Fleeting or Forever—What Is Love?  

True love is not thrust upon us; it is  a  choice we must make every day. 

"Love is something more than feelings of the heart; it is also a covenant we keep with soul and mind." —Lynn G. Robbins

Photo by Filipe Almeida

Our favorite movies, books, and songs  teach us  that  love is something that happens to us spontaneously.  Our hearts beat faster, our thoughts wander,  our stomachs flutter with butterflies. We  just can’t resist “falling in love.” It  feels so right, so exhilarating. In “Agency and Love in Marriage,”  from the October 2000 Ensign, Elder Lynn G. Robbins  of the  Seventy calls this kind of love  “merely glandular, a cotton candy kind of love that has no substance.” Such love, based on fleeting emotions that come and go, simply won’t last—unless we act to make it stronger.

The very fact that the Lord commands us to love implies that we must exercise agency. Elder Robbins points out that “in commanding us to love, the Lord refers to something much deeper than romance—a love that is the most profound form of loyalty. He is teaching us that love is something more than feelings of the heart; it is also a covenant we keep with soul and mind.” When a couple are married in the temple of the Lord, they promise to love one another for time and for all eternity. Thus, the idea of passively “falling out of love” becomes almost unfathomable, even though the world wants us to believe it is quite normal.   

By striving with great effort  to follow Jesus Christ and his commandments, a husband and wife can attain lasting, eternal love.  To help us achieve this love ourselves, Elder Robbins shares a list of Christlike attributes; the list highlights charity, the purest form of love, in a way that is easy to understand. We can use his to evaluate how we are showing love to those around us in our daily lives and what we can do to  improve.

How well are  you choosing to express  your love in your most treasured relationships?

To learn more about how to show your love for others in meaningful ways, read Elder Lynn G. Robbins’s article “Agency and Love in Marriage.”  

Source:  LDS.org 

—Faith Sutherlin, Mormon Insights contributor

feature image by andreas riedelmeier

Find more insights 

Watch “How Do I Love Thee?,” a Mormon Message by  Elder Jeffery R. Holland  that teaches us how to love more fully by following the example of Jesus Christ.   

Take on the “Love One Another—14-Day Challenge” in order to increase your love for those around you.  

Read “Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry,” by  President Gordon B. Hinckley, to find out how to prepare yourself for a temple marriage.


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