Wednesday, May 1, 2019

President M. Russell Ballard on loving God and our neighbor

President M. Russell Ballard (born October 8, 1928) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985. He became acting president of the Twelve in January 2018.
"The best ways for us to see the spiritual purposes of the Church are to live the true, pure, and simple teachings of Christ and also to apply the Savior’s two great commandments: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. … Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' (D&C 59:5–6; see also Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:36–40.)
"Obedience to those two commandments provides a way to experience more peace and joy. When we love and serve the Lord and love and serve our neighbors, we will naturally feel more happiness that comes to us in no better way.
"Loving God and loving our neighbors is the doctrinal foundation of ministering; home-centered, Church-supported learning; Sabbath-day spiritual worship; and the work of salvation on both sides of the veil supported in the Relief Societies and the elders quorums. All of these things are based on the divine commandments to love God and to love our neighbors. Can there be anything more basic, more fundamental, and more simple than that?
"Living the true, pure, and simple gospel plan will allow us more time to visit the widows, widowers, orphans, lonely, sick, and poor. We will find peace, joy, and happiness in our life when serving the Lord and our neighbors."
- M. Russell Ballard, "The True, Pure, and Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ," General Conference April 2019
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Ballard reminds us that "the true, pure, and simple teachings of Christ" are embodied in the commandments to love God and love our neighbors. As we do that, we will find more peace, joy, and happiness in life.

This is an interesting thought. Love of God and neighbor is the force and motivation behind almost all of the significant programs and activities of the Church! As we come to understand and implement the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, our lives will be deeply blessed and we will bless all around us.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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