LOVE: John Lennon vs Russell M Nelson

All You Need Is Love

President Nelson gave a talk at General Conference April 2019. He called out some popular ideas and songs as false hope. He doesn’t believe Love will get us anywhere it seems. Many know the song, but it doesn’t mean what President Nelson thinks it means… The Beatles’ iconic song from the summer of love (1967), All You Need Is Love.

“This is an inspired song, because they wrote it for a worldwide program and they really wanted to give the world a message,” Beatles manager Brian Epstein said at the time, according to The Beatles Anthology. “It could hardly have been a better message.”

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All You Need Is Love
The Beatles

For his part, Lennon said in a 1971 interview: “I think if you get down to basics, whatever the problem is, it’s usually to do with love. So I think ‘All You Need Is Love’ is a true statement … It doesn’t mean that all you have to do is put on a phoney smile or wear a flower dress and it’s gonna be alright … I’m talking about real love … Love is appreciation of other people and allowing them to be. Love is allowing somebody to be themselves, and that’s what we do need.”[wikipedia]

In 2009, George Vaillant, the chief investigator of the Grant Study, which tracked 268 Harvard undergraduates for a period of 80 years with the goal of finding what factors led to happiness, stated that its findings could be summarised as “Happiness is love. Full stop.” In response to accusations that the statement was sentimental or overly general, Vaillant revisited his findings and concluded: “The short answer is L-O-V-E.” The CBC reported that the “[Grant] study proves Beatles right: All You Need is Love.”[wikipedia]

President Nelson was around 43 years old when the song was released (1967). That’s around the same time he was called as the Sunday School General President of the Church (1971). Maybe it’s not his style of music. But, has he actually consciously listened to the song? He could easily be harboring decades of resentment for the song, band and whole movement that was the Beatles and the hippie revolution. We know he tends to have his pet peeves come out as doctrine and revelation. Are these catchy songs of false hope more victories for satan?

Russell M. Nelson “Come, Follow Me” – General Conference Talk – 7 April 2019

He states that “Love songs perpetuate a false hope that love is all you need if you want to be together forever”. Now, he could be talking about many other songs, but we can’t ignore the way he quotes the exact song title here. He talks about love songs, and this isn’t exactly a love song. It’s deeper than romance. This song doesn’t claim anything about being together forever or salvation or exaltation. It only proclaims – much the same as Jesus proclaimed – that we need to have love in our hearts and in our lives to be good people.

Jesus taught that the first great commandment was to Love God, and the second is like unto it, to love our neighbor.

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. &

On these commandments (about love), hang all the law and the prophets… The living prophet of our day, tells us that love is irrelevant and ridicules others who believe in love?

Nelson could perhaps get behind a song touting “Covenants and Ordinances are all you need” or “The Priesthood power that I hold all the keys for is all you need”. He and President Oaks together could get together for the second verse and say “Research is not the Answer”… Nelson didn’t bring up Love in his talk except to say it didn’t account for anything and it wouldn’t accomplish anything. That doesn’t sound like a christian sermon at all! It seems that President Nelson doesn’t understand music or maybe doesn’t actually pay attention to the message. Plus, he doesn’t understand the teachings of Jesus, or maybe he actually doesn’t pay attention to the message. He only knows that he’s in charge now and he’s holding the keys. His way or the highway, but fear the highway, because it will tear your family apart eternally.

All you need is Love; Love is all you need

Maybe we can agree on one thing. Nelson is preaching fear, not love. Not love because he’s setting himself apart from others who do teach love. The Beatles for one, which I think he’d be comfortable with. But also, Jesus. Would Jesus rather we love one another or we call the church by the proper 11 syllable name.

Nelson really turns up the fear based preaching when he “invites” any who have “strayed” with this challenge: “If you truly love your family and if you desire to be exalted with them throughout eternity, pay the price now”. He challenges and doubts the love anyone has for their own family. How else could anyone see this? Especially the faithful, who have “wayward” siblings or children – he is basically saying that those who have “fallen” don’t really love their families. That is the hurtful spiritual abusive message he is sharing. If you’ve left, it’s because you don’t love your family, insulting to those who have left, and damaging to family relationships because it denies the love that is there. It causes fear in both the faithful and doubting, because it puts both the temporal relationship and the eternal relationship on the chopping block. He wants us to be afraid of this separation and he tells us, you better come back so your family can believe that you love them, so you can have a loving relationship that lasts beyond death, and so you can have a decent one during your life too. You don’t have to follow the fear tactics, choose love over fear. Even those outside the church can believe in and practice true love. Love is much better at solving problems and making the world a better place, John Lennon believed it, Jesus believed it.

Do you believe in Love or in fear? Do you follow Jesus (and John, Paul, George and Ringo) or The Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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