ALL ABOUT LOVE:
Finding, keeping, understanding, and enjoying true love in your life
David W. Allan
March 25, 2007; Updated Feb. 9, 2008
True love is pure and is the path to the greatest happiness in time and eternity. Additionally, it leads to the solution of all problems . In Contrast, distorted love leads to most of the problems we have in society.
An aid for identifying and overcoming sexual addiction.
is written with the hope of helping in a fundamental area of societal needs
of what love is and how to love and enjoy love as the Lord designed love to
be. Love is elusive for many,
because they are often chasing after love in the wrong places.
True or pure love – as designed by a loving Heavenly Father with
all of its enormous and most significant blessings – is all that the heart
can desire. It is not elusive,
but is constantly ever there for us to partake of, if we will turn to Him to
find it. It is when we turn to
the world’s ways of loving that distortions often enter in, and pain,
misery, and unhappiness follow.
we share how to enjoy love, how to partake of love, how to give love using
the guidelines from inspired writings we have received from the Lord, and
how to solve problems using love in the Lord’s way.
While the Lord’s love gives every hope, in opposition to it,
distorted love is destroying our nation and the world.
It is destroying the fundamental unit of society, the family.
As a serious sign
of the devolution of true or pure love into a distorted form, consider the
results of a ChristiaNet poll reported by Marketwire.com (August 7,2006):
50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to
pornography. They conclude:
“Pornography is corrupting the church and destroying our nation; without
action the problem will only get worse.”
With easy Internet access, pornography is now epidemic and rapidly
increasing its tentacles of seductive and titillating enticements.
Also, it is now the trend in America for couples to live together out
of wedlock, and the commitment to marriage and family are on the decline.
Now, only 5% of marriages reach their 50th anniversary.
Physical and mental abuse and sexual molestation in the family
setting are increasingly devastating families, which is one of the by
products of pornographic indulgence.
love lifts our hearts, heals our
spiritual and emotional ills, and wholesomely satisfies our inherent need
for love. With sufficient faith,
the Lord can and will heal every wound of every kind, of every person, and
of every nation who will turn to Him. The
Lord’s love, in His infinite capacity to heal and to change us (patterned
after His Divine nature), is ever there for us.
Without Him, it is hopeless. With
Him, all things are possible, and we know that in Him we can overcome these
enormous problems that face us. His
“arms are stretched out still,” and his invitation is, “¶ Come unto
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and
my burden is light.” (Italics and bold added, Matthew 11:28-30) And, “If
my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from
heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14) If we turn from Him, we are doomed.
If we turn to Him, He will show us the way to true and pure love –
even His love. As explained in
more detail below, His love also helps us overcome addictions in addition to
finding pure or true love – herein is true freedom given only by Christ.
the Garden of Eden Satan taught “partake.”
“Ye shall not surely die.” We
see that same deceitful spirit continuing.
Now, it is the enticements of the world, and Satan says, “partake;
ye shall not surely die (spiritually), but have pleasure therein.”
This is one of the greatest deceits of the “great deceiver.”
Most of his enticements lead to addictions: drugs, alcohol, tobacco,
pornography, sexual sins, which lead to abusive behavior and broken
families. Unfortunately, many of
us imbibe to one degree or another in some of these deceitful strategies
that take us away from true or pure love – the Lord’s love – and such
behavior makes us miserable, discouraged, or depressed as Satan would have
us be – the opposite of joy and peace.
are we led into these distorted forms of love?
Satan uses the strong desires and needs with which we are born, and
deceives us into believing he has a more desirable way than the Lord’s.
Let us look at the main tool of deceit the Adversary uses; as defined in
Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary:
noun [Norm. deceut, contracted from Latin deceptio.]
Literally, a catching or ensnaring. Hence, the misleading of a person; the
leading of another person to believe what is false, or not to believe what
is true, and thus to ensnare him; fraud; fallacy; cheat; any declaration,
artifice or practice, which misleads another, or causes him to believe what
is false. My lips shall not
speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. Job 27.
Stratagem; artifice; device intended to mislead.
They imagine deceits all the day long. Psalm 38.
In scripture, that which is obtained by guile, fraud or oppression.
Their houses are full of deceit. Jeremiah 5. Zephaniah 1.
In law, any trick, device, craft, collusion, shift, covin, or
underhand practice, used to defraud another.
Lord gives a sure way to not be deceived:
whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the
Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the
great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of
his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
(Italics and bold added, JS-Matt.37)
key then is to “treasure up my word.”
Jesus is the Word (John 1:1), and his words give us the sure path,
and His Spirit the sure witness that we are on the right path.
For He said most succinctly: “I am the way, the truth, and the
life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
(John 14:6) As we listen and hearken to His voice, He has promised,
and His promises are sure:
at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled
which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken
the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say
unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall
abide the day. And the earth
shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax
strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.
For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon
them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.
are preparing for the great day of the Lord.
If we think not, we are deceived, and Satan will lead us down
distorted paths of love, which will leave us as the five unwise virgins
(unprepared and empty). The
Lord’s counsel is: “Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your
lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the
coming of the Bridegroom.” (D&C
33:17). We will discuss
how we do that. First, let us
consider, “What is love?”
WHAT IS LOVE?
more has been written about love – letters, books, plays, movies, dramas,
poems, etc., and more has been sung, spoken, thought, taught about love,
more emotions have been stirred about love, more souls have been touched and
changed by love, than about any other topic, word, verb, or activity in
human existence. Rather than try
to capture the essence of all of the above, we will go to the heart of the
question (What is love?) on a scriptural basis for in the Lord we know we
can trust. Satan can and does
lurk in avenues of love – subtly and deceitfully – to destroy true or
pure love. Often, in the
philosophies of men he lurks to entice us and have us fulfill our appetites
in distorted ways.
is wonderful to think that love is the principal power by which Heavenly
Father governs the universe. He
loves each of His children with an infinite love, which was the pure
motivation for sending us His Son to work out the infinite and eternal
atonement. Through His Son He
has opened the incredible door, which if we choose to enter, we may receive
a fulness from the Father, of Eternal Joy, and be even as He is.
we go to the scriptures, it seems significant that the first mention of love
in the Bible is when the Lord commanded Abraham to take his son to Mt.
Moriah to be sacrificed: “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom
thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there
for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
(Genesis 22:2) This act is
symbolic to Arab, Jew, and Gentile of the Father offering His Beloved Son on
that same mountain some 2,000 years later as the greatest act of love in the
history of mankind – as an offering for all our sins – breaking the
bands of death and hell. “For
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John
3:16) We see that true love is
purely unselfish and considers only the best interests of those who are the
recipients of that act of love.
love that the Lord designed for us to enjoy we call true or pure love; any
other kind we call distorted love. In
contrast to true or pure love, distorted love is selfish and does not
consider the best interests of those influenced by that act of distorted
love. The traditions regarding
love that have come down to us are often of the distorted form of love.
Consider, as an example, the rapidly increasing use of pornography,
which science has shown acts like a drug addiction when the body chemistry
is considered. More and more are
imbibing in this activity to satisfy their longing for love, but it leaves
them empty after working its destructive course.
