Religion Magazine

Love Is All You Need

By Ldsapologetics
According to President Monson love is the essence of the Gospel. 

"My beloved brothers and sisters, when our Savior ministered among men, He was asked by the inquiring lawyer, “Master, which is thegreat commandmentin the law?”

Matthew records that Jesus responded:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”1

Mark concludes the account with the Savior’s statement: “There is none other commandment greater than these.”2

We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellowmen if we do not love God, the Father of us all. The Apostle John tells us, “This commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”3 We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and, as such, are brothers and sisters. As we keep this truth in mind, loving all of God’s children will become easier.

Actually, love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar. His life was a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved. At the end the angry mob took His life. And yet there rings from Golgotha’s hill the words: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”4—a crowning expression in mortality of compassion and love.

There are many attributes which are manifestations of love, such as kindness, patience, selflessness, understanding, andforgiveness. In all our associations, these and other such attributes will help make evident the love in our hearts."

Understanding, selflessness, and forgiveness make evident the love in our hearts and yet many say Jesus condemned sin and that love is a get out of jail free card which was something Jesus never meant.

But the actions and words of Christ tell a different story. Jesus spoke about forgiveness:

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22

Seventy times seven was representative of infinity in Jewish thought. So we as disciples are taught to be infinitely forgiving. And as President Moson said forgiveness makes evident the love in our hearts and demonstrates how closely our hearts align with Christ's.

Lamech was a descendant of Cain who said he would be avenged seventy times seven against those who wronged him. So I think Jesus is saying rather than being as evil and unforgiving as Lamech we should be infinitely forgiving and be the most righteous of Gods children rather than the most vindictive.

Many also feel that Christ was all about righteously judging and condemning those who sin. So let's look at a fine example of His style of condemnation:

They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. John 8:4-11

Jesus was the only one without sin yet He did not cast a stone, He saved this sinners life who according to Mosaic law should be punished by death and when given the chance to condemn He did not, instead He simply said go and sin no more.

That's not condemnation. What it is is a loving way to tell the woman to stop sinning.

Condemnation more often than not seems to be a way for some to lift themselves up by putting others down.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

"Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:10

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:36-40

How closely your love aligns with Christ's demonstrates whether or not you are aligned with His Gospel.

Christ gave us only one commandment and that was to love each other as He loved us. It is not merely the lists of commandments we have kept that determine our trajectory in the next life but the content of our hearts and our characters.

Love Is All You Need

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