Friday, October 21, 2011

4 Nephi 1:15

"And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people."
4 Nephi 1:15

This is pretty simple on the surface. These people... entire society full of people... got along. No fighting, no cruelty. Because they loved each other. ... Amazing. A little deeper now. The love of *God* did dwell in their hearts. It wasn't just the normal type of love that you get from knowing someone really well and learning to appreciate them. That totally rocks, and it helps us all when we take that kind of time to get to know one another... but they probably didn't all know each other personally, so this was even more than that. Their own love was enhanced by God, with his love and his personal knowledge of everyone, so that even if they didn't know someone personally, they could still love, and that love made a difference in their lives.
Our situation is different, yes, but I think this applies to us as well. It is really easy for us to dismiss people that we don't know, or who we see as different from ourselves. Say, immigrants, or Muslims, or democrats or republicans, or homosexuals, or polygamists, or felons, or the rich, or the poor. Sometimes we don't understand other people well enough to love them... or we think that the gap is too wide between who we are and who they are. God loves them though... every single one of them... every single one of us. We all have problems and things that we need to overcome, and no matter who we are, we're probably labeled in the media as *something* ... but we're still part of each other, no matter what we believe or how we live. Sometimes the individual differences are great, and hard to surmount, but this verse tells us how. Today, let's pray for God to grant us *his* love... so that we can love everyone we run into in person or through conversation or media. So that we can increase our ability to love. To see past labels and sins, and see hope and potential and greatness... in ourselves and in everyone around us.

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