Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Love of God

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Love of God, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

How are we known? In a post of long ago (link), I wrote: "I don't want to be defined by what I don't do or don't believe, but rather by what I do, who I am, and what I believe."

President Uchtdorf mentions some things by which we as a people are known. His list includes the usual (missionaries, hard workers, etc.) and the more unusual:

We might also be known as a people who attend church every Sunday for three hours, in a place where everyone is a brother or a sister, where the children sing songs about streams that talk, trees that produce popcorn, and children who want to become sunbeams.

In my notes, I recorded that at this point, my three-year-old girl raised her hand and said, "I want to be a sunbeam!"

In this, the season of love, it is appropriate to remember that "love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ."

I want to be known by love.

My amazing wife is already known by love. I can see her and her love in the following paragraph:

Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.

I can imagine her trying [unsuccessfully] to counter that she doesn't embody love as readily as I claim she does. She might even provide specific examples. Nevertheless, I know that the reason she could cite specific examples is because when she has hard times showing love, it goes so much against who she is, that she distinctly remembers it and wants to improve.

She's that full of love. (Is it any wonder I love her so!?)

President Uchtdorf had a great causal connection chain after asking if God needs us to love him:

No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!

For what we love determines what we seek.

What we seek determines what we think and do.

What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.

If we think of a disciple as a follower, then what is an expanded definition of a disciple of Christ?

I really like a definition I found when teaching young men: "a disciple of Christ is one who not only believes or follows but also acts and lives his life in harmony with the Savior’s example" (link).

This is applicable in love, too. Christ set the perfect example in love (and everything else, too!); it naturally follows, then, that "love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ."

I want to do better in my pursuits of being a disciple of Christ. I want to have more love, and show more love.

And like my little girl, I, too, want to be a sunbeam.


Keeping with the music-theme, here is a recent video the church posted on love:

Love One Another

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