21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.
22 And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.
I’ve been thinking this week about the love of Jesus Christ, particularly as evidenced by His willingness to subject Himself to mortal life and suffer on our behalf. As I’ve pondered the passage above, I’ve been struck by an important aspect of His sacrifice: he willingly paid for our sins, even though we will not necessarily accept the gift. He suffered the pains of “every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam,” in order to make salvation possible for us. But the full benefit of that gift will only be received by those who “hearken unto his voice.”
As I think about the people I love and serve, I realize that I can follow His example on a smaller scale: I can make sacrifices on their behalf, even though I don’t know whether they will make the choices necessary to receive the reward for my sacrifice. I can love others, including my children, without expecting anything in return, and without even knowing how my gifts will be received. I can serve them, not because I am sure of the outcome, but because I want to make the best possible outcome available to them.
I’m grateful for a Savior who loves me enough to pay for my sins so that I would have the ability to choose eternal life. Today I will strive to emulate Him by serving others with that kind of selflessness.