Being addictive, the pornographic path leads to a downward spiral.
the scriptures we learn that the first and the greatest commandment is to
love God with all of our hearts, might, mind, and strength.
In Noah Webster’s definition of love, he succinctly says: “...and
if our hearts are right, we love God above all things, as the sum of
all excellence and all the attributes which can communicate happiness to
scriptures tell us that our next great opportunity then is to “love our
neighbor as ourselves” – patterning our love after His divine
attributes. It has been said
that, “We may not know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the
future, and to be in step with him is the greatest opportunity of our
existence.” Moving forward
with Him, we move with confidence and pure love and without fear, for
“perfect love casteth out all fear.” (Moroni 8:16) And, “There is no
fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) We know that
“...charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever;
and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with
him.” (Moroni 7:47)
Henry Drummond’s monumental book, The Greatest Thing in the
World, which is one of the most poignant discourses ever given on
charity from 1 Corinthians 13, he says that “The Spectrum of Love has nine
‘Love suffereth long.’
‘And is kind.’
‘Love envieth not.’
‘Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.’
‘Doth not behave itself unseemly.’
‘Seeketh not her own.’
Temper......... ‘Is not easily provoked.’
Guilelessness.......... ‘Thinketh no evil.’
‘Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.’”
from the life of the Savior, we know that love is unselfish service as He
gave His all that we may inherit all things of God through Him.
Drummond goes on to say, “Where love is, God is.”
let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God, and he who loves
[his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to
know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and
clearer knowledge of Him]. (1 John 4:7, Amplified Bible) “He that loveth
not (with a pure or true love), knoweth not God, for God is love.” (1 John
4:8, KJ, parenthetical is added)
quoting this scripture from 1 John 4:8, Drummond proclaims, “Therefore
love. Without distinction,
without calculation, without procrastination, love.
Lavish it upon the poor, where it is very easy; especially upon the
rich, who often need it most; most of all upon our equals, where it is very
difficult, and for whom perhaps we each do least of all...
Give pleasure... For that
is the ceaseless and anonymous triumph of a truly loving spirit, ‘I shall
pass through this world but once. Any
good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any
human being, let me do it now. Let
me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.’
is no greatness in things. Things
cannot be great. The only
greatness is in unselfish love... The
most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in
having and getting anything, but only in giving...
And half the world is on the wrong scent in pursuit of happiness.
They think it consists in having and getting, and in being served by
others. It consists in giving
and in serving others.”
has a particularly powerful discussion on the importance of Good Temper as
a critical characteristic of pure love.
He says, “We are inclined to look upon bad temper as a very
harmless weakness... the Bible
again and again returns to condemn it as one of the most destructive
elements in human nature.” He
calls it, “...the vice of the virtuous.”
He relates to the story of the Prodigal son and points out how
society brands the Prodigal as much worse than his brother, but then he asks
the question, “But are we right?” “...there
are two great classes of sins – sins of the Body, and sins of the Disposition.
The Prodigal Son may be taken as a type of the first, the Elder
Brother of the second... the
Elder Brother... ‘was angry,’ we read, ‘and would not go in.’
Look at the effect upon the father, upon the servants, upon the
happiness of the guests. Judge
of the effect upon the Prodigal – and how many prodigals are kept out of
the Kingdom of God by the unlovely character of those who profess to be
inside? Analyze, as a study in
Temper, the thunder-cloud as it gathers upon the Elder-Brother’s brow.
What is it made of? Jealousy, anger, pride, uncharity, cruelty,
self-righteousness, touchiness, doggedness, sullenness, – these are the
ingredients of this dark and loveless soul.”
love is gentle, is forgiving, is kind, “thinketh no evil,” brings
perfect peace, casteth out all fear, lifts the hands that hang down,
gladdens the heavy heart; strengthens the feeble knees, helps us to draw
closer to the Father and the Son and to know them, helps bring out the best
in each of us and we are better able to help bring out the best in others,
helps us to know that we are loved and that each of us is a child of God –
known personally by Him. True
love exposes not the weaknesses of others, finds no faults, encourages to
the fullest degree, gives us a new heart and brings to us the “being born
of God” experience. As
Drummond goes on to say, “To love abundantly is to live abundantly...
No worse fate can befall a man in this world than to live and grow
old alone, unloving and unloved.” Eternal
life, the greatest of all the gifts of God, is to know God, and “God is
love.” Hence, to know true
love is to know God. So as you
learn to love, you will learn to know God, and thus be on the road to the
greatest of happiness in this life and to Eternal Life in the world to come,
the greatest of all the gifts of God.
mentioned above, love is the power by which God governs the universe.
The universe is organized to bring about His Eternal work.
Love is His work and His glory “to bring to pass the immortality
and the eternal life” of His children.
Love is not ethereal; it is a real force and of real substance.
God’s emanation of love is manifest in all directions as we see
love manifest in the harmony and marvels of the heavens.
As well, we see His love manifest in the intricacies and the
intimacies of life down to the minutest level.
From astronomic to microscopic we feel and see His love manifest.
For those who have eyes to see, His love is manifest in the
challenges and oppositions that life brings – giving us growth
opportunities and ever wafting us closer to Him if we will but come unto Him
– who is willing and wanting to bear our burdens.
As we work with Him, he is able to turn every evil into good, and to
overcome every sin and addiction.
we learn to love as He loves, it becomes a real force in our lives, and
those around us can feel that love. It
reflects in our countenances. It
moves us ever closer to Him, so that He becomes more and more a part of our
lives. The Savior says, “If ye
love me, keep my commandments.” (John
14:15) The Apostle John
says, “...if we keep his commandments... hereby we know that we know
Him.” (1 John 2:3) And
Jesus promises, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is
that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I
will love him, and will manifest myself to him...
If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him,
and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:21, 23)
In other words, truly loving Him allows the Father and the Son to be
an intimate part of our lives, What an incredible promise, and, again, His
promises are sure.
PRACTICALLY, HOW DO WE OPEN THE DOORS TO TRUE LOVE?
may best address this vital question by first understanding the basic needs
that a loving Heavenly Father placed in each of us for our mortal journey
that we may enjoy true love and intimacy.
Guided by true or pure love, we can fully satisfy these basic needs,
which lead to a fulness of joy and eternal family relationships.
Guided by distorted love in trying to satisfy these basic neede, we
are led to momentary highs, but in the long-term distorted love leads to
pain, emptiness, loneliness, and destructive human relationships.
The most harmful dimension of distorted love is that it can lead to
the destruction of the family. Because
the family is the most important unit in time and eternity, the Adversary is
working hardest to destroy the family. Unfortunately,
he is having great success. Currently,
one of his most effective tools is to get more and more people hooked on
pornography, because, most often, it
eventually leads to the destruction of the family.
Kastleman in his book Healing Hearts & Mending Minds, poignantly
states that we crave intimacy. “Whether
we realize it or want to admit it, we crave human intimacy.
We have an innate need to love and to be loved.
We need to be close and connected to others, especially those in our
of the teenagers and adults I have interviewed who got involved with
Internet porn, cybersex chat rooms and/or illicit sexual encounters,
reported that they were “lonely.” that they felt ‘disconnected,’
that they lacked real intimacy in their lives.
don’t have to have sex to be “intimate.”
