How’s everyone doing this Mormon Monday? Is anyone else thinking about Valentine’s Day yet?
I sure am. And I hope to have a few Valentine’s posts for you over the next couple of weeks. The first Vday post I want to share includes a free printable and a spiritual message. Not a bad start for a Monday. Here you go:
We make an effort to keep Christ in Christmas, but how about adding Christ to Valentine’s day?
I saw this bulletin board on Pinterest last year. (The link took you nowhere or I would give proper credit to whomever thought of this genius idea.)
Since I so loved this play on words, I wanted to bring this scripture to my living room for Valentine’s day. I had my friend, Kelsie, come up with a modern graphic I could frame. She made two pretty 11×14 prints for us. You can download the gray one here or the white one here.
(Please be respectful of Kelsie’s efforts and only use this graphic for personal use. Thank you.)
Now let’s talk about this scripture for a minute. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”
Think about the Atonement from God’s perspective. We can’t even imagine what God went through as he watched Christ suffer in Gethsemane and hang on the cross? Basically, God was a parent watching his child in utter agony.
I stand in awe of God’s willpower not to call the whole darn thing off.
Here are some great thoughts on this very idea by Melvin J. Ballard. You can read his whole talk here.
“I ask you, what father and mother could stand by and listen to the cry of their children in distress, in this world, and not render aid and assistance? I have heard of mothers throwing themselves into raging streams when they could not swim a stroke to save their drowning children, rushing into burning , buildings, to rescue those whom they loved.
We cannot stand by and listen to those cries without their touching our hearts. The Lord has not given us the power to save our own. He has given us faith, and we submit to the inevitable, but he had the power to save, and he loved his Son, and he could have saved him. He might have rescued him from the insult of the crowds. He might have rescued him when the crown of thorns was placed upon his head. He might have rescued him when the Son, hanging between the two thieves, was mocked with “Save thyself, and come down from the cross. He saved others; himself he cannot save.” He listened to all this. He saw that Son condemned; he saw him drag the cross through the streets of Jerusalem and faint under its load. He saw that Son finally upon Calvary; he saw his body stretched out upon the wooden cross; he saw the cruel nails driven through hands and feet, and the blows that broke the skin, tore the flesh, and let out the life’s blood of his Son. He looked upon that. In the case of our Father, the knife was not stayed, but it fell, and the life’s blood of his Beloved Son went out. His Father looked on with great grief and agony over his Beloved Son, until there seems to have come a moment when even our Savior cried out in despair: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
In that hour I think I can see our dear Father, behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer, and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room, so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his Son. Oh, in that moment when He might have saved his Son, I thank him and praise him that he did not fail us, for he had not only the love of his Son in mind, but he also had love for us. I rejoice that he did not interfere, and that his love for us made it possible for him to endure to look upon the sufferings of his Son and give him finally to us, our Savior and our Redeemer. Without him, without his sacrifice, we would have remained, and we would never have come glorified into his presence. And so this is what it cost, in part, for our Father in Heaven to give the gift of his Son unto men.”
Now that is true love.