By Richard Keys
Gospel Doctrine Lesson 23: “Love One Another, As I Have Loved You”
Approximate Scheduled Teaching Date: Sunday, June 21, 2015
This lesson contains the following statement and questions:
“Jesus said, ‘By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’ (John 13:35). Does the way you treat others show that you are a disciple, or follower, of Christ? What are some specific things you can do to follow Christ’s example of love?” (p. 14)
This statement can be can be extended beyond those who are like us, to those who are different but deserving of Christlike love nonetheless.
Members often see themselves and others as belonging to one of two tribes: The Liahonas or the Iron Rodders. Liahonas are led primarily by the Spirit, whereas the Iron Rodders are guided by the commandments. None of us are strictly one or the other, but a mixture of both with, hopefully, the wisdom to use them properly and in the right combination. Both are important. That is why we are counseled to both pray and study the scriptures regularly.
If we lean too heavily on one to the detriment of the other, problems can arise. Too much Liahona can cause us to ignore or judge every commandment that comes along—we start creating our own path instead of the one that has been laid out by our Heavenly Father. Too much of a grip on the iron rod keeps us from listening to the Spirit, and making course corrections or any progress on the path—we stop in our tracks and worry that anything new or different must be something to be feared and avoided. Nephi was taught the proper use of both the Liahona and the iron rod, which helped him develop leadership skills for himself personally and for a nation that followed him.
In the story of the Good Samaritan, the first two passers-by to see the stranger at the side of the road knew the rules of the day—political, social, cultural, religious, etc.—and saw the injured person as a problem, an interruption in their journey—and they moved on. The Samaritan focused on compassion, rather than the rules, and the Spirit led him in a totally different direction that was better for the injured man—and for the Samaritan, too. The more we see and treat our fellow man by love and less by rules, the more we will see each other as the Lord sees us.
(See also Matt Mosman’s talk at http://www.nomorestrangers.org/gods-strategy/)