Thursday, May 17, 2012

He Truly Loves Us

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

He Truly Loves Us, by Paul E. Koelliker
Of the Seventy

29 times! This talk was like a gold mine!

When we watch general conference, we encourage our children to participate by listening to a word they collectively choose for each session. Each time they hear the word, they get a piece of candy (like an M&M). They chose "love" for this session, and Elder Koelliker did not disappoint.

Can you find all four children in this general conference scene?

In the short time that he spoke, he said "love" 29 times! My children loved it! (See what I did there?)

Can you guess what his talk was about?


No, wait. Love!

(But he did start out talking about missionaries.)

My wife lived in Japan for three years while her father was the mission president of the Japan Tokyo South Mission. In talking to her sister about her experiences there, my wife related to me that her sister thought she (my wife) "totally" wanted to serve a mission. (NOTE: we met, fell in love, and were married before she could serve a full-time mission.) My wife's reply: "I still want to serve a mission!"

Elder Koelliker said

Missionary experience is like a mini-life packaged in 18 to 24 months. They arrive as spiritual infants with a serious appetite to learn, and they leave as mature adults, seemingly ready to conquer any and all challenges placed before them.

While my wife was robbed of her chance at a mini-life (so far) by choosing to marry me, she might agree with me that with welcoming each of our children into our family--and striving to raise them in love and righteousness--is like an additional mini-life.

One mini-life for each child.

No wonder we're so tired!

Despite our fatigue and early bedtime, we are filled with love. (with amazing children like we have, how couldn't we be?!)

The Father’s plan designated the pattern of the family to help us learn, apply, and understand the power of love.

Now that we're filled with so much love, we more fully appreciate what Elder Koelliker taught about the Holy Ghost:

What is the ultimate means by which we can enjoy the gift and power of the Holy Ghost? It is the power that comes by being faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. It is our love for Him and our fellowman.

Just like "the feeling of love from our Heavenly Father is like a gravitational pull from heaven," the love in family can have a cohesive effect where each family member loves being together, wrapped in love. As the force of family love is seen by others looking in, they may want to know more about the Father's plan (the gospel) that helps such love flourish. When this happens, families may have opportunities to share the gospel in a mini-mission environment.

And if a mission is like a mini-life, a family's mini-mission might be like a mini-mini-life.

All because of love.

Which reminds me of M&M's.

29 of them.

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