When I think about love, I think about the scriptures.
In Matthew 22:35–39 we read: “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
“Jesus said unto him, 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.”
From these verses we learn about the strong relation between love and the commandments, and we are left with two questions: how do we show love to God? And how do we show love to our neighbor?
To answer the first question, “How do we show love to God?”, the scripture that comes to my mind is John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
If we were to measure our love for the Savior, we could measure it by the level of our obedience to the commandments. The more we love Him, the more obedient we become. And the more obedient we become, the more we will love Him.
To answer the second question, “How do we show love to our neighbours?”, John 13:13–17 instructs us: “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them”.
We show love to our neighbors by serving them. The more we serve, the more we will love. And the more we love, the more we will want to serve.
When I think about love, I think about service.
We will find happiness as we show our love to God and to our neighbors through our actions. Over the last six years, we have lived in three different countries and five different cities. Although it may sound exciting, it was very difficult to learn and adjust to new cultures and make new friends. Many times, we felt very lonely, but we quickly learned that the best way to connect with people and to find happiness was through service. During the time that we lived in Florida (United States) our kids would get up early on Saturdays and help in the local community food pantry for a few hours. That sharing of love through service helped them feel happiness despite the difficulties they were facing at the time. My wife, too, on special holidays would bake goodies and then as a family, we would go around the block and share them with our neighbors. Through these very small acts we were able to make new friends, share the gospel and find happiness.
When I think about love, I think about the law of fasting.
It was as a young man that I learned about the importance of fasting from the example of my parents. We kids were invited to fast with them once a month, while they would usually fast more than once a month. I learned from my parents that through fasting we can help to take care of the poor and needy. Therefore, through this simple act, we serve both God and our neighbors. And, God, on the other hand, blesses our fasting with personal revelation, comfort and guidance.
When I think about love, I think about the Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of fulfilling the most important commandments. Because He loved God, His Father, He obeyed Him. And because He loved His neighbors, He served them throughout His life. He showed to us that love is not just a feeling, but it is action. Loving through service helps us to achieve our full potential and to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.
Ciro Schmeil was named a General Authority Seventy in April 2020. He is married to Alessandra Machado Louza; they are the parents of two children.