This world is filled with so much hatred, selfishness, dishonesty, hurtful behavior, jealousy and people who are lovers of themselves more than others this causes wars, murders, abuse and untold suffering and misery. Yet the Savior said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13: 35 in the Bible). Why is love so important? The Savior is telling us that love is an important factor in our happiness and well-being both in this life and in our future life.
Can Love Helps Us Physically
Gary E Stevenson relates an interesting experiment with unexpected results.
“Today, let me share a discovery that happened because of a sample group of rabbits.
In the 1970s, researchers set up an experiment to examine the effects of diet on heart health. Over several months, they fed a control group of rabbits a high-fat diet and monitored their blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol.
As expected, many of the rabbits showed a buildup of fatty deposits on the inside of their arteries. Yet this was not all! Researchers had discovered something that made little sense. Although all of the rabbits had a buildup, one group surprisingly had as much as 60 percent less than the others. It appeared as though they were looking at two different groups of rabbits. To scientists, results like this can cause lost sleep. How could this be? The rabbits were all the same breed from New Zealand, from a virtually identical gene pool. They each received equal amounts of the same food. What could this mean? Did the results invalidate the study? Were there flaws in the experiment design? The scientists struggled to understand this unexpected outcome!
Eventually, they turned their attention to the research staff. Was it possible that researchers had done something to influence the results? As they pursued this, they discovered that every rabbit with fewer fatty deposits had been under the care of one researcher. She fed the rabbits the same food as everyone else. But, as one scientist reported, ‘she was an unusually kind and caring individual.’ When she fed the rabbits, she talked to them, cuddled and petted them. … ‘She couldn’t help it. It’s just how she was.’ She did more than simply give the rabbits food. She gave them love! At first glance, it seemed unlikely that this could be the reason for the dramatic difference, but the research team could see no other possibility. So they repeated the experiment—this time tightly controlling for every other variable. When they analyzed the results, the same thing happened! The rabbits under the care of the loving researcher had significantly higher health outcomes.
The scientists published the results of this study in the prestigious journal Science…
For me, this lays another brick in the foundation of kindness as a fundamental, healing gospel principle—one that can heal hearts emotionally, spiritually, and, as demonstrated here, even physically.
When asked, ‘Master, which is the great commandment?’ the Savior replied to ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,’ followed by, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Luke 10: 25-27 in the Bible). The Savior’s response reinforces our heavenly duty to love one another.
“As you strive to extend yourself in love, respect, and kindness, you will undoubtedly be hurt or negatively affected by the bad choices of others. What do we do then? We follow the Lord’s admonition to ‘love your enemies … and pray for them which despitefully use you’. (Matthew 5: 44 in the Bible)”
What Would Our Lives Be Like If Love Guided All of Us
Most people are not aware that after the Savior was resurrected in the Holy Land, he appeared to people living on the American Continent and taught them His Gospel, performed miracle and also organized His church among them. So profound was His influence on them that as a people they lived in peace and righteousness for over 200 years. “And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” (4 Nephi verses 15–16 in the Book of Mormon)
Quoted part of the remarks of Gary E. Stevenson entitled “Hearts Knit Together” at my church’s General Conference April 3, 2021.