When I spent my first Summer in Provo, I was amazed at the amount of times ‘The Five Love
Languages” were brought up. Whether it was in casual conversation, a Sacrament Meeting
talk, or a church lesson, everyone seemed to know about love languages.
We all have different ways of feeling loved, and of showing our love – but there is no point in
insisting on speaking our love language to someone who speaks a different one. Yet, we
seem to fall into that trap when it comes to loving God.
If I told my husband that the best way for him to show me love was by making me Nutella
pancakes for breakfast every morning, and instead he cooked me mushrooms (ew!) because
he feels that’s a better way to show love, I would feel upset at his disregard for my feelings. I
certainly wouldn’t feel loved.
People will sometimes say that they can show God they love him without going to church on
Sunday, or without wearing their garments, or while breaking the Law of Chastity. I cannot
count the amount of times that I have heard someone say “I should be able to love God how
I feel is right, not by someone else’s definition”. However, this is not the
If Ye Love Me…
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Contrary to what some may believe, God has told us what His love language is, and if we
love Him, we should be trying to speak that language, rather than our own – because, let’s
face it, our own way is wrong “for the natural man is an enemy to God” (Mosiah 3:19).
In a recent Conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland remarked on how “it is a characteristic of our
age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand
much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row
it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds”
(April 2014). I encourage you to read that talk, as Elder Holland further expounds on God’s
demands from us. It is enough to say here though, that just because our own way of loving
God seems easy, doesn’t make it right.
A Prophecy of Pickiness
I was amazed when I first realised that this idea of ‘I should be able to love God how I want
to’ was prophesied to emerge in the last days, back in the days of Nephi. In 2 Nephi 28:8, we
“And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear
God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one
because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these
things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few
stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.”
This false doctrine is described as “vain”, which means it is “empty, without substance.”
Loving God with this attitude – that we can do what makes us “merry”, and whatever sins we
might commit will be brushed away easily – is similarly empty and without substance.
Now you might be thinking: “But no one is perfect, no one can completely keep God’s
commandments, so how can we ever love Him?” The great thing about the gospel is
that you get points for trying! God knows that you can’t be perfect now, but as long as you
are earnestly evaluating and recommitting yourself, then God will recognize your love for
Him. However “trying” doesn’t mean doing whatever we want and excusing it with “God
doesn’t expect me to be perfect yet.” It means continuous repentance, seeking for guidance
and help from God and owning up to mistakes rather than rationalizing them. As you do this, you
will be showing God your true love for Him, and obeying His first commandment:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30).