The Three Most Important Words are Not ‘I Love You’

loveWhen we find ourselves caught up in measuring how much we are loved (especially when it’s done according to the romantic standards of the world) we’re bound to be disappointed. Instead, I think we better serve ourselves and others when we look to the teachings of Jesus Christ— He who is the ultimate example of what it means to truly love.

The first and great commandment is to love God and put Him first — above all else. The second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. I truly believe that we fulfill the first commandment (to love God) by keeping the second (to love others as ourselves). I can’t think of anywhere in the scriptures that we are taught to be concerned about how much other people love us — only that we are to love others as God loves them and we are to do it in the way that we desire to be loved. That’s a pretty interesting standard if you think about it.

Please don’t misunderstand: I’m not down on shows of romantic affection. In fact, I quite love them. My only concern is for those who struggle with these types of recognition days. Rather, we should  instead focus on what it means to genuinely love versus focusing on the romantic kind of love that is marketed at every turn.

Thoughts on how we might better focus on the true meaning of LOVE and some common symbolisms:

RED:  I love the color red for its symbolism.  Red is a color not only of a rose, but more importantly, and most importantly, BLOOD.

The Greatest Sacrifice of all required the loss of every single pure drop of blood that Jesus Christ had to offer. The process of the Atonement began in Gethsemane and was completed on the cross at Calvary when He said “It is finished.”

The three most important words ever uttered are not “I love you”, but rather, “It is finished.”

“Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends.”

HEARTS:  We all love hearts and the symbolism of love, for another, associated with the sharing of this symbol.  Hearts bring us back to blood and the necessity of that life-giving substance in order to create and maintain life and our relationships for eternity.

The giving of blood, literally, requires sacrifice.  Releasing blood, of any amount, causes pain. For women who give birth, this sacrifice is well understood. To the men and women who have valiantly fought battles and lost their lives for our protection and freedoms, we are forever indebted. True sacrifice means a willingness to give up life or blood. Thinking about the symbol of the heart can help us to focus on the truest meaning of what it means to love and be loved.

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

ROSES: A single red rose is symbolic of all of the above and serves as a reminder of the fragility of life, its Source and the pain (thorns) associated with the price of the greatest love of all.

“A new commandments I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34)

Instead of thinking about how much we are loved by others, perhaps we could focus on what it means to truly love others, as He loves us. In this small act, we emulate God’s love and become LOVE.

“Love is the motivating principle by which the Lord leads us along the way toward becoming like Him, our perfect example. Our way of life, hour by hour, must be filled with the love of God and love for others.” President Henry B. Eyring

valentine's day

 You might also enjoy: A Mormon Guide to Love

Scriptures On Love:

Source: Guide to the Scriptures LDS.org

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Kathryn Skaggs

Kathryn Skaggs

Mormon Women Stand, Founder. Kathryn's online work includes blogging at 'A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman' sharing personal thoughts about Mormonism, traditional marriage, family and some current events. She is a pioneer in using social media to "noise abroad" the gospel of Jesus Christ. She particularly enjoys gathering like-minded members to join her in standing for truth and righteousness. Kathryn has been married to her eternal companion, Bob, for 38 years and together they have raised five children. Currently, they are enjoying their 13 grandchildren.
Kathryn Skaggs

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About Kathryn Skaggs

Mormon Women Stand, Founder. Kathryn's online work includes blogging at 'A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman' sharing personal thoughts about Mormonism, traditional marriage, family and some current events. She is a pioneer in using social media to "noise abroad" the gospel of Jesus Christ. She particularly enjoys gathering like-minded members to join her in standing for truth and righteousness. Kathryn has been married to her eternal companion, Bob, for 38 years and together they have raised five children. Currently, they are enjoying their 13 grandchildren.

2 thoughts on “The Three Most Important Words are Not ‘I Love You’

  1. Jane millet

    Love others as they would like to be loved. To think of loving them as you love yourself is a wonderful place to start. Then think what is it that they really want to feel love and appreciation. This makes it more about them and less of you.

    1. Kathryn Skaggs Post author

      As you will note in the post, to ‘love others as we love ourselves’ is the second great commandment and is much more than a personal suggestion. The key to doing it ‘right’ (and the only way to truly fulfill the commandment) is to come to know our own worth in the eyes of God, thus the worth of every soul. I think the commandment has much more to do with loving others as children of God, rather than fulfilling individual expectations of how they might ‘feel’ love. To love others as God loves them is to see them as God sees them. Too often we tend to judge each other based on our own lens of experience, which for the most part is very limited. When we love others as we know God love us and have learned to love ourselves through an eternal perspective, I think our ability to love others beyond our difference greatly increases.

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