Living by the scriptures

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. — John 3:16-17

As the Mormon Tabernacle Choir crescendoed the phrase "for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world," my heart followed, and I was filled with such great love — a living and powerful love. For five glorious minutes the pure love of Christ poured into my heart, and I tasted this amazingly sweet love as it made the complete circuit from heaven and back, not returning void to God. It was akin to what Joseph Smith felt when he read James 1:5, for this love entered with great force into every feeling of my heart.

I thought to myself, "If Jesus wasn't sent into the world to condemn the world, surely I wasn't sent into the world to condemn the world." And from that moment on, I haven't had a desire to condemn others in my heart because of the great love He's placed within me. I also thought, "If God loves loves everyone, this includes me." This godly love suffers long and is still kind, patiently awaiting the goodness in others (and in myself) to awaken and blossom and bear fruit worthy of our Father's kingdom.

Since that day over four years ago, I've learned that all we experience can invite and entice us nearer to God. Our Father doesn't want our hearts far from Him, so He's shown us the greatest love He can by offering us His greatest gifts. He's given us His Son and the Holy Ghost and the Book of Mormon and so much more so we can come nearer and nearer Him in our love and dwell with Him eternally in a state of happiness that hath no end, so our joy will be full forever. He desires that we enjoy the power of godliness and truly know Him and His Son because we are like Them in love, continually feasting on what is sweet above all that is sweet. — Lyle Fletcher, Nauvoo 3rd Ward , Nauvoo Illinois Stake.

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