Jump to content
Mordecai

Love Everyone Equally?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I don't think we're expected to love everyone equally. Jesus taught, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35); speaking to disciples, it sounds as if Jesus is talking about disciples loving disciples. Perhaps more convincing, after stating we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves, when Jesus is asked, "Who is my neighbor," He doesn't say, "Everyone:"

Quote
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
 
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. --Luke 10:36-37

To me that suggests that we don't need to love everyone equally; we put a priority on people with basic decency. Doesn't mean we don't love others, but Jesus suggested that the Pharisees were not our brothers but were "children of the devil," being murderous oppressors. Not saying we shouldn't love them; Jesus specifically said to love our enemies. He just didn't say to love them equally. Regardless, I think it's rather natural to love decent people more than we love Gadianton Robbers, and I don't think that's a sin.

Edited by Mordecai

Share this post


Link to post

Hmmm.  I think our goal should be to love everyone equally.  I don't think we're expected to, however, since we cannot at this point in our existence.

Share this post


Link to post

Why would God command that which comes naturally to us?   (Loving those who are easy to love)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I invite you to consider that it wasn’t an accident that Jesus chose a Samaritan and a Jew as the two principal characters in the story you referenced.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

There are many kinds of love.  I am not required to love a mass murder in the same way I love my kids or wife.  Sometimes loving your enemy is just to leave them alone and not bother them.  There is no requirement to hang out with them.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Mordecai said:

love

In my opinion :), all discussions using the English word love would be best served by first proposing a working definition of 'love' in the first place.  What have we really been commanded to do when we read the English word 'love'?  (What has it been translated from, for one thing, scripturally?)

If we understood the proper reality of love, maybe the question would resolve itself in any case.

For example, I don't consider love to be an emotional feeling or state.

My best definition of love would be to refrain from bloodshed and oppression over all people, brethren strangers enemies, and to do whatever thing we might have the strength to do to raise the one that has been brought to us in our path.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Mordecai said:

I don't think we're expected to love everyone equally. Jesus taught, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35); speaking to disciples, it sounds as if Jesus is talking about disciples loving disciples. Perhaps more convincing, after stating we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves, when Jesus is asked, "Who is my neighbor," He doesn't say, "Everyone:"

To me that suggests that we don't need to love everyone equally; we put a priority on people with basic decency. Doesn't mean we don't love others, but Jesus suggested that the Pharisees were not our brothers but were "children of the devil," being murderous oppressors. Not saying we shouldn't love them; Jesus specifically said to love our enemies. He just didn't say to love them equally. Regardless, I think it's rather natural to love decent people more than we love Gadianton Robbers, and I don't think that's a sin.

I believe the Hebrew understanding of this word is more along the lines of giving and providing for the welfare of another rather than "feeling" all warm and cuddly towards them. If we really hate someone in our hearts (even if they deserve it) we probably are expected at least to pray for them but I don't think the Lord expects us to pay for their college.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, Maidservant said:

In my opinion :), all discussions using the English word love would be best served by first proposing a working definition of 'love' in the first place.  What have we really been commanded to do when we read the English word 'love'?  (What has it been translated from, for one thing, scripturally?)

If we understood the proper reality of love, maybe the question would resolve itself in any case..

This.

I'm all for loving everyone but somewhere society replaced love with tolerance and acceptance.

Sometimes loving someone means not tolerating every action and behavior and not accepting people exactly as they are.  Christ whole mission was to change our conditions and nature, not to accept us as we are all weak and sinful.  That's love.

Share this post


Link to post

I have always felt that as a disciple of Jesus Christ I had an obligation to treat all other humans, children of God, with a common degree of respect and kindness. This instructs me to help the stranger along the road as well as my neighbor. However, I have never felt that the scriptures or the Spirit have led me to "love" all equally. We are taught to love our spouse in the same way we love our God - this has no comparison to the way I show kindness to a neighbor. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Calm said:

Why would God command that which comes naturally to us?   (Loving those who are easy to love)

Yep.  

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them."

Luke 6:32

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
32 minutes ago, pogi said:

Yep.  

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them."

Luke 6:32

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Does a mother give unconditional love to her children?  Does she love all of them equally?  Does God love all his children equally?  Does He give them unconditional love?

