The conference talk that I am teaching on in Relief Society this week is “Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him” by Elder S. Mark Palmer. It is a great talk and I learn new things every time that I read it.
First he tells a personal story relating to Mark chapter 10. He tells of how as a Mission President he was listening to the New Testament while driving and he heard a new part of this chapter…
“There came one running … and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
“And Jesus said unto him, …
“Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
“And he answered … , Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
His take on those six words
As I heard these words, a vivid image filled my mind of our Lord pausing and beholding this young man. Beholding—as in looking deeply and penetratingly into his soul, recognizing his goodness and also his potential, as well as discerning his greatest need.
Then the simple words—Jesus loved him. He felt an overwhelming love and compassion for this good young man, and because of this love and with this love, Jesus asked even more of him. I pictured what it must have felt like for this young man to be enveloped by such love even while being asked to do something so supremely hard as selling all he owned and giving it to the poor.
He then speaks about how with this new information, he was able to love more and be a better Mission President.
Next he gave 4 lessons he has learned that he believes will help us. I agree. I have learned some of them and am hopefully learning more each day.
As we learn to see others as the Lord sees them rather than with our own eyes, our love for them will grow and so will our desire to help them.
I am slowly learning this. But I do have some very positive experience with it. As I pray daily for the ability to love all of Heavenly Father’s children as He does, I am a better person and I can treat other’s better.
No true teaching or learning will ever occur when done in frustration or anger, and hearts will not change where love is not present.
This one is a principle that Heavenly Father is currently trying to teach me. He has been attempting to show me this for a bit now, and I am finally starting to be able to apply it to my daily life. I pray that I will be able to continue to apply this consistently in my life.
Love should never be withdrawn when a child, friend, or family member fails to live up to our expectations.
God taught this to me through the 12 steps. He revealed to me that I am to love people and accept them for exactly who and where they are. I am not suppose to try to control them, I am just suppose to love them. I even wrote a blog about acceptance recently which talks about this, you can read it here.
Because He loves us, the Lord expects much of us.
This one I do not have much personal conscious experience with. I do know that as I have developed my relationship with Heavenly Father I have consciously decided to obey more and more of His commandments, and as I have done so, I get to a new level of understanding and obedience and that just continues to grow as my faith, trust and journey continue.
I love this next paragraph:
My dear brothers and sisters, now anytime you feel you are being asked to do something hard—give up a poor habit or an addiction, put aside worldly pursuits, sacrifice a favorite activity because it is the Sabbath, forgive someone who has wronged you—think of the Lord beholding you, loving you, and inviting you to let it go and follow Him. And thank Him for loving you enough to invite you to do more.
That is so wonderful to me!! I know in my heart that Heavenly Father and Jesus love me! I have much personal experience with this. I also know that as I have allowed it, Jesus has guided me in my life and brought me to where I am today. But just the thought of Jesus looking into my eyes and “beholding” me almost brings me to tears.
I testify that Jesus lives, He loves you and me! He wants us to succeed in our lessons in this life and He is ready and waiting to guide us in this journey! We just have to be willing to do our part.
In Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.