The Gift of Love

“The Gift of Love,” Friend, July 1996, inside front cover

The Gift of Love

(Adapted from an April 1993 conference address. See Ensign, May 1993, pages 59–62.)

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matt. 22:39).

President Thomas S. Monson

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” asked the lawyer who spoke to Jesus. Came the prompt reply: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

“This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (See Matt. 22:36–39.)

Joseph Millett, an early member of the Church, recalled in his journal this beautiful illustration of simple yet profound faith and love:

“One of my children came in, said that Brother Newton Hall’s folks were out of bread. Had none that day. I put … our flour in sack to send up to Brother Hall’s. Just then Brother Hall came in. Says I, ‘Brother Hall, how are you [fixed] for flour.’ ‘Brother Millett, we have none.’ ‘Well, Brother Hall, there is some in that sack. I have divided [it] and was going to send it to you. Your children told mine that you were out.’ Brother Hall began to cry. Said he had tried others. Could not get any. Went to the cedars and prayed to the Lord and the Lord told him to go to Joseph Millett. ‘Well, Brother Hall, you needn’t bring this back if the Lord sent you for it. You don’t owe me for it.’ You can’t tell how good it made me feel to know that the Lord knew that there was such a person as Joseph Millett.”

The scriptures are filled with the importance of love and its relevance in our lives. The Book of Mormon teaches that charity is the pure love of Christ. The Master Himself provided an ideal pattern for us to follow. Of Him it was said that He “went about doing good … ; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

Painting by James Tissot