You, as the reader, probably have either come to know or have heard in passing what "love languages" are. The literary work of Dr. Chapman, a famous psychologist, has made this famous-essentially saying that we all give and receive love by "speaking love" in five different ways-physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, and service. So far, you and I have discovered that Christ speaks two of the five love languages-quality time and physical touch. I think it exciting and fantastic to explore such a different perspective on how Christ loves us. That being said, let us explore another significant love language in which our Savior is personal and intimate in the way He shows us His perfect love.
Speaking in the Sermon on the Mount to His children, Jesus said, "If ye then...know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to them that ask of him?" (Matthew 7:11). He also stated through the apostle James, "Every good gift and perfect gift cometh down from the Father of lights..." (James 1:17). Since God is merciful and kind to all His children, I know that He gives everybody talents to bless the lives of others. History will attest to this, as well as the current society we live in. Many good people bless the lives of others through their talents in their professions, hobbies, volunteerism, and so forth. I believe this comes as a result of God's desire for good to spread forth in the earth in any way possible. Also, our Heavenly Father blesses people with tender mercies-those little interventions in the seemingly insignificant daily struggles we all have. Whether that means helping us to get off work early on a rough day, receive that pay raise, hear a nice, uplifting song, pass by children laughing and playing, or whatever, God always finds a way to tell us He loves us. In my lifetime, doubtlessly I have knowingly and unknowingly benefited from the tender mercies of the Lord, in as great number as the creations that have existed within my lifelong environment. Such an insight has recently led me to embrace the spirit of gratitude, which in turn has blessed me-since "he that receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious, and the things of this earth shall be added unto him an hundredfold, yea, more." (D&C 78:19). I testify that gratitude most certainly is essential when God blesses us in these two ways.
Even more blessings can flow into our lives as members of the true and living Church. This happens when we choose God over personal desires, passions, and lusts. Our Father in Heaven has promised the gifts of the Spirit to those who are faithful, which include: Testimony, believing on the testimony of others, prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, healing, visions, ministering of angels and ministering spirits, faith to be healed, and more. Is this not a wonderfully glorious promise of revelations, comfort from God's presence, inspiration, healing, and better things still to come? Is it not absolutely wonderful that we can claim such things, by repenting and coming unto Christ? And since God requires our progress, those who are diligent and faithful in keeping God's commandments are able to lay hold upon the gifts of the Spirit. As this wonderful verse states, "...they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do..." (D&C 46:9, emphasis added). Even if we are struggling, if our hearts are right before our Father in Heaven and we are actively engaged in the repentance process, He will send these gifts to us in love and mercy.
Next time, I will explore a bit more on the next love language or two. But, in the meantime, consider how you are loved personally and intimately by your Father in Heaven and your Savior, Jesus Christ. Think on the many little things they do to help you grow and to help your days go by in peace and joy. And when you really have a few minutes, I would urge you to write down in a journal how you feel about the Savior's tender mercies in your life, and how it relates to you as a child of God. The blessing of knowing how deeply and individually the Savior loves you will prove to be an invaluable treasure as you go through trials now, or approach the inevitable tempests of life yet to come. Until next time...