Think of the last time you experienced joy.
True joy—not the thrill of riding on a super roller coaster, or the happiness you feel when your favorite song comes on and you just happen to be dancing with your favorite person. Not even the satisfaction you feel when you ace a test.
No, we mean that deep enduring feeling that seems to warm your entire soul. The kind of sensation that makes you feel as if the heavens have opened and a loving God is encircling you in celestial arms.
What you’re feeling, in essence, is the love that your heavenly parents and your brother Jesus Christ have for you. They have provided you with so much—with a body, with an earth to live on, with spiritual guidance, and with a means to return to and live with them someday and experience their love constantly.
Right now, at this time in your life, you may not have that feeling every day. But when you do, it can give you the energy to keep on going. Just the memory of that warmth can help lift you from anger or depression. It can help you get through the difficult times. And the anticipation of feeling it again can give you the strength to resist temptation and the endurance to reach your spiritual goals.
The longing you have for that feeling is what will draw you to the scriptures, to church, to serving others. It is what will help give you incentive to stay worthy to serve a mission and to have a temple marriage. Sometimes it comes as a result of long, hard, concentrated effort. Other times it surprises us, and softly enfolds us when we least expect it.
There are a number of ways to feel the Savior’s love. But it’s different for everyone. What inspires one person may leave another indifferent. So we’ve searched many parts of the world, among people like you, to discover what can help you feel the love of Christ. From Brisbane to Bountiful, from Copenhagen to California, we’ve asked young people to complete this sentence: “I feel the love of Christ when I …” We hope their answers will help you feel that joy too.
Bente Heiselt. 16
“I feel the love of Christ when I look at my mother’s shining face as she helps one of my brothers. He must love me very much to have given me a mother that would willingly sacrifice her time and everything for her children.”
Alan Ashton, 18
“I felt the love of Christ when I was really depressed and the Spirit just came. School was a wreck. I was getting a lot of verbal abuse from kids about being a Mormon. One night I was really depressed. I hadn’t read my scriptures, almost out of spite, for a long time, and that night I just got a warm feeling. I knew Christ loved me. It was great. From then on, I tried harder.”
Jared St. Clair, 15
“I feel the love of Christ when I read the New Era! It does wonders for my spiritual question/answer session that I hold every night before I go to bed. I really enjoy it when I am feeling bored or lonely. It really picks me up and makes me feel better.”
Peter Bradshaw, 13
Sutton Coldfield, England
“I feel the love of Christ when I’m around animals. He made so many different species with their shapes, colors, and characters. He must love us a lot to place such beautiful creations on the earth for us to enjoy.”
Kolette Coleman, 18
“With approximately 30 active members in a high school of 2,000, you get to know many non-LDS friends. Many times I have the opportunity to tell my non-LDS friends about a simple gospel principle or answer a few curious questions. I’ll say a quick, silent prayer, asking our Father to help me remember what I have been taught so I can answer the questions correctly. It’s those times that I feel the love of Christ.”
Nicholas Moreton, 18
Sutton Coldfield, England
“I feel the love of Christ when I’m doing his work—especially home teaching and missionary work. I also have opportunities to teach the teachers in priesthood, and on those occasions I feel his love working through me teaching them things that will help later in their lives.”
Liza Edsberg, 17
“I feel the love of Christ when I think of what he has done for me. He took my sins upon his shoulders. I know that he wishes the best for me.”
John Joseph Kiehl, 14
“I feel the love of Christ when I ponder the immeasurable blessings I have received. Our Savior has restored his Church on earth, and given me the Book of Mormon. He has given me temples. He has given me a wonderful prophet along with many other strong and righteous leaders. The Lord lived and died for me so I may someday return to him again. I love the Lord with all my heart.”
Love others as Jesus would.
Learn to feel Christ’s love for you.