In the October 2012 general conference, Elder Holland gave a great talk titled, “The First Great Commandment.” That was the talk we discussed in Relief Society this past week. It was a great reminder that we can all be doing more to love God.
What really impacted me was the following interpretation by Elder Holland regarding Peter’s exchange with the Lord, who asked him three times, “Lovest Thou Me?” When Peter responded in the affirmative the third time, Elder Holland says,
“To which Jesus responded (and here again I acknowledge my nonscriptural elaboration), perhaps saying something like: “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”
If we need “fish” (or temporal and spiritual blessings) in our lives, the Lord can give us those. It is our responsibility to have faith, believe in Him, and show that we love Him. As I thought about my own life, I realize that we can never do enough to serve. But, it is more than serving others. It is more than sharing the gospel. It is about dedicating our lives to Him by great and simple things. It is about loving our families more and treating them with kindness. It is about turning off the TV and picking up the scriptures instead. It is about praying often so that we have a personal relationship with our Savior. It is about treating everyone like a neighbor. It is about never looking back to the lives we had before we knew Christ. It is about becoming a true disciple of Him that works tirelessly to do His work.
Elder Holland states, “After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before.” I know I can do more. Can you?