LDS Church News

President Thomas S. Monson: 'Love — The essence of the gospel'

LDS Church News

Published: Sunday, April 6 2014 12:13 p.m. MDT

“Let us not demean or belittle. Rather, let us be compassionate and encouraging. We must be careful that we do not destroy another person’s confidence through careless words or actions.

“Forgiveness should go hand in hand with love. In our families, as well as with our friends, there can be hurt feelings and disagreements. Again, it doesn’t really matter how small the issue was. It cannot and should not be left to canker, to fester, and ultimately to destroy. Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.”

President Monson spoke of a lady who visited with him before she passed away. “She spoke of an incident which had taken place many years earlier and involved a neighboring farmer, once a good friend, but with whom she and her husband had disagreed on multiple occasions. One day the farmer asked if he could take a shortcut across her property to reach his own acreage.”

The woman told President Monson that she did not let the farmer on her property, which required him to take the long way around on foot to reach his property.

She said, “I was wrong and I regret it. He’s gone now, but oh, I wish I could say to him, ‘I’m so sorry.’ How I wish I had a second chance to be kind.”

President Monson said that as he listened to the woman, there came to him mind “the doleful observation of John Greenleaf Whittier: ‘Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been.’

“Brothers and sisters, as we treat others with love and kind consideration, we will avoid such regrets.”

President Monson said love is expressed in many recognizable ways — a smile, a wave, a kind comment, a compliment.

“Other expressions may be more subtle, such as showing interest in another’s activities, teaching a principle with kindness and patience, visiting one who is ill or homebound. These words and actions and many others, can communicate love.”

President Monson said the Love God has for His children is beyond comprehension.

“Because of this love, He sent His Son, who loved us enough to give His life for us, that we might have eternal life. As we come to understand this incomparable gift, our hearts will be filled with love for our Eternal Father, for our Savior and for all mankind.”