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As a backdrop for this post, here is John 4:7-11:

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

When I read this scripture, I yearn to feel this kind of love.  Often, I feel selfish, full of sin and imperfect.  I am all of those things.  Sometimes I ponder and try to understand things of the gospel like the Atonement of Christ, God’s plan, scriptures, why things happen,etc. and there isn’t any answer.  I’ve also struggled in the past with forgiving others and have shared experiences with miracles that have happened in my life to be able to not only forgive, but to forgive and love those who wronged me.  It’s a miracle when this happens.

My mother shared with me an interesting story about love, accepting Jesus into one’s life, repentance, and forgiveness, which I’ll outline below.

A New Friend

alzheimersMy mom had some friends who asked her to visit their ailing grandfather, who was in a care center that focuses on Alzheimers patients.  When she started visiting the patient, she felt moved to get to know other patients as well, going above and beyond her “duty”.

As she made bi-weekly visits, she got to know many people in the facility and their family members.  One lady she got to know very well along with her brother who would visit her daily.  This lady was special because no one in the center had been able to speak or communicate with her for years except for her brother, but my mom was blessed to be able to connect with her.

Over the years, they not only connected, but became friends.  Mom knew the lady well and would share stories back and forth with her.  However, every time she asked the lady if she could pray, the lady declined.  Her brother told my mom that it was because she was mad at God and had decided she didn’t want to communicate with Him.

The End

One day, my mom came to visit and her friend was deathly ill.  Actually, they thought she was in a coma because she hadn’t communicated for over a week with anyone and also hadn’t eaten.  She should have been dead.  Her brother told her it was OK to go, but for some reason she was still holding on.

When my mother came, she said that day she was filled with the Holy Spirit and knelt down beside her friend.  She took her friends hand and immediately, the friend’s corners of her mouth turned upward in a slight smile.  My mother offered words of comfort, encouragement, and hope to her.  Then she asked her if she could pray with her.  This time, the lady squoze mom’s hand and indicated she did indeed want a prayer.

During the prayer, mom said she was speaking words completely guided by the Holy Spirit.  At one point, she said something about the lady being able to forgive the man who had abused her.  Mom didn’t know anything about this, but the words just came out of her mouth.  She went on to pray for healing, and for the lady to have the ability to repent for her hard feelings she had harbored.

After the prayer, her brother pointed down to her eyes and a little tear was coming out of her eye.  Her brother told my mom that she had been abused as a young lady by someone and that was what my mom had been prompted to pray for.  My mom continued speaking with the lady and over the course of a few minutes the lady indicated through squeezing my mothers hand that she had forgiven the man, accepted Jesus’ healing power of the Atonement and had repented.  Peacefulness settled into her tortured body, mom asked her if she would be there to greet her when it was her time. Within 1/2 hour she passed on.

Love

In this situation, my mother was an excellent example of how we can open up ourselves to feeling the love of God and reaching out to love others.

She could have just done her “duty” and visited the man her friends wanted her to visit.  However, through the love of God she has, she was moved to visit others and do as Jesus would do had he been there.

Not only did she visit others, but she witnessed of Christ and His atonement to others as she felt guided by the Spirit.  This led to miracles in the life of at least one lady, and I’m sure there are others that were blessed through my mothers’ efforts that she hasn’t told me about.

I pray that I can feel this kind of love and not be afraid to act on the promptings I receive from the Spirit.  I know that as we open ourselves up to the Lord, we can make a huge difference in the world.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world. Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.–James 1:27

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