Hurrying through the crosswalk to the seminary building, the fall leaves sailed through the air in the pick-up of the chill wind. Being late was a regular occurrence for me in high school. I flung open the glass doors and got hit, pleasantly with a wall of warm air. Even years after the move from Oahu to Utah I was still convinced I wasn't accustomed to the weather. I scurried up the stairwell to the second floor, peering into the glass on the doors of all the classes that had already started along the way. I arrived at my door, turning the handle slowly as if I could sneak in and no one would notice I was late... again. I take an empty seat near the back of the classroom showing up just in time for the lesson.
My teacher announced that this morning we were going to do something different. He pulled out the classroom phone and placed it on the desk in front of him. "Today each of you are going to call your parents on speaker and tell them how much you love them." (Years later I discovered I suffer from social anxiety - probably why I was always late and uncomfortable in all my classes.) Students were called and my heart pounding was the only sound I could hear. As I tried to focus I listened to a few of my other classmates calls. They were sweet with responses of "Oh I love you too" and "That made my day honey." My eyes widen and sweat starts to bead on my forehead as I hear my name. My heart sinks to my stomach and keeps dropping like its fallen into an endless pit. I slowly make my way up to the front, hands shaking as I struggle to find the keys that make up my parents phone number.
The phone rings, and with every ring I silently say a prayer that I hear the answering machine and can just leave a message. The ringing stops and I hear my fathers voice on the other end. "Hello?"
"Hey dad, its me"
"Yeah, Im just calling to say I love you dad."
An awkward pause.
"Is everything ok?"
"Yeah dad, Im just calling to tell you I love you."
"Hang on, let me go get mom."
The room fills with laughter and I turn bright red. One of the most embarrassing moments for me turned out to be one of the greatest lessons I've carried throughout my life. How much do we lack in letting the people closest to us know that we love them? We know how we feel, but do they?
"We should remember that saying 'I Love You' is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to show it."
-Elder David A. Bednar
Many of us know of someone who may struggle silently and needs to feel the presence and love of our Savior. They need to know that He is aware and it is our responsibility to remind them. "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other." - President Spencer W. Kimball
The Gospel of Christ is intended to empower us to act. We keep commandments and covenants because we love. We sanctify ourselves because we love. We serve because we love. And "We love Him, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19) While the Pharisees were in commotion over WHO was right they failed to see WHAT was right, as they questioned the Savior, "Master which is the greatest commandment in the law?" And He replied, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God... And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:36-39) Heavenly Father commands us to love regardless of who they are, what they have done or where they are at in their lives. As we reach out in love to those in need our own burdens become a little lighter, our steps a little less heavy and our hearts a little more full. Let us say, mean and show love to others, for "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35) It could be the answer someone is looking for and the difference they need.