Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Truth About Loyalty

I love this quote by Albert Einstein, "It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer." A question entered my world several days ago. It has stayed with me and I have learned a beautiful, empowering, humbling and loving truth. I knew this truth before, but now I know it more.

In the most recent General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said,

"My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: 'Did you love me?' I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all—'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.' And if at such a moment we can stammer out, 'Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,' then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty." The First Great Commandment

The two bolded sentiments were bolded in my mind when I heard Elder Holland say them. "Did you love me?" and the accompanying truth "...the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty."

A question formed in my mind and heart. I knew the easy answer but I had a yearning, even a spiritual invitation, to dig deeper. So about 10 days ago, I prayerfully asked our Father in Heaven to open my eyes and heart to the deeper meaning. I remember saying, "Heavenly Father, please help me to develop a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be loyal to Jesus Christ." Into my mind came the thought, "The answer to how you can be more loyal to Jesus Christ is to learn more about how He is loyal to you."

I didn't expect that answer but it made complete sense.

So I've stayed with the question and searched down the path that was pointed out to me. I've known He loves me but I have not deeply pondered His LOYALTY to me. So...

Since that moment, many images have gone through my mind. Such as...

"His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful" by Simon Dewey
"To Fulfill All Righteousness" by Simon Dewey

"In Humility" by Simon Dewey

"Oh My Father" by Simon Dewey

"He Lives" by Simon Dewey

Since that moment, certain verses to certain hymns have been playing through my mind. Such as...

How Firm A Foundation

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

I Believe In Christ

I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan’s grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I’ll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: “Ye shall obtain.”

I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I’ll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.

Since that moment, several scriptural verses have come up in my scripture study. Such as...

"For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. 
Oh thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires." 3 Nephi 22:10-11

"Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father..." Doctrine and Covenants 29:5

"...I will not forget thee...Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." 1 Nephi 21:15-16

Oh there has been so much more. 
It means so much more, however, when we discover it for ourselves.
 The revealed truths become personal and written upon our hearts.

My understanding has been opened to the Savior's amazing loyalty for me. My eyes have welled with tears so many times this past week. My life is filled with evidence of the Savior's loyalty, despite my "...very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things." He has stuck by my side every single moment of my life. Every single moment! Even when I didn't know He was there. Even when I absolutely did not deserve His loyalty. He was there! In fact, I wouldn't even have a life if it weren't for His loyalty in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Golgotha. He is everything!

I'm going to stay with this question a while longer. I have a feeling there is still more to learn.

Last, but so very, very not least, here is how we show loyalty to our Savior - the truest, dearest, most loyal friend we have.

"My other plea that these scenes of Christ’s lonely sacrifice, laced with moments of denial and abandonment and, at least once, outright betrayal, must never be reenacted by us. He has walked alone once. Now, may I ask that never again will He have to confront sin without our aid and assistance, that never again will He find only unresponsive onlookers when He sees you and me along His Via Dolorosa in our present day. ...may we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear. ...may we stand by Jesus Christ 'at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,' for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone. "Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "None Were with Him"

"To all within the sound of my voice, the voice of Christ comes ringing down through the halls of time, asking each one of us while there is time, 'Do you love me?' And for every one of us, I answer with my honor and my soul, 'Yea, Lord, we do love thee.' And having set our 'hand to the plough,'we will never look back until this work is finished and love of God and neighbor rules the world. " Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "The First Great Commandment"


  1. That truly was an amazing talk, thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

  2. I am giving an RS lesson on this talk today and your thoughts were very inspirational as to what I want to say and what is in my heart. They also deepened my understanding as to what it is to be a disciple of Christ and have greater insight to the gospel talk that Elder Holland gave. I am so grateful you posted your insights. They hopefully will help me to testify of the things that are in my heart today. Thanks

  3. Thanks Ben and Anonymous :) How did your lesson go Anonymous?


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