Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Lord Loves You...

The majority of Priesthood Blessings that I have received, start with, "Anne, the Lord loves you..."  Recently, I was present when someone else received a blessing and the same phrase was used.  "The Lord loves you."  Part of me wondered if that is kind of a lead-in that the one giving the blessing uses as they wait for the real inspiration to start flowing.  It just intrigued me that it was usually the first thing stated.  As I pondered it, though, it became obvious to me that if the Lord were able to sit us down and talk to us one-on-one, that is probably one of the first things He would say to us.  That would probably be even more true if we are in need of a blessing.  I know that when my boys are hurt or sad, one of the first things I do is tell them I love them - either with words or with actions.  I am absolutely certain that the Lord desires to do the same for us and that is why, so frequently, blessings begin with the phrase, "The Lord loves you."  I hope that you know that He loves you individually.  If not, pray to know it for yourself.

I promise you that, if you will sincerely pray, He will let you know of His love for you.  I remember a time on my mission, when I doubted the sincerity of my love for the Lord.  I really struggled, wondering if I only did "love Him" because it was the "right answer".  I prayed and fasted and studied diligently to gain a greater understanding of what love was.  (My study spots were 1 John 4 and 2 John.)  As I did so, I was enlightened with knowledge of how much the Lord loved me.  Me, with all my flaws and incapacities.  Me, who was unsure if I even loved Him back.  No matter, He loved me...and more than I could ever imagine.  In 1 John 4:19, it states, "We love him, because he first loved us."  As I read those words, with my new understanding of what it meant to be loved by Him, I was filled with sincere love for the Lord.  I realized and recognized that we were on the same page.  It was a struggle to gain that understanding and that testimony of not only the Lord's love for me but my love for the Lord but, like many things that are a struggle, it was worth the effort. The knowledge that beings as powerful and wonderful as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have a love for me and a desire to bless my life is remarkably comforting during the struggles of day to day life.

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