In fact, most human intimacy has nothing to do with sexual relations.
Rather, it’s about communication, understanding, appreciation,
affection, mutual respect, friendship, quality time, sharing, and many more
non-sexual actions and factors. One
of the great preventions and protections against pornography addiction is
true human intimacy, the quality and quantity of time you spend together as
husband and wife, parent and child. This
is what matters most.”
makes the powerful point that our homes need to be a refuge from the storms
of life. We need to create a
spirit of Zion in our homes (the pure in heart, where there are no poor
(unloved or lonely) among us, where we are of one mind and of one heart),
where Satan or his minions are held at bay, “because of the
righteousness” of those abiding therein. (1 Nephi 22:26)
Victor L. Brown, Jr. in his book Human Intimacy – Illusion &
Reality says that he has learned the “bedrock reality that at every
stage of our life we seek intimacy as urgently as we seek food and drink.
We seek our parents’ love. We
seek friendship. We seek
emotional unity in marriage along with physical fulfillment.
Out of the love awakened by our children we find ourselves seeking
their love even as we give love.
universal human need is so powerful that we are vulnerable to deception.
Loneliness brings a desperation that makes us willing to see almost
anyone as desirable, almost any situation as endurable, if it holds out the
promise of intimacy...”
in discussing the proper, wholesome, and heavenly designed sexual intimacy
between committed husband and wife, says, “The Experience is More Than
Just Physical: As husband and wife move... together, there is more to the
experience than just chemicals released in the physical body – much more.
In addition to physical feelings, the emotions, the mind and the
spirit are all joined together in the experience.
As natural chemicals are released, feelings of love, closeness and
appreciation are brought to the forefront.
The joining or fitting together of physical bodies becomes a symbol
of the joining together of minds and spirits.
God meant for this experience between husband and wife to be a union
of their whole selves – body, mind and spirit.
He designed it that way from the beginning.
Such a union is only possible when there is total commitment to each
other, when the couple shares all things, when they are bonded, welded,
joined – married.
intercourse is a sacred covenant between husband and wife, symbolizing
oneness, fidelity and unity in all things.
Sexual climax is a culmination of everything they have sacrificed and
shared together, a celebration of their complete and total commitment, a
crowning symbol of their marriage... This...
experience is not possible outside of marriage.”
declared by God in the beginning, “...and they shall be one flesh.”
goes on to say that, “The key to raising sexually healthy children and
teens is to engender an environment where physical intimacy is regarded as
healthy, positive, beautiful and even sacred, something to anticipate and
look forward to at the appropriate time and under the right circumstances.
Yes, we should teach our children about the dangers and darkness of
pornography, premarital sex, self, indulgence, etc.
But of greater importance is to demonstrate appropriate love within
the home, coupled with gentle teachings on the wonderful joys of
intimacy.” The sacredness in
the husband-wife relationship is better appreciated when we realized that in
this act we have the magnificent opportunity to be co-creators with God, as
we provide bodies for His spirit children.
What an enormous responsibility and opportunity.
is the most divine attribute of men and women as explained by Dallin H.
Oaks, in his book, The Great Plan of Happiness
p. 74. He says, “The
expression of our procreative powers is pleasing to God, but he has
commanded that this be confined within the relationship of marriage...
Outside the bonds of marriage, all uses of the procreative power are
to one degree or another a sinful degrading and perversion of the most
divine attribute of men and women.”
total contrast, Satan would take away all of the sacredness as he does with
pornography and its associated sexual sins and activities (lusting,
lewdness, licentious, fornicating, adulterous, petting, masturbating, etc).
In addition, as Kastleman points out pornography behaves exactly like
an addictive drug on the body and is in fact addictive.
Coming in through the mind, the chemicals released within the body
are like that which happens with a drug addict.
He says that parents need to teach their children “‘why’
pornography is harmful to their brain” – creating distorted unhealthy
images that have to be rooted out before fully wholesome and healthy loving
relationships can be enjoyed. For
the addicted person, repentance, confession, and total faith in the Lord’s
atonement are critical for his recovery.
There are other extremely useful steps that a person can take – if
addicted – as will be discussed later.
are many studies that have shown that the most important time in a
person’s life for learning proper sexual and intimate relationships is in
the walls of a healthy, nurturing family setting, and surprisingly, the
first three years of life are the most important.
Single parent families, or when both parents are employed, create
significant challenges in bringing about these healthy-nurturing
relationships during the first three years of a child’s life, that are so
critical in providing a foundation and a basis for all human relationships
throughout his or her life.
Brown quotes from Burton White of Harvard University,
have devoted my whole professional career to pursuing the question of how
competent people get that way. On
the basis of years of research, I am totally convinced that the first
priority with respect to helping each child to reach his maximum level of
competence is to do the best possible job in structuring his experience and
opportunities during the first three years of life...
Therefore I do not think that any (other) job is more important in
humanistic terms than the [proper role of parents.]
Dr. Brown goes on to say, “In short, the ability to love in whole-hearted
intimacy as an adult begins in the experience of having been loved as a
child. In an environment of warm
and familiar predictability, surrounded by people who celebrate his
individuality without suppressing their own, a child begins to develop a
strong sense of identity. Thus
fortified, he can move on to the next major prerequisite to intimacy –
acquiring roles through which he can express his identity.”
These roles are based on healthy role-models learned as an infant in
a fully-functional, healthy home, where love and trust abound.
of where we are in the spectrum of our loving, intimate relationships with
others, the Savior can and will help us move forward, and help us overcome
every obstacle and every addiction, if we will but “Come unto Him.”
In her inspired book, Come Away My Beloved, Francis J. Roberts
pens the profound invitation under the heading THE CALL OF LOVE:
My beloved, abide under the shelter of the lattice for I have betrothed you
to Myself, and though you are sometimes indifferent toward Me, My love for
you is at all times as a flame of fire.
My ardor never cools. My
longing for your love and affection is deep and constant.
Tarry not for an opportunity to have more time to be alone with Me.
Take it, though you leave the tasks at hand.
Nothing will suffer. Things
are of less importance than you think. Our
time together is like a garden full of flowers, whereas the time you give to
things is as a field full of stubble.
I love you, and if you can always, as it were, feel My pulse beat you will
receive insight that will give you sustaining strength.
I bore your sins and I wish to carry your burdens.
You may take the gift of a light and merry heart, for My love dispels
all fear and is a cure for every ill. Lay
your head upon My breast and lose yourself in Me.
You will experience resurrection, life and peace: the joy of the Lord
will become your strength; and wells of salvation will be opened within you.
Roberts then goes on to share our DEPENDENCE ON GOD:
people, heed My words; yes, do not walk carelessly, nor lay out your own
paths on which to travel. You
cannot know what lies in the distance, nor what adversity you may encounter
tomorrow. So walk closely with
Me, that you may be able to draw quickly upon My aid.
You need Me, and no matter how well developed your faith is or how
mature is your growth in grace, never think for a moment that you need My
support any less. The truth is
that you need it even more. For
I shelter the newborn from many of the trials and tests I permit to confront
those who are growing up in spiritual stature.
