My adventure in becoming a [Good] Mormon

Posts tagged ‘love’

Love is the answer

from http://sicklethruster.blogspot.com/2010/05/love-is-answer.html

Love is the Answer

Dear Missionaries,

I don’t always know what the question is. But I do know the answer. The answer is: LOVE.

The scriptures teach that God is love: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love,” (1 John 4:8). “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him,” (1 John 4:16).

If God is love, then love is an enabling power available to all of God’s children. It is a force for good. In fact, it is the force and source of the greatest good.

When we are filled with the love of God, everything changes. We see life differently. We respond to challenges in a new way. Our outlook on life changes. We change our minds about life! We transform! (See Romans 12:2.)

Joseph Smith taught: “A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.

Love is the fuel by which those who come unto Christ live their lives. For this to be true, it must work in the best of times and the worst of times. Let me explain by telling you about World War II and an amazing man named Victor Frankl.

Some of your grandparents or great-grandparents fought in this war. It was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945 and involved most of the world’s nations, including all of the great powers. It was organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies (the good guys, including America and England) and the Axis (the bad guys, including Nazi Germany and Japan). It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilized.

Marked by significant action against civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in a war, it was the deadliest conflict in human history, with over 70 million deaths.

The Holocaust is the term used to describe the intentional murder of approximately six million European Jews during World War II by Nazi Germany. Jews were forced into concentration camps where they were tortured and then murdered. Only a few Jews survived the concentration camps. One of them was Victor Frankl.

Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist. In 1942, at age 37, the Germans deported him, his wife, and his parents to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. In 1944, he was moved to Auschwitz concentration camp and was then to the Türkheim concentration camp. Meanwhile, his wife had been transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she was murdered, and his parents had been sent to Auschwitz where they were murdered.

On April 27, 1945, American soldiers took control of Auschwitz and liberated Frankl. To be liberated is to be set free. At last he was free!

Victor Frankl was blessed with a mind capable of learning important lessons even in the darkest of times. He found purpose and meaning in the worst of all situations. Read his account of an experience he had while working in the harsh conditions of the Auschwitz concentration camp:

“… We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor’s arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what is happening to us.”

That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife’s image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory….

The above quotation comes from Victor Frankl’s famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning. I encourage you to read this book when you get home from your mission.

In one of the darkest period’s of human history, with a front row seat, Frankl discovered something great: “love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.”

In a speech given at BYU in January 1996, Professor C. Terry Warner connects Victor Frankl’s observations about love with the core message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Professor Warner teaches how we can each turn love into a power for good:

The Savior seems to say to us: “Come unto me, and I will give you such assurance and hope and strength that you cannot be taken hostage by anyone who seems to do you harm. I will liberate you into love. And then you will no longer give anyone cause to resent or fear you. Instead, they will respond to the love that I have bestowed upon you. By abiding in me, you will do much good, bear much fruit.”

How then shall we come unto Christ so that everything will be different from what it could possibly be otherwise?

By sacrificing all taking of offense. By giving up criticism, impatience, and contempt, for they accuse the sisters and brothers for whom Christ died. By forswearing vulgarity and pornography, which diminish both the user and the used. By putting aside, in short, every practice that bears the image of murder, obliteration of souls, discord, and death. By giving these practices their true name, violence, and abhorring even their first appearance. By renouncing war in every form and proclaiming peace (see D&C 98:16).”

As a missionary, you are far away from the comforts of home. But you can find a new home in the arms of God as you come unto Christ in your life! You can feel of His love for you. You can gain literal strength and power through this love, as did missionaries of long ago: “blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land,” (Alma 26:36).

So many people are “running on empty”. They are empty of love. It is our job, our responsibility and our privilege to help fill them with love. Life’s most important questions all have the same answer: LOVE.

Powered by love,

Pres. Murray

 

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How God saved the day

This is for someone in particular, because they were curious, but I’m a toad. I have issues still sharing my personal beliefs on an individual basis, I’ll get over it eventually. But I guess it’s for everyone else too.

Anyways, if you haven’t yet, go read ‘Sex God’ by Rob Bell. I know, sounds much worse than it actually is though. It’s more so about love and relationships and how you can find and learn about God through them, no matter what.

I think it was…yesterday. Absolutely crap day. Not only am I being a regular swirling tornado of emotions, with the end of the year fast approaching I’m freaking out. As well, I’m being a total girl and joining in with the angst of ‘Do not have boyfriend *whine whine whine*’ and some of my friends right now make me upset…Mainly cause I overthink, but meh.

