Affection

When Enoch saw God weeping, he asked how it was possible for a perfect Being to feel sorrow. God explained by emphasizing the gap between His hopes for His children and their actual behavior:

Unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood.

Moses 7:33

Affection is a tender attachment to another person. It’s a feeling that comes naturally, especially in families. When the apostle Paul in two of his epistles described people who lack this fondness for others, he used the Greek word astorgos (ἄστοργος), meaning devoid of affection or lacking the tender-heartedness which comes naturally. The King James translators rendered that word “without natural affection.” (See Romans 1:31, 2 Timothy 3:3.)

Lehi exhorted his children “with all the feeling of a tender parent” (1 Nephi 8:37). Nephi said, “mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of [my people]” (2 Nephi 33:3). And Mormon wrote to his son Moroni, “I am mindful of you always in my prayers” (Moroni 8:3).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said:

Surely this Prince of Peace, who taught emphatically that contention is of the devil, must weep, along with His Divine Father, over those in the human family in our day who are “without affection,” the scripture says, and who cannot figure out how to live together in love.

Brothers and sisters, we do see too much conflict, anger, and general incivility around us…. But the instruments we need to create a brighter day and grow an economy of genuine goodness in society are abundantly provided for in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot afford—and this world cannot afford—our failure to put these gospel concepts and fortifying covenants to full use personally and publicly.

Not as the World Giveth,” General Conference, April 2021

Today, I will foster feelings of affection in my heart and will express my love to others. I will remember that our Heavenly Father wants us to feel kindly disposed toward the people around us, especially our families, and that He weeps when we fail to feel it.

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