You cannot grow unless I bring into your lives these proving and
So hold more firmly to My hand as you journey on in your Christian walk.
Trust not in your own increasing strength, for truly, it is not your
strength but rather My strength within you that you feel.
You are as vulnerable to the treachery of the enemy and as frail as
ever; but your knowledge of Me has deepened, and because of this your trust
in Me should come easier.
Move forward with courage and confidence; but always allow Me to walk ahead,
and choose the right path.
us recall that the purpose of life is to gain a body, to partake of life’s
experiences, and to learn to “do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God
shall command” – the greatest of which is to love God and to love His
children (all of them). As we
learn to love as God loves, we become like Him and we come to know Him.
Knowing Him and His Beloved Son brings to us the greatest of all the
gifts of God – Eternal Life.
the face of life’s challenges,
trials, temptations, tests, and
offenses, which are intrinsic to life’s experiences, we often find it
difficult to love. People (even
loved ones) offend or hurt us. Often,
our enemies would harm us greatly. The more we can view life from God’s
perspective, the more it helps to learn to love all and to forgive all that
we may be forgiven of all – that the Lord may present us spotless to the
Father, being perfected in Him. (Moroni 10:32-34)
are those that teach that life is a test.
One may say, that this teaching is substantiated, because the Lord
said, “We will prove them herewith...”
But in so quoting, we best read the rest of the scripture, “...to
see if they will do ALL things whatsoever the Lord their God shall
command them.” Keeping the
commandments is too often viewed as a drudgery, a duty, “ya gotta do it,
or else attitude.” This
attitude is a false tradition. We
fail to realize that God said His way offers a fullness of joy and the
greatest peace and happiness in this life.
The greatest commandment is to love, which brings about the greatest
fulfillment. (Matt. 22:36-40)
who let “Life is a test!”be their ‘modem-operandi’ – and it is a
common belief – carry a heavy, dark spirit about them.
Interestingly, this can be proven scientifically using Kirlian
photography, which later evolved into aura photography.
Such a photo of a person’s aura who feels this burden: “Life is a
test.” is dark. In contrast,
one who believes and feels that life is an opportunity to glorify God and to
feel gratitude in our hearts for both the good and bad that come – giving
us growth opportunities – has a light and bright aura.
A friend of mine related to me that a police officer told him that
the reason Utah has the worst drivers is: “In Utah everything is a TEST,
driving is a test, school is a test, church is a test and life is a test and
the TEST is in every part of our lives.”
Satan’s purposes are to tempt and to try (TEST) us.
The Savior came to glorify His Father (John 17:4); this is our
greatest opportunity as well. As
we develop a pure faith in the Father and His Beloved Son (come to Know
them), Satan’s testing has no power in our lives (1 Nephi 22:25-26).
We become truly “Born of God,” with “no more disposition to do
evil, but to do good continually.” (Mosiah 5:2) We rejoice in glorifying
our loving Father; gladness fills our hearts.
His love enters our hearts (Moroni 7:48), fills our lives and
influences all our actions. We
no longer need motivation from without to do good; we are motivated from
within. We become the best
drivers in the state – filled with charity – in spite of other’s
actions – even towards those filled with “road rage!”.
LIFE is an opportunity to learn how to LOVE
as He loves, and to glorify Him who has given us the greatest of all the
gifts of love – the gift of His Beloved Son.
How grateful we should continually be for this most important gift.
Through faith in Him, we learn how to love as He loves as we come to
know Him. In so doing, we see
the manifestations of His love in every direction in the marvels of His
creations. The gift of
His Only Begotten Son opened the door of faith and repentance, and
the path whereby we may overcome all because He overcame all.
As we internalize His love, we are changed by Him into “new
creatures” in Christ, and feel to sing the songs of Redeeming Love.
We receive a new birth in Him, and being born of God, we are brought
to exclaim as the people of King Benjamin:
they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which
thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth,
because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty
change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil,
but to do good continually. And
we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the
manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and
were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.
And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king
has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we
do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.
Atonement of our Savior gives every person a reason for hope.
He will personally help us overcome every problem as we come unto
Him. He has made that promise,
and His promises are sure. Respecting
our agency, He awaits for our invitation to come into our lives, for our
sincere faith in Him, and for our total, heart-felt repentance.
In every thought turn to Him. Let
your prayers be full drawn out to the Father through Him continually.
The peace and the joy that come through their cleansing power and the
grace extended by the atonement place us on that path to overcoming the
world and to receive eternal life in the world to come, which is the
greatest of all the gifts of God (a fullness of joy).
The Apostle Paul summarized it well, “My little children, of whom I
travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,” (Galatians 4:19)
HOW TO BUILD LOVING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS:
Christ-centered home is a home filled with His love, and Satan may come, but
he has no power there. This
comes into being with Christ-centered parents, who teach their children to
understand (by word and deed) that having Christ in their lives makes all
the difference in the amount of true or pure love that is in the home.
The home becomes a true refuge from the storms of the world.
Here hearts are welded together in one, and the joys and eternal
bonds of love that build in such a loving environment are the best that can
be had in this mortal journey. This
environment not only brings the greatest of joys in this life, but also in
the life to come.
may seem too idealistic, but the Lord has asked us to do it, and He never
asks that which we cannot do. As
we set our goals with the Lord’s help we will move ever closer to Him and
to this ideal. It is worth every
effort. The degree to which we
partake of this ideal is the degree to which we apply the principles that
the Lord has given to us. Let us
review the basics:
We truly love the Lord and desire to show Him our love by
having our hearts in the right place – turning to Him in every thought and
desiring to keep His commandments that we may reflect His love into the
lives of others. Jesus prayed
that we may be one as He and the Father are one and that His Kingdom would
come on earth as it is in heaven. It
is about harmony in the home, with Him,
with each other, and with the heavens.
The attributes of those who truly love the Lord are:
Prayer is continually our guard, our guide, and our stay. (D&C
The inspired writings of the prophets are the road map for our lives;
we daily feast upon these sacred writings individually and as a family. (2
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all His loving kindness in
all the bounteous blessings of life, and we are most grateful for the gift
of His Beloved Son, as well as each other.
We are grateful for the trials, challenges, and the vicissitudes of
life as well – knowing that they give us growth opportunities.
We love to serve Him, His children, and to help build His kingdom.
We pray, as Jesus did, for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in
heaven and for the reestablishment of Zion (a society made of pure people)
to prepare for the glorious return of His Son;
We keep the commandments as opportunities for exaltation and not as
constraints that keep us from doing our thing;
We keep the commandments because we love Him;
We serve in the Church and the community as we have opportunity –
not as a duty, but as is our sacred privilege to let the love of the Savior
flow through us to others;
We truly love our neighbor – especially those of our own
in pure love, we seek to know and to unselfishly fulfill the needs of
our spouse, that they may feel and bask in our pure and unfeigned love; male
and female needs are very different by heavenly design.
Learning those differences, and then learning to be sensitive to them
is the process of becoming, as the Lord designed, “one flesh.”
