“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family of heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Be committed to their happiness, to their joyful freedom in Christ.
I know that the scripture above may not seem to correlate with our Dare today, but I want to show you a way that is does:
1 Nephi 8:10-12; 11: 21-23
“And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that is was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy…
“…Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
“And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheath itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
“And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.”
I want to propose here that it is when we have the Love of God in our lives, when that is our primary relationship and focus that we become happy and are lead to freedom. Freedom from our personal and generational bondage. Freedom from all the things that create misery within us. So that there is peace within us, once again.
How do we get to this love that brings us this happiness and joy and freedom?
1 Nephi 11:25
“And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.”
And thus we see that if we want to bring about joy and freedom, we must cling to the thing that will lead us to it: the word of God. As my Papa puts it “the word of God leads to the love of God”.
If we are committed to someone else, to their happiness and joyful freedom in Christ, then we will take every opportunity to introduce them to what will bring them to Him. I have found that there are a lot more ways to do this than I once knew about. Some of them were very different and out of what was normal for me. But I have found that God reaches His children through many avenues. He is not limited by our boxes or comfort zones. He is in every truth, where e’er it be found. Whether that’s in the same religion as mine or not.
Discourses of Brigham Young
“We may receive the truth, and know, through every portion of the soul, that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation; that it is the way to life eternal.” (page 90)
“All truth is for the salvation of the children of men—for the benefit and learning—for their furtherance in the principles of divine knowledge; and divine knowledge is any matter of fact—truth; and all truth pertains to divinity “(page 11)
““Mormonism,” so-called, embraces every principle pertaining to life and salvation, for time and eternity. No matter who has it. If the infidel has got truth it belongs to “Mormonism.” The truth and sound doctrine possessed by the sectarian world, and they have a great deal, all belong to this Church. As for their morality, many of them are, morally, just as good as we are. All that is good, lovely, and praiseworthy belongs to this Church and Kingdom. “Mormonism” includes all truth. There is no truth but what belongs to the Gospel. It is life, eternal life; it is bliss; it is the fulness of all things in the gods and in the eternities of the gods.” (page 3)
“Be willing to receive the truth, let it come from whom it may; no difference, not a particle. Just as soon receive the Gospel from Joseph Smith as from Peter, who lived in the days of Jesus. Receive it from one man as soon as another. If God has called an individual and sent him to preach the Gospel that is enough for me to know; it is no matter who it is, all I want is to know the truth.” (page 11)
(For more quotes by Brigham Young on this topic click here.)
I have found that truth, healing and light comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and from all different backgrounds. If we are conduits of that truth and receptive to truth, others seeking the same thing will be drawn to that.
It has been several days since I have looked at this post and taken the time to finish it. You know, sometimes when you give something a few days, new insight comes when you come back to it :-). You know what came to me today?
If we are committed to someone else’s happiness and freedom in Christ, we will be willing to serve them. In any way that will help them to come closer to the the Giver of happiness and freedom. All our interactions with that person will be focused on that goal.
Does that mean that we are preaching to them all the time?
No. With some people that would be extremely detrimental and backfire and cause the exact opposite of what we are trying to bring to their lives.
No. We do it by the way we talk to them, the way we treat them, the way we interact with them and the the things that they love and the things that they hate. We’re patient. We are committed to the those that we love. If we love someone, truly love someone, we will be committed to them, committed to serving them and blessing them and patient enough to watch the love that we pour out grow a beautiful plant that wants to receive the nourishment that we have to give, that hungers for it.
We all have love to give. We give it different ways and at different times. Love comes in all sizes, shapes, colors and packages. We just have to open our eyes to see it. And there are those who are waiting for just the kind of love that we have to give, who are praying for just the love that we have to offer, and the opportunity is just waiting patiently to be made manifest.
Being committed, doesn’t mean throwing everything you have at just anyone. But waiting patiently for those who are searching and longing and praying and waiting for just what you have to give. Sometimes they are living in your own house, waiting for you to tap into what’s yours. Sometimes they are that new friend you made at the doctor’s office, or the person you met in the grocery line.
But love bespeaks commitment. Love is happiness and love is freedom. There is no greater gift than that.
Assignment for Dare Eleven:
Give the gift of love to someone today. Remember, love has lots of shapes, sizes, colors and actions. Maybe it’s a hot meal to the hungry. A book to a friend. A hug to the lonely. A listening ear to the hurting. Love is such a thing of lovely variety. There are no limits to what love can do. Give a gift of love today.