Quotes on Love

Love plus sacrifice equals charity. — Elder Hartman Rector, General Conference, October 1994

The Prophet Joseph Smith said:  “Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God.  A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”  (History of the Church, 4:227; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 174) — President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, November 1991, p. 18

True love can alter human lives and change human nature. — President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, November 1992, p. 97

Let’s do something beautiful for God. Let’s love one another. — Mother Teresa

When I was a little boy, we children traded paper hearts at school on Valentines Day.  At night we dropped them at the doors of our friends, stamping on the porch and then running in the dark to hide.

Almost without exception those valentines had printed on their face, “I love you.”  I have since come to know that love is more than a paper heart.  Love is of the very essence of life.  It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow.  Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day.  Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death.  How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church, and neighbors.

I am one who believes that love, like faith, is a gift of God. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “And the Greatest of These Is Love,” Ensign, March 1984, p. 3

Real love is not measured in terms of moonlight and roses, but in terms of who will care for you when you are old. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Identity, Priority, and Blessings,” Fireside address, September 10, 2000, p. 5

You cannot make someone love you.  All you can do is be someone who can be loved.  The rest is up to them. — Anonymous

A drugstore psychologist once said that people need three things to be emotionally health: someone to love, significant things to do, and something pleasant to look forward to.  Brethren, make sure your wife has something pleasant, something genuinely fun, to look forward to regularly. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Our Consuming Mission,” An Evening with Jeffrey R. Holland, February 5, 1999

The more we obey God, the more we desire to help others.  The more we help others, the more we love God and on and on.  Conversely, the more we disobey God and the more selfish we are, the less love we feel.

Trying to find lasting love without obeying God is like trying to quench thirst by drinking from an empty cup – you can go through the motions, but the thirst remains. Similarly, trying to find love without helping and sacrificing for others is like trying to live without eating – it is against the laws of nature and cannot succeed.  We cannot fake love. It must become part of us. — Elder John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love,” Ensign, November 2004, p. 9

We need to remember that though we make our friends, God has made our neighbors – everywhere.  Love should have no boundary; we should have no narrow loyalties. — President Howard W. Hunter, “Fast Day,” Ensign, November 1985

Joseph Smith wrote a letter to the Saints, published in the Messenger and Advocate, on the subject of loving one another to be justified before God.  He wrote:

“Dear Brethren:  It is a duty which every Saint ought to render to his brethren freely – to always love them, and ever succor them.  To be justified before God we must love one another: we must overcome evil; we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world:   for such virtues flow from the great fountain of pure religion.  Strengthening our faith by adding every good quality that adorns the children of the blessed Jesus, we can pray in the season of prayer; we can love our neighbor as ourselves, and be faithful in tribulation, knowing that the reward of such is greater in the kingdom of heaven.  What a consolation!  What a joy!  Let me live the life of the righteous, and let my reward be like this!” (History of the Church, 2:229).

These two virtues, love and service, are required of us if we are to be good neighbors and find peace in our lives. — President Howard W. Hunter, “The Lord’s Touchstone,” Ensign, November 1986, p. 35

After the Resurrection of the Savior, Peter and some of the disciples were at the Sea of Tiberias.  Peter announced to them that he was going fishing.  The disciples agreed to go with him.  They seemed to have forgotten that they were called to be fishers of men. They fished through the night but caught nothing.  In the morning Jesus, standing on the shore, told them to cast their nets on the right side of the ship, and the nets were filled with fish.  Jesus told them to bring in the fish they had caught; Peter and his associates landed 153.  When they came ashore they saw fish being cooked on a fire of coals, and the Savior invited them to eat the fish and some bread.  After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Lovest thou me more than these?”   Peter was an ardent fisherman.  Catching fish was the livelihood from which the Savior called him to become a fisher of men.

The requirement that we should love the Lord above fish, bank accounts, automobiles, fine clothing, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, or any other possession is total; it is absolute.  The first commandment given unto the ancient Israelites was “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  The Savior Himself amplified this command when He told the lawyer who asked Him which was the greatest commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” — President James E. Faust, “Them That Honour Me, I Will Honour,” Ensign, April 2001

Great beyond comprehension is the love of God.  He is our loving Eternal Father. Out of His love for us, He has given an eternal plan which, when followed, leads to exaltation in His kingdom.  Out of His love for us, He sent His Firstborn into the world, who, out of His own divine love, gave Himself as a sacrifice for each of us.  His was an incomparable gift of love to a world that largely spurned Him.  He is our great exemplar. We should let love become the lodestar of our lives, with the absolute assurance that, because of the love of God our Eternal Father and His own beloved Son, our salvation from the bonds of death is sure and our opportunity for eternal exaltation is certain.  Let that divine love, shed on us, be reflected from our lives onto others of our Father’s children. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Let Love Be the Lodestar of Your Life,” Ensign, May 1989, p. 65

What can we do to combat this canker of contention?  What steps may each of us take to supplant the spirit of contention with a spirit of personal peace?

