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 


  1. It seems that every day I hear or read about tragic events taking place in the world. Pondering on how love's power dominates hate and evil every time really makes these two great commandments come alive for me. I know that when I come closer to God, the immediate consequence and blessing is feeling a greater measure of his love. This was such a welcome reminder today.

  2. Love and kindness is the only tool we have to combat hate in the world. I think people often fall into the trap of thinking that kindness has to be grand acts. But it's not. It can be in hundreds of things a day. A smile, a kind word, a simple gesture. We are all children of God and can change the world we live in through love.

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    1. "We can not truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey." President Thomas S. Monson. (I had to re-post this because I had a typo and it was bugging me. :-)) I'm a nerd.


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