President Thomas S. Monson: Love—the essence of the gospel

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Courtesy Mormon Newsroom
President Thomas S. Monson speaks at the Sunday morning session of General Conference on April 6, 2014. (Photo courtesy Mormon Newsroom)

President Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talked about the importance of love towards our fellow men.

“Actually, love is the very essence of the gospel and Jesus Christ is our exemplar,” President Monson said. “His life was a legacy of love.”

He shared a story of a woman named Arlene Biesecker. She began working at a sewing mill during the Great Depression. She was paid according to the number of pieces she complete each day. She came across a task that was so difficult, she began to quietly cry.

Bernice Rock, another woman at the mill, who observed Arlene’s distress, came over to help. Bernice helped Arlene become comfortable before she went back to work. Because of Bernice’s act of loving kindness, the girls became lifelong friends. Bernice was a member of the church and introduced Arlene to the gospel. Arlene was eventually baptized with her family.

“Every day of our lives we are given opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us,” President Monson said. “Often our opportunities to show our love come unexpectedly.”

He then shared a story of a flight full of passengers who showed love by delaying their flight to save a young boy’s life. Afterwards, he said that opportunities to show love happen often in our homes.

“Brothers and sisters, some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes,” President Monson said.

He went on to say that people should forgive one another.

“Forgiveness should go hand in hand with love,” President Monson said.

President Monson left the audience with a call to action.

“May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers,” President Monson said.

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