Love is encouraging the fulfillment of all righteous desires – mine or yours. A righteous desire is a desire that is not motivated by fear. – Scott Stover
I wrote recently about “Loving Jesus”. This morning I realized, “Duh! Relationships must go two ways!” So, how about “Being Loved by Jesus”?
How does Jesus love us – today? Yes, I know – the scriptures describe the ways in which He has loved us in the past (although time is appointed only unto man), but how does He love us today? Right now. He showed how He loved all mankind through His creation, His earthly ministry, the passion, His attaining to the resurrection, teaching through prophets and through personal revelation, and myriad other ways.. But how does he love you and me…right now?
I think the key is in the above quote. I think Christ, today, loves us by encouraging the fulfillment of all righteous desires, which are desires that are not motivated by fear.
Please forgive me for quoting myself. I know it might come across as presumptuous or even pompous, but that’s not the case, nor is it the point. What’s happening is that, as I learn things, they keep getting reinforced. This idea about encouraging righteous desires came to me through my personal pondering, and I wrote it down, but it keeps getting reinforced. The ideas I’ve mentioned in previous posts, about living in comparison, the 4 C’s (comparison, competition, contention, and control) – those principles also keep getting reinforced, too, and the understanding keeps growing more and more complete as it all falls into place. I’m trying to portray this process as it develops – and I can’t do that without referencing these past writings.
So – Christ loves us today by encouraging, even enabling, the fulfillment of our righteous desires.
Now, Christ is a powerful dude! He exists independent of time and space. He has the ability to control the elements. He has knowledge of all things from the beginning. And He can bring all that power to bear in loving us! But the best way, the only way, really, in which He can love us is by encouraging, even enabling, our righteous desires.
Now, the second part of the opening statement.
Love is encouraging the fulfillment of all righteous desires – mine or yours. A righteous desire is a desire that is not motivated by fear.
Righteous desires are desires that are not born of fear. That means, they are desires that are born of love, because love is indeed the opposite of fear. Fear breeds guilt, and judgment, and jealousy, and a whole bunch of other undesirable things – things that are commonly associated with “THE FALL”. (Cue dramatic, ominous, scary music).
In another recent post, Conversations with God #8, I shared how I had learned that God’s nature, and our nature, is defined by His, and our, desires. So, if Christ is loving us by encouraging our righteous desires, He is encouraging us to become our most righteous, most loving, most redeemed (as in from the fall – from fear, guilt, judgment, jealousy) selves.
To encourage the fulfillment of any other desires – desires resulting from an existence defined by comparison – would not be loving us.
When we focus on a gospel of sin, of judgment, of punishment…of fear – that is not love. That is not of Christ. Christ cannot desire these things, or He would be these things. And we cannot be one with Him unless we jettison these things.
And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto the ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for you are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I Am, not with the carnal, neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. T&C 56:3
This passage has, over the years, become a cornerstone of my understanding of the truth of the gospel, and the nature of Christ. It keeps coming back – as a cornerstone. The Lord told us these things through Joseph Smith. He said, in effect, “If you would be with me, if you would know me, then stop living by comparison; stop living in a seething cauldron of guilt, and fear, and judgment, and jealousy. If you can do this, you will be able to know me, to see me with your spirit – which is the only way you can really know me anyway. If you cannot do this, we can never be one, and we will always be separated from each other. Oh, and by the way – this is a promise. This is truth. This is an eternal principle. I will love you by encouraging and enabling you in this pursuit.”
The scriptures teach us so much. But they must necessarily be a means to an end. The scriptures do not love. The scriptures do not create. The scriptures point the way, and they point the way to Christ – not to our hazy, fallen image of Him but of His true nature. The more I learn of Christ, the more I’m convinced that we interpret the scriptures through a lens clouded by the fall – by comparison, and guilt, and judgment, and jealousy, and fear. The truth – the truth that they ultimately teach is the ultimate beauty – the ultimate love.
I pray that we can learn to love Christ for who He is, and that we can learn to recognize the way in which He loves us. I pray that we can love Him by encouraging and enabling Him to fulfill His righteous desires; by being partners in bringing about His purpose – His work and His glory – which we can only do by loving Him and our neighbor. I pray, furthermore, that we can learn to first identify, and then seek the fulfillment of, our own righteous desires; desires that are free of fear; and ask Him fervently to bring all His power to bear in enabling us to fulfill those desires. In this way, we in turn further enable Him to fulfill His greatest desire, which is love us! In this way, we heal the separation of the fall, bring about the redemption of all, and become one with Him and with each other. It is in this way that we will usher in Zion, even the Kingdom of God, for what is the Kingdom of God if not a kingdom free from fear, and filled with love for all creation.