Saturday, February 23, 2008

True Story: Life and Love


I have been thinking about a dear friend this morning names Cheryl Lossie. She and I used to have many conversations about what made us happy and what life is all about. One of the things that we never seemed to agree on was the purpose of life and what the true meaning of love is.

This life has a reason! That reason and purpose begins and ends with Jesus Christ. Without him the words life and love would have no meaning. Since my name is Joy, I have often been approached by friends quoted scriptures that embody my name. "Adam fell that men might be, men are that they might have joy." That joy that ALL men, women and children are meant to have, live life in order to have comes through Jesus, who is the savior of the world.

We all came from God, our Heavenly Father. We began our existence with him. We learned all that there is to know about love with him and from him. His purpose is to help us learn to love and to have joy. He will not force us to be happy, nor will he force us to love (ourselves, each other, even him). When we lived with him before we came to this earth, our heavenly Father gave us choices. We were taught in heaven that we could go to earth.

Going to earth would be risky, because some of us would choose not to come back to live with heavenly Father. For there to be a choice God created a plan for our return. He would not force anyone to follow that plan (thus not forcing anyone to come back to live with him). That plan centers in Jesus Christ. Jesus also loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice all of his earth time, not just some hours going to church or praying, but all of his time doing what our heavenly Father asked him to do.

Conversations that I have had with my sweet sister Cheryl that brought up the name of Jesus were confidently (by her) dismissed. She would tell me kindly that she believed that he was a great teacher, but nothing else. It weighs heavy on my mind, because I am not sure I was ever really able to explain to her how important his mission was. There is no other plan for us to return to live, life that is eternal, which is God's life or life with him, except through that immortal teacher, even Jesus Christ.

Jesus was a teacher, but he is so much more. He is our way back to the Father. Because he lived, loved, suffered, died and was resurrected, we can also live, love, suffer (life isn't easy), die and be resurrected someday. But we must take upon us His name and live what he taught and become through that living like him. Without Jesus, none of the other teachers of peace, love and unity would have any purpose or meaning. What peace are we striving for but God's peace?

So why is there hate, fear, and meanness in the world that could take away from our peace? It is because we all get to choose..... we must all choose will be have the life of peace that is offered by following the example the Savior, Jesus set for us and which other good people have exemplified (before and after the life of Christ) or not.

It is not easy to live a life following Jesus in a world where others may choose to create pain for their fellow brothers and sisters on earth. But when the end of this earth life has come and if we have learned to love and be loved, following in the steps of Jesus, relying on his power to change and save us, then we will be His because we gave ourselves to Him. If we are Christ's then we are God the Father's and will live with him in peace for ever. We must live for life, love, and peace but they are not to be found by agreeing (as some would consider peace on earth) with everyone they are to be found through the one who mastered them all even Jesus Christ and can teach us so to do.

I know these things are true. My heart yearns to share them with my dear Cheryl and with you.

Below is a video that explains in part through a story of how Jesus Christ makes up the difference for our sins. It is about 10 minutes if you want to view it. (explains some differences between justice and mercy)

If you happen to read this blog and would like to know more. You can find answers to questions about life, love and peace through the website mormon.org.
video