Friday, November 24, 2017

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on the blessings of loving God first

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"God the Eternal Father did not give that first great commandment because He needs us to love Him. His power and glory are not diminished should we disregard, deny, or even defile His name. His influence and dominion extend through time and space independent of our acceptance, approval, or admiration.
"No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!
"For what we love determines what we seek.
"What we seek determines what we think and do.
"What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.
"We are created in the image of our heavenly parents; we are God’s spirit children. Therefore, we have a vast capacity for love—it is part of our spiritual heritage. What and how we love not only defines us as individuals; it also defines us as a church. Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ.
"Since the beginning of time, love has been the source of both the highest bliss and the heaviest burdens. At the heart of misery from the days of Adam until today, you will find the love of wrong things. And at the heart of joy, you will find the love of good things.
"And the greatest of all good things is God."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Love of God," General Conference October 2009
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This talk by President Uchtdorf was a memorable message in many ways. He shared some very helpful insights about God's love for us, and our love for Him. In this section, he considers why God commanded us to love Him as the "first and greatest commandment." It's not for His benefit, but for ours:

The things we love have a significant impact on our lives; they help determine priorities, thoughts, and actions. When we love God above all else, it impacts our lives in profound ways.

President Uchtdorf then summarizes in defining love as the heart of joy and the source of bliss in our lives. Truly, "Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ" and should be one of our great quests in this life.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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