Picture from here. (It's not an official LDS site, but it has good info.)
This is Elder Dallin H. Oaks. He is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
(The organization of twelve apostles who are chosen as special witnesses of Christ to all the world. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles becomes the presiding body of the Church in the event of the death of the prophet, until a new president of the Church is chosen and ordained.)
Our lesson in Relief Society was based on a talk given by him last November.
It was titled "Love and Law."
You can find it in it's entirety here.
This is the very first thing he said:
"I have been impressed to speak about God’s love and God’s commandments. My message is that God’s universal and perfect love is shown in all the blessings of His gospel plan, including the fact that His choicest blessings are reserved for those who obey His laws. These are eternal principles that should guide parents in their love and teaching of their children."
(I'm not going to talk about the teaching the children part today, just wanted you to see it so you knew Elder Oak's main theme.)
And FYI- I believe God's choicest blessings aren't a nice house or an easy life. I believe they are eternal life and getting to life in His presence after our time here on earth is finished.
Earlier this week, I listened to a dear woman who said some things that were difficult to hear.
This woman who is almost at "wit's end." She is living in very difficult circumstances and has been for a few years. Her life is not turning out how she had "hoped or dreamed" it would. The situation she is in is not totally of her making. She feels that God does not answer her prayers and that He has abandoned her.
I wish she could know and understand the following:
"God’s choicest blessings are clearly contingent upon obedience to God’s laws and commandments. The key teaching is from modern revelation:
'There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
'And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20–21).
This great principle helps us understand the why of many things, like justice and mercy balanced by the Atonement. It also explains why God will not forestall the exercise of agency by His children. Agency—our power to choose—is fundamental to the gospel plan that brings us to earth. God does not intervene to forestall the consequences of some persons’ choices in order to protect the well-being of other persons—even when they kill, injure, or oppress one another—for this would destroy His plan for our eternal progress. He will bless us to endure the consequences of others’ choices, but He will not prevent those choices."
If a person understands the teachings of Jesus, he or she cannot reasonably conclude that our loving Heavenly Father or His divine Son believes that Their love supersedes Their commandments."
Our choices have consequences. We can choose how to deal with what we have been given to deal with in the life we are living right now.
God loves us & wants us back, we just need to be willing to do what He asks of us to get there.
I wish you could have been there for the lesson. It was very good. Go read the article (linked above). It's got a lot of "meat" in it.
(The D&C is the Doctrine and Covenants--visit here to learn more about that.)