Motivated by Love

When we experience a change of heart, we want others to have that experience too.

After Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah were miraculously converted to the gospel, they got to work immediately:

And now it came to pass that Alma began from this time forward to teach the people,
and those who were with Alma at the time the angel appeared unto them,
traveling round about through all the land,
publishing to all the people the things which they had heard and seen,
and preaching the word of God in much tribulation,
being greatly persecuted by those who were unbelievers,
being smitten by many of them.
But notwithstanding all this,
they did impart much consolation to the church,
confirming their faith,
and exhorting them with long-suffering and much travail
to keep the commandments of God.
(Mosiah 27:32-33)

Why did they work so hard? For one thing, they wanted to undo the harm they had caused before they were enlightened:

And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla…zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church
(Mosiah 27:35)

But there was a deeper motivation for their efforts: They genuinely cared about other people and wanted to help them avoid suffering as they had suffered:

They were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature,
for they could not bear that any human soul should perish;
yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment
did cause them to quake and tremble.
And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them,
for they were the very vilest of sinners.
And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them;
nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities,
suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever.
(Mosiah 28:3-4)

And as Alma later explained to his son Helaman, their motivation wasn’t just to help people avoid suffering but also to help them experience joy:

Yea, and from that time even until now,
I have labored without ceasing,
that I might bring souls unto repentance;
that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste;
that they might also be born of God,
and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
(Alma 36:24)

President Dallin H. Oaks has reminded us that our efforts to share the gospel will be most effective if they are motivated by love:

I like to refer to missionary efforts as sharing the gospel. The word sharing affirms that we have something extraordinarily valuable and desire to give it to others for their benefit and blessing.
The most effective missionaries…always act out of love.
(“Sharing the Gospel,” General Conference, October 2001)

And Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf described what it is like to interact with people we love:

Try to truly see everyone around you as a child of God. Minister to them—regardless of whether their names appear on your ministering sister or brother list.
Laugh with them. Rejoice with them. Weep with them. Respect them. Heal, lift, and strengthen them.
Strive to emulate the love of Christ and have compassion for others—even to those who are unkind to you, who mock you and wish to cause you harm. Love them and treat them as fellow children of Heavenly Father.
(“Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart,” General Conference, April 2019)

Today, I will strive to emulate the examples of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah. I will share the gospel with others because I love them.

 

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