BYU Easter Conference: “He Lives to Bless Me with His Love”
Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
- The Song, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” teaches about the Savior’s Divine Attributes.
Samuel Medley’s sacred hymn “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” enumerates many ways “in which the Savior’s love is manifest in each of our personal lives,” Elder Spencer J. Condie observed in his keynote address at the annual Easter Conference at Brigham Young University March 27.
Elder Condie, an emeritus member of the Seventy, drew upon lines in the hymn text as follows that convey divine attributes of the Savior and testify of His love.
“He lives to bless me with his love.”
“It is true that the Savior of the world came to save us, not to condemn us,” Elder Condie said, referring to John 3:16-17. “But saving us, sometimes from ourselves and our unwise actions, often requires chastening, as the Lord Himself explained: “Whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you” (D&C 95:1).
Elder Condie said there can be a difference between feeling the Savior’s love and being filled with His love.
“Those who have committed a grievous sin and confess it to their bishop, through the actions of their kindly priesthood leader may feel of the Savior’s love. But individuals who are filled with the Savior’s love will not have committed the sin in the first place. When one is filled with the pure love of Christ, there is no more room for anger, lust, hatred, discouragement, doubt or fear, pride, or envy because a heart full of love is full.
“He lives to plead for me above.”
Noting that Jesus said to Joseph and Oliver Cowdery that He is their Advocate with the Father, Elder Condie said an advocate is frequently seen as a lawyer hired to plead the case of someone guilty of wrongdoing or someone who has fallen on hard times, such as a couple who have fallen behind in home mortgage payments.
“But even if the bank does agree to delay the foreclosure and to lower the monthly payments, the couple will still receive a bill from their lawyer or advocate for services rendered,” he said.
Then, speaking figuratively, he added: “The Savior’s role as our Advocate with the Father follows a much different pattern. If the married couple facing a foreclosure of their house has honestly tried to live within their means, the Savior, as their Advocate, will not only forgo sending them a bill for services, but He may actually pay the remaining debt they are unable to pay.”
“He lives my hungry soul to feed.”
In addition to food, there are many different objects of hunger, Elder Condie said, including a hunger for spiritual things.
“In addition to searching the scriptures, another means of filling our spiritual hunger is through making covenants and participating in the ordinances of the priesthood, for the Lord revealed that it is through the ordinances of the priesthood that the power of godliness is manifest to men in the flesh.”
“He lives to bless in time of need.”
“We often pray with an expectation that our supplication will be answered in a certain preconceived manner, but in many instances the Lord’s tender mercies are granted not in terms of what we want, but rather in terms of what we need at a given time,” Elder Condie said.
“He lives to silence all my fears … [and] wipe away my tears.”
Elder Condie told of interviewing an elderly sister while visiting a stake conference in northern Europe. She had been excommunicated more than 20 years previously and had been baptized during the previous year. Now, she was to be interviewed by a General Authority, pursuant to the restoration of her temple blessings.
Calling to set an appointment at the time of the conference meetings in a couple of months, he was surprised at her response: “Do you realize that I am 83 years of age and I may not be here several weeks? Are you going to be in your office in Frankfurt tomorrow?”
She came directly there for the interview the next day.
“Her understanding of excommunication was that once she had lost her membership in the Church she would be completely ostracized for the rest of her life,” Elder Condie recounted. “For the next 23 years, she languished in loneliness with an unrelenting fear of dying unfit for the celestial kingdom.”
Then, home teachers came to visit her and say they had been assigned to bring her back into the fold.
“She became teary-eyed as she said, ‘I was so glad to see them I nearly fell upon their necks and kissed both of them.’ Since that first visit she had regularly attended all of her meetings and had meticulously kept all the commandments.”
She was so anxious to return to the temple before she died that she got Elder Condie to arrange for her to go to the temple in Frankfurt the next day and participate in several ordinances before returning home.
“The Savior’s redeeming love had, indeed, silenced all her fears and wiped away her tears,” he remarked.