“Love,” Friend, Jan. 1996, inside front cover


(Adapted from an April 1981 conference address. See Ensign, May 1981, page 53.)

As I have loved you, … love one another (John 13:34).

Elder James M. Paramore

A young missionary in Italy recounted that one morning a poor, crippled boy in ragged clothes and badly worn shoes came to a busy street corner and went from person to person, begging for a few lira [coins] without success. A man observing the boy from a distance finally went over and picked up this little lad, held him tightly and loved him, and then cared for him.

The missionary’s heart was touched, and he was helped to understand the power of love.

“As I have loved you, … love one another,” the Savior taught (John 13:34).

At the center of this love is a Father in Heaven whose love for His children knows no bounds. All truths, wisdom, power, goodness, and love He desires to share with His children, whom He created and sent to earth. He would have us reach up and know Him as a Father, as one who forgives, as a helper, as a friend, as a lawgiver—as one anxious to grant every man the full opportunity to one day become like Him. He is constantly and everlastingly watching over us to lovingly and gently nudge us along.

He reaches down—through His Son, through prayer, His spirit, His prophets, and His commandments—to express His love and concern and provide His guidance and discipline to everyone who will listen. “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Ps. 33:5).

Illustrated by Greg Voth