"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
August 27, 2006

Love your enemies…

I love [these persecutors] so much that if I had it in my power to annihilate them from the earth I would not harm a hair of their heads…I love them so well that if I could possibly make them better men, convert them from the error of their ways I would do it, God being my helper. I love them so much that I would not throw straw in their way to prosperity and happiness. but so far as possible I would hedge up their headlong and downward course to destruction…That is how I feel towards them, and that is how much I love them, and if this is not the love that Jesus desired us to have for our enemies, tell me what kind of love we should have for them? I do not love them so much that I would take them into my bosom, or invite them to associate with my family, or that I would give my daughters to their embraces, nor my sons to their counsels. I do not love them so well that I would invite them to the councils of the Priesthood, and the ordinances of the House of God. to scoff and jeer at sacred things which they do not understand…I do not love them with that affection with which I love my wife, my brother, my sister or my friend. There is a difference between the love we should bear towards our enemies and that we should bear towards our friends.” — Elder Joseph F. Smith. son of the martyred Hyrum Smith and nephew of the martyred Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. — 1882 October General Conference

March 23, 2006

Our Love Needs to Be Developed

“God loves us all — saint and sinner alike — with a perfect and everlasting love. We have His love, if not His approval. It is our love for Him that remains to be developed. When we come to be genuinely concerned with pleasing God — more than with pleasing any in the world, even ourselves — then our behavior improves and His blessings can engulf us. This sublime feeling can be experienced only if we come to know enough about Him so that our awe melts into adoration, and our respect into utter reverence.” — Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, p. 3 (italics added)