Some time ago on this very list (probably its incarnation on zilker.net
or some other pre-Topica server), a rather heated discussion -- imagine
that! -- arose regarding, of all topics, God's love. Some of us claimed
that the scriptures clearly teach that God's love is conditional, given
to some more than to others, and dependent in its intensity on the
actions and heart of the recipient; while others steadfastly maintained
that God's love is unconditional, that he loves the rankest, vilest
sinner just as much as he loves the most virtuous of men and women.
I thus find it interesting that this month's Ensign includes an article
by Elder Nelson extolling the *conditional* nature of God's love. I
definitely recommend the article to all, which starts on page 20 of the
February 2003 Ensign. Some relevant quotations follow:
"While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and
universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as *unconditional*."
[emphasis in original]
"With scriptural patterns of conditional statements in mind, we note
many verses that declare the conditional nature of divine love for us.
Examples include: [John 15:10; D&C 95:12; John 14:23; Proverbs 8:17;
Acts 10:34-35; 1 Nephi 17:40; John 14:21]"
"Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly
'unconditional' can defend us against common fallacies such as these:
'Since God's love is unconditional, He will love me regardless...'; or
'Since ''God is love,'' He will love me unconditionally, regardless...'
These arguments are used by anti-Christs to woo people with deception."
"Divine love is perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal. The full
flower of divine love and our greatest blessings from that love are
conditional -- predicated upon our obedience to eternal law."
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