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.