We seek to serve the other members of our family – praying to know
how we can best help them enjoy the Savior’s love in their lives –
helping them to feel part of the loving family team, and that their part is
enormously important. We seek to
see that their needs are fulfilled in harmony with the Father’s Plan of
We love, from deep within our hearts, all of Father’s children, and
seek for ways to help them to come to know the Lord’s love and to help
them feel ever closer to Him, that they may partake of the full measure of
the redemptive powers of the atonement freely offered to them.
loving husband seeks to fulfill the needs of his wife, he needs to know
those needs. Similarly, as a
loving wife seeks to fulfill the needs of her husband, she needs to know
those needs as well. Because of
fundamental differences between the male and female – designed by a loving
Father-in-heaven – we often have misunderstandings about those needs.
But properly understood and fulfilled brings the greatest of joys in
the husband-wife relationship.
seeks to serve without the thought of receiving in return.
A husband – filled with pure love – will not get upset with his
wife if all of his needs are not met, and, again, similarly, a wife –
filled with pure love – will not get upset with her husband if all of her
needs are not met.
look at those needs and some of the differences between the needs of the
male and female. According to
one of the most successful books on building healthy marriage relationships,
His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. Willard F Harley, Jr., we can construct
the following matrix-need hierarchy:
money to live comfortably – financial support
and Quiet –
to be a Good Father –
to be Proud of Him –
not to say that a man’s needs do not also fall in the column with those of
women, nor does it say that a woman’s needs do not also fall in the column
with those of men. Dr. Harley
has found the needs shown in this matrix to be the most important needs for
men and women across many people with whom he has counseled and over many
years of experience. His book is
one of the most successful in terms of saving marriages as well as making
good ones be stronger. Let us
consider this matrix in more detail, that we may benefit from his
experiences and success. We will
see that pragmatically this matrix works very well for satisfying the
physical and emotional needs in a husband-wife relationship.
Later we will augment this with guidelines for becoming spiritually
united as well.
lays the foundation for this set of needs matrix by a model that each of us
has a “Love Bank,” that never closes.
It has an account for each person we know, and each person either
adds to or subtracts from their account in our bank according to what
transpires during that interaction with that person.
The amount added or subtracted varies according to the degree of
positive or negative love feelings generated during that interaction.
Though not intended to be mathematical, this model gives one a good
feel for the importance of living the second great commandment in all of our
interactions – to love our neighbor as ourselves – and especially those
of our own family.
There is a
great saying: Let us live so that those who know us but don’t know God,
will want to know God because they know us.
Dr. Harley poses the question several times in his book as he
addresses in detail the various need categories, saying essentially, “Why
would a spouse want to diminish their love bank account with their
companion.” As they both
unselfishly work to build their love bank account with their companion in
each of the need areas, then their relationship grows stronger and stronger
and more and more fulfilling for both – bringing about the oneness
designed by our loving Heavenly Father for this most important of all mortal
concluding chapter, From Incompatible to Irresistible, Dr. Harley
uses the American Heritage Dictionary for the definition of the above
= inharmonious, antagonistic; and the definition for
= having an overpowering appeal.
Harley’s counseling experience has shown him that marriages that are near
divorce due to an affair or other serious problem can be moved from
incompatible to irresistible if both spouses will address all aspects of the
needs matrix outlined above. And
even good marriages can be moved toward the ideal by also addressing these
needs that will help fill the love bank account with their companion.
he says that, “Any husband can make himself irresistible to his wife by
learning to meet her five most important emotional needs.
husband tells her that he loves her with words, cards, flowers, gifts, and
common courtesies. He hugs and
kisses her many times each day, creating an environment of affection that
clearly and repeatedly expresses his love for her.
sets aside time every day to talk to her.
They may talk about events in their lives, their children, their
feelings or their plans. But
whatever the topic, she enjoys the conversation because it is never
judgmental, always informative and constructive.
She talks to him as much as she would like, and he responds with
interest. He is never too busy
“to just talk.” (Dr. Harley suggests from his experience that 15 hours a
week is good. “Pillow-talk
time” can be an important part of this time.)
Honesty and openness. He
tells her everything about himself, leaving nothing out that might later
surprise her. He describes his
positive and negative feelings, events of his past, his daily schedule, and
his plans for the future. He
never leaves her with a false impression and is truthful about his thoughts,
feelings, intentions, and behavior.
Financial support. He
assumes the responsibility to house, feed, and clothe the family.
If his income is insufficient to provide essential support, he
resolves the problem by upgrading his skills to increase his salary.
He does not work long hours, keeping himself from his wife and
family, but is able to provide necessary support by working a forty- to
Family commitment. He
commits sufficient time and energy to the moral, (physical, spiritual), and
educational development of the children.
He reads to them, engages in sports with them, and takes them on
frequent outings. He reads books
and attends lectures with his wife... He
and she discuss training methods and objectives until they agree...
He recognizes that his care of the children is critically important
to her. (Parentheticals are the
If any one
of these needs is not met, a void is left in her love-bank account for him,
as all these needs are real for her. This
void will keep them from enjoying the “full oneness” that the Lord
designed for this most important of all mortal relationships.
for the wife he says that, “A wife makes herself irresistible to her
husband by learning to meet his five most important emotional needs.
Sexual fulfillment. His
wife meets this need by becoming a terrific sexual partner.
She studies her own sexual response to recognize and understand what
brings out the best in her; then she shares this information with him, and
together they learn to have a sexual relationship that both find repeatedly
satisfying and enjoyable.
Recreational companionship. She
develops an interest in the recreational activities he enjoys most and tries
to become proficient at them. If
she finds she cannot enjoy them, she encourages him to consider other
activities that they can enjoy together.
She becomes his favorite recreational companion, and he associates
her with his most enjoyable moments of relaxation.
Physical attractiveness. She
keeps herself physically fit with diet and exercise, and she wears her hair,
makeup, and clothes in a way that he finds attractive and tasteful.
He is attracted to her in private and proud of her in public.
Domestic support. She
creates a home that offers him a refuge from the stresses of life.
She manages the household responsibilities in a way that encourages
him to spend time at home enjoying his family.
understands and appreciates him more than anyone else.
She reminds him of his value and achievements and helps him maintain
self-confidence. She avoids
criticizing him. She is proud of
him, not out of duty, but from a profound respect for the man she chose to
If any one
of these needs is not met, a void is left in his love-bank account for her,
as all these needs are real for him. This
void will keep them from enjoying the “full oneness” that the Lord
designed for this most important of all mortal relationships.
love on the part of the husband and/or the wife, allows them to deal with
these voids. But until
these voids are filled, the fullness and richness they both desire will be
lacking. The beautiful aspect of
living is that if both have the desire, then progress will be made and their
relationship will continue to blossom and improve.
The Lord can help us work through any problem.
If they will seek his help, then progress is guaranteed.
In some cases the Spirit may guide them to a professional or
ecclesiastical counselor or leader.
Harley’s above needs matrix fits couples on average, specifically each
persons needs may vary some from the average.
This makes loving communication an extremely important ingredient in
building or rebuilding a marriage relationship.
As he says, “Few experiences match falling in love.
