Love One Another
I think I have mentioned the assignment the Lord has given me to share with everyone I meet. Just to recap He asked me to tell them “The Lord Loves You, He Wants You to Turn toward Him, and He wants Us to Love One Another”.
The Lord has asked us repeatedly to love one another but we are not doing a very good job. We have people in our community who are injuring each other. We are a people who are all hurt, wounded and broken. Yet, we find the time and the energy to continue to wound each other by our backbiting, criticism, gossip, accusations, injustice and unfairness one toward another. In addition there are those among us who spend their time rehashing old wounds and slights, like the Guide and Standard. As Denver has reminded us we have a lot of work to do and the more time we spend on things that are done, even if not to some people’s satisfaction, the less time we have to focus on the next assignment from the Lord.
In Denver’s recent post he says “A firm mind in every form of godliness is hard to find. But vanity and foolishness advertises itself openly, urging you to notice, clamoring for your attention.” (9/18/22 “September 23-25 Conference) The first sentence is from Moroni 7:6 in the RE addition of the scriptures where Moroni is reminding us angels will only minister to those “of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance…” Shouldn’t we be working toward being able to entertain Angels? I guess some of our antics could be considered entertaining but I don’t think that kind of entertainment is what we are striving for.
I guess I need to apologize, we have so much work to do on ourselves to prepare for the next assignment, to warrant the ministering of angels as mentioned above that we should not have time to talk about and concern ourselves with what other people are doing and making uninformed judgments. (I’m feeling a little snarky about it.) We have much to do in order for us to become the people the Lord needs. We need to become His begotten sons and daughters. “And now, because of the covenant which ye have made, ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you. For ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name, therefore ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters...Therefore I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient…for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.” (Mosiah 3:2 RE; Mosiah 5”7-9 LE) We have also received a covenant from God but to complete the process of becoming begotten sons and daughters we have to be born of Him, our hearts have to be changed. I think when that happens we will no longer care about our petty differences or if an assignment from the Lord was completed to our standards. None of that will matter if we will choose only to follow His commandments.
Speaking of commandments; “And this is his commandment: that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in them. And hereby we know that he abides in us: by the spirit which he has given us.” (1 John1:17 RE; 1 John 3:23-24 LE) The Lord said “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 10:23 RE; Matt 22:36-40 LE) Stephanie Snuffer’s message from the last conference (Stand Independent March 2022) was all about this second commandment. In order for us to love others we must first love ourselves. That is part of becoming self-aware, asking the hard questions about ourselves. We may want to consider as part of that process to ask the Lord for the gift of charity, with an eye specifically toward ourselves. Look at ourselves through His eyes. The Lord Loves us without condemnation, we do all the judging and condemning to ourselves.
John expounds on the other part of the second great commandment to love our neighbor; “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God. He that loves not knows not God, for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us: because God sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another… If we love one another, God dwells in us and his love is perfected in us…” (1 John 1:19 RE; 1 John 4:7-12 LE) John’s direction to the members of the church in his time is spot-on for us. Isn’t it our desire to know God and have Him take up His abode with us? John’s solution is simple “love one another”.
I had not seen the word “propitiation” before and so I looked it up in the Webster 1828 dictionary, which defines it as “the act of appeasing wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person…the atonement or atoning sacrifice offered to God to assuage his wrath…” God is not (in my opinion) wrathful as much as we are accountable to the laws of justice. He suffers us to be accountable because He loves us. Just as parents should hold their children accountable so that they learn, we are held accountable so that we can grow. However, because He knows that we cannot be perfect in obedience He offers His Son as atonement to propitiate the laws of justice and introduce us to mercy.
There was another sentence in John’s sermon that really caught my attention. “Whoever is born of God does not continue in sin, for the spirit of God remains in him, and he cannot continue in sin because he is born of God, having received that Holy Spirit of Promise.” (1 John 1:14 RE; 1 John 3:4-12 LE) Is this not also where we need to get to, to receive a promise from the Lord that we are redeemed from the fall? In the above mentioned chapter of 1 John he talks about going from death to life, death meaning separation from the presence of the Lord to life which is being restored to His presence, in other words, redeemed, Him making His abode with you.
The Lord wants a “Godly People” to prepare to welcome Him when He returns and the Apostle Paul instructs us how to become godly: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like — of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Brethren, if a man should be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness — considering yourself, lest you also should be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself; but let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another, for every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word share with him that teaches in all good things.” (Galatians 1:21-23 RE; Galatians 5:19-Galatians 6:6 LE) I know we are all, by reason of our mortality, list makers, so here Paul provides for us a list. Let us love, have joy, be at peace and be peacemakers, be long-suffering, be gentle and good, have faith, be meek and temperate. Then I think it might be easier for us to, believe on the name of Jesus Christ, obey His commandments, learn to love ourselves, love one another, have a strong faith and a firm mind, and become His begotten sons and daughters. If we do this we may have a good chance to accomplish that which is before us. No worries!