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Question

 

Gramps,

Is God’s love unconditional?

Pam

 

Answer

 

Dear Pam,

Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that “Divine love is infinite and universal. The Savior loves both saints and sinners.”  Divine Love, Ensign, Feb 2003.  However, Elder Nelson also cautions that “the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us—and certain divine blessings stemming from that love—are conditional.”

In other words:  Yes, at a fundamental level, God loves us unconditionally as His children; the Atonement is available to all, and the gift of resurrection, at least, is absolutely free.  According to Elder David B. Haight, “God does not love us because we are lovable, have a pleasing personality or a good sense of humor, or at rare times show exceptional kindness. In spite of who we are and what we have done, God wants to pour out His love on us, for the unlovable are also precious unto Him.”  Love All, October 1982 General Conference.

However, certain manifestations of God’s love are available only to those who love Him in return, and keep His commandments.  “The love of God”, says Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “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.”  Love and Law, October 2010 General Conference.  Elder Oaks’ sermon is particularly enlightening, because it takes the principle of divine love and applies it to the parent-child relationship.

We certainly need to avoid the trap of assuming that since God created us all, He will love and reward us all equally regardless of our personal choices.  But, just as importantly, we should never allow a feeling of being worthless, or cast off or unloved, to deter us from repenting and seeking the Lord’s presence in our own lives:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  —Romans 8:38-39

 

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

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