Jesus said:

Quote

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). He will measure our devotion to him by how we love and serve our fellowmen. What kind of mark are we leaving on the Lord’s touchstone? Are we truly good neighbors? Does the test show us to be 24-karat gold, or can the trace of fool’s gold be detected?

The Savior taught us to love everyone, including those who may be difficult to love  258

As if excusing himself for asking such a simple question of the Master, the lawyer sought to justify himself by further inquiring, “And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29).

Parable of the Good Samaritan (and of the Levite and the Priest) 258

Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” (Luke 10:36). There the Master holds out the touchstone of Christianity.
Both the priest and the Levite in Christ’s parable should have remembered the requirements of the law: “Thou shalt not see thy brother’s *** or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again” (Deuteronomy 22:4). And if an ox, how much more should one be willing to help a brother in need. But as Elder James E. Talmage wrote, “Excuses [not to do so] are easy to find; they spring up as readily and plentifully as weeds by the wayside” (Jesus the Christ, 3d ed., p. 431).  258-259

Love should have no boundary; we should have no narrow loyalties. Christ said, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” (Matthew 5:46).  259

The Lord “will measure our devotion to him by how we love and serve our fellowmen.”

These two virtues, love and service, are required of us if we are to be good neighbors and find peace in our lives.  260

Joseph Smith:  “If we would secure and cultivate the love of others, we must love others, even our enemies as well as friends. … Christians should cease wrangling and contending with each other, and cultivate the principles of union and friendship in their midst.” (History of the Church, 5:498–99)  261

Charity is the pure love of Christ and will not fail  262
“A new commandment I give unto you,” [Jesus] said, “That ye love one another; … By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34–35)    Pres Howard W. Hunter, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter (2015),  Lesson 20: “Walking the Savior’s Path of Charity.”

Royal Skousen notes that Greek agapē appears in the NT epistles as “charity” (Rheims, KJV; Latin caritas) as well as “love” (Tyndale, Geneva, REB).  However, all these translations use “love” in 1 Corinthians 13:13.

If we ignore eros, there are at least two different Greek words for “love” in the NT:

1. agapē “brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence, charity; love-feast” (Matthew 5:43-44, 1 Corinthians 8:1, 13:1-8,13, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 2 Peter 1:7,22, Jude 12, Revelation 2:19)

2. philia “affectionate regard, friendship (between equals)” (Matthew 6:5, Luke 20:46, John 21:15-17, Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 16:22, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22, 3:8, Revelation 3:19)

KJV 2 Peter 1:7 sets “charity” (agapēn) next to “brotherly kindness” (philadelphia).  Yet, both agapē and philia are LXX Greek translations of Hebrew ʼāhab, ʼahăbâ “to like, love” (Psalm 38:11[12], Proverbs 15:17, Song of Songs 2:4-7, Jeremiah 2:2, 20:4,6).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Does a mother give unconditional love to her children?  Does she love all of them equally?

Depends on the mother to be honest.  Some mothers may become so focused on the needs of one or more children, she neglects to some degree...sometimes significantly...the child or children who are less demanding.  Or another mother may identify with or put the hopes of her future on one child and ignore others.

For pure love (where a child is truly beloved for who she or he is), I think there is no way to really measure that love so talking about loving them equally or one more or one less is basically nonsense.

Infinite love?  Why bother worrying how much more or less you might be getting when what you get is Infinite and eternal.

I think the question we should be asking ourselves is "does God want us to put limits on our love for others?"

Edited by Calm
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Apparently we love the attractive ones more. Unattractive children get ripped off

I would like to see additional studies, though I wouldn't be surprised if this is consistent.

I can see two problems with this particular study, the most significant being the children may be less attractive because of less attention, not that they are getting less attention because they are less attractive (think of the difference a good haircut and clean hair and skin and clean, stylish, cute clothes can make even).

While not as applicable to strapping in to carts, parents could be more fearful over the likelihood of more attractive children being taken and therefore keep them closer at hand because others have drawn their attention to the possibility more than it happens to parents of less attractive kids.  Also attractive kids have probably had more strangers giving them attention, perhaps overly So leading to higher parental awareness of potential dangers of kidnapping, etc.

