Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spiritual musing 2: Love of God

As I've been re-listening to General Conference, whilst doing laundry, dishes or driving (the usual)  and one concept grabbed me. In two different talks. 

It was the idea that the when we love God, it has a power to change us from within. 
I like if/then and many times in the gospel I get them reversed. 

I want the "then" without understanding the "if".

I have a lot of bad habits. I can be rather pleasant at church and with friends and acquaintances. But my family gets to see my full on weakness-- all too often. They see my short fuse, and impatience. They see me "snap", "loose it", and full on "go berserk" more often than I'd like to think about.

I can yell and freak out with the best of them, but instantly feel remorse and seething guilt.
I wish I was one of those moms that just seems soft-spoken and sweet oh so naturally, but alas, I am not. 

It's one of my biggest struggles. 

My "natural mommy" takes over and doesn't yield to the Spirit, that's whispering love into my heart that can't hear cuz it's pumping so fast with the latest infuriation (which of late haas been yet another accident in McKye's undies...6 months of potty's getting old folks).

Kids forgive. And even though I'm sensitive to how my meanness affects their little developing self-worth, I also am a big believer that the product of our parenting is us and that this is something I'm meant to get a handle on. Parenting is a refiners fire and my temper needs to get melted away like the darn dross that it is.

I get frustrated with myself and my repeat offensives. I'm always looking for the IF's statements that will result in my own niceness increasing, especially within my own home.

Pres Uchtdorf's talk offered one:

"When our hearts are filled with the love of Godsomething good and pure happens to us. We “keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of Godovercometh the world.”9
The more we allow the love of God to govern our minds and emotions—the more we allow our love for our Heavenly Father to swell within our hearts—the easier it is to love others with the pure love of Christ. As we open our hearts to the glowing dawn of the love of God, the darkness and cold of animosity and envy will eventually fade.
When our hearts are filled with the love of God, we become “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving [each other], even as God for Christ’s sake [forgave us].”11
...The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others [like our kids and ourselves!] the way our Heavenly Father sees us: as flawed and imperfect mortals who have potential and worth far beyond our capacity to imagine. Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other.
We are not perfect.
The people around us are not perfect.19 People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way. [Even in our homes.]
Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way.
Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common:
 They are forgiven. And they forgive."

Easier to love others??? Promise??? Darkness, animostiy, annoyance, resentment and wrath all fading alway allowing me to see my children as then really are??? Letting go of resentment and wrath, accepting that while annoyance,  disappointment and anger are gonna still happen, we can let go! That the love of God can pry them from my natural man's grip who wants to let them fester and taint. That I could become as a little child, so quick and willing to forgive and move on!

If I wasn't sold already, Paul E. Koelliker's talk He Truly Loves Us preached it to me again
It is the Savior who defined the pattern of love when He taught us, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). Gordon B. Hinckley confirmed this principle when he said: “To love the Lord is not just counsel; it is not just well-wishing. It is a commandment. …  
Love of God is the root of all virtue, of all goodness, of all strength of character, of all fidelity to do right” (“Words of the Living Prophet,” Liahona, Dec. 1996, 8; “Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Apr. 1996, 73).
The feeling of love from our Heavenly Father is like a gravitational pull from heaven. As we remove the distractions that pull us toward the world and exercise our agency to seek Him, we open our hearts to a celestial force which draws us toward Him. Nephi described its impact as “even unto the consuming of [his] flesh” (2 Nephi 4:21). This same power of love caused Alma to sing a “song of redeeming love” (Alma 5:26; see also verse 9). It touched Mormon in such a way that he counseled us to “pray … with all the energy of [our] heart” that we might be filled with His love (Moroni 7:48). 
Both modern and ancient scripture are full of reminders of Heavenly Father’s eternal love for His children. I am confident that our Heavenly Father’s arms are constantly extended, ever ready to embrace each one of us and say to each one with that quiet, piercing voice, “I love you.”

I loved that idea of a a celestial force, a gravitational pull--the root of all our capacities for goodness being the Love of God. Suddenly the way to being the better self that keeps alluding me, is by drawing closer to God--building my relationship with Him, and letting it influence all my other relationships.  

I'm grateful for conference talks that take scriptures I've read so many times, but in new ways help their principles and concepts touch me, and sink into my mind and heart just a little bit more.