Loving the Sinner

It hurts when those closest to you fall into sin. Although there are probably many ways to help them, the best thing to do is love them.

https://unsplash.com/photos/pV87YnElHow (real alt text: children playing on a beach: "As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way" as quoted by Thomas S. Monson

photo by Daria Nepriakhina

Throughout life, you’ll run into many people who are making wrong choices. Making mistakes is, after all, part of the human experience. Sometimes, however, those people will be close to your heart. The choices of these loved ones may even impact you directly—in your heart, your family, or your daily life.

Sometimes we think that if we give our loved ones lectures or advice, they’ll realize their wrongdoing and immediately straighten their paths. Often, however, this approach takes our relationships in the wrong direction. As President Thomas S. Monson says, love is the essence of the gospel, and love is what bonds us to each other. Without the pure love of Christ, lectures and words may fall on deaf ears.

If we take President Monson’s eloquent counsel to “respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way,” we will find an almost immediate difference in our relationships. Our loved ones might be able to trust us more and open up. More importantly, we can become someone God can trust to help and love his children.

Although your relationships may change, oftentimes loved ones still won’t change their ways. They might still make mistakes that hurt themselves and those around them. However, we must learn to love them the way God does—sinner or not. After all, we will never regret showing them a little more love.

Read or watch President Thomas S. Monson discuss love in his talk, “Love—the Essence of the Gospel.”

Source: lds.org
—Jessica Palmer, Mormon Insights

Find more insights

Read or watch Elder Dallin H. Oaks discuss loving others and living with differences.

Read or watch President Dieter F. Uchtdorf discuss the love of God.

Watch “Nothing Will Change His Love for You,” a short message about God’s love.

feature image by greg raines

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