Love Intended to Lift

God’s love is infinite, ever-present, and eternal. But in order for it to bless us, we need to meet certain conditions. 

photo by Jamison McAndie

photo by Jamison McAndie

As children of Heavenly Father, we receive Heavenly Father’s love eternally and constantly. But do we receive it unconditionally?

In his conference address “Abide in My Love,” Elder D. Todd Christofferson says that there are better descriptors—such as “perfect,” “redeeming,” and “everlasting.” The word “unconditional” suggests that God’s love is fully beneficial to us even if we are rebelling.

The thought that God’s love is conditional in any way may seem alarming. However, Elder Christofferson says, “God will always love us, but he cannot save us in our sins” (emphasis added). Sometimes we forget that. If we think that because God loves us we can do whatever we want without consequence, then we are abusing God’s love. When we abuse that love, it can’t do anything for us; Heavenly Father cannot bless us or put his trust in us.

In order to fully enjoy the blessings of God’s love, Elder Christofferson explains, “we must have faith in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, including repenting of our sins, being baptized for the remission of sins, receiving the Holy Ghost, and continuing in the path of obedience.” God’s love is intended to lift us up and to help us become like him. Those things can happen only when we are doing our best to obey Heavenly Father and to repent of our sins.

God will always love us; however, he is unable to provide us with the full blessings of his love if we don’t obey him. The full blessings of his love are conditional. But never fear! Through his Atonement, Jesus Christ extends his arm of mercy toward us. His sacrifice can make our honest but imperfect efforts enough if we exercise faith in him. Because of our Savior, we can fulfill the conditions of God’s love, reaching the heights and receiving the blessings he has prepared for us.

Read or watch “Abide in My Love” by Elder Christofferson to learn more about the intent of God’s love.

Source: lds.org

—Lauren Allred, Mormon Insights

feature image by nasa

Find more insights

Check out another Mormon Insights article, “God Is Love” by Elisabeth Muldowney, to hear about one girl’s developing relationship with Heavenly Father.

Read “Divine Love” by President Russell M. Nelson to further study the nature of Heavenly Father’s love for us.

Watch “Shower of Heavenly Blessings” to learn how we can enjoy the blessings that God has to offer us.

Read or watch “Love and Law” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks to understand more about the relationship between God’s love and God’s law.

 

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4 Comments

  1. I appreciate the nuances of God’s love that this article delves into. This article clearly states the difference between “unconditional” and God’s continual love for us, where we still need to follow Him in order to receive the blessings from that love.

  2. This was a really interesting read. Having a Heavenly Father who loves us is like having earthly parents who love us. Their love is unconditional but we can still disappoint them. We have to work hard and try our best. Only then can we truly feel their love.

  3. This was a really insightful read. Heavenly Father, much like our earthly parents, can love us immensely but not love what we do. My parents spent a lot of time spelling that out for me. Even at the worst points of my relationship with my parents, I knew that they loved me. However, I knew that if I respected and followed their rules, our relationship would be much stronger and beneficial to me. I want to receive the full blessings of the Atonement, so I do my best to remember my divine heritage and live up to it. It doesn’t always stick, but I’m doing my best, and that’s enough for both me and my Heavenly Father.

  4. This article rings so true to me. A perfect Heavenly Father doesn’t delight in His children indulging in sin, but He still loves us. We’re the ones disqualifying ourselves from feeling that love. Instead of saying that God’s love is conditional, I think it’s more appropriate to say that feeling the blessings of God’s love is conditional upon our personal righteousness. In times in my life where I haven’t been on the straight and narrow path, it was hard to believe that God really loved me. On the other hand, at times where I have been obedient to the commandments, I felt God’s love more than ever. It wasn’t Him changing– it was me.

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