モルモン

とは?

What of the

Mormons?

 

びを分かち合う

Sharing the Joy

 

戻る

SHOWING HIM THAT THEY REALLY LOVED HIM

Excerpt from Why the Commandment to Love One Another, John 13:34-35

H. Burke Peterson, This address was given at the 1999 Family Expo Conference

   Some years ago, one of the men at Church headquarters told me of an experience that happened in his own family. He was the eldest in a family of seven children—four girls and three boys. His mother was a true and faithful member of the church and had been all of her life. But for fifty years neither she nor her children had been able to convince their husband and father that he should be baptized in the Church.

   In their early years the family lived in one of the rough mining towns of Utah: thus the influence on the father was not the best. Although their father had always been a man of high moral standards and an exemplar of integrity in every respect, he had not been disposed to live the Word of Wisdom. This seemed to be the focal point of their conversations as they tried to convert him over the fifty-year period. They spent more time trying to change him on this issue than on anything else.

    In the winter of the year his parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, the oldest son, who lived in the same ward, was assigned as a home teacher to his father and mother. I suppose one of this son's first reactions was, "What can I do now? We've been trying for fifty years and nothing has worked." If there was any negative thinking, it quickly changed to complete optimism when the junior companion suggested that they just try showing him that they really loved him. What a novel idea! The home teachers consulted with the mother and the rest of the family.

   What they came to realize was that even though there was love in their home, it hadn't been shown as a positive expression to their father and husband. Inadvertently, he had been made to feel that if he quit smoking he would be accepted in the family. In his own family he had been on the outside looking in, so to speak.

   They decided that they would now spend more of their time with him—not preaching the Word of Wisdom, but showering him with, as they called it, "Tender Loving Care." In family settings they began talking about things that he was interested in.

   Simple phrases like, "I love you, Dad—we think you're great—thanks for this or that," were the key ingredients in the plan. Interestingly enough, the Word of Wisdom was never mentioned. Sixteen months later, a miracle had taken place. The father announced to his sweetheart, on her birthday, that he wanted to be baptized. There had been no crash program, but rather a steady diet of heart-felt attention, acceptance, appreciation, and love. The family had come to understand that love, which is a condition of the heart, could not be forced nor coerced.

   One year after his baptism, he and his companion of over fifty years went to the temple to be sealed to each other for all eternity. It was very special in another way too—three sons and two daughters were also there to be sealed to their parents. A family was now in the process of being united for the eternities to come. Not long after, this loved man, nearing his seventy-fifth year of life, passed quietly away. The purposes of the Lord for this family were now nearer fulfillment.

   From this experience we are reminded again of the classic verse in 1 John 4:19 where it states—"We love Him, because He first loved us." This then is the secret potion for success in our homes and in life itself—to love others first—even when it is hard. Yes, when it's really hard.