Tuesday, June 29, 2021

President Thomas S. Monson on sharing and expressing love

President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley and then became Church president in 2008. He led the Church for almost a decade until his passing in January 2018.
"Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, 'They do not love that do not show their love' (Two Gentlemen of Verona, act 1, scene 2, line 31). We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us. 
"Send that note to the friend you've been neglecting; give your child a hug; give your parents a hug; say 'I love you' more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It's so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they're gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of 'what if' and 'if only.' Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, 'The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone' (in Gorton Carruth and Eugene Erlich, comps., The Harper Book of American Quotations (1988), 173)." 
- Thomas S. Monson, "Finding Joy in the Journey," General Conference October 2008
Click here to read the full talk

This excerpt is full of good advice about our relationships and interactions.  It's appropriate that it comes from a talk titled "Finding Joy in the Journey" — we will certainly have more joy when we express more love and appreciation.

In the midst of coping with the challenges of our lives, how easy it is to neglect the things that not only are of greatest worth, but are also keys in coping with our challenges! That certainly includes "the people around us" and we must not forget the blessing those relationships are, and can be.

I've known a number of people who struggled to resolve a difference or to express their appreciation until it was too late; they knew exactly the sentiment President Monson is warning of in this next caution, and in his encouragement to not delay in sending a note, giving a hug, or expressing love to others:

That highlighted statement is a wonderful and profound summary of President Monson's counsel. We should never lose track of what matters most, and never postpone expressing love when we have the chance!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
March 7, 2015

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