But the ultimate step lies beyond beginning control of expression.  Personal peace is reached when one, in humble submissiveness, truly loves God.  Heed carefully this scripture:

“There was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.”  (4 Ne. 1:15; see also 4 Ne. 1:2.)

Thus, love of God should be our aim.  It is the first commandment – the foundation of faith.  As we develop love of God and Christ, love of family and neighbor will naturally follow.  Then will we eagerly emulate Jesus.  He healed.  He comforted.  He taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”  (Matt. 5:9; see also 3 Ne. 12:9.) — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “The Canker of Contention,” Ensign, May 1989, p. 68

We are not merely friends; we are brothers and sisters, the children of God, who have come out, as I have said, from the world to enter into covenants, to observe his laws and to abide by all things which are given us by inspiration.  We are commanded to love one another. “A new commandment,” the Lord has said, and yet like many other commandments it is as old as eternity.  There never was a time when that commandment did not exist and was not essential to salvation, and yet it is always new.  It never grows old, because it is true. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, General Conference, October 1920

The restored gospel of Jesus Christ provides the solution to all the hungers of life. Jesus said:  “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)  We would all like to have the Savior’s capacity to assuage the hungers of the world; but let us not forget that there are many simple ways by which we can walk in His steps.  Let us remember that in giving of ourselves, it is less a question of giving a lot than of giving at the right moment. – President J. Richard Clarke, “Love Extends Beyond Convenience,” Ensign, November 1981, p. 79

One may have many talents and knowledge but never acquire wisdom because he does not learn to be compassionate with his fellow man.  We will never approach godliness until we learn to love and lift.  Indifference to others and their plight denies us life’s sweetest moments of joy and service. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton,  “The Measure Of Our Hearts,” General Conference, October 1988

We must at regular and appropriate intervals speak and reassure others of our love and the long time it takes to prove it by our actions.  Real love does take time.  The Great Shepherd had the same thoughts in mind when he taught, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15) and “If ye love me feed my sheep” (John 21:16).  Love demands action if it is to be continuing.  Love is a process.  Love is not a declaration.  Love is not an announcement.  Love is not a passing fancy.  Love is not an expediency.  Love is not a convenience.  ”If ye love me, keep my commandments” and “If ye love me feed my sheep” are God-given proclamations that should remind us we can often best show our love through the processes of feeding and keeping. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “Love Takes Time,” Ensign, November 1975, p. 108

At the heart of the message of the Savior of the world is a single, glorious, wonderful, still largely untried concept.  In its simplest terms the message is that we should seek to overcome the selfishness we all seem to be born with, that we should overcome human nature and think of others before self.  We should think of God and serve Him, and think of others and serve them. — President James E. Faust, “A Pattern of Love,” Ensign, December 1999

More than forty years ago I had a dream, which I am sure was from the Lord.  In this dream I was in the presence of my Savior as he stood in mid-air.  He spoke no word to me, but my love for him was such that I have not words to explain.  I know that no mortal man can love the Lord as I experienced that love for the Savior unless God reveals it unto him. I would have remained in his presence, but there was a power drawing me away from him, and as a result of that dream I had this feeling, that no matter what might be required at my hands, what the gospel might entail unto me, I would do what I should be asked to do, even to the laying down of my life.  And so when we read in the scriptures what the Savior said to his disciples:  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: . . . I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am, there ye may be also,” (John 14:2, 3) I think that is where I want to be.  If only I can be with my Savior and have that same sense of love that I had in that dream, it will be the goal of my existence, the desire of my life. — Elder George F. Richards, Conference Report, October 1946

If we are to remember Jesus we must also follow him.  He cited several specific ways by which we demonstrate our remembrance of the Savior:  He calls us to take time from our daily activities to follow him and serve our fellowman.  Even the greatest among us should be the servant of all.  Those who always remember him will straightway assume and faithfully fulfill the responsibilities to which they are called by his servants. . . . If we always remember our Savior, we will forgive and forget grievances against those who have wronged us. . . .  As we always remember him, we should strive to assure that we and our family members and, indeed, all the sons and daughters of God everywhere follow our Savior into the waters of baptism.  This reminds each of us of our duties to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead. . . . We should always remember how the Savior taught us to love and do good to one another.  Loving and serving one another can solve so many problems! — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Always Remember Him,” Ensign, May 1988, pp. 30-31

Patience is personal.  Patience is a great teacher.  Patience is a great achievement. Patience is a great power.  I hope and pray our Heavenly Father will help us to be patient with God, to be patient with our families, to be patient with our friends and neighbors, and most of all, today, to be patient with ourselves. You are someone special. Our Heavenly Father is aware of you.  All he asks in return is for you to be patient with him. I bear witness he knows the beginning.  He knows the end.  He knows you. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, BYU Speeches of the Year,  February 13, 1973

Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood.  Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships.  It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect.  It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate.  Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope.  Love should be our walk and our talk. — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, November 2009, pp. 21-24

The more we obey God, the more we desire to help others.  The more we help others, the more we love God and on and on.  Conversely, the more we disobey God and the more selfish we are, the less love we feel.