But many couples fail to realize that love needs constant nurture and
care. I’ve [given] you some
guidelines for providing that care and for building a marriage that can
become better and better. It
takes hard work and a willingness to learn new skills, but when you’ve
done this, you will have mastered one of life’s most valuable lessons.”
of Jesus Christ brings to marriage a three-way relationship: between husband
and wife and between each of them and the Lord.
Each of them being “Born of God” is the most important part of
their preparation for marriage as the Lord designed it. This
“Born Again” experience can, of course, occur after marriage as well and
will open doors to marital oneness not possible without the Lord.
into covenants with each other and with the Lord for time and eternity is
(can be, should be, ought to be) the most exciting, most joyous, and
provides for the most fulfilling of all human relationships and experiences
during our mortal journey, as well as in eternity.
Being deeply in love with each other, they gladly, willingly, and
with great joy in their hearts enter into these sacred covenants.
She willingly and gladly gives herself to him – knowing that she
can totally trust him – having had a witness that he is the right one for
her eternal companion in this most important union.
Similarly for him, he willingly and gladly receives her to himself
and promises to provide for her needs, for her protection, and to live up to
that trust she has placed in him. As
Paul so profoundly states, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also
loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25) In other
words, a husband should cherish and love his wife so much that he is willing
to do all things necessary to provide for her needs, and he would be willing
to lay down his life for her to protect her if need be.
who have been happily married rejoice in the depth of that spiritual
identity they share. One man, who lived in the nineteenth century, wrote
this prayer for his wife: "Oh God . . . wilt Thou bless her with peace
and with a long life; and when Thou shalt see fit to take her, let [me] go
with her; and dwell with each other throughout eternity; that no power shall
ever separate us from each other; for Thou . . . knowest we love each other
with pure hearts. . . . Now, . . . hear Thy servant, and let us have the
desires of our hearts; for we want to live together, and die, and be buried,
and rise and reign together in Thy kingdom with our dear children." 
we hear this depth of feeling, we almost wonder if such emotion is possible
in our world today. All around us we see examples of love that are
fleeting—commitment that is temporary. We see emotions that are stirred
and then die again, vanished like yesterday's styles. Perhaps it is because
we have forgotten what marriage is. We become distracted by the first
flurries of romantic attachment—and call that love. We find someone
physically attractive—and call that love.
love that becomes a joyful marriage has rich spiritual dimensions and
forgiveness of one another. It
says, "If it matters to you, then it matters to me." It says,
"I can count on you under all circumstances." It says, "I am
safe in your love. When I stumble on my weaknesses, you are not critical. I
am a soul in the process of unfolding, and you accept me where I am. Because
you love me, I am free to grow."
this kind of love really possible today? Yes, it is. But we must remember
that it is the Lord who makes it possible. "Beloved," said John,
"let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth
is born of God, and knoweth God."  The kind of love that transforms
two into one is a gift from God; and, if we want it enough, He is the one
who can show us the way. We have to be willing to be transformed by Him into
people far more capable of love and of loving than we could ever do on our
own. We have to learn the fine lessons of forgiveness, patience, courage in
the face of trials. As our
hearts are changed through His love, we can, in turn, learn to love. Then,
and only then, can we put our
days of loneliness behind us to move into days of joy and being “one
flesh” as He designed us to be.
Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft,
1945), p. 335.
1 John 4:7.
D. Newell, May Peace Be with You [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co.,
IN PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS
is a book, Arming Your Children with the Gospel: Creating Opportunities
for Spiritual Experiences by R. Wayne Boss and Leslee S. Boss, that is
an excellent resource in this regard. It
is available from Deseret Book in paper back for $14.95, and is a very worth
It is a how to book with great, inspiring stories.
I know the authors well, and they and their children have been tried
by fire and have weathered the storms. All
of them are great examples of true disciples of Christ filled with love.
THE VALUE OF “TOUCHING” IN HEALTHY HUMAN INTERACTIONS
book that every parent should read is the classic Touching: The Human
Significance of the Skin by Ashley Montagu.
Montagu taught and lectured at Harvard, Princeton (where he chaired
the Department of Anthropology), University of California, and New York
University. He has written over 60 books.
following is a readers comment on this book taken from Amazon books:
An amazing book on parenting and the touching humans need!,
If you only get one book on parenting and how to raise a child get this one.
This is a thick book with lots of research to support the ideas presented by
Dr. Montague. However scholastic this book might be it is very readable...
This is one amazing book full of data that instructs us to hold our
children close as long as possible and why this is so critical to their
development in every aspect. Read it!!!
a February 2007 Reader’s Digest article on improving marriage, we read (p.
Human touch aids the release of feel-good endorphins, for giver
and receiver. So link arms as
you walk into the grocery store. Brush
her check with your fingertips when you smooch good morning.
Revive the ways you touched in the early days – a kiss on the back
of the ear, a hand through her hair. Touch
is a complex language. It pays
to improve your vocabulary.
touch, as motivated by pure or true love, always enhances human relations
(with husband and wife, in the family, and in general) as long as the
recipient knows where you are coming from.
Touch is a very important coupling technique as loving energy flows
from giver to receiver. It can
come in many forms: a warm hand shake, a touch on the arm or check, a hug,
Montagu discusses in his book, touching of a mother with her infant is
critical in its development in all aspect of its being.
Without touch, the infant will literally and most likely die.
as motivated by distorted love, leads down paths that are soul destroying
and have the opposite effect as that motivated by pure or true love.
Satan, knowing the importance of healthy human interactions, has
turned the “touch” thing upside down with all kinds of distortions from
what could be and should be appropriate in healthy human interactions both
sexually and non-sexually. Satan
must be happy that now our society is litigious about it.
A teacher who touches a student may get sued!
Lord gave us these beautiful tactile sensitivities.
Properly used and appreciated, they bring so much of that which is
beautiful, lovely, and very enjoyable in human relationships.
Interestingly, touching is also so much a beautiful part of our lives
in all relationships with animals as well.
They know, feel, and enjoy the pure and tender touch coming from a
loving human being.
not tactile, loving thoughts are like spiritual touch.
Humans, animals, and plants respond to these in a beautiful way as
well. As we think on Christ, His
love and spirit will reflect from our countenances and bless the lives of
all that interact with us. Keeping
the second great commandment not only includes our neighbors, but all of His
marvelous creations. Being one
with God includes being one with them.
HAVE YOU BEEN BORN OF GOD SO THAT YOU MAY ENJOY PURE LOVE?
this most poignant of questions: “And now behold, I ask of you, my
brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye
received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty
change in your hearts?” (Alma 5:14) If we have not, we cannot enjoy the
full blessings of true or pure love in our lives.
HOW ARE WE BORN OF GOD?
Lamoni’s father asked this question of Aaron in the Book of Mormon:
it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the
king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou
hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this
wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be
filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said
he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that
I may receive this great joy. But
Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down
before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down
before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive,
then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest. (Alma 22:15-16)
King following Aaron’s counsel, he received this most important desire and
was born of God.
associate being born again with being baptized of water and receiving the
Gift of the Holy Ghost, and indeed, these are essential ordinances, but are
of no avail if our hearts are not right before God so that we can receive
the baptism of fire, which is administered by the Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost, and which can and does give us complete freedom from sin.
