Missionary Letter 4-29-2013
Divine Nature of Love and Service
Once we understand who we are and most importantly whose we are, we are then in a position to fully understand that love and service are essential to understanding God’s purpose and therefore our purpose.
Service requires sacrifice; loving service on the other hand is a joy and a privilege for us as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. When we lovingly serve others, the drudgery and the temporal nature of service disappears and is then replaced by acts of true discipleship or in other words, we develop charity – the pure love of Christ. If we go through the motions of serving others, and not see the divinity of it, we are truly missing a spiritual and enduring experience.
Consider the following:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
The reason why God does what he does is purely out of love – even to giving his only begotten Son to suffer for all – even for those who would not accept Him. Our devotion to service should be in the same attitude of love. When we love those whom we serve, we don’t mind doing anything that is required to help them be happy. There is no sacrifice too large that we would not want to do for their welfare. The opposite is also true – if don’t love someone, we don’t want to serve them and when we do, it’s not a joyous or happy experience because we truly don’t want to be there.
Elder Ballard shared the following:
“It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbors through acts of kindness and service—the way that the Savior would love and serve all of us if He were among us today.
“When this pure love of Christ—or charity—envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel, and act. Our motivation and heartfelt desire are like unto that of the Savior. He shared this desire with His Apostles on the eve of His Crucifixion. He said:
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34
Loving others is not just a nice suggestion but the Lord Himself speaks of this as a new commandment. If we don’t love others, then we are not keeping the commandments of God – simple as that.
Later, the Lord stated something very deep about love: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:13
We are not expected to lay down our lives but if called upon, we should all be willing to do it – we have already covenanted to do so in the Holy Temple. The Lord also calls us His friends and then qualifies it by stating that we are His friends if we do whatsoever He commands us. Are we desirous to be His friends? If so, what are we willing to do for Him and at what price?
Moroni teaches us that when we have charity, we are possessors of everlasting love (Moroni 8:17) – what does that mean exactly? God is everlasting and His love for us is therefore everlasting so as we develop charity like He does, our love for others becomes His love through us. We are then conduits of His love for His children as we love and serve others. That is how God demonstrates His love for us – through us, His Servants.
So it is that we must offer our love and serve in the Kingdom of God so that we can qualify for the greatest blessings in Heaven. I often wonder how my sacrifice can compare to the many Saints who gave their very lives for the cause of Zion! How can my small sacrifice compare to the great sacrifices offered by true sons and daughters of God?
I have come to realize that I cannot compare what I give to those who also gave so much until I have given all that I can. ALL is a huge requirement! So far from what I’m at times willing to do, not that I’m not capable to do it, it’s just that I’m not quite willing to do it? Why? Maybe my love for the Savior does not run as deep as I thought it did! Maybe my love for worldly things is much greater than my love for God! Maybe in my selfish and prideful way I think that I’m already doing enough? Maybe. … maybe. No! There cannot be any more maybes, but we should act in all faith and love and serve God’s children because we love Him.
I leave with you the Lord’s thoughtful question to Peter: “. …lovest thou me more then these?”
I testify to you that as we lose ourselves in serving and loving God’s children we will in the end find ourselves and the greatest of all communions will be ours – the communion or intimate fellowship and association with the Gods!
Let me therefore serve you so that I can show you the love that I have for the Savior and for each of you.
My loyalty and love,