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May 14, 2013
Goodness Matters
Because He Loves Me
by Vickey Pahnke Taylor

A few years back I wrote a musical program with my writing and producing buddy, Randy Kartchner. It was called “My Beloved Christ,” and one of the featured songs was entitled, “Because He Loves Me.”

I have spent a great deal of time thinking over those four words — because He loves me. And each year, as I think back on the events and learning curves of the past twelve months, I circle back around to the amazing love that my Savior has for me. It fills me with a certain kind of bright hope that brings a smile to my soul.

He is the perfect model of kindness, selflessness, and giving. It boggles my mind.  President Thomas S. Monson once said, “Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved.”

When someone feels a little drop of kindness from us, it’s as though they feel a bit more love from the One who teaches us how to love and live.  They may be uncertain in their testimony — or even of the reality that God and Christ live — but they undeniably feel goodness from us.

When love is offered freely, and a hand of service is offered in genuine love, both the giver and receiver experience that growing of the heart, reminds me of the Grinch from the appropriately-named movie, The Grinch.  I smile, seeing the movie’s scene in my mind — that big smile covering his face, when he had experienced, first hand, a true caring and concern for someone else.

Because the Lord loves, me I have the chance to come to know myself. It takes excavating and discovering as I toss out and re-arrange thoughts and feelings and bits of this and that.  The reward is a renewed closeness to Father in Heaven, and the Son who gave His all for me.

I wonder at my silliness in not continually — without reserve — jumping in to throw out the old and replace it with something of more worth, of greater faith and devotion. But then, they know my weaknesses. They allow for them. And as I continue growing and getting it, more of that sweet goodness quietly fills the holes in my character like molasses settling in to grant me a bit more sweetness where there may have been bitterness, gall, or bother.

Because He loves me, I have hope. I can smile. I feel as though I can get through my struggles and trials. It seems evident that these stretching times offer me a chance to know more truth and goodness, applying the principles so that they make a better me.

Christ’s invitation was to come and do as He did. Not do as He said. Amazingly, I see at this later time in my earth journey that I am a better student than I was as a younger person.

Maybe it’s the life battles I’ve been helped through. Maybe it’s because I have more sense and a better sense of reality. Maybe it’s all about letting go of my pride and taking the hand that is extended — in love and caring — always.

This post has a lot of “me” and “I” in it. Only because it’s about some personal thoughts and feelings regarding the Savior’s love in the most personal way for my heart and mind. As a mom, my hope has been to show my own children how to make it as personal as possible.

The beautiful thing is that there is no time line. I don’t know the Master Plan, but I trust it. I don’t understand how the Savior was able to do what He did for us. But somehow, He followed through and set in place the Atonement. I don’t know how we get through some of the harsh times in this mortal schooling, but we do it with heavenly help. Because He loves us. And that’s good.

And goodness matters.

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