The Unconditional Love of God

The power that draws us out of sin and the darkness of the shame of our fallen condition is the love of God. This love calls to us no matter our past; no matter how many times we have disappointed and failed to please our Father in Heaven, his love invites us back.

Just as Adam and Eve hid themselves because they were naked, it is instinctual to hide ourselves from God if we feel deeply that we don’t measure up, or even willingly break his commandments. Our shame can compound over a lifetime of failure. Broken promises, failed effort, seasons of rebellion, even cursing God for the pain and disappointment common to this mortal condition can cause us to believe that we will never be fully welcomed home.

What is it that draws us back no matter what the circumstance? It is the unconditional love of God. Their is a cosmic fact – an eternal reality – and that is God loves you with every aspect of His being. His love does not fail. It reaches deeper than hell. And it calls out to you forever. It will not cease as it is the objective of God’s existence to prepare and bring you into a fullness of His joy.

God’s love is unconditional. Our experience of God’s love, however, will be determined by the conditions we put on Him. If we put requirements and conditions and obligations on God before we will turn our hearts to Him then we will distort the relationship.

Because God’s love is unconditional it requires us to unconditionally come to Him in order to experience a fullness of His love. This is how we connect to a being that will never cease to love us and invite us to Him. Because his love is unconditional, in order to experience and bond with a being of that eternal magnitude, our surrender to Him must also be unconditional. It’s the only way to receive from him everything He has to give. It’s not measuring up to an expectation before He will love us. The love is ever-present. Our experience of that love will very much depend on the conditions we put on God before we will turn to him.

Because his love for us does not have conditions, our experience of that love also must not have conditions. In other words, we must come to God in the depths of humility, willing to have our hearts, minds, emotions, our past – all of what makes us think who we are – and submit all to God.

There is a very damaging idea that has been taught that God’s love is conditional. This is precisely what the Father of all Lies wants us to believe. If he can imbed in our minds that God’s love is not unconditional then he can keep us from him by making us believe that we can’t come to God unless we prove ourselves first. We may be deceived into believing that God requires a measure of obedience and justice before he will turn his heart to us. This is a lie. And the teaching that God’s love is not unconditional is also a lie. To be precise, we have to decide how we are going to experience that unconditional love – but his love is ever present, and will never cease flowing to us even as fallen, undeserving creatures.

Will God cut us off to suffer the reality and exposure of our awful fallen situation? If we desire it. Does it change his love for us? No. Will he allow us to experience the condemnation and cursing of broken covenants? Yes. But it will not change in the least degree his love for us. He loves us as beings and acknowledges our cosmic reality is as real as He is. That we are eternal agents and he will not compel us in the least degree. If we resist him will he force us to love him? He will not in the least degree. And therefore we are left to our own distortions and deceptions. The greatest of all deceptions is that God is our enemy. He is not. He is willing to go to hell for you and pluck you out – but He will not do so against your will. If you remove your conditions that you put on God he can work a miracle in you.

What conditions do you put on the love of God? What hoops must God jump through before you will come to him? Must he share your politics? Your views on social justice? Your views on sexuality? Must he share the vibe and lifestyle that you want to live in the world? Do you seek to be in God’s image or are you trying to make God in your image?

And finally, have you read his words and made a God of yourself by twisting his words and his revelations? Have you rejected his true prophets? Have you accepted false prophets that preach to you smooth words, or pervert his laws?

We have to reject every deception, every lie, and every distortion in order to come to Him unconditionally. He will lead us through this if our hearts are set on Him. We, no matter our past, can experience the unconditional love of God.

Author: Todd McLauchlin

This is an LDS site that is dedicated to the invitation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to awake and arise to the great promises of redemption and transformation. My name is Todd Mclauchlin and I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have a love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and would like to share openly my feelings, testimony, and personal perspectives of the Doctrine of Christ. I currently reside in Draper, Utah.

7 thoughts on “The Unconditional Love of God”

  1. Thank you for sharing the deep feelings for our God that you have! I have had thoughts very similar to yours. I also add my testimony that your words are true; we worship a God that truly is filled with an infinite and unconditional love. I also have been touched by that love that lifts me, encourages me, and gives me hope.

