I don’t thank my Savior enough. Even though it isn’t the popular thing to do on the internet, it is necessary for me today, and especially during this special time of each year.
Yesterday was my Grandpa Ray’s 93rd birthday and I love him with every ounce of my being. But sometimes I worry about him. I worry about his health. I worry that he might still carry emotional pain from serving in World War 2. I worry that he is lonely. As I listened to my Grandpa Ray’s cute, squeaky voice over the telephone, I was reminded of this story by Robert D. Hales from October 2016:
“Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel was in the hospital recovering from open-heart surgery when he was visited by his five-year-old grandson. As the little boy looked into his grandfather’s eyes, he saw his pain. “Grandpa,” he asked, “if I loved you more, would you hurt less?” Today I ask a similar question of each of us: “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?” -Robert D. Hales
I wondered the same question; if I loved my Grandpa more…if I called him more, sent him post cards more, prayed for him more…would he suffer less? If I loved my Savior more, would I suffer less? With all that goes on in our world, it’s difficult to avoid trials and affliction. However, have you ever considered that we will be blessed from these difficulties and disappointments? It’s because of our mortal challenges that we are blessed to have these opportune moments to turn to Him, rather than away. It’s because of our Savior’s crucifixion and His resurrection that we are very fortunate to have a path that constantly brings us direction, peace, and true joy.
Saying we love Him though is only the beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need to consistently show it. If we loved the Savior more, we would study His word. I believe that there is a growing scriptural illiteracy simply because we don’t open them. If we loved the Savior more, we wouldn’t be unbelieving. If we loved the Savior more, we would accept callings to serve, even at difficult times. If we loved the Savior more, we would follow the standards in the For Strength of Youth. They are clear standards, and intended to be followed throughout adult life. I know I can love Him more by recording my experiences in a journal. I know I can love Him more by relying on my testimony. I know I can love Him more by giving Him my time to be in the temple. I know I can love Him more by improving my knowledge on a regular basis, by repenting, and by acting on spiritual impressions. There is so much I can do to love Him more.
If we loved Him more, we would suffer less. There is absolutely no sweeter joy than having a living Savior. He lives. I know He does. I am grateful for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and I know you are too. “We love Him, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
All my love,