The real reason that the phrase "I love you" evokes universal joy is that every person who comes to earth is a spirit son or daughter of God, said Elder John H. Groberg Saturday morning.
"Since all love emanates from God, we are born with the capacity and the desire to love and to be loved. One of the strongest connections we have with our pre-mortal life is how much our Father and Jesus loved us and how much we loved them. Even though a veil was drawn over our memory, whenever we sense true love, it awakens a longing that cannot be denied.
"Responding to true love is part of our very being," said Elder Groberg of the Presidency of the Seventy. "We innately desire to reconnect here with the love we felt there."
Speaking on the power of God's love, Elder Groberg said that love fills the immensity of space. "There is no shortage of love in the universe, only in our willingness to do what is needed to feel it."
Finding God's love, he added, requires obedience. "Trying to find lasting love without obeying God is like trying to quench thirst by drinking from an empty cup — you can go through the motions, but the thirst remains. Similarly, trying to find love without helping and sacrificing for others is like trying to live without eating — it is against the laws of nature and cannot succeed."
Recounting his time spent as a young missionary in the South Pacific, Elder Groberg said God is anxious to help His children feel His love wherever they are.
"When we understand who God is, who we are, how He loves us, and what His plan is for us, fear evaporates," he said. "When we get the tiniest glimpse of these truths, our concern over worldly things vanishes. To think we actually fall for Satan's lies that power, fame or wealth are important is truly laughable — or would be were it not so sad."
Joy now and forever is inextricably tied to one's capacity to love, Elder Groberg continued. "Being filled with God's love is the most joyous of all things and is worth every cost."
When filled with God's love, members can do and see and understand things that they could not otherwise do or see or understand, he added. "Filled with His love we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength and bless and help others in ways surprising even to us."
Jesus Christ, explained Elder Groberg, was filled with unfathomable love as He endured incomprehensible pain, cruelty and injustice. "Through His love for us, He rose above otherwise insurmountable barriers. His love knows no barriers. He invites us to follow Him and partake of His unlimited love, so we too may rise above the pain and cruelty and injustice of this world and help and forgive and bless."