“Love Is Spoken Here”

Elder Gerrit W. Gong

2023 October General Conference

“The words we use can draw us closer to or distance us from other Christians and friends. …One inspired ward activities chair and committee nurtures individuals and a community of Saints. Their well-planned activities help everybody feel valued, included, and invited to play a needed role. Such activities bridge ages and backgrounds, create lasting memories, and can be carried out with little or no cost. Enjoyable gospel activities also invite neighbors and friends.

…Of course, no individual and no family is perfect. We all need help better to speak love here. “Perfect love casteth out fear.” Faith, service, and sacrifice draw us beyond ourselves closer to our Savior. The more compassionate, faithful, and selfless our service and sacrifice are in Him, the more we may begin to fathom Jesus Christ’s atoning compassion and grace for us. And that brings us to the gospel language of covenant belonging. 

We live in a self-centered world. So much is “I choose me.” It is as if we believe we know best our own self-interest and how to pursue it. But ultimately it is not true. Jesus Christ personifies this powerful, ageless truth: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. “For what is a man [or woman] profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Jesus Christ offers a better way—relationships founded on divine covenant, stronger than the cords of death. Covenant belonging with God and each other can heal and sanctify our most cherished relationships. In truth, He knows us better and loves us more than we know or love ourselves. In truth, when we covenant all we are, we can become more than we are. God’s power and wisdom can bless us with every good gift, in His time and way.

…our own direct, repeated experiences may be our best spiritual way to learn the gospel languages of warmth and reverence, service and sacrifice, and covenant belonging.  …May we each learn to speak and hear His love here, in our hearts and homes, and in our gospel callings, activities, ministering, and service. In God’s plan, we will each transition one day from this life into the next life. When we meet the Lord, I imagine Him saying, with words of instruction and promise, “My love is spoken here.” In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.”