"The trouble with the world and the trouble with you and me is that we don't love each other enough. And if we do, we don't bother to show it, or we don't bother to say it. If the world is to know love, it has to be in your heart and in mine. And the Lord can fill our hearts with love if we will just go to Him."
- Marjorie Pay Hinckley (1911-2004)
I love this quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley. Just before she passed away at the age of 92 nearly six years ago, Sister Hinckley was still a very attractive woman. She attracted the hearts of many because of the way she radiated love. She had a presence of strength, resolve, and happiness that are worthy of emulation. Sister Hinckley understood the power of love and how it can bless the lives of many, including those she did not know.
Today my heart is full of more feelings than thoughts. If I can take advantage of Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on the gift of love, perhaps you will be able to appreciate a small portion of what I am feeling.
How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give 'em.
- Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)
There is a certain selfish part of me that is prone to wait for love before giving any away. In the hope that I may discover how much I mean to someone else, I wait for them to demonstrate their love first. Oh, how often understanding is blinded by fear. Regarding the adage that love begets love, I have learned that when I am quick to give love I don’t have to wait long for it to return in abundance. Shel Silverstein reminds me that a friend has so much more to give me when I refuse to wait.
“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
- Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Love may be realized in a variety of ways. This power may exist romantically between two individuals. It may also be equally sought for by a parent or child of the other. The desire for friendship outside of a family relationship is also very compelling. But perhaps the greatest need that we may have is to feel the love of God. While hearts may be broken by others, the Lord promises us comfort. “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Proverbs 8:17)
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find….” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:63)
The strong desire for love is one
that few do not possess.
While often felt, the common theme
is not regarded less.
Without this love, a single heart
feels vacant and alone.
A heart that yearns may fast be stopped
when one holds back their own.
But when one feels and fills a need
for love the heart desires,
that man or woman then can fuel
a thousand glowing fires.
There is a great difference between love unfeigned and desire unrestrained. The prophet Alma said to his son, Shiblon, “see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love….” (Alma 38:12) This would suggest that love is much more than desire. It is exhibited by control and restraint. The absence of such control reflects a shadow of love only, one that is not complete or perfect.
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail – But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moroni 7:45-47)
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)
I will be eternally grateful for the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. I know He lives. I know the things He taught are true, and I will continue to follow the path that He provided that I may be worthy to return to His presence and that of the Father. I hope to change my life so that I may love as He loved, and live as He lived.