Anywho, I had extra time, so I sat down to read. The chapter was called ‘She ran into the girl’s bathroom’ and was about how, by confronting people, you give them an awful big choice; ‘yes or no’. Basically, expressing your love in any form to others is the ultimate…I want to say ‘humbling experience’. Because you give them all the power. If they say yes and accept your love, however it may be, they have to leave all that they know and trust to try something completely unknown. Then Bell goes onto say something along the lines of  ‘Why is heartbreak universal? Because it’s something God feels’ and that when we were created, we were given the freedom of choice to love who we please. God loves us, but he is the one giving the invitation out, whether or not we say yes and accept it is up to us. And when we reject it, he knows heartache and pain too…And maybe he too stays up at night pondering how to convince us to love him back like he loves us. So he, like every one who’s ever loved, breaks out all manner of resourcefulness in His power (which would b a lot 😉 ). His problem however, is that He’s so great…He scares us…So he distills his love into one somewhat smaller being; Jesus.

So Jesus’ entire life is about love, not power, so he doesn’t appear intimidating, like God. Even though he is greater than all of us, he acts like one of the lowly citizens, to demonstrate His love. He never does anything to fight back, or exert power. He is always calm, forgiving and loving.

This is my favourite part: Jesus demonstrated strength by appearing weak. Strength is not the ability to one-up someone or beat them, it’s in the restraint of that natural response to exert the power we have. Jesus was the ultimate example. He could have wiped all those who mocked and tortured him from the face of the Earth, but He didn’t. Why? Because he was the one extending the invitation of love and everyone else were the ones with the power to reject of accept it. And instead of exerting his power to make them love and fear him, He just kept taking it, hoping they’d finally say yes.

“If you have ever given yourself to someone and found yourself waiting for their response, exposed and vulnerable, left hanging in the balance, you know how God feels.”

“…Where we find the strength to go on. Not a strength that comes from within ourselves but a strength that comes from God. The God who keeps going. Who keeps offering. Who keeps loving. Who keeps risking. A God who knows what it’s like.”

“If God can continue to risk, then maybe we can too. Perhaps you have had your heart broken by somebody. You risked and extended and offered yourself, and they rejected and turned away and didn’t return your love. There is something divine in your suffering. Somebody divine in your pain. You know how God feels…The danger is that you will decide it isn’t worth it. Why risk it if it’s going to hurt like this? The tragedy would be for you to shut down, to allow a wall to be built around your heart, and for something within you to die.”

I always hear ‘God is love’…This just gave it a ton of more meaning. And it made all my fears of losing friends after grad kind of dissipate.

All I can do is love them all as fiercely as I do. If they return that love and friendship; wonderful. It will make everything beautiful. If they don’t ; all I need to do is keep loving them, maybe one day they’ll come back. But if not, I know that I loved them as I should.

There is always that drive, that ‘stay-up-late-into-the-night-plotting’, trying to convince them to not only accept your love, but return it. The ‘what can I do to make you love me?’ The answer is nothing. Because by giving love, you give up all power to sway their opinion, you give all power to them. You are vulnerable,  but restraining that desire to force their love is the greatest strength. And even though stuff like this may be world-shatteringly difficult, God knows all about it.

I hope this made up for my lack of posts….Nighty night dearies <3.

Love ^^

From a friend’s blog (http://lovely12oses.tumblr.com/post/1094106923/boyfriend-challenge-day-nine?ref=nf) :

“Refer to This

09. Give your definition of love.

Love [luhv] noun

I really think that the Bible conveys love very beautifully, but to me love is something that you may not realize. There’s different forms of relationship, different types of love, but in the end your heart accepts that one person or several people. I don’t really want to get into a long speech about love, but it’s when you feel comforted, happy, amused, and basically…awesome. Love is when you feel like you don’t have to pretend or try to fit in or have a false persona. It’s where you can accept your loved one and they accept you, fully, for all flaws. It’s the whole package: it’s the pain, it’s the tears, it’s the smiles and the laughter. Love isn’t a fairytale, but there are so many moments where it feels like it is. It isn’t a lie, the feelings should be real—you shouldn’t have to question whether you love them or not. Sure, there’s always a lot of drama, a lot of complications with love but to me, it’s as if at the end of that time in your life (of being single/not looking/etc.) you realize that you have feelings for that person.

And it’s so so much more different than having a crush; love is being able to be patient with them, with the relationship between the two of you. People might say “I love them, but I’m not in love with them” and that’s a very interesting point to mention, but in my opinion if it were true love there shouldn’t be hesitance. There might be troubles along the way but if you try to solve it reasonably then love will prevail. I’m totally corny and a hopeless romantic but really in the end, it’s love that will keep two people together. I may not like my sister as much as my friends but I still love her; she’s my sister, and in the end that love is what holds our relationship together (despite our lack of conversations). I’m pretty sure my definition is totally off and it’s something that you don’t believe in, but it’s all there in the Bible:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I was thinking of also doing that boyfran challenge…However I’m kind of lacking the boyfran >.>

If you didn’t know, I am possibly the biggest hopeless romantic you’ll meet (I just realized I didn’t quite know what that meant so here…After reading it…Yep, that’d be me!). And I love stuff like this.

This is also one more reason why I love Mormonism: Sealings. It completely plays to my hopeless romantic side ;D.