I've had a good week this week! I have been learning a lot about love. I feel like every week Heavenly Father teaches me about love, and every week I don't get that much better, but maybe I'll make it someday. The ultimate goal, of course, is to obtain the perfect Christlike love. I pray that I make it there some day. But this week I think I got just a little bit closer.
The first thing that kicked off my learning this week was the Teachings of Joseph Smith. My Zone Leader gave it to me to read, and I am loving it. But there was something that really stood out to me in it this week. One man told of a period of time the early saints had when they were living in Nauvoo. He said that they began growing closer and closer until there was a period of about a month that they didn't even feel the temptations of the Devil. How cool is that? Can you imagine having a whole month of life where Satan just isn't even present in your life. You feel nothing pushing you do do that which is against the will and commands of God. Joseph Smith talked to the saints about this time, and told them that the sole reason of their wonderful month, is the love that they had for each other. He also told them that if they did not continue, if they let even a little contention come in among them, all of that would crumble. And the words of the Prophet, as they always do, were found to be true. There arose a small contention, and soon after, there were large dissensions, and many apostatized.
But how important is that perfect love, if it could create that kind of a society. A society where the Devil cannot even come close to the hearts of the people. Love. It will stop temptations.
Then during the week we talked with a member family. They are worried right now that their daughter may have cancer. They have had a check up, but they still haven't heard the result. But when we went over we had a lesson planned for them,, but as we started teaching this plan, the Spirit helped me realize that that was not what they needed. Instead of teaching about fasting and prayer, we just talked about the love of God. We talked about how he is our friend and our helper. That he wants us to receive nothing but the very best in life. As we spoke with them, the Spirit filled the room with a sense of peace. They relaxed as they realized the love that God has for them, and all that he wants is for them to be happy. They understood that, and so they were able to just leave it in the Lords hands.
As we realize the love that our Heavenly Father has for us, it will bring a sense of peace into our lives, and we will not worry as much about the daily problems. We will be able to focus of what we really need to do in life.
Then yesterday during church I was thinking about the Savior and His answer about the greatest commandment. He answered in Matthew 22:37:
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
And then he teaches us about the second commandment in verse 39,
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
So the first two greatest commandments out of all of the commandments, ever, are about love. First for our God, and then for our friends, associates, and even strangers. So that means that we need to love unconditionally. No matter what anyone else does, we must love them. If we choose to dislike someone because of their sin, who has the greater sin, us, or our neighbour?
"But Elder Childs, that is super hard! People do a lot of bad things! How am I supposed to love them?" I know, its hard, but luckily for us, we have a prophet that has given us some advice.
And now my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of His son. (Moroni 7:48)
We also Have the advice of the very Son of God
Pray for them which despitefully use you. (Luke 6:28)
So there you have it. If we want to have more charity, all we need to do is pray. Pray for ourselves, pray for those around you, pray extra hard for those that you don't like, and you will be blessed with charity.
I know that as we strive to find love for everyone around us, we will be able to create a society like existed in the days of the nephites after Christ appeared unto them,
And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
and there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredomes, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; (4 Nephi 1:15-16,18)
My brothers and sisters, I promise that there is nothing happier than loving people. That as we strive to find more love for everyone around us, we will find new meaning, and a new spirit in our life. We will have strength to do all that we need to, and we will be blessed. I love you all, and have a wonderful week!