In January I was supposed to teach a conference talk in RS that just didn't do anything for me. Sometimes I've had to stretch a bit, but this talk just didn't have anything I felt like the sisters could really use. So I bagged it. It is the first time I've ditched the assigned lesson and done my own thing.
I ended up teaching President Uchtdorf's talk, "The Love of God." It is awesome. When I read it, certain statements really stuck out to me and I've made them my theme for the year. Or rather--everything I study or prepare I'm correlating to these thoughts.
Thought Number One: "When asked to name the greatest commandment, He [Jesus] did not hesitate. 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,' He said. 'This is the first and great commandment.'
"Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood."
Thought Number Two: "We are created in the image of our heavenly parents; we are God’s spirit children. Therefore, we have a vast capacity for love—it is part of our spiritual heritage. "
Thought Number Three: "Since 'God is love,' the closer we approach Him, the more profoundly we experience love."
Thought Number Four: “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
I'm sure you can see all the connections, but humor me. First, our greatest commandment is to love God and the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor (everyone) as ourselves, or better than ourselves. So in our lives, we need to be less selfish and learn to love other people. To really make love the center or reason for all that we do.
That sounded impossible to me when I first thought about it. To love like that is to love like Heavenly Father loves, and he's divine and I am mortal. But then President Uchtdorf reminded me that I am a daughter of God--I have unlimited potential and capacity. If I don't tap into it and try to increase it that's my sin. There are no excuses here. And just say that out loud to yourself--"vast capacity for love." We have it. That's amazing. It puts learning to love like our Heavenly Father within reach. Or rather, it puts getting a lot better at loving like Heavenly Father within reach.
Obviously, as we develop a stronger relationship with God we will learn to love Him more. The more we love Him, the more capable we will be to love other people as He loves. So our first priority should be building a stronger relationship with our Father. This isn't easy, but it is comforting to know that Heavenly Father wants to be found and he's promised that if we seek him, we will find him.
Job number one: seek Him. Earnestly. With full purpose of heart. That will help with commandment number one and commandment number two. The two great commandments.
I know, you already knew all this but that phrase, "vast capacity for love," just won't leave my brain so I thought I'd share.