In following the Lord’s call, we must obey His commandments and offer love for Him and the people around us. By remembering the love Christ showed for us and letting His example guide our actions towards others, we can forge bonds of love with our families, our friends, and our community.
"Love One Another” (Hymns, 308)
Cut hearts out of construction paper to use as a display. Also, collect pictures of family members and friends to share during your discussion.
Draw a large heart on a piece of paper. Make a list of people you love and care about and cut out their names. Divide the heart into pieces and label the pieces with the names of your loved ones. If you have extra pictures you can cut up, use the faces of those you love and glue them to the heart.
Assign a family member to read John 15:12.
Begin the lesson by asking your family members who they love. Then, ask them to explain how they feel because they love that person and how it feels to be loved in return. Share your feelings as well, and include how you feel to be loved by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Next, explain to the family that everyone has room in his or her heart to love those we meet. Show the family your heart display with the names and faces of people you love. Refer to the pictures you collected. Explain that when you get to know and love someone, it’s like you have a part of his heart in yours. When you rely on a friend for help, she takes a part of your heart, or your burden, into her heart. Just the same, when a sibling calls you with exciting news, you feel his joy in your own heart because you have a part of his heart within yours.
Read and discuss 1 Peter 3:8 and Mosiah 18:21. Love ties our hearts together and unifies us. Explain that if a group of people, like a family or a ward, has love for each other, it is more unified.
Have your family think of one person they have a hard time showing love to (don’t tell). Have each member of the family make a personal goal that for one week you will show love and kindness to that person no matter how that person acts or what he or she says. Then pick one person for each family member to check in with the other person about your goals throughout the week.
Read the following quote by N. Eldon Tanner: “Let us always remember that men of great character do not belittle others nor magnify their weaknesses. In fact, the thing that makes them great is the showing of love for and interest in the success and welfare of their neighbors. True love does not permit us to hold grudges or ill feelings, to tell unkind things about others, or to destroy a person’s good reputation. We should not talk about or criticize one another, but strive to build and strengthen one another” (“The Great Commandments,” Tambuli, Jan. 1981, 2).
Finally, discuss Christ’s love for each one of us. He loves us so much that He gave His own life for us. Everyone can have a personal relationship with Christ because His heart consists of pieces of everyone’s hearts. He doesn’t only understand the happiness or suffering that we endure, but He feels it, too. He bore it all in the Garden of Gethsemane, and like Him we can rejoice and mourn with the ones we love.