We hear a lot about falling in love.’ I’m not of the opinion it’s something we fall’ into. When we’re building an eternal relationship, it seems as though we begin stepping up into love, and keep growing upward together. “Lovey dovey” is good. Romance is a wonderful part of marriage. If we keep on romancing each other, we will, as husbands and wives, grow more love.
There are so many kinds of love, though. President Gordon B. Hinckley once spoke about love, and said we can love anything. For instance, I love brownies. I love flowers. I love Christmas. I love my family. Each of those feelings is a different kind of love.
It can all get confusing, when we really start to think about it.
Love – What’s It All About?
Here’s the crux of the matter: “As I have loved you, love one another.”
This is the edict Christ gave us [a number of times] shortly before He offered up the ultimate gift of His divine love. He loves us. We keep trying to love Him better, more fully, with more conviction and obedience.
Do you know what love is? I’ve thought, studied, prayed, and pondered a great deal over it. I’ve gained some insights, learned through experience, and come to see false emotion that parades as love. There has been definition of loving traits, even Christ-like ones.
It is certain I don’t know what charity is. Yes, I know that in Moroni 7:47, it is defined as the pure love of Christ. But, none of us is qualified to understand how deeply, fully, and completely Jesus Christ loves us. We are not yet at a state of such purity.
We do, however, receive wonderful counsel from inspired and loving leaders. Words from prophets in the scriptures, the words of the Savior Himself, and beautiful thoughts from our current General Authorities – all are sources whereby we may become better acquainted with qualities of love, between a man and a woman, with friends and family members, and as an important member of the human family.
A Few Beautiful Examples
Here are a few examples of beautiful words of instruction from our Priesthood leaders – they are full (!) of wisdom and help:
1. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, in April 2010 General Conference:
“Love is what inspired our Heavenly Father to create our spirits; it is what led our Savior to the Garden of Gethsemane to make Himself a ransom for our sins. Love is the grand motive of the plan of salvation; it is the source of happiness, the ever-renewing spring of healing, the precious fountain of hope.”
2. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment,” Liahona, Nov. 2007, 28
“Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through valleys of darkness and through the veil of death. In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life.”
3. President Ezra Taft Benson, “Salvation-A Family Affair,” Ensign, July 1992, 2
“Marriage itself must be regarded as a sacred covenant before God. A married couple have an obligation not only to each other, but to God. He has promised blessings to those who honor that covenant. . . .Restraint and self-control must be ruling principles in the marriage relationship.”
4. President Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,” Ensign, May 2009, 124
“The Savior said: ‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. . . .
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’ (John 13:34-35).
“Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this truth: ‘If you judge people, you have no time to love them.’ “
“The relationship between love and appropriate action is demonstrated repeatedly in the scriptures and is highlighted by the Savior’s instruction to His Apostles: If ye love me, keep my commandments’ (John 14:15). Just as our love of and for the Lord is evidenced by walking ever in His ways (see Deuteronomy 19:9), so our love for spouse, parents, and children is reflected most powerfully in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds (see Mosiah 4:30).”
6. President Henry B. Eyring, “Our Perfect Example,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 73
“I hope you will go out today looking for opportunities to do as He did and to love as He loves. I can promise you the peace that you felt as a child will come to you often and it will linger with you. The promise is true that He made to His disciples: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.’ “None of us is perfect yet. But we can have frequent assurance that we are following along the way. He leads us, and He beckons for us to follow Him.”
Coming To a Better Understanding
I could list hundreds of quotes from these well-loved and well-loving men. But this is a smattering of the thoughts we can ponder over, and pray about. For me, they- and quotes like them- give me strength and offer me pause to think of specific words, and dig deep into what gems there are for me to better comprehend about the principle of love.
One thing is for sure: We are loved! We have a Savior who loves us. His love is perfect, merciful, compassionate and unending. We have a Father in Heaven who loves us with a supreme love. President Uchtdorf put it this way:
“Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount-that is the measure of God’s love for you.
With this infinite love, we can slowly progress in our own perception of it. With practice, patience, prayer, and purifying experiences, we may, one fine day, humbly be able to say,
“I think I’ve got a pretty good understanding of love.”
Then, on the sacred occasion when we kneel before our Savior, we will know we are loved. And we will rejoice in this blessed principle.