I didn’t get to write yesterday on my usual Thought Tuesday time. However, the subject that is weighing on my mind applies to both Warrior Wednesday and Thought Tuesday.
I have been greatly saddened by many of the events across our nation, both locally and further away.
A scripture in Matthew 24:12 comes to mind… “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
When Jesus was ask about the signs of His second coming. He told them that their would be false Christs (vs. 5), wars (vs. 6), and strife and natural disasters (vs.7). He then warned that a love for God, religion, and I believe even decency, would weaken and grow cold, even die.
After looking up meanings of the Greek words used in this verse, and pondering the listed meanings of the word cold, I have come to a few options as to what this verse could be referring to: in the last days the love of many would grow sluggish, dead, uncaring, unloving, worldly, selfish, making their own way rather than following the path, worshiping nature rather than God, following worldly ideas, medicated, a cold wind of lawlessness and wickedness blowing through the world attempting to consume all.
There are other examples of the love of many going cold in the scriptures:
From 3 Nephi:”they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds.”
From the Doctrine and Covenants: “the love of men shall wax cold” and “men’s hearts shall fail them.”
Ask yourself, who comes first?
Your animals?(I know. Weird. But be real. Most people love their dogs more than they love their neighbors)
Mayyyyybee other people – but only if you like them and they are nice?
With bullying and mass shootings in schools, with families falling apart, with laws getting into places they should not govern and ignoring things they should govern, with natural disasters, with great sadness, and despair raging in the hearts of mankind, I see a great need for change. The trouble is, the change needed is not what most people will accept. The change needed is more GOD in the lives of the people of earth. We need more people willing to follow the example of Jesus, and put others first.
I think of the story when Jesus feed 5000 people on a day He was attempting to go away on His own to mourn the violent death of His friend and cousin, John the Baptist. A crowd followed Him. He put the needs of the crowd before His own needs. He needed rest. He needed time to reflect on the past events and the events about to unfold. He needed quiet time to talk with His Father. He put those needs aside and met the needs of the people seeking Him. He trusted that His Father would give Him the peace and rest that He needed as He served and loved.
Wow! Think of all the times I may have pushed my kids aside because I wanted “me time.” Think of the times I kept driving when I could have stopped to help someone on the side of the road. Think of the times I could have bought a burger at McDonald’s and given it to the man holding a sign outside. Think of the times I “forget” to pray or study the scriptures because I’ve got a busy day.
I need to do better at reminding myself – it’s not all about me.
I want to make the song A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief my anthem.
Okay. Maybe the Beetles weren’t all wrong. What the world needs now if more LOVE!
God is Love! Love is what God is. Love is what He has become.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught us to try to “think of the purest, most all-consuming love… multiply that love by an infinite amount… that is the measure of God’s love for you… He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love.”
Now… I don’t even comprehend that kind of love, but I know that it is real and I know that it would solve the world’s problems.
As a child of God, I am an embryo of love, waiting to grow and become the kind of love God hopes me to become. I grow each day as I rise and put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6) and try my best to live the teaching of Jesus. I am growing up to have His fullness of His love. I am growing by knowing and doing God’s will. I am growing as I apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life, which increases my capacity to love.
I am not a slave to these tragic events. I know that darkness has no foundation, no light, no joy, and no appeal. I am not a slave to the coldness and the blindness that engulfs wickedness. I have been given light that always overcomes darkness. I have the power to rise, to light, and to love.
Dallin H. Oaks taught that “love is the most powerful force in the world.”
Nephi understood the power of love. Nephi spiritually tasted of the fruit of the tree. He experienced a measure of God’s love for him and for his fellow man. He tried his best to live according to the truths that he knew and understood. Nephi said: “Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.”
I want to be like Nephi. I have tasted of the tree – the love of God – as I apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life. I have prayed for and received a measure of God’s love for others. I do my best to live the truths that I know and understand. I do delight in the things of the Lord.
However, perhaps more that Nephi confessed as he lamented his mortal weakness and the temptations of the flesh, I lament my own weaknesses. Mortality is hard. There are days I wonder at myself. There are days I fail to feel the love of the Lord that I know I have felt in the past. Nephi says the feelings of his heart far better than I can:
“Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins.”
When I feel this way, because of my actions or the actions of others I try to remember that that voice is the voice of the natural man. However, at the core, I am created for a higher way of thinking. As I receive God’s power, especially His love, I am able to remember that these frustrating, sorrowful experiences refine me and prepare me and others for something greater. I can follow Nephi’s example and seek God’s love with confidence that God will provide peace.
“I know in whom I trust. My God hath been my support…”
Once we have experienced the love of God, God expects us to share it. Peace comes when we go above and beyond and get out of ourselves and look for ways to lift others.
Changing the world really starts close to home. The opportunities to share God’s love starts with our children. Those opportunities extend to our parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and other extended family. It extends to the people in our schools, towns, nations and the world.
The Love of many” may “wax cold,” but I don’t believe that it has to continue. I believe that I can shine. I can spread love and kindness. I can stop violence and sadness by observing and serving.
I don’t know if gun control is the answer or if mental health is the answer. I DO KNOW that God is the answer. Therefore, I am going to do my best to let my light shineth that others will want to know Him… even better than I know Him.