As a mission president listening to a recording of the New Testament, Elder S. Mark Palmer heard six words he had not noticed before: “Then Jesus beholding him, loved him” (Mark 10:21).
“My 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,” said Elder Palmer, General Authority Seventy. “And thank Him for loving you enough to invite you to do more.”
Speaking during the Sunday afternoon session, Elder Palmer said he has learned many life-changing lessons from this scripture and experience. “Here are four of these lessons I believe will help each of us.”
1. 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. “We will see potential within others they likely do not see in themselves,” he said.
2. No teaching or learning will ever occur when done in frustration or anger, and hearts will not change where love is not present. “Whether we act in our roles as parents, teachers or leaders, true teaching will happen only in an atmosphere of trust rather than condemnation,” he said. “Our homes should always be safe havens for our children — not hostile environments.”
3. Love should never be withdrawn when a child, friend or family member fails to live up to our expectations. “We don’t know what happened to the rich young man after he went away sorrowful, but I am confident Jesus still loved him perfectly even if or though he chose the easier path.”
4. Because He loves us, the Lord expects much of us. “If we are humble, we will welcome the Lord’s invitations to repent, to sacrifice and to serve, as evidence of His perfect love for us,” he said. “After all, an invitation to repent is also an invitation to receive the wonderful gift of forgiveness and peace.”
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