How are you doing? Emotions seems to be a little raw this week—lots of questions, worry, maybe frustration? Or maybe you feel peaceful and reassured. Regardless, I hope you know that whatever you are feeling, it is not unfamiliar to your Savior. He knows. He hears you. We are all navigating this as best we know how, and well, none of us really know the “how”, right? These are new and uncharted waters for everyone! Let's be generous with our kindness and compassionate with our words, and look to the example of the One who has walked this path before us.
There were a couple lines the stood out to me in Elder Wakolo's address this week. The first being, “The Savior's universal love is the motivating force behind all that He does.” This lead me to ask, can the same be said about the motivating force behind all that I do? Is it love? Or has pride crept in, or the desire to be right? Am I acting out of fear of being wrong or failing, or with faith that I am learning? Whatever that motivating force is, it effects all that we say and do. Imagine if it was always love—love for others, for ourselves, and for God.
I also wanted to highlight when Elder Wakolo says, "Chastening . . . is a way of reminding us that He loves us and that He knows who we are." What a beautiful reminder that correction, when done with love, can be an expression of love. Those of us around young ones understand that we correct because we love them enough to help them become the person we know they can be. The same is with our Father in Heaven. He see our divine potential within us, and knows the learning and growth it will take to get there.
And finally, Elder Wakolo shared in his address, “But like a pillar of light shining through dark clouds of fear, loneliness, and despair came the words of the prophet.” Let me first say this—the words of the prophet may not always feel this way. This past week, the words of the prophet may have actually caused some confusion and hurt. And for many, this is not the first time. In this ongoing “war of words and tumult of opinions”, I believe we were given yet another opportunity to practice compassion and to exercise empathy. Agency and personal revelation play a crucial role in each of our lives, but we were never commanded to judge what another does with it, we were only commanded to love.
This is our time, our opportunity, to show forth an outpouring of love to our brothers and sisters regardless of how we are each choosing to navigate these latter days. Let love motivate us. Let kindness inspire us. Let prayer guide us. Let the Gospel of Jesus Christ be what brings us together, not what tears us apart. Let this be our legacy.
"Our Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, show Their love by making it possible for us to have eternal relationships with Them and our family members, by calling modern-day prophets to teach and minister to us, and by chastening us to help us learn and grow."
"Sometimes God manifests His love by chastening us. It is a way of reminding us that He loves us and that He knows who we are."
I feel Their love and know it is real through my earthly relationships, a prophet that leads and guides, and Their chastening that refines and purifies.