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3 Things to Remember When God's Love Feels Far Away

Maybe you feel your prayers aren’t being answered—or even heard. Perhaps you feel you have strayed beyond the Father’s ability to forgive. Maybe you’re struggling to trust that the Atonement of Jesus Christ really works in your life. Perhaps you are awash in fear, grappling to stay on top of adversity. Maybe you have been betrayed in the deepest way by one who should have treasured you. Or maybe you’re just trying to be patient, waiting for promised blessings and starting to lose faith that they will come.

As you are tossed about by the challenges you face, you inevitably bump up against that veil of forgetfulness that keeps you from remembering your premortal existence. At those times it is easy to feel sad. Alone. Forgotten. Unloved.

Those feelings are real. But they are not reality. 

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Feeling Alone is Part of Mortality

You live in a broken, fallen world. That’s okay, because it’s part of a great plan designed and put into place to give you the greatest possible chance for exaltation. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

But it also means that you, like everyone else in this world, have days when you feel broken and fallen. Discouraged. Distressed. Even unloved. Tucked in amid days that seem filled to overflowing with joy are days when you feel that nothing you do matters. That all your efforts are in vain. That no matter how much love you give others, you’re not loved very much at all.

But you are!

No matter what is going on around you in this fallen and broken world, despite the behavior of people around you, know you are loved with a love so complete and all-encompassing and never-ending that it is wholly beyond your mortal ability to comprehend. And that love comes from the greatest of all—the “maker of the stars” who “would rather die for you than live without you” (Max Lucado, Traveling Light. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc./HarperCollins, 2009).

Mortality is a dicey place in which to be. You were sent by a God who has promised to watch over you, protect you, and tutor you as you experience those things meant to guide you back home. You are covered by the infinite Atonement of a Savior who has paid the price for any wrong you could ever commit. Together, your Heavenly Father and your Savior want you to “see through a glass, darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12)—to glimpse through the veil of forgetfulness and see, even for just an instant, what a magnificent creature you are. They lift and inspire from afar and love you with every fiber of Their beings.

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You Are Not Less

Here is perhaps the most magnificent part of heavenly love—our Father and our Savior pour it out upon every one of us equally, without distinction for anything we can or might do of our own accord. Simply by being a child of God, one for whom the Savior spilled His precious blood, every one of us is loved fully, equally, and without reservation. Each of us is the Father’s child, and He is keenly interested and fully invested in each of us. No one of us is any less, any more. No one of us can ever go beyond the pale of a love that so completely covers every soul ever created in worlds without number. Just by existing, you merit that love. It is yours, no matter what. Never let this unfettered truth slip even an inch from your mind: God will always love you more completely and more deeply than any person ever can, no matter who you are or what you do.

We live in a world buffeted by temporal tendencies and cares with its unending sense of competition: if she does well, that must mean I am less. Less brilliant. Less capable. Less worthy. And it all becomes a sad, distorted contest of comparison in which one tries to achieve what seems an equilibrium. But in our Heavenly Father’s divine reckoning, there is no less. In His eyes, we are all of equal worth—and His uncompromising, eternal love is equal to the task.

Elder Holland explained it this way:

I testify that no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn’t measure our talents or our looks; He doesn’t measure our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Other Prodigal,” Ensign, May 2002).

His focus lasers in on the things that really matter, not the things that so easily beset us who cower uncertainly on this side of the veil.

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No Matter How Dark Your Trials, His Love Is Always There

When we are embroiled in difficulty and struggling just to make it to the next corner and filled with doubt about our ability to do it all, one thing we need never doubt is our Heavenly Father’s love for us. Because He “doesn’t promise us an easy life. But He does promise to love us and never leave us, no matter what happens” (J.E.B. Spredeman, A Secret Encounter. CA: Blessed Publishing, 2013). And of one thing we can be everlastingly certain: our God does not break His promises.

As you suffer adversity, you’re definitely not alone. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “If sometimes the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Inconvenient Messiah,” Brigham Young University Speeches, Feb. 2, 1982).

Elder Holland also wrote,

The tests in life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our challenges will be the ones we needed, and conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way (Jeffrey R. Holland, Created for Greater Things. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011).

So wherever you are, whatever your circumstance, know you are secure and safe and forever protected in His magnificent love. Never give up, no matter how bad things get. Never forget that He is there, just beyond the veil, wanting you to succeed, waiting for you to come home. Never forget that, because you can be sure He will never forget you.

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You Are LovedIn the tumultuous journey of mortality, trials can seem both overwhelming and isolating. But it is in the darkest of moments that the light of Christ shines brightest, beckoning you to turn to Him. With words of reassurance, author Kathryn Jenkins Gordon acknowledges that tough times will surely come—but as you walk through hardships hand in hand with the Lord, there is hope for the future and opportunity for personal growth. Read more about God's perfect love for you in Kathryn Jenkins Gordon's book, You Are Loved, available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.

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