Here's a similar study, though noting it is possible the conclusion drawn (mothers don't like looking at kids with attraction issues) on a faulty premise (mothers may just feel empathetic pain for these children because they understand the issues facing them).

http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1906642,00.html

Edited by Calm
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Calm said:

I would like to see additional studies, though I wouldn't be surprised if this is consistent.

Oh definitely! I'm always wary of any hypothesis that has only been tested and published once. I was also the type of mom that always thought my babies were the most beautiful creatures in the universe. I was stunned when I overheard someone call my baby daughter ugly.  They would eat their words if they could see her now. :D

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Mordecai said:

I don't think we're expected to love everyone equally. Jesus taught, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35); speaking to disciples, it sounds as if Jesus is talking about disciples loving disciples. Perhaps more convincing, after stating we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves, when Jesus is asked, "Who is my neighbor," He doesn't say, "Everyone:"

To me that suggests that we don't need to love everyone equally; we put a priority on people with basic decency. Doesn't mean we don't love others, but Jesus suggested that the Pharisees were not our brothers but were "children of the devil," being murderous oppressors. Not saying we shouldn't love them; Jesus specifically said to love our enemies. He just didn't say to love them equally. Regardless, I think it's rather natural to love decent people more than we love Gadianton Robbers, and I don't think that's a sin.

If you love everyone in the world equally, they are all equally important and deserving of your time, money, effort, etc.

I do not have the time, money, and energy to feed, clothe, and house the world's population.

Prayer, fasting, tithing, fast offerings are what has been asked of me, so that's what I contribute.

My family's first.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

We are supposed to act within our sphere. I would sacrifice more to help a friend or a brother or sister then I would to a stranger though I try to love everyone. I would do more to help someone in my ward then someone across the state or world.

Edited by The Nehor
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Calm said:

Depends on the mother to be honest.  Some mothers may become so focused on the needs of one or more children, she neglects to some degree...sometimes significantly...the child or children who are less demanding.  Or another mother may identify with or put the hopes of her future on one child and ignore others.

For pure love (where a child is truly beloved for who she or he is), I think there is no way to really measure that love so talking about loving them equally or one more or one less is basically nonsense.

Infinite love?  Why bother worrying how much more or less you might be getting when what you get is Infinite and eternal.

I think the question we should be asking ourselves is "does God want us to put limits on our love for others?"

My questions were rhetorical.  However, I did learn from my mother the concept of unconditional love, that she loved me no matter what.  Which helped me extrapolate to the unconditional love of God.

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/5/2019 at 5:51 PM, pogi said:

Yep.  

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them."

Luke 6:32

I'm not saying that merely loving those who love us is a good thing. I'm saying that if you love decent people, including ones that aren't part of our local tribe (like the Samaritan), more than you love Gadianton Robbers, that's probably normal and seems to me to be recommended. I've never read that we should love Gadianton Robbers equally. If Katherine the Great is correct, and love merely means we help take care of others, the Church's official policy is to take care of members first and then people outside the Church. That seems consistent with, "By this shall all men know, ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another," as opposed to, "love to everyone."

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/5/2019 at 3:16 PM, Mordecai said:

 Perhaps more convincing, after stating we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves

 

What if a person does not love themselves?

Share this post


Link to post

Matthew 5:

Quote

43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Perfect love is God's love.

Share this post


Link to post

testing

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/6/2019 at 6:04 PM, Mordecai said:

I'm not saying that merely loving those who love us is a good thing. I'm saying that if you love decent people, including ones that aren't part of our local tribe (like the Samaritan), more than you love Gadianton Robbers, that's probably normal and seems to me to be recommended. I've never read that we should love Gadianton Robbers equally. If Katherine the Great is correct, and love merely means we help take care of others, the Church's official policy is to take care of members first and then people outside the Church. That seems consistent with, "By this shall all men know, ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another," as opposed to, "love to everyone."

I agree, that we are not expected to love everyone in the same way (equally), but we are still commanded to love everyone. 

Even God's love is not unconditional in some regards:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/abide-in-my-love?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2003/02/divine-love?lang=eng

 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

carbon: I like to think that the command to love a neighbor as oneself (sp?) includes the command then to learn to love oneself. Realizing one is a child of God with infinite potential. Easier said than done, but the idea is that God doesn't want us to hate ourselves. 

Edited by BHodges
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×