Since my sister Sara visited my family this week, we decided to meet my other sister for a girls’ movie date. We went to see Cinderella– which I loved! We asked a couple sitting near us to take our picture and chatted with them for a bit as we all exited and parted ways.
(I love my sisters!)
We were just behind the couple as Sara said, “I wish I was Cinderella! I wish I had glass slippers and a prince!”
About 10 minutes later as we finally were leaving the building, the girl who had taken our picture earlier came back inside. Through tears, she told Sara how special she is and that she is more special than Cinderella could ever be. It was so sweet!
Then she took off her own beautiful, glass beaded necklace and put it on Sara. We were all in tears now. She gave Sara another hug, my sister snapped a picture and she was gone.
In the car ride home, Sara was going through what had just happened over and over. She was trying to find the words to explain the tears, the necklace and the feelings. She said something like, “I felt like the girl wanted to be my friend.” We talked about love and how it binds us together. This special person had gone out on a limb to share love. As Sara put it as we pulled up to the house, “I just feel so much love from her!”
This scripture came to mind:
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?…And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Our dear friend, who had been a stranger when she took a picture for us, became someone I will remember the rest of my life because of the love she shared. When we take the love we feel from God and then share it with another person, we will feel God’s stamp of approval. He gives us these words to help us see what He cares about the most:
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
His work and glory starts and ends with His perfect love. Any choice we make to share that love will sparkle with His gratitude and His approval. Do all things with Love!
Thanks for studying with me today!
S: (Prayer/Ask) Why does love feel so powerful to us? What role does love have in the Plan of Happiness?
In the concluding days of His mortal ministry, Jesus gave His disciples what He called “a new commandment” (John 13:34). Repeated three times, that commandment was simple but difficult: “Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12; see also verse 17). The teaching to love one another had been a central teaching of the Savior’s ministry. The second great commandment was “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39). Jesus even taught, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). But the commandment to love others as He had loved His flock was to His disciples—and is to us—a challenge that was unique.
Charity is a gift from God. The prophet Mormon said that we should “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7:48). As you follow this counsel and strive to do righteous works, your love for all people will increase, especially those among whom you labor. You will come to feel a sincere concern for the eternal welfare and happiness of other people. You will see them as children of God with the potential of becoming like our Heavenly Father, and you will labor in their behalf. You will avoid negative feelings such as anger, envy, lust, or covetousness. You will avoid judging others, criticizing them, or saying negative things about them. You will try to understand them and their points of view. You will be patient with them and try to help them when they are struggling or discouraged. Charity, like faith, leads to action. You will develop charity as you look for opportunities to serve others and give of yourself.
- I love these quotes from President Eyring on unity. How does unity tie into Christ-like love?
You have seen evidence, as I have, that we are moving toward becoming one. The miracle of unity is being granted to us as we pray and work for it in the Lord’s way. Our hearts will be knit together in unity. God has promised that blessing to His faithful Saints whatever their differences in background and whatever conflict rages around them. He was praying for us as well as His disciples when He asked His Father that we might be one. 1
The reason that we pray and ask for that blessing is the same reason the Father is granting it. We know from experience that joy comes when we are blessed with unity. We yearn, as spirit children of our Heavenly Father, for that joy which we once had with Him in the life before this one. His desire is to grant us that sacred wish for unity out of His love for us.
He cannot grant it to us as individuals. The joy of unity He wants so much to give us is not solitary. We must seek it and qualify for it with others. It is not surprising then that God urges us to gather so that He can bless us. He wants us to gather into families. He has established classes, wards, and branches and commanded us to meet together often. In those gatherings, which God has designed for us, lies our great opportunity. We can pray and work for the unity that will bring us joy and multiply our power to serve. (Our Hearts Knit As One)
- I love this description of Jesus’s love:
And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men. (1 Nephi 19:9)
- Look back to Elder Oak’s words. What unique challenge does he tell us the Lord has given us? Why is this different from the well-quoted injunction to “Love thy neighbor as thyself?”
- What challenges do we face to truly love someone as Jesus loved His flock?
- What makes Jesus so able to love? In addition to answering ‘because He is perfect,’ think about what He knows that we don’t, etc.
R: (Write) your thoughts, what you learned, impressions you received, and anything else in your scripture journal (include your thoughts on the study session question: Why does love feel so powerful to us? What role does love have in the Plan of Happiness?)
- Write down an explanation of how loving one another as Jesus loved His flock is different from loving our neighbor as ourselves.
- Copy down the words of Moroni 7:44-45
If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable ] before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and enviethnot, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easilyprovoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
E: (Prayer/Thank)- thank God for what you’ve learned and ask if there is anymore.
The Challenge: Think of a person in your close circle of family or friends who you have a harder time loving. Think about Jesus’s command to love this person as He loved His flock. A thought will come into your mind as to how you can follow this command. Follow through on the spiritual prompting.
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