Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Operation: LOVE

Valentine's Day is about LOVE! You may or may not know the HISTORY behind this holiday, but no matter who you are, what your religious affiliation, if you are single, dating, married, divorced, widowed, whether you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, if you live in America (or Hong Kong, Scotland, Korea, Japan, Denmark, or a number of other countries), you know Valentine's Day is about LOVE.
In the scriptures, we are asked to "love one another" as Jesus loves us. Jesus' love is HUGE. It is endless. It is powerful. It is empowering. It is unchanging. It is THE SAME FOR EVERYONE. His love isn't greater for the righteous, or for the rich or the powerful. It isn't contingent on who you know, what you know, or who you are. Jesus' love is for EVERYONE. So, how can we love as Jesus loves us? One way, I think, is by not being selective in whom we love. Is it easier to love your kind neighbor next door than it is to love the woman at the checkout counter? Is it easier to love the people in our church than to love the guy who cuts us off on the road? Is it easier to love someone who does something kind for us than to love the person who keeps complaining about the noise your child makes while playing outside? Why? Why is it is so hard to love? When we are small, it is natural for us to love everyone. Why does that innocent love go away as we grow older? Is it because we have been hurt by giving out our love so freely? Is it because we think our love is limited and we must "save" it for ourselves, or for those closest to us? Is it because loving requires energy and we are simply not willing to exert energy without being ensured something in return? My friend, Blake, has come up with a wonderful idea. He suggested that Sixteen Small Stones send Valentines to children in orphanages. We loved this idea!! We are sending Valentines to the children of Lucky Hill, Katie's girls, children at Foyer Coin Des Cieux Orphan Home, and to the children at Bethel Foster Home. We are asking you to join with us in showing great love to "the least of these". Let us reach beyond our "love comfort zone". Let us show love to children who need it so desperately. Let us try loving like Jesus; loving someone with nothing to offer in return. If you would like to participate, please mail your Valentines to us and we organize and send them out to the proper places. These Valentines can be store bought or homemade. They can be glittery, gluey, covered in stamps, colored with childish art, or bought with love. We ask that you write a special note on each one, even if it is nothing more than, "You are special! I love you!" Please send all Valentines to: Sixteen Small Stones C/O Breclyn S. Everett 1811 South 1800 East Salt Lake City, Utah 84108 Mosiah 3:19 ..."and becometh as a child...full of love..." Moroni 7:47 "But charity is is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever..." Moroni 8:16 "...for perfect love casteth out all fear." D&C 59:6 "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." D&C 88:123 "See that ye love one another..."

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