Trying to find lasting love without obeying God is like trying to quench thirst by drinking from an empty cup – you can go through the motions, but the thirst remains. Similarly, trying to find love without helping and sacrificing for others is like trying to live without eating – it is against the laws of nature and cannot succeed.  We cannot fake love. It must become part of us. — Elder John H. Groberg, “The Power of God’s Love,” Ensign, November 2004, p. 9

The Savior revealed the perfect priorities for our lives, our homes, our wards, our communities, and our nations when He spoke of love as the great commandment upon which “hang all the law and the prophets.”  We can spend our days obsessing about the finest details of life, the law, and long lists of things to do; but should we neglect the great commandments, we are missing the point and we are clouds without water, drifting in the winds, and trees without fruit. — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience,” Ensign, April 2010

My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter:  “Did you love me?”  I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”  (Luke 10:27; see also Matthew 22:37–38.)  And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The First Great Commandment,” Ensign, November 2012

To love the Lord is not just counsel; it is not just well-wishing.  It is a commandment. It is the first and great commandment incumbent upon each of us because love of God is the root from which springs all other types of love.  Love of God is the root of all virtue, of all goodness, of all strength of character, of all fidelity to do right. . . . Love the Lord your God, and love His Son, and be ever grateful for their love for us.  Whenever other love fades, there will be that shining, transcendent, everlasting love of God for each of us and the love of His Son, who gave His life for each of us. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ricks College Regional Conference, Rexburg, Idaho, October 29, 1995

Neither will you or I believe that anybody loves us and wishes to promote our joy and comfort, so long as that person acts contrary thereto; neither will Jesus.  And unless these Latter-day Saints stop now, and go to work and prove by their acts that they are the disciples of the Lord Jesus, He will spew them out. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17:40, 41

It should be satisfactory evidence that you are in the path of life, if you love God and your brethren with all your hearts. . . . It is folly in the extreme for persons to say that they love God; when they do not love their brethren. Discourses of Brigham Young, 271

Be just as independent as a God to do good.  Love mercy, eschew evil, be a savior to yourselves and to your families. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 15:7

Men should act upon the principle of righteousness, because it is right, and is a principle which they love to cherish and see practiced by all men.  They should love mercy, because of its benevolence, charity, love, clemency, and all of its lovely attributes, and be inspired thereby to deal justly, fairly, honorably, meting our to others their just deservings. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:119

We all need love in our souls, all the time: first, for God our heavenly Father, who is the giver of all good – love which encompasses our souls, our thoughts, our hearts, our minds, our strength, insomuch that we would willingly, if He required, give our lives as well as our time, talents, and substance in this world to the service of the living God who gives us all that we have. . . . We [should] have that love in our hearts, so much that we will love God more than business, more than money, more than earthly pleasures; that is, enjoy greater pleasure in the worship and love of God than we have in any other thing in the world. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 417

An old axiom states that a man “all wrapped up in himself makes a small bundle.” Love has a certain way of making a small bundle large.  The key is to love our neighbor, including the neighbor that is difficult to love.  We need to remember that though we make our friends, God has made our neighbors – everywhere.  Love should have no boundary; we should have no narrow loyalties. — President Howard W. Hunter, “The Lord’s Touchstone,” Ensign, November 1986

If someone were to ask you who we are as a people, what would you say?  Who are we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

The answer, I believe, is a simple one given to us by the Savior Himself.  We are a people who love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds.  And we are a people who love our neighbor as ourselves. (See Matthew 22:37–39.)

This answer satisfies many of the questions asked about why we do what we do. Why does the Church ask so much of its members?  Because we love the Lord, and we love our neighbor.  Why do we do temple work?  Missionary work?  Welfare work? Because we love the Lord, and we love our neighbor.

These are the roots of all that we do.  We do not send our missionaries out into the world to collect statistics.  We send them into the world because we love our Heavenly Father, and we love our fellowmen.

That is who we are as a people.  That is why we do what we do. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Band of Brothers,” Ensign, February 2008, pp. 28-33