This week in our reading we learn very much about whom Jesus Christ and His Father are.
In April 2014 President Uchtdorf explains in his address titled " The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship" that there is much distortion about whom our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ really are, as he states in his address:
" Sadly enough my young friends, 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 do not only don't rock the boat but don't even row it, a God who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds."
I feel as we read in John 14, 15 & 16 - We especially learn that though God has given us the cure for our terrible illness of sin and death and eventual death, we must follow through with the instructions that He gives in order to have His love and promised blessings.
Just as we would not go to our family physician to receive instruction in obtaining health- we should not expect to go to the great physician as He can cure us - yet not follow the care plan or instructions given and expect to be healed, or obtain eternal health ( or exhaltation ) from Him.
As I read these chapters it was helpful to consider Elder Russell M. Nelsons, explanations from his address titled " Divine Love " in Feb. 2003 -
Nelson's address explains that God's love, ( Also the medicine for our illness of sin ( repentance and the atonement working in our lives ) is not unconditional as the world often considers it.
Nelson states :
" What does conditional mean? The term conditional comes from the latin roots, " con", meaning " with " and " dicere " , meaning " to talk" , thus conditions are based on things that have been communicated verbally."
Nelson also explains that promises of eternal life, forgiveness of sin, and even His love for us always include statements of condition such as -
if you follow the condition - then the promise is given
Here are some examples in these chapters -
John 14:7 - IF you know me - Then you know my Father :
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
John 14:12 - IF you really believe in me - Then you will do the things I do - and even more so than I did in the world
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
John 15:10 - IF you keep the commandments - Then you will abide in His love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
John 15:14 - IF you do what I command you - Then you are my friend
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
John 16:27 - The Father loves you , IF You love Jesus Christ
27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
This Easter as we celebrate the inconceivable gift of the repentance process that our Savior has provided for us in His Atonement, I especially hope that I can remember to also do my part in being worthy of this great gift that He has left for me- as I ponder on what I need to repent of in prayer , ask for His grace to help me change, and lastly do the works that I have seen Him do. ( John 14:12 )
I hope with all my heart that I can be His friend because I have kept His commandments. ( John 15:14 )
The orders from the doctor do help us temporarily , But the orders from Christ our great physician will bless us eternally and most importantly they will show Him that we love Him, and are thankful for His gift of the ressurection and repentance process that He has made available to us. For IF we truly love Him we will keep His commandments. ( John 14:1 )
I pray that I can be ever mindful of the orders on how to obtain The love of God, and Eternal life - given in the scriptures, temple and from prophets and apostles.
I know that when I make a mistake and sin that I am deeply blessed to be able to repent and be made strong through Him. ( Hebrew 11:34 )
I love Him so very much and
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.