Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Two Great Commandments

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a great love for the scriptures because they truly are the words of God and of His Son, Jesus Christ. We try to read our scriptures daily and then apply the scriptures in our lives, or as the prophet Nephi said, to “liken the scriptures” unto us.  (1 Nephi 19:23)  As we do this, we know that we can gain more peace, increase in patience, and grow in faith in God and love for our fellow man.
I was reading in Matthew the other day and reread a well-known scripture that reads as follows:
 34 ¶But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
 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.
 38 This is the first and great commandment.
 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

As I pondered this scripture and felt the Spirit of the Lord teach the truth of it in my heart (John 14:26), I wondered what the world might be like if every single person believed this scripture and lived its teachings.
First, what would happen if everyone on earth loved the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind? What do we do when we love someone? We want them to be happy. We serve them. We want to be near them. So if we truly love the Lord we would want Him to be happy by keeping His commandments (John 14:15). If we truly love Him, we would serve Him by helping teach His gospel and by helping His children, our brothers and sisters on this earth. If we truly love Him, we would want to be near Him by living a life that would allow His spirit to be with us always. Imagine if everyone on earth lived this way? What an amazing world to live in!

Second, what would happen if everyone on the Earth loved their neighbor? We would no longer be so quick to judge. Not everyone is on the same path or in the same place as we are in life, but everyone is a child of God, deserving of respect, understanding and love. We would not fear one another, but see one another through God’s eyes – as precious sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. Think of the explosion of kindness, respect, love and service all over the world!
Tweets, vines and Instagram posts that people love to read about are stories of people helping one another. It’s at the core of our basic humanity. Why? Because we all come from the same place! We are all brothers and sisters, children of a Heavenly Father who loves us.

I can’t decide for others how to think or to act and even if I had the power to make people feel a certain way, I would not do it. The Lord has given us the power to choose. But I can decide for myself. And as for myself, I will do my best to love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my neighbor as myself. And I will share my experiences with others so that perhaps they can feel the love of the Lord in their lives because He truly loves each and every one of us.
I hope that every soul on Earth can feel that divine love and the liberating power it has as we then act upon it by living those two great commandments – Love God and Love thy Neighbor!

Watch an inspirational video about opening our eyes to see those that are right in front of us who we can help:
Love Thy Neighbor Video

Posted by Alissa Hartley- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Gentle and Loving

We honor Jesus Christ when we love Him.
And we cannot love Him without trying to be like Him.

 I have felt the invitation to learn of Him and come unto Him. It has come many times throughout my life, but I had to learn to recognize it and act on what I felt. I haven't always succeeded at this, but the invitation still comes. And when I do act on it with a sincere heart, I am always met with more love in my own life.
I am more apt to repent and more willing to accept His grace.
I am happier, and my hope in eternal promises starts to grow.

I am able to see myself and others as God would have me see them.
I start to let go of the world and turn to a filling light.

"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and 
deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all
your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient
for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by 
the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise
deny the power of God."
                                   -Book of Mormon, Chapter ten of Moroni

I too can "in nowise deny the power of God."
It has healed me, changed me, kept me, strengthened me, taught me, lifted me,
and enfolded me.
And all of these things are literal.

I have never been perfect at anything that I might deserve such
blessings. Christ only asks that I try. He makes the miracle from
my meager efforts. I know He is the Christ.

I have seen this video a few times now, but as I listened to it again, the phrase,
"gentle and loving" pulled at my heart in a new way. I felt that invitation again.
It was knocking on my heart and conscience telling me that I might try again to
include these attributes more heavily in my actions. He has been so eternally gentle
with me, and yet I find myself being impatient with others.

I want to try again.

This is a song often sung by the primary children in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It is simple and beautiful.
It is the prayer of my heart today.

Posted by Brooke Kamalu- Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Profoundly Simple Love

The Savior, Jesus Christ, is the definition of love. He is the source of love, and the ultimate and finishing example of love. 

Trying to exemplify Christ's love in my complete mortal imperfection, in a fallen world, is at best, entirely daunting at times. 
And that is a generous statement. 

It seems that thoughts of where I lack or why I'm just not good enough come freely. These thoughts are cheap, and wherever they are spent, they bring very little return on such a heavy investment of my time and energy. 

Yet, I do love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I do want to be like Him a little more each day. I have learned for myself that thoughts of discouragement are simply not from God, nor Jesus Christ.

As these thoughts rolled through my mind, I came upon this quote from Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He teaches, "We don't have to be perfect yet. In this life, the Lord only expects us to become holy men and women through Christ. The Lord has given us the opportunity to overcome mistakes because this is how we become like Him." 

This is what Jesus Christ invites us to do. He loves us with the greatest of all love. This love is Charity. It is defined in the Bible Dictionary as, "The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ. It is never used to denote alms or deeds of benevolence, although it may be a prompting motive."

In a world where the definition of love is at the miserable mercy of every man's desire, Christ shows each of us true love in action
I am surprised at how different I feel when I apply Christ's love in small ways. 
I found the following challenge on the church's website and thought it would be good to see where it takes me. 

One act a day leading up to Valentine's Day. I dare you.  

Posted by Brooke Kamalu member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A God of Miracles

What miracles have happened in your life today?  God is aware of us. He loves us. One of the greatest miracles made possible thr...