    I sincerely try to show my love for God by following my great Exemplar, Jesus Christ, to the best of my ability. I am not capable of perfect obedience, but Christ’s perfect unconditional love is always ready to lift me when I stumble. His love for me is real and he makes it possible for me to love him, because he first loved me.

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  2. Love this article Todd! Thank you for articulating about our relationship with God, and his unconditional love for each one of us.

    I have been plagued by a Ensign article from February 2003 that left me, at the time, even more disconnected from God than I had been prior to reading it.

    Here is just a sample:

    “Divine Love Is Also Conditional

    While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us—and certain divine blessings stemming from that love—are conditional. Before citing examples, it is well to recognize various forms of conditional expression in the scriptures.

    If you can will you please comment on this article?

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    1. Thank you for asking this question, I know there is sensitivity around this topic. This article is one of the reasons why I felt to write this short essay. Over the years I have observed many people upset over the idea that the love of the Lord increases and decreases for them depending on their obedience and spiritual condition. I’ve also seen many people reason to others using the arguments outlined in the article that the Lord doesn’t love people outside of the church as much because they have yet to make covenants by the right authority. There are obvious problems with these conclusions and I think this article has had wide negative influence.

      I understand what the author was trying to convey with the article. He is trying to argue that people are wrong to say that we can do whatever we want, follow whatever desire we would choose, and we will all be unconditionally accepted by the Lord. This is a good message to teach and emphasize. It’s a critical argument to make. I believe the intent of his article is excellent, but his approach used to make the argument was very poorly reasoned and doctrinally inaccurate. We need to give a lot of grace to those who are charged with teaching the people because making mistakes can have a devastating effect, as this particular article has.

      If the article had reasoned, instead, that the Lord’s acceptance is not unconditional, it would have had a powerful and intended effect. President Nelson’s intended argument would have been better reasoned by asserting the the Lord does not unconditionally approve of his children, rather than assert the Lord does not unconditionally love his children. But by asserting that the Lord’s love is not unconditional it has damaged the faith and hope of many.

      One need only ask the question, is the Lord’s love of me conditional? This question makes my spirit recoil. It is a violation of perhaps the most fundamental truth of universe which is summarized in the scripture: We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19).

      It is for the reason that God’s love for us is unconditional that we are able to be respond to his love in our fallen and lost condition. It is precisely the unconditional love of God that provided a Savior for us who have no cosmic appeal to justice or worthiness of that love. The atonement was completed and accomplished on the premise of unconditional love.

      How we experience that unconditional love, however, is premised upon our desire to experience and receive it. We choose to what degree we will experience and ultimately possess the unconditional love of God.

      Regarding the argument that the term “unconditional love” cannot be found in the scriptures and therefore invalidates the principle is odd to say the least. The principle of unconditional love is ubiquitously taught and exemplified in scripture, but in the absence of a specific term we are going to wrest the scriptures and the fundamental principle of the gospel? It’s a pedantic and misleading wresting of scripture.

      Consider that the following terms are also not found in the scriptures:

      eternal marriage
      temple covenants
      family history work
      true prophet
      let God prevail

      Do we want to disqualify all gospel terms and teachings that are not explicitly identified in exact scriptural terms? I’m afraid that if we applied this standard to our entire doctrinal lexicon the vast amount of modern LDS teachings and terms would be invalidated.

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    2. Thank you for sharing this-I too have struggled terribly since reading that article.
      I agree with Todd about rejecting every deception lie and distortion.
      But I didn’t even realize that I was misunderstanding what the author of the article was trying to say. I wish he would do a rewrite! I am guessing he had no idea how it would affect those of us that have been greatly injured by others’ treatment.

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  3. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for addressing this.
    I was brokenhearted when I first that article and have carried around that sorrow for years. Our home teacher brought it up once and I realize that I wasn’t the only one that struggled. He said that he didn’t think he had ever felt God‘s love. 💔
    To me that article felt like a validation of the way I was raised by my father.
    “Love” always in flux.
    I felt a significant shift in my thought and feeling as a result of your post- what a glorious gift of freedom you gave me! True freedom to allow God to love me! And for me to be able to love Him fully in return!
    I feel like this is the most important thing you’ve ever written but I think that’s more of a reflection of how broken I have been. 🥰
    Bless you for bringing truth to light!

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