Bridging the Two Great Commandments

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

April 2024 General Conference

“Jesus then said, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”This is the second tower of the bridge. Here Jesus bridges our heavenly upward gaze, to love the Lord, with our earthly outward gaze, to love our fellow men and women. One is interdependent on the other. Love of the Lord is not complete if we neglect our neighbors. This outward love includes all of God’s children without regard to gender, social class, race, sexuality, income, age, or ethnicity. We seek out those who are hurt and broken, the marginalized, for “all are alike unto God.” We “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”

…The increasing contention in the world suggests, however, that we at times fail to see or remember this. Some are so focused on keeping the commandments that they show little tolerance of those they see as less righteous. Some find it difficult to love those who are choosing to live their lives outside of the covenant or even away from any religious participation.

…It might consist of a few realistic goals to understand the Lord’s gospel more or to vow to judge others less. No one is too young or too old to begin. Over time, with prayerful and thoughtful planning, rough ideas are refined. New actions become habits. Early drafts become polished blueprints. We build our personal spiritual bridge with hearts and minds devoted to Heavenly Father and His Only Begotten Son as well as to our brothers and sisters with whom we work, play, and live.”