45And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. I’ve always thought of this as sort of a checklist. That you had to strive to develop each of these attributes, and once you had acquired them all, TA-DA! You’d have achieved Charity! (charity=the pure love of Christ) Not that I assumed the acquisition was a one time event. I just figured the processes would be basically isolated.
This week, as I’ve worked to improve unity with my companion, Sister Trujillo, I’ve been praying and studying a lot to try to learn how to love her more purely, as Christ does. After working on it for a while, I’ve had a light bulb moment: If you truly love those around you, all of those other attributes will take care of themselves!
What are the major barriers, if you’re honest with yourself, that inhibit you from loving those around you? Pride, impatience, envy, fear, criticism, dishonesty, insecurity, and selfishness to name a few. If you are focused on loving a person, concentrating to identify their positive qualities, seeking out opportunities to serve them and lift them up, and asking Heavenly Father for the strength to stop worrying about the little nuisances; there won’t be room in your heart for any of those dreadful stumbling blocks!
So, suddenly it makes sense as to why, when a man asked which commandment was greatest, 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law.
I’ve never realized that everything else literally hangs on those two commandments. As we love Heavenly Father, and then love others, completely, all of the other things we need to work on will fall into place behind them.