Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Chapter From My Book in Progress. . .

Love Will Pretty Much Overcome All

I have pretty much come to believe that love is what makes all things bearable. The love of our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, is essentially why we are here. They love us and want us to have all that they have. There is a plan in place that gives us every opportunity to make it back to be with them and all our loved ones for eternity.
I have had a lot of little experiences in my life that has embedded this thought into my life--that love can overcome pretty much anything. Whenever we find ourselves not liking the situation that we’re in, we should stop focusing on the bad for a minute and think about how much we love our family, our friends, the Savior, etc. It will help to get the right perspective on the situation and then allow us to move forward with a renewed strength. 
I remember once while on my mission in Japan, my companion and I were riding the bus back home after a long, unsuccessful day of knocking on doors. I looked around at all these Japanese people living in their own little world not caring about what I could share with them. Not wanting to listen and learn of the one thing that would bring them eternal joy; and I felt a little bit angry about it. Then a Children’s hymn came to my mind. As I sang it in my mind, my heart softened. "I am a child of God, and He has sent me here." Then I changed the words a little bit. "She is a child of God, and He has sent her here. . ." The anger left, my heart was suddenly filled with an overwhelming love for these beautiful people and I knew that God loved them. That He would take care of their needs. The spirit bore witness to my heart that not only does He love them but that He loves me, too. And that He will also take care of my needs. My desire to share the Gospel was renewed and I felt energized to do the Savior’s work.
Many years later I had another lesson in how love will help us overcome. I had a daughter going through her teenage years. Need I really say more?! She was in High School and struggling trying to figure out who she wanted to be. My husband and I were struggling trying to figure out how to make her be who we wanted her to be! One day she called me in the middle of the day--when she should've been in school. She had walked out of class angry and wasn't going back. Could I come get her. I dropped everything and went to get her. It was close to lunchtime so I asked her if she wanted to go to lunch. I had said a prayer on the way to get her. I asked for help because I didn't know what to say or do. The Spirit whispered to me, as it had done countless times before regarding how to deal with my children, "Just love her." We went to lunch and visited. We talked about what had happened at school. I just listened. After a bit she commented how grateful she was that I didn't get mad at her and didn't try to deliver a discourse on obedience. I leaned over the table, touched her hand and said to her that I knew she knew right from wrong. Her dad and I had taught her about choice and accountability. I knew that my time to teach her right from wrong was over. I told her the only thing I needed her to know right now is that I love her and that there is nothing she can ever do to change that. She can break my heart with the choices she makes but I will always love her. It is my belief that right then and there our relationship was forever changed. She could trust me to always love her and she knew it. 
President Hinckley once said that the only time that there is no hope for our wayward children is when the parents lose hope. I would never lose hope. I knew that she had been taught and that sooner or later she would be just fine.
My Heavenly Father's unconditional love for me was what helped me to know that I could love her unconditionally also. I didn't have to tolerate her rebelliousness but I could continue to love her. There is a distinct difference. He does not tolerate my rebelliousness, for no unclean thing can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. But I know that He loves me and is always ready to help me, strengthen me, guide me and insure that I succeed.
            It is never easy to show forth an increase of love when what we really think needs to be given is a swift round of discipline. But we also must remember that the root word of discipline means to teach. And when we can teach with love, the message can be carried straight to the heart of the receiver. And resting there it can sink in deep and do its work. When we teach with the Spirit, the result is "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” (See Galatians 5:22).
            The basis of the whole Plan of Salvation is love. Because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, they provided a plan to help us do something we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus Christ made a great sacrifice for us. He paid for our sins. He overcame death. He gave this great gift with love. He set the perfect example of how to love everyone. He also commanded that we love one another (see John 15:17). He continually demonstrated His love by giving His sinless life as “a ransom for all,” making it possible for us to overcome our sins and return to Heaven. It is impossible to learn of Him, to study His parables, to be His disciple, without also knowing love.
            Love came to earth and overcame death and sin. Love can emanate from us and overcome any other obstacle that may be placed before us!


  1. I like your new picture, and I love what you write! =0) thanks for sharing it! I like your music too =0)

  2. Patti, I always know I will come away uplifted when I read your blog. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for those wonderful thoughts. What a great reminder! Love you!