Saturday, May 9, 2009

Faith, Hope, Love, and Creation

The Prophet Joseph Smith said,
It is by words … [that] every being works when he works by faith. God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’ Joshua spake, and the great lights which God had created stood still. Elijah commanded, and the heavens were stayed for the space of three years and six months, so that it did not rain. … All this was done by faith. … Faith, then, works by words; and with [words] its mightiest works have been, and will be, performed.
This can have direct and powerful application within any relationship.

There are times in life when we want to love someone, but just don't feel it. How often do we hear about married couples who "fall out of love"? There is one cure. It is to say, "I love you." To say it and mean it, even when you don't necessarily feel it is an act of faith. It is also a way of creating the world you hope to live in, but can't currently see (see Alma 32:21).

In creating the future, saying "I love you" does not change those around you. But that's fine, it isn't supposed to. To use such powerful words as a way to control someone else is the opposite of love. A parent can't say "I love you," then become manipulative and still be believed by their children. Love can only be used "by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned" (D&C 121:41-42). Using love as a weapon fails every time.

Saying "I love you" is really an act of self-creation. It makes you the person you should be. Those words have the power to create a better world. It makes your future bright. And as President Monson recently said, "The future is only as bright as your faith."

Boyd K. Packer taught:
A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it! Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that “leap of faith,” as the philosophers call it. It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two. “The spirit of man,” is as the scripture says, indeed “is the candle of the Lord” (Prov. 20:27).
To create that feeling of love within your own heart, you have to take the same leap of faith.

Love grows just like testimony. Alma 32 talks about how the word of God is like a seed. Comparing love to a seed provides just as many insights (actually that is good for another blog post).

So if you face a difficult circumstance in life where you know you should love someone and don't, tell them you love them. That will simultaneously be an act of faith, hope, love, and creation.

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