Rather than focusing their messages on chocolate and flowers, Elder Ronald A. Rasband, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Sister Rasband spoke about the importance of loving God.
Sister Rasband began her message by sharing an experience from a missionary in the New York City New York Mission, where she and her husband were mission leaders. While walking through the Bronx, Elder Powell heard someone saying, “Shoe shine? Shoe shine? Anyone want your shoe shined?” When he heard that the cost of the shine was up to him, Powell accepted the offer. But as he observed the humble peddler kneel at his feet to shine the shoes, and then buff them with his shirt and then his arm, Powell thought of the Savior.
“As Elder Powell watched the selfless work being carried out, he thought of another who descended below us all and took upon Him the stains of mankind, that we in turn could walk away clean and unspotted from the stains of mortality and sin,” Sister Rasband said.
Sister Rasband compared the peddler’s words to an invitation from the Savior.
“The Lord calls to us, ‘Souls shined? Souls shined? Anyone want their souls shined?’" Sister Rasband said.
To students listening, Sister Rasband invited them to give the Lord the gift of their commitment.
“At this time of year filled with hearts of paper, candy, and chocolate, may we add our gift, a heart of commitment to the Lord, to come unto Him, to follow Him, to be like Him, to serve as he served, to love Him, and love others as He loved,” Sister Rasband said.
Elder Rasband focused his remarks around Matthew 22:37, which says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
To illustrate this principle, Elder Rasband told the story of Joshua, who lived when the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt. He crossed the River Jordan and led the Israelites to take over Jericho.
“We see Joshua as the great military leader, but his cause was more than capturing the countryside. He was motivated by his love for God,” Elder Rasband said.
Elder Rasband then gave students four ways they can express their love for God; walk in all His ways, keep His commandments, cleave unto Him, and serve Him.
“When your love of God consumes your service, interests, priorities, and affections you are blessed and joy attends those blessings,” Elder Rasband said.
The apostle concluded his remarks with a promise and blessing.
“I leave with you this blessing; that your hearts will swell with love for your Savior and that your love will fill you with the desire to be a true disciple,” Elder Rasband said. “I bless you that you will choose to walk in His ways, to follow His commandments, to cleave unto Him and to serve Him… I bless you to be forever grateful for the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and may you realize His great love for you. Brothers and Sisters, as we look to Jesus Christ, what’s not to love?”