Monday, February 14

Forward With Faith

And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith...? (Alma 5:14-15)

Easier said than done.

Today is Valentine's Day - an annual celebration of romance and love throughout the western world. Beyond paper hearts, chalk-flavored candies that say "fax me," and extravagant boxes of chocolate, I think that Valentine's Day is about families... And learning to love others despite the opposition that comes in my daily life.

It's not easy. True love is more than just an infatuation, or even being willing to tolerate the presence of someone I once didn't like. The Lord expects much more of me than just tolerance - He expects me to love all men like myself, like He loves them. True love is the ingredient that causes the "might change of heart" that Alma spoke of ... the light that shines in those who have received His image in their countenances.

Again, it's not easy. I've been betrayed, outcast, insulted, cursed, made fun of, ignored... But love is not dependent on outcomes. It's not dependent on results or even on the actions of the people I love. Love is the knowledge of others, and the unconditional desire to help them be eternally happy... and when I have realized that, it helps me see through the actions of others, into their hearts and their souls.

I don't know what tomorrow will hold. I'm trying to develop meaningful friendships with others, but on the romantic side I don't even have anyone I'm dating. To complicate things, as I grow older, people seem to ask about my social life and future plans more and more often. It'll work out. So I move forward with hope, happiness, and a willingness to let Him share the load. For me, that's faith.

Today will probably still be hard. There are still guys that are attractive and girls who aren't. And there are people who unknowingly (or not) tread on my life, unaware of my pain and my needs since they've never taken the time to walk in my shoes. But that's ok. Of all people, I know what it's like to be imperfect. Life wasn't meant to be easy; it was meant to give me the tools to return to live with God some day... I think the greatest gift of love God gave me was people - the people who inspire love and teach me who I can become. I am a child of God. They are children of God. And with their help, I can learn to love and to press forward with faith.


  1. Thank you for a little boost. My toughest Love Day yet, as my divorce became final last week. Trying to learn how to get through & lean on the Lord.

  2. Nice explanation of what love is about.

  3. i love coming to read your blog. thank you for all your uplifting words. my brother lives a gay lifestyle and has recently started dating someone for the first time. My entire family is active in the church but my sister is "very happy" for my brother. I am happy that he is happy but I am torn. Im sure you know what i mean.

    The other day I made a comment about the new lady gaga song and it may have come off a little rude. I am truly interested in what you think about it. my husband heard it for the first time and he asked me what I thought of it. again... very torn. I believe that people were "born to be brave" but be taught the truth. This is a very very popular song. I also serve in the YW at church. Many questions come to mind as how to defend different topics to our newly converted girls.

    with love,

  4. Anonymous:

    I got your comment about the lady gaga song and could tell that it was sincere; I just wasn't really sure how to respond. I have incredibly strong feelings about the place of music in the eternities, and the role that it plays in the development and perfection of humanity. I also feel that music is one of the most powerful tools of propaganda in existence. Nothing else can draw you in, beat you senseless to what it is actually saying with a hypnotic rhythm, and leave you full of words and messages that your conscious mind never even bothered to question.

    Because of personal circumstances that are a too unique to share on this blog, I have to use extreme measures to filter the music I consume. I read the lyrics for the song you mentioned and, while some of it felt true - that each of us is born to life with a given set of characteristics - the take-home message was exactly opposite of what the gospel teaches. The Lord teaches that we are not defined by what happens to us or our lot in life; we are defined by what we do with what we have and the knowledge we have gained. Being "born this way" is far more of a cop-out than anything else, because it is used beyond what is unchangeable, extending to be a scapegoat for not putting off the natural man. We were all born mortal - but that doesn't mean that mortality is our destiny or even the level at which we judge our actions. We are destined to be divine - and the truth behind being born to our destiny is better summed in the song "I Am A Child of God." ... not a song that claims we cannot, or should not, change our goals and dreams and actions to rise beyond the carnal nature we inherited at birth.


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