Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Loving Those Who Have Strayed

In his talk Love and Law, Elder Oaks discusses how God’s love and His laws work together and not in contradiction to one another.

“The love of God does not supersede his laws and His commandments, and the effect of God’s laws and commandments does not diminish the purpose and effect of His love.”

Bad things can happen to good people and not nullify God’s love. Because of His love for us, He must allow people agency to choose—not only their actions but the consequences of those actions. If He were to stop every bad thing from happening, He wouldn’t have a person’s actions with which to hold them accountable to the law.

He gives great counsel as to how we should handle our loved ones who may make choices we don’t agree with.

In the midst of such stress, we must endure the reality that the straying of our loved ones will detract from our happiness, but it should not detract from our love for one another or our patient efforts to be united in understanding God’s love and God’s laws.

This really stood out to me. My daughter has many friends who have also left the church and fall under the LGBT umbrella. Most of them have parents who have disowned them, won’t talk to them, have kicked them out of their homes, and basically no longer support them. Exactly the opposite of how the Savior would treat them.

This breaks my heart. We have worked so hard to get our daughter to believe that we love her no matter what. She was convinced we would hate her because she chose to live a different way.

I have always been a Momma Bear when it comes to my girls and to their friends, who I love like my own. One of my hot buttons was hearing how parents would kick a daughter out of their home because she had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. I thought that at the moment when a child needed their parents love the most—they turned their backs on her. I told my daughter’s friends on several occasions that if that ever happened to them, they could come live with us.

No one has needed to take me up on that offer; however, that attitude was tested in my own home when my daughter left the church and again later told us she was pan sexual.

I just keep thinking of how the Savior would have me treat her. He would love her and support her, letting her know what He believed to be right and giving her an opportunity to come to Him, but loving her nonetheless.

This is how I am trying to love.

Dallin H. Oaks, Love and Law, October 2009

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