The Implicit Commandmet

The Implicit Commandment

Written by Kelly Johnson

Through a series of very difficult experiences early on in my life, the Lord taught me a way of looking at the gospel as a blueprint for healing. This is what I would like to explore with you. Week by week we will look at different aspects of the gospel, and how they can heal us from challenges, trials, traumas, and the difficulties that we all go through, as well as prepare us for difficult times to come.

Love Yourself, the Implicit Commandment

In Matthew 22, 37-40 it says: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all my heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”


We have all seen these scriptures many times, but do we catch the implicit commandment?  If I am to love my neighbor as myself, then it follows that I must first love myself. This is the first and most important principle, upon which emotional healing is based we must love ourselves. This love is a reflection of our Father’s love for us. It is a complete and unconditional acceptance of us, an understanding of our true limitations, a pride in our accomplishments and virtues, and a desire for us to better ourselves in a reasonable and manageable way. We are often our own harshest critics and feel if we are not meeting every standard, live up to every outside expectation, and juggle all the different responsibilities we have perfectly, then we must criticize and ridicule ourselves. This is not the way our Father loves us. He embraces our flaws with mercy and gives us gentle encouragement to better ourselves, but never asks us to go faster than we can.


“And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” (Mosiah 4:27)

Seeing Ourselves as Children

Think of this love, as you would extend love towards a child. With children, the simple and sweet innocent things they do warm our hearts. It doesn’t matter if they are not pretty or handsome, we love them. If they do something wrong we gently correct them and we love them. In truth we are all children to God and the more we can come to see ourselves in this light, the easier it is to smile tolerantly when we make a mistake, or to lovingly embrace ourselves when we are sad and feel alone. Strange as it sounds, it works wonders

Parenting Ourselves

‘Parenting’ yourself is part of loving yourself. I will go further into this aspect of the gospel in a later post. However, I mention it here because it is important to realize the type of love we need give ourselves. It should be unconditional and fully accepting, but with expectation and encouragement, just as we would feel towards one of our own children. It is important to separate loving ourselves from indulging ourselves. We do not indulge our children’s every
whim, because this would not be loving. Thus when we approach ourselves it should be with unconditional love, but also with limits. This is why a loving Heavenly Father gives us limits called commandments and asks that we make covenants with him.


I am grateful to be able to speak on this topic, and I truly bare my witness that the pure Gospel of Christ is the most pure and certain method of mental and emotional health that has ever been given or conceived of.

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