My personal quest has been, recently, to study and understand the principle of charity better. Even more so, to understand the true nature of love, as the Saviour would have us love. So, I have been studying the scriptures, thinking about it, thinking about the nature of Jesus Christ, reading other publications, such as The Peacegiver: How Christ heals our hearts and homes and The Anatomy of Peace (which I am currently in the middle of reading).
Just yesterday I had an epiphany.
I asked myself the following question, or rather, the following question came to my mind; Why do I love Jesus Christ? (or anyone I love, for that matter). Why do I feel humble when thinking of Him, why do I get an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love when I think about Him? Is it because of anything I have done? Is it because I feel I deserve or should be loved by Him? No.
And why do I have a desire to be better and to do what He wants me to do? Why do I strive (with limited success) to be like Him? Why do I want to be like Him?
It is because He loves me. And I don’t just think this, it is something I know and feel and am aware of on a basic level. His love for me is apparent when I feel the spirit, when I think of His life, how He lived and behaved towards people He came in contact with. This is independent of His teachings to obey the commandments. His love for me is unconditional. Remember, this is independent of His teachings to be obedient and follow the commandments. Loving me does not mean He expects less of me or will let me off the hook.
So all these things I feel and want to be are inspired by His love for me. Not for anything in myself or that I have created. This is the love that He wants us to have for others. For our husbands and wives, our parents, our children, our friends, our other family members, our acquaintances, those we have conflict with, those who are not like us, those who offend us, those who hurt us, those we have no reason to like, those who do things that annoy us. Everyone. He wants us to actually have this love so that they feel this love and are saved by it.
I understand what this love is. It isn’t the doing, it is the state of heart and mind, of truly loving, so that in our demeanor, attitude and behaviour towards others, we radiate this love. This is why people flocked to Him, why children surrounded Him. They knew His love was genuine and constant, they basked in it and wanted it. When He came to the Americas, this is why the multitude didn’t want Him to leave. This is the Spirit which cannot help but be present in the face of such love. It is a love that grows and needs no effort, because it is. It is something that is possible to attain through a lifetime of learning and growth. He has this love for all. We can at least, have this love for those around us.
This is a love I can develop over time, independent of my expectations of others, that I can come to with His help. But this is the true concept of the love of Jesus Christ.