PROVO Special for Valentine's Day week devotional, Timothy B. Smith, associate professor of counseling psychology at Brigham Young University, addressed love of the Savior when he spoke at the Marriott Center on Tuesday.
His address was titled "Love of the Savior: A Pattern for Following Christ and Serving Others."
Smith told the students to think about their schedules this week and figure out how they will make time to serve others. "Many people can be blessed by your love. Who can you help?" he said.
"So what if you receive no valentines," Smith said, to which the students giggled. "How many valentines will you give?"
Charity is the love of the Savior, he said, pointing to stories of Joseph Smith, who would organize service projects such as building a log cabin for a widow or chopping and delivering wood to the needy.
The gospel of Jesus Christ provides essential patterns for our lives to follow, he said. Deviation from the gospel pattern is likely to result in error just like deviating from a sewing pattern would result in problems, Smith said.
"Romantic love is wonderful, but our society distorts romance beyond proportion," he said. "It is as if a clean, white shirt has been tie-dyed and tailored to the point of immodesty ... the perfect pattern of love was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ."
Smith turned to the scriptures for examples of Christ's pattern. First, there is the story of the prophet Enos who "opened his heart to God. Then he turned to God and received healing forgiveness. When he was healed, he turned to serve others," Smith said.
The second example of the pattern is found in the vision of the tree of life by the prophet Lehi. After traveling in a dreary wasteland, he found the tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. "Lehi and his family were in darkness. They were brought to the tree of life, which represents the love of God," Smith said.
The third example of Christ's pattern comes from the mission of the four sons of Mosiah who left their homes to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ among their enemies, the Lamanites. Through his mission, many Lamanites received the Lord's love, turned to him and were healed, and then dedicated their lives to service and peace, Smith said.He said in the scriptures, the word "heart" refers to love but the word "hand" is also used, referring to an act of giving putting into action our feelings of love. "The Lord reaches out to us in love, then heals us, then sets us apart in his service," Smith said.