FHE Lesson, February 2014
Love of God and All His Children
The first and second greatest commandments.
In order to live in the presence of God one day, we must truly love both God and our fellow man. To love our Father in Heaven and our brothers and sisters is our greatest commandment from God. We know this because in Matthew 22:36-40, a Pharisee, who was a lawyer, asked Jesus:
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
If we can love God and man with all our heart, might, and mind, President Joseph Fielding Smith tells us “. . .then there is nothing more to be desired. Then we will be in harmony with the total of sacred law.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Joseph Fielding Smith, 2013, “Love and Concern for All Our Father’s Children.” Chapter 20, pg. 260. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT ) [This is a good lesson to study.]
Can we love God without loving our fellow man?
If we truly love someone, we will be devoted to them and to making them happy. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” and the second commandment is to love others. So if we love our Heavenly Father, we must learn to love His children.
In 1 John 4:20-21 it tells us:
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
“And this commandment we have of him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
What is charitable behavior?
Loving others involves being kind and caring. We should try to understand them and put ourselves in their place. We should treat them as we would want to be treated. We should serve them.
In Moroni 7:45 it says:
“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.
Have the family list some characteristics of a loving person.
Charity is so important to acquire that the prophet, Mormon, told his people they were NOTHING if they didn’t have charity, or the pure love of Christ:
“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—.”
Being kind and loving to those around us makes our daily lives more peaceful and happy, though it’s harder to do when those around us aren’t making an effort.
Does love have a Price?
When we are kind to people who don’t care about love or being kind, they sometimes take advantage of us or try to bully us. Loving others can be a challenge, and there are some choices we can make to protect ourselves.
1. Don’t tie strings to your love or have expectations of others. Just do what is right and leave the rest up to the Lord. Be content with feeling good about yourself.
2. Walk away from bad situations. Don’t do or say the mean thing you could, just leave. Our Father in Heaven withdraws from evil; we should do the same.
3. Get help from an adult. Always tell your parents or a teacher when a bully is bothering you. We have friends and helpers all along the way as members of the Church. Let them help as they are meant to do.
4. Try not to take other people’s actions personally. Not everyone understands the gospel, and not everyone understands the gospel on the same level. Those who know better, behave better. If anything, pity those who don’t yet know.
5. Forgive others their mistakes as quickly as you can. For you it’s better to smile and forget than remember and be sad.
By love all things are done.
It is our Father in Heaven’s love for us that motivates Him to create and further this universe. We know He loves us above all else because all He does is in service to us, His children. It is His work to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, because He is perfect in all other things. His example of service to His children is seen in the gift of His Son, who atoned for our sins and gave us the perfect model of a life spent in loving service.
In 1 John 4:8, it says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is love.”
In Galations 5:6 it says that the very power of faith operates by love.
It is God’s love that is the greatest power in the universe. Why would we put off working toward acquiring that kind of love, if it is the greatest gift of all?
Let’s start by serving each other, for; “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
In the February 2014 Ensign, in the First Presidency Message, “Serve the Lord with Love,” by President Thomas S. Monson, it suggests having the family create a “Links of Love” chain. Write down the service of each day on a paper chain link and tape or glue the links together to form a chain.
Or—you could write down your service on the hearts provided below, cut them out, and chain them together on a string to make a “Hearts of Love” chain.