While pausing to reflect on the words of Jesus Christ, did you ever stop and think that perhaps His lips spoke words directly to you, as His child-not just to those who were around Him? I believe that as an all-loving, all-knowing God, the Lord knew that all His children would desire to hear His words. As an avid reader of the scriptures, I always strive to study out the words of Christ as though He is talking to me directly. And when I do this, I discern and feel the love of God more clearly, deeply, and meaningfully than at any other time. Think about it-when you read a book that captures your attention and stirs your imagination, does that speak to your mind and heart? How about a textbook about a subject you can hardly stand, filled with boring facts and seemingly useless information? In comparison, the words of Christ as contained in the standard works can transform into actual building blocks for our friendship and relationship with Him. Or, they can simply sit dully as words on a page to simply be mindlessly absorbed by our eyes. We choose how to study out the words of our Savior, and how we will learn from them.
But the Savior does not simply cease to speak through the scriptures. We can open up our ears to hear Him through different ways. As the Lord said, "Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." So often, we interpret this scripture to mean that God is speaking of the apostles and prophets, which correctly points us in a good direction. Indeed, the prophets and apostles have given us many, many good words of sound wisdom and counsel from heaven. That is why we read their words often in the Church magazines and publications, and listen to them at General Conference. We understand that their words are constantly in tune with the Spirit, and therefore obey their words as prophets, seers, and revelators, of whom the Book of Mormon teaches that they can reveal things past, present, and future, and bring hidden things to light. However, they are not the only servants of God in our lives who abide within the Spirit's influence. Usually, at least one if not both of our parents can guide us through the Spirit, having the stewardship to receive revelation on our behalf, to help us in our journey toward exaltation. The relationship we establish with our parents can provide deep, rich understanding, wisdom, and comfort in the joys and sorrows of mortality. I personally believe that holding onto that relationship blesses all who desire to feel the Savior's love, for He has commissioned our parents with a divine purpose to provide, preside, protect, and nurture us as His children and their earthly children. They truly are stewards over our way back home to Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Also, I believe the Savior speaks to us through friendship. The beautiful story of David and Jonathan in the scriptures exemplifies the healthy and sacred nature of male relationships, as does the relationship the Lord had with the early apostles, and the brotherhood shared by brethren in the priesthood throughout Church history. Naturally, of course, such principles can be applied in the case of women as well. Such examples of righteous individuals, with the Lord being involved, show that friendship does indeed grow out of the charity the gospel cultivates, and this is why the scriptures do not really need to point out the details of friendship. It comes naturally as members live the gospel, and the Spirit guides that beautiful bond with a perfect light of purity and virtue. Often, I have felt the Spirit and my Savior's love in the arms of my straight and SSA friends, during the wonderfully uplifting times we share together, at North Star firesides, and other places. Truly we are told by God that we are loved through the blessing of having friends.
And of course, more could be said about how God's love is spoken to us, literally. Music, of course, in all its beauty, majesty, and splendor, can certainly speak deeply to the soul and leave indelible messages upon the human heart. Inspired literature and poetry, with all of its thought-provoking, soul-stirring messages, most certainly reaches out to us and lets us know that God is there for us and is mindful of us in all seasons of our discipleship. Anything and everything that involves the human voice can speak God's love to us, for as President Uchtdorf once so beautifully stated, we are His hands. And as we are His hands, we can speak God's love to others. Keep pondering on how God speaks in love to you, and how (if applicable) it helps you and/or a loved one with SSA. I testify that God loves us in word, for He "doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world". More on this subject soon... : )