The ordinances are administered by those holding the Aaronic and
Melchizedek priesthood, but only the Godhead truly knows our hearts.
And as the Savior said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
We must be born again of water, fire, and the Spirit to see the
Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3-5; 2 Nephi 31:)
importance of being born of God and its relationship with the pure love of
God is beautifully taught by John:
believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth
him that begat [the Father] loveth him also that is begotten of him.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God,
and keep his commandments. For
this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:..
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the
victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
(1 John 5:1-4)
let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is
born of God, and knoweth God. He
that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God
sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent
his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
(1 John 4:7-11)
is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in
him; and he cannot continue in sin, because he is born of God, having
received that holy Spirit of promise. (JST 1 John 3:9)
his profound and powerful conversion story to his son Helaman in Alma 36.
The finger print of the Lord is evidenced as this whole chapter forms
and inspired chiasmus with the focal point being his coming to Christ and
feeling the depths of the atonement. Even
more depth can be found as one reads A with A’ and B with
B’, etc. – arriving at the focal point – forgiveness through
the atonement of Christ, which should be the same for each of us.
My son give ear to my words (v 1)
the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land (v 1 )
of our fathers--bondage (v 2) [symbolic of our captivity when we sin]
surely did deliver them (v 2) [as he will deliver us]
E Trust in
God (v 3)
in trials, troubles and afflictions (v 3)
G I know
this not of myself but of God (v 4)
of God (v 5 )
paralyzed (v 10)
spake: If though wilt be destroyed, seek not to destroy the church of God (v
K I was
racked with eternal torment (v 12)
with my sins... tormented with the pains of hell... pains of a damned soul
by memory of my many sins...then remembered coming of Jesus Christ (v17)
conversion, v 18-19 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this
thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on
me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the
everlasting chains of death. And
now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I
was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
M’ Oh what joy, my soul filled with joy as exceeding as was
my pain (v 20)
L’ nothing so
exquisite and sweet as was my joy (v 21)
K’ Nothing so
exquisite and so bitter as were my pains (v 21)
J’ Angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God
I’ Use of limbs
returns (v 23)
H’ Born of God
G’ Therefore my
knowledge is of God (v 26)
under trials and troubles and afflictions (v 27)
E’ Trust in him
D’ He will
deliver me (v 27)
the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land (v 30)
This according to his word (v 30)
from Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon by John W. Welch, BYU Studies,
vol. 10 No. 1 - Autumn 1969.
Millet says in his book, Alive
in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth:
good news is that through the atoning blood of Christ, and by the power of
the Holy Ghost, we can be born again, born from above, "born of God,
changed from [our] carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness,
being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters." What a joyous
message: We may become "new creatures" in Christ (Mosiah
27:25-26). As President
David O. McKay explained: "What the sun in the heavenly blue is to the
earth struggling to get free from winter's grip, so the gospel is to
sorrowing souls yearning for something higher and better than mankind has
yet found" (Gospel Ideals, 3).
something is a rebirth, a renewal. The Fall brought death, and Christ
brought life, not only in the form of resurrection but also in the form of
spiritual regeneration. Those who are born again have come alive to God and
to godliness, have broken forth from the tomb of spiritual death, from
complacency and inertia. They no longer walk "in darkness at
noon-day" (D&C 95:6). The dawning of a new day dispels darkness and
disbelief. President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of an experience that President
David O. McKay had in the 1920s. After falling asleep, President McKay
"'beheld in vision something infinitely sublime.' He saw a beautiful
city, a great concourse of people dressed in white, and the Savior. 'The
city, I understood, was his. It was the City Eternal; and the people
following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness. But who
were they? As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to a
semicircle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold
the words: These Are They Who Have Overcome the World – Who Have
Truly Been Born Again! When I awoke, it was breaking day.'"
President Benson added: "When we awake and are born of God, a new day
will break and Zion will be redeemed" (A Witness and A Warning,
Millet, Alive in Christ: The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth [Deseret
Book Co., 1997], 15 - 16.) Prof.
Millet’s book is an excellent resource for helping us to appreciate the
power of the atonement to cleanse us.
HOW BEING BORN OF GOD HELPS IN RELATIONSHIPS
offers insight into integrity of values and behavior in testifying of his
said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord;
behold I am born of the Spirit.
the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all
nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God,
changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness,
being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise
inherit the kingdom of God. (Mosiah 27:24-26)
L. Brown, Jr. reports of a study in which seven of eight clients were helped
in a major way to heal from sexual intimacy problems:
of the eight people of this study experienced intense, cleansing desires to
"revenge," through their own efforts, the damage caused to
themselves by themselves. They approximated Alma and Paul in their efforts
to embrace the gospel of Christ and become new creatures. Their reaction was
not just guilt. It was also "vehement" desire to rid themselves of
lifelong pain due to severe disparity of belief and behavior. As Erikson
eloquently states, "There is a limit to a child's and an adult's
endurance in the face of demands to consider himself, his body, and his
wishes as evil and dirty, and to his belief in the infallibility of those
who pass such judgment." [Erik
H. Erikson, Childhood and Society, 2d ed. (New York: W. W. Norton,
1963), 267.] It would
distort the picture to allow professional disinterest to obscure the depth
of the emotions or the passion of the struggle these people underwent. Seven
of them sought and achieved a mighty change.
tasks undertaken by the eight to bring about an integration of values and
role behaviors included the selection of models, development of relationship
skills, and achievement of gender security and sexual clarification.
Problems of Intimacy by Clients' Use of Gospel-Based Values and Role
Definitions by Victor L. Brown, Jr., BYU Studies, vol. 26 (1986),
Number 1 - Winter 1986 19
Henry B. Erying asks this question, “Have you thought very much about that
great, mighty change that the scriptures talk about?”
Then he amplifies the answer:
the Younger described it this way: "The Lord said unto me: Marvel not
that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and
people, must be born again; yea, , changed from their carnal and fallen
state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons
and daughters; and thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this,
they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God." (Mosiah 27:25-26)
you ever thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to have that experience?"
Well, the scriptures don't suggest that it would be nice; they say that it's
necessary in order for you and me to have what it is we want, which
is eternal life. Now, so that you don't get too discouraged, consider what
President Ezra Taft Benson said: "When we have undergone this mighty
change, which is brought about only through faith in Jesus Christ and
through the operation of the Spirit upon us, it is as though we have become
a new person. Thus, the change is likened to a new birth. Thousands of you
have experienced this change. You have forsaken lives of sin, sometimes deep
and offensive sin, and through applying the blood of Christ in your lives
have become clean. You have no more disposition to return to your old ways.
You are in reality a new person. This is what is meant by a change of
heart." ("A Mighty Change of Heart," Ensign, October
1989, p. 4)
want you to know that what we're talking about is real. This is not just
"Wouldn't it be nice?" but something that can be done. Let me tell
you how. The key is found in one word, and the word is surrender. Now,
some people are used to being tough and strong, and they feel that
surrendering is not something you should do very often. But we're not
talking about surrendering to a human being. President David O. McKay said
that "human nature can be changed, here and now." He then
quoted this statement from Beverly Nichols: "You do change human
nature, your own human nature, if you surrender it to Christ. Human nature
has been changed in the past. Human nature must be changed on an enormous
scale in the future, unless the world is to be drowned in its own blood. And
only Christ can change it." (David O. McKay, Stepping Stones to an
Abundant Life [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1971], p. 23; as quoted
in Ezra Taft Benson, "Born of God," Ensign, July 1989, p.
