A few years ago, I had a bishop who gave our ward a “name” – the Delightful Downingtown Ward. He then focused on this scripture, and brought it up time and time again:
“Hearken and hear, O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of all blessings, ye that hear me;…” – Doctrine and Covenants 41:1
Have you really thought what this means?
Sometimes, I think of the following scripture:
“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” – Doctrine and Covenants 82:10
I have a tendency to misread this scripture and think – sure…the Lord blesses me, but that’s because He has to.”
The thing is, though, I know that He doesn’t. I know that – in and of myself – I don’t qualify for a single blessing I have received. Sure…Here the Lord says that when we do what He says, then He is bound to keep His part of the covenant, but that’s the thing:
We can’t even make our covenants without the Savior. We are baptized in His name. Even our prayers are done in His name. We need Him to be our mediator. So, without Christ, even if we did what the Lord said, we’d have no promise…because we cannot qualify on our own merits. We need the Savior.
The Lord said,
“Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—
Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;
Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.” – Doctrine and Covenants 45:3
Christ is the one speaking to the Father in our behalf. He is the only one capable of doing so. And he does it out of His love for our Heavenly Father and for us.
Anyways…back to the earlier point – the Lord is not bound to bless us on our merits alone. He is bound to keep His covenant with us – because we have joined with Christ. Christ is the one who perfects us and enables us to covenant with God.
God knew that this would be the case, which is why He offered His Only Son.
“¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
Heavenly Father wants to bless us. He gave us His Son so that He would be able to bless us with His best blessings. As the scripture in D&C 41:1 teaches, he delights in blessing us with the greatest of His blessings.
Time and time again, my bishop would tell me this. I was single then, working, getting through a divorce, and putting my life back together. My bishop, always with a smile, reminded me that Heavenly Father delighted in blessing me with His greatest blessings.
I trusted what he said even though the blessings were so afar off, I couldn’t even imagine them, and eventually, the Lord did bless me.
The Lord blessed me despite my weakness and sins. He blessed me above and beyond my best effort. I know that this was because of my faith in the Savior. And I know it was because Heavenly Father loves me. It is because He loves blessing us.
In Doctrine & Covenants 59, we read
“And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man;…” – Doctrine and Covenants 59:20
It truly pleases God to bless us. He finds delight in it.
I don’t know about you, but when I really think about how much He loves blessing me, and all that He has done so that He can bless me, I am overwhelmed by His love. I feel happy. I feel grateful. I feel reverence for Him. I want to show Him more love through keeping the commandments and sharing the gospel.
I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us, and I know that He delights in blessing us with His greatest blessings. I know that Heavenly Father loves blessing us so much, He provides ways for us to receive His blessings – through the Savior’s atonement and through sacred covenants. I know that if we will just trust Him and do as He teaches us to do – even when life is difficult, then He will bless us – usually in a way better than we could have imagined for ourselves.
How have you felt the Lord’s love through blessings? Have you struggled with this? What do you do to feel the Lord’s love in your life?