Don't give up on him. He is standing with His arms outstretched to gather us all.

D&C 88:63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

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