Tuesday, July 26, 2011

To increase my love of the Lord

I had to teach a lesson in Relief Society a few weeks ago about obedience, and it caused me to reflect on the nature of my obedience to the Lord. I realized that many times I obey because I am in the habit of obeying. This is good to a certain extent because cultivating good habits makes those actions less of a struggle and more natural for me. However, when they are done habitually, it is also easy for those actions to become thoughtless and robotic.

When I read the lesson, I found the point well made that we should obey because we love the Lord. I could see that if I obeyed out of love for the Lord, obedience would become sweeter to me. So I pondered how I might increase my love for the Lord. I found I had no idea how that could be done. I knew that love would lead to obedience and service, but what would bring more love?

Interestingly enough, I found the answer in the temple while reading the scriptures as we waited for our session to start. (It’s wonderful how it seems those well-thumbed pages turn so quickly and easily to exactly what I need.) I ran across these verses:
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. (Mosiah 4:11-12)
To increase my love for the Lord, I needed to remember His greatness, His goodness, His long-suffering toward me. So I thought about all the things the Lord had done for me, and in only a few seconds I was overwhelmed with awe and love for the Lord. How I wanted to obey then!

And I also realized this was why the sacrament prayer includes the covenant that we will always remember Him. It’s not only so that we can have the Spirit to be with us, but also so that we will increase our love of the Lord, which will lead us to willingly, happily obey Him.


Anonymous said...

As I read this, I also thought of how, as we obtain the Love of God - and experience His Pure Love, then we are able to also have it for others.

Moroni prayed that the Gentiles would be given grace, so they could have charity.

So...When we obey the Lord because we Love Him, we experience more of His love, which in turn fills us with His love, so we can then love Him more purely...(Maybe I'm sounding crazy here...not sure).

And yes, it is awesome how the covenants we make with the Lord and renew at the sacrament fit in here.

I like this post. Thanks

Ramona Gordy said...

I feel that in my own life, I may take for granted that I "LOVE" the Savior and our Heavenly Father. It is seemingly a lofty love and as for me,such a lowly person. So I asked the question, how can I love God as they want to be loved. By obeying the commandments.Obedience is the sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor. To obey means to "live like we mean it", and do the best we can in situations in our life. I have learned in Primary that commandments are "road signs" and they give us directions, and we should follow the map if we want success.
I love this quote by Sister Julie Beck, and for me it sums up what it means to love the Savior, to love Heavenly Father.

"Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly"“And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit”Julie B. Beck :Relief Society General President

Michaela Stephens said...

Thanks for sharing, ladies!