Ron Harmon, Council of Twelve Apostles
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” -Matthew 22:37-40
If God is love, then exploring the nature of divine love will reveal challenging insights about our call as disciples today. Although much of what I hear in modern culture stresses love as an emotion, I have been most affected by encountering love as a way of life. Such deeper love happens when we live into a new way of being where the Worth of All Persons is the foundation for all our relationships.
As we take on the life and mind of Christ, we begin to see others differently. We become aware of the relational impulse of Christ that is always drawing us into relationship with one another. Doctrine and Covenants 163:2b reminds us that restoring of persons to healthy relationships is at the heart of the purpose of our journey.
Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 22 to love God and neighbor was an urgent call in the first century and is an urgent call today. When many are increasingly fearful of one another, our call is to embody love by risking new relationships with our neighbors. As I encounter the church in many places, the common theme I hear is the transformative power of loving relationships.
In our fast-paced world, the Spirit is prompting us to slow down, pay attention to one another, and embody Christ’s love by risking new relationships of invitation, hospitality, and healing. When we risk reaching out, we create hope for “a new community of tolerance, reconciliation, unity in diversity, and love” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:5).
“Attention is the beginning of devotion” (Mary Oliver).
Spend a few moments paying attention, wherever you are. Notice your surroundings. What draws your focus? Look more closely at detail and color. Notice what pulls or prods within you. How is the God-in-all-things speaking to you through what you see and feel right here, right now?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.