Who Loves Us Most of All

Who Loves Us Most of All April 11, 2022

Easter symbols
Dumlao/unsplash

Knowing that her three-year-old daughter had had her first primary Easter lesson, a mother decided to share that precious moment with her child.

Conceptions and Misconceptions

“Because Jesus died for us, you and I and everyone can be resurrected,” the mother said gently. “Not me! No way!” the child responded firmly.

With a little maternal probing, her mother realized that the child had mistaken “resurrected” for the pictures the teacher had shown of the Savior on the cross. After some clarification, the mother assured her daughter, “He loves us most of all.” The well-taught, well-loved three year old ran happily off to put her Easter drawing on the refrigerator.

As Easter approaches, we think with particular gratitude and humility of our Savior’s great sacrifice for us. We sing the song of redeeming love with all our hearts.

As we should!

Desires and Frustrations

I want to express my love for Him by serving the Savior with all my “heart, might, mind, and strength” (D&C 4:2) every day of my life. Robert Millett, a highly respected religious scholar has assured us, “Pure love comes from a pure source, the Almighty. It begins with God [and] is extended to His sons and daughters on earth.”

The Savior extends His love and joy to us. And sometimes he shares, to a small degree, his pain with us. We know that, as King Benjamin taught his people, “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). But some fellow beings do not want what we have to offer. Our hearts may ache when what we have to give is trivialized or rejected.

Prophets of every dispensation have been rejected and persecuted. The Savior of the eternities was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”

Understanding and Perspective

At a particularly difficult time during my teenage years, my parents reminded me that God is my friend and I needed to keep going for Him. Now as an adult, when people disappoint me I still need to remind myself that ultimately I am not serving these individuals for their sake alone, but for God.

I am comforted to remember that Christ understands what His children are going through and is willing to help and strengthen us in difficult times.

Ezra Taft Benson explained something we must understand:

To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is all-consuming and all encompassing. . . . The breadth, depth, and height of this love of God extend into every facet of one’s life. Our desires, be they spiritual or temporal, should be rooted in a love of the Lord.

Agency and Love

All have the gift of agency, and the Savior will not interfere with it, regardless of how much good or how much damage an individual chooses to do with that privilege. And results of agency choices can be unfortunate.

Too many sad people raise angry fists toward heaven asking “why me?” Instead they should raise open hands to receive the grace, strength, and divine help Christ offers. I pray our Savior will help me  find and reach out to some of them.

I think of the three-year-old child who misunderstood her relationship to the Savior and thought she was expected to be crucified. Like her, I was blessed with loving, understanding parents who explained how the Savior felt about me and what He wanted from me.

I am thankful that both of us have been taught by those who loved us about God, who loves us most of all.

 

 

 

About Brad Wilcox
Brad Wilcox grew up in Provo, Utah, except for childhood years spent in Ethiopia, Africa. He served his mission in Chile and later returned to that country as a mission president. Brad was sustained as the second counselor in the Young Men General Presidency on April 4, 2020. He continues his career as a professor at Brigham Young University, where he delivered a devotional address “His Grace is Sufficient,” a title reflecting themes prominent in his work, as does the title of one of his many books, “The Continuous Atonement.” He enjoys reading, writing, teaching, and traveling. He and his wife, Debi, have four children and nine grandchildren. Their family has lived in New Zealand and Spain, where Brad directed study abroad programs for BYU. You can read more about the author here.

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