Please Stop Saying That: Jesus Loves Me…

Judge Maxwell

Years ago, when my blog was just an anonymous infant, I wrote a series of five posts called “Please Stop Saying That.” They were just a collection of things we say and hear around the church that aren’t actually correct. None of them are things that will alter our chances at Exaltation, or cause us to repent, they are just small things that we should probably tighten up.

I guess it is time to dust off the topic and add #6.

(I will post links to the earlier series below)


I have seen a phrase bouncing around the internet lately that has been used as justification for immodesty, but has also been applied to other things as well. It is a head-scratcher. Here is the quote:

“Jesus loves me, no matter what I wear.”

I have also seen this similar justification:

“Jesus loves me, even if I don’t attend Church.”

Yes, it is true. Jesus DOES love you, no matter what you wear, or if you attend church. That is a good thing to feel, and to know. But here is why that is a dumb thing to say:

Jesus also loves you, no matter who you kill.

Jesus loves you, no matter how many banks you have robbed.

Jesus loves you, no matter how many porno movies you’ve made.

That’s just it – Jesus loves you, no matter what you do. It is called Unconditonal Love***. That is one of the great beauties of our relationship with Christ. The goal of our mortal life is not to attain Jesus’ love – we already have that.

That said, just because he loves us no matter what we do, does not mean he is happy about all we do. Nor does he plan on rewarding us in spite of those things. He has made it very clear in the scriptures, and through living prophets that he gets plenty irked when we don’t do what he asks of us, and he withholds blessings.

Here is the great irony:

While it is clear that Jesus loves us no matter what we do, it is equally clear that by doing those very things, we are showing Jesus that we don’t love him.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

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*** Yes, I am aware of Elder Nelson’s teachings regarding the term “Unconditional Love.”  Feel free to use the Divine, Perfect, Pure, Eternal, or any other adjective, because you all know what I mean anyway.


Links to previous “Please Stop Saying That” posts”

Looking for the “Art” in Patriarch

Ending Prayers

It’s “Bishop,” Thank You

High Councildude

Power vs. Authority



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  1. I heard a concept in a SS class several yrs ago that had a huge impact on me. It was that my sins are in that blood Jesus shed. It makes me want to cry just to think abt it.

  2. Well said. May I use portions of this (with attribution) for my RS newsletter message this week?

  3. Thank you for helping me to clarify my thoughts on this topic.
    By the way, I’m reading this in my phone and the background makes it a little hard to read- there’s a dark line right down the middle.

  4. AuntSue
    Thank you for this post. Jesus does love us unconditionally, but he is not always happy with our behavior. He released the woman caught in adultery, but told her to go and sin no more.
    He loved the children of Israel and brought them out of Egypt, but did not hesitate to destroy those who did no obey his laws, even if it was to save the Ark of the Covenant.

  5. I love this post, because it’s great. But it’s even better, because you put up a picture of poor old Judge Maxwell from my favorite movie, “What’s Up Doc?” …. can I get a “Howard! Howard Bannister!” from the crowd?

    1. Yes, but for the sake of brevity and general understanding, I used the term Unconditional love in the context that Elder Maxwell did, rather than delve into the semantics and exceptions as outlined by Elder Nelson.i I’m sure all parents understand. CAll it Divine, Perfect, Eternal, Pure, whatever you need to to understand the post, rather than pick it apart.

  6. “the-one-things-christians-should-stop-saying” by the accidentalmissionary is a good article, please read it and let me know what you think.

    1. I disagree with his premise. I prefer D&C 59:21 “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.” And that includes material blessings.

  7. “While it is clear that Jesus loves us no matter what we do, it is equally clear that by doing those very things, we are showing Jesus that we don’t love him.”

    Hmmm, I had a thought. What if everyone turned the phrase around and said, “I love Jesus, so I won’t rob a bank”. Seems like a dumb thing to say…unless you’re prone to felonies…(stick with me) or “I love Jesus, so I’ll be kind to the driver who just cut me off” and elevate it on and on. “I love Jesus, so I’ll do what my leaders tell me to do, even if I don’t understand why” It’s an interesting tactic for satan to use. It makes us focus on why we can disobey or not live up to our potential…..and ultimately, why we can be selfish. Well played, satan.

    Btdubs, I love the “stop saying that” series!

  8. I enjoy your posts so much and they ring so true with me. Love the photo of the judge from “What’s Up, Doc?” one of my favorite films. 8 kids, 17 grandchildren, love ’em all, but I don’t always like what they do. Why is this so hard for someone to understand? It isn’t, they just don’t want to look at it that way. It’s called rationalization. 🙂

  9. I