In last week’s “Scripture Snapshot,” I analyzed some portions of President Nelson’s most recent General Conference address. I also threw in a quote from Elder Hales’ talk for good measure. Today, let’s look into that talk a little bit more.
Elder Hales’ talk is entitled, “‘Come, Follow Me,’ by Practicing Christian Love and Service.”
As a reminder, last week we discussed feeling joy in the middle of our trials. In other words, it possible to be going through difficulty and still feel at peace?
“Today I ask a similar question of each of us,” Elder Hales said, “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?”
What do you think? To me it seems almost illogical that loving someone would make us suffer less. If I love my child, that doesn’t mean my love will heal them. But I guess that isn’t the question that Elder Hales puts to us, is it? It’s not “If we love the Savior more, will He suffer less?” It’s will we suffer less.
Maybe it’s hard to answer that question initially because we often see love in our culture as being sometimes a selfless and sometimes a selfish motivator. However, truly loving Christ implies that we are doing things to prove our love. And what do we do to prove our love of the Savior? Well, if our love is sincere and not simply a “show,” we will be serving others.
As John 21 verses 16-17 state,
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Christ doesn’t just want words from us. He wants action, and He wants our actions to fan outward, namely as we help and are of service to others.
Like I said last week, I didn’t fully catch the “answer” to Elder Hales question as I listened to his talk. I was hoping for a succinct, sound byte answer for “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?” But as I started reading the talk over, his answer hit me: we suffer less by serving more.
In the talk, Elder Hales says, “As the Savior’s latter-day disciples, we come unto Him by loving and serving God’s children. As we do, we may not be able to avoid tribulation, affliction, and suffering in the flesh, but we will suffer less spiritually. Even in our trials we can experience joy and peace.”
And there it is. We will probably still experience pain and trials, but our spirits won’t suffer as much. Maybe we will be hurting physically or mentally, but our souls can be at peace. When we look outward and allow ourselves to be a part of the lives of other people, we are buoyed up. I’ve felt that in my own life. Have you?
So maybe simply loving the Savior more won’t remove our challenges or make things all better in our lives. But loving the Savior and “proving” that love to Him through our charity and service will enable us to feel joy during our hard times.
Christ will lighten our load as we lighten the loads of others.
One of my youth Sunday School teachers used to say something to us along the lines of, “If you take care of the Lord’s business, He’ll take care of yours.” Is this just a variation of “If you love the Savior more, you suffer less”? What do you think?