Even As I Am
March 1996

“Even As I Am,” Ensign, Mar. 1996, 51

The Visiting Teacher:

“Even As I Am”

The Savior gave us a great pattern for our conduct when he said, “What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Ne. 27:27). He taught that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to “love thy neighbour as thyself,” for “on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (see Matt. 22:37–40). The Apostle Paul commented that any commandment “is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:9–10).

The Savior showed the way to love. He accepted our Father’s plan fully and put it into action through obedience and sacrifice (see Moses 4:2; D&C 19:16–19). He was constantly motivated by love. As he moved through his earthly life, he healed the disabled and taught the spiritually hungry (see Matt. 8:14–20; Matt. 9:35–38). He loved the unloved (see John 8:1–11) and blessed others without regard to status or title (see John 4:46–53; Luke 17:11–19). From his lowly birth in a stable to his lonely suffering at Gethsemane and Golgotha, he lived the love he taught.

Centuries later he appeared with our Heavenly Father to Joseph Smith and restored the church he had established during his mortal ministry. Today he lovingly guides his church and leads those who follow him to “all that my Father hath” (D&C 84:38). He set the example for us. Through our faith in him, we can learn to love as he loves and thus fulfill the law in our own lives.

As We Learn to Love, We Become More like Jesus Christ

In loving those around us, we become more like the Savior. We offer our hearts, as we have covenanted with him to do; we “mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9).

Christlike love is shown in this report from a Houston, Texas, branch. When one member’s husband died, she could not stop crying. No one was able to calm her. Then a friend came to brush the woman’s hair, an act of service willingly offered and representing her love and concern. As a result of this simple act of caring, the bereaved sister’s uncontrollable sobbing eased, and she was comforted. She became composed and was able to visit with the sisters who came to help clean her house and bring her food. She found peace in her friend’s loving attentiveness—and then, in the calm that followed, she found gratitude for the loving service of the other sisters.

The Pure Love of Christ Is a Gift from the Father

As our love grows, our capacity to love also grows as a gift from God. Mormon counseled, “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; … that when he shall appear we shall be like him” (Moro. 7:48; emphasis added).

If we have the faith to follow the Lord’s example, our Heavenly Father will give us ever greater ability to love more perfectly and purely, to become more like the Savior.

How has the Savior’s love blessed your life?

What can we do to help others know and feel of the Savior’s love?

Illustrated by Lynne Millman-Weidinger