Serving Others, Loving Jesus

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A very popular scripture in the Church (and perhaps even general Christianity) is John 14:15.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Perhaps one reason it is so popular is because it is so easy to understand. Of course, the way it is written it is an easy target for guilt-inducing leadership. I digress though.

The other day I was sharing this passage with our children at one of our supper scripture sessions, and noticed a footnote I had written in at some earlier time. It pointed to D&C 42:29:

If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments.

I found the extra expounding interesting: firstly, because serving and commandment keeping were made distinct, and secondly, because there’s more to loving Jesus than keeping the commandments. Or rather that showing our love for him is more than just keeping the commandments.

Almost immediately after sharing this scripture with the children, Mosiah 2:17 came to mind:

[When] ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

So not only is serving God a sign of our love for Him, but more importantly so is our serving others.

8 thoughts on “Serving Others, Loving Jesus

  1. When ever I try to quote John 14:15 to my wife, I never get very far. But hey, one of these times it might just work!

    Although I understand the doctrine, sometimes I feel like I need a ‘sabath’ from serving others. Not that I don’t love the Lord, not that I don’t want to serve him. I just feel I’m in need of a break. Specifically from Home Teaching and my calling as EQ Instructor.

    I look back and think of all the crap I have put up with from stake presidents, bishops, counselors, lazy ht companions, priesthood leaders in general, and I need a break.

    I understand that putting up with the crap is a somewhat required part of the gospel. But it grinds on me after a while and if they expect me to continue to put up with it, I think I need a year off.

  2. We are commanded to love God, we are commanded to love our neighbors and ourselves, and how do we do that? How do we foster love?

    The Gospel is simply amazing. We are taught that if we love God we will keep the commandments and serve Him, but what really touches me is the realization that it is through service that the love of God is manifested in our lives — those we serve have opportunity to feel of God’s love, and when we serve we also have that opportunity feel God’s love, and that love grows as we continue to serve.

    We were discussing this in a Sunday school class some months back, and the question was asked how we feel toward those who serve us. How do we feel toward the Savior when we consider what He has done for us and what He continues to do for us? What a wonderful life it is that we have such opportunities to serve one another and build fulfilling and satisfying relationships of love. If you think about it, one of the only things you can take with you from this life when you die will be your relationships and friendships, and there is so much joy to be had that.

    Thank you for reminding me of the principles of service and love.

  3. “If you think about it, one of the only things you can take with you from this life when you die will be your relationships and friendships, and there is so much joy to be had that.”

    I’m thinking about it, and I’m not sure where the scriptural backup for this comment can be found.

    With the exception of one’s family, I’m not sure how any relationships will continue in the hereafter, according to LDS doctrine.

    Anyone care to enlighten me?

  4. Just some thoughts to expand on the idea of those relationships continuing beyond this life. First off, we know that nothing physical we obtain in this world goes with us– material wealth, possessions, etc.

    We know that whatever intelligence we attain in this life rises with us to the next.

    Now, by relationship I mean those loving ties that you have with friends, family. Consider that all those we associate with in this life we already have a literal relationship with of spirit brother/sister (as we are all children of God). We may be related to someone by birth, but friendship is not automatically built in, it’s built as we serve one another.

    “[That] same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” (Alma 34:34)

    Just because you have passed from one sphere to the next does not mean you will become someone different and stop feeling that love and friendship which you developed in this life. Whatever literal relationship we have to people here on earth as opposed to in the next life (as my earthly father is in the eternal scheme of things a spiritual brother), the ties of love and friendship don’t automatically change. We existed together as a family before we came here and will continue to be so in eternity, regardless of where each of us ends up.

    Now this is just my thinking, but the only way to have a fullness of joy in those relationships would be to end up in the same kingdom, no? It’s possible we may be separated from some that we love (say if someone ended up in another kingdom than his friend), but do we care for them any less?

    “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

    “And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” (D&C 18:15-16)

    That joy that the Savior speaks of there is not detached from the individuals that were brought unto Him. Our joy is not simply a result of having kept a commandment, it is a result of godly love (charity) for the individuals who were brought to Christ.

    I guess my point is that we will continue to be who we are, and the people we love will continue to be the same people — that doesn’t change when we move to the next phase of life, and so those friendships are even more worthy of building as they are of eternal worth and not only temporal.

    Does this make sense?

  5. According to that quote from Alma, I’m also going to continue to dislike most of my neighbours in the next life as well.

    Sounds like business as usual.

    The problem, as I see it, is that although the friendships are developed, they can never be acted on.

    Each couple will be too busy building and developing their own sphere, no?

    Not really a whole lot of time to be visiting with the old friends, really.

  6. Yes– if you still dislike your neighbors when you leave this life… no change there. Maybe that’s why we’re commanded to love our neighbors? :p

    rick you’re assuming that time is a limitation when you’re a God :D For that matter, you wouldn’t have time for even the parents you were sealed to or the children you are sealed to. (I need to do some more studying about the Spirit of Elijah to be reminded of why it’s so important that we all be sealed as a family). I think it also depends on what you mean by “acted upon”. To me, it seems that even an occasional reunion would be a joyous occasion (I’m thinking, for example, of when missionaries return from serving for 2 years). I kinda see where you’re coming from though– and I agree that we will be anxiously engaged in the work and won’t be goofing off with our old buddies. I can’t pretend to know what it’s like, nor can I even comprehend time not being a factor. But I think that if time is not measured unto God, then what he can do is truly limitless.

    Here’s a question– can you continue to dislike your neighbors in the next life and be exalted? How is it that God can love all of his children regardless of how wicked they act?

  7. They won’t be MY children, so I’m free to dislike them all I want.

    I’m not much on being COMMANDED to do anything… lol

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