Eyring, To Draw Closer to God: A Collection of Discourses [Deseret
Book Co., 1997], 105.
Savior, after His resurrection, offered a most poignant prayer for those who
would surrender themselves to Him. These
are they whom the Father gives to the Son because of their faith: “Father,
I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the
world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may
be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be
glorified in them.” (3 Nephi 19:29) He prayed similarly just before His
passion: “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given
me... which shall believe on me through their [the Apostles] word; That they
all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also
may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
(John 17:9, 20, 21)
He is the
one who can change us as we surrender to Him.
As Paul said, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again
until Christ be formed in you.” (Gal. 4:19) As we surrender and invite Him
into our lives, He will come in and perfect us – helping us to overcome
all things. We cannot do it
without Him. King Benjamin
taught this principle profoundly:
the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and
will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy
Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the
atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek,
humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the
Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his
father. (Mosiah 3:19)
therefore surrender to Christ, so that we may truly be “Born of God” and
be filled with His perfect love. As
we do so we will then love our eternal companions and our offspring with
that same perfect love. By this
example and feeling the door is opened for them to respond in kind more
readily than otherwise. So let
us be wise.
OVERCOMING ADDICTIONS THAT MAY DESTROY A MARRIAGE OR FAMILY
may come in a variety of forms: alcohol, tobacco, drugs, food (overweight
issues, e.g.), pornography, etc. We
are so blessed to have the Savior ever willing to help us work through any
of these. He has the solution to
every problem – having overcome all things – and will help us overcome
if we will come unto Him.
addition to the scriptures, the following books are outstanding in helping
to overcoming addictions:
He did Deliver me from Bondage by Colleen C. Harrison.
It is available from Deseret Book.
The source may be found at Colleen’s web site: http://www.windhavenpublishing.com/
is a work book based on Book of Mormon Scriptures that when applied will
bring a person to Christ, who will then deliver them from bondage.
There are “Heart t' Heart” meetings being held weekly at various
places across the country that are based on this book.
There are also ‘on-line’ meetings: http://www.heart-t-heart.org/meetings.html
Colleen’s book evolved into a social services workbook of the same
title, and was used from 1995 to 2005. A
Church committee, which included Colleen, has updated and replaced it with a
book entitled: Addiction Recovery Guide.
This guide is available from Church Distribution (#36764000) for $5,
or in case lots of 50 for $3 a piece with no shipping charges.
Healing Hearts and Mending Minds by Mark B. Kastleman has been
reference before in this article. It
also is outstanding, and is written by a person who has overcome a serious
pornography addiction that threatened to destroy his family.
He is now free of this enormous burden of guilt.
His book has also helped several others.
Unfortunately, it is out of print and hard to find even used copies.
Clean Hands, Pure Heart: Overcoming Addiction to Pornography
through the Redeeming Power of Jesus Christ, by Philip A. Harrison, who
is Colleen’s husband and a cured addict from pornography.
It is also available from http://www.windhavenpublishing.com/
and comes highly recommended. Colleen
told me that bishops are buying this book by the case.
It is a Christ centered book – helping to open the door of mercy to
those with addictions – giving them hope.
It is also designed for those who are working with those with
addictions or who have family members with addictions.
Love is premièrement.
No opportunity or commandment is more important than to love.
We see that as we come to understand and internalize true or pure love,
this brings harmony, joy, and a oneness in our relationships both with God and
with each other – especially with those who are near and dear.
The message of gladness that the gospel brings into our lives is
fundamentally a message of love. Learning
to love is learning to live the gospel. As
we live it, we receive and share the Lord’s love, which fills our hearts,
permeates our lives, and radiates to all within our influence.
the Lord Jesus Christ and repentance are our path to receive this pure love,
which entails coming to Christ so that He can change us and prepare us to
receive His fullness of love, of light, and of truth.
Doing so allows us to overcome all things because He overcame all
things and has the solution to every problem and addiction.
Coming unto Him brings the perfect peace from the Spirit that
enlightens our lives and which is so critically needed in this world of
and order exist in the ideal society filled with God’s love.
The confusion, addictions, hate, envy, immorality, etc. that we see in
the world come from the dark side. Harmony
of body, mind, and spirit come when we are one with the Lord.
In contrast to the world, he helps us overcome the world.
1) In our
bodies, we are buried with Him by baptism – taking His name upon us, which
baptism is symbolic of His death and glorious resurrection.
2) In our minds, we can
choose to give Him the only thing that is really ours to give – our agency
(we surrender our wills). When we
truly do that, then, ironically, He can lead us to perfect and ultimate
freedom. As He chose to totally
submit to the Father’s will, as our perfect exemplar, He was able to subdue
all enemies under His feet and open the door to Eternal Life.
3) In our spirits we can – through full repentance and faith on the
Lord Jesus Christ – receive the baptism of fire, which communicates to us
the glorious truth that we are totally forgiven of our sins.
Without this, we cannot enjoy that oneness and harmony with God that is
essential to the greatest happiness here and in the world to come.
arithmetic of the Lord, seven is basic. It
takes seven thousand years to celestialize the earth.
There are seven days in the week to bring us to the Holy Sabbath, where
we can better come to know the Lord and renew our covenants with Him (Ezek.
20:20). There are seven
dispensations of the gospel to bring the inhabitants of the earth to a
restoration of all things. There
are seven dimensions to the Lord’s atonement to bring us to perfection.
There are seven learning centers in the brain, which when fully
utilized, we optimize our ability to love, to serve, and to best use our
talents for personal growth. http://www.allanstime.com/Spiritual/BookReports/magic_trees.htm
As we dig
deeper, we find there are seven electron shells surrounding the nucleus of all
atoms – making up all the elements in the universe.
In a new unified field theory (UFT) being researched by the author,
there are seven spectral regions that the Lord uses to bring about the
incredible harmony that we see
throughout the universe. This is
done via diallel-field-lines that connect everything to everything.
We have been able to prove the existence of these diallel-lines and
that they have quantum states. Everyone
has a direct diallel-field-line connection to the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit. Prayer uses these
lines and is instantaneous, and is our greatest opportunity to ever be in
touch with those who love us most. Time
is a mortal limitation as we move along our eternal journey.
We are limited by the four-dimensions of space and time; the Lord is
not. Love allows us to sense and
move into the eternity-domain – the fifth dimension.
Love is the power by which Father governs the universe and which
motivates His great plan of happiness. Love is the power by which we may
return to the Father and fully partake of a fullness of joy with Him, with the
Lord, and with our loved ones. May
we learn to love as Jesus and the Father love is my prayer.
In so doing, we come to know them, which is eternal life – the
greatest of all the gifts of God. My
purpose and hope in writing this is to help us all obtain that gift.
Page posted March 25, 2007
Page last updated February 09, 2008