President Benson taught that we manifest our love for the Lord by our willingness to do the Lord’s will. He said: “I wish that every Latter-day Saint could say and mean it with all his heart: ‘I’ll go where you want me to go. I’ll say what you want me to say. I’ll be what you want me to be’ [see no. 270]. If we could all do that, we would be assured of the maximum of happiness here and exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God hereafter.”
When I think of charity, I … think of my father and that day he was called on his mission [see pages 4–6 in this book]. I suppose some in the world might say that his acceptance of that call was proof he did not really love his family. To leave seven children and an expectant wife at home alone for two years, how could that be true love? But my father knew a greater vision of love. He knew that “all things shall work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). He knew that the best thing he could do for his family was to obey God.
To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is all-consuming and all-encompassing. It is no lukewarm endeavor. It is total commitment of our very being—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—to a love of the Lord.
When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.
Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life.
Excerpts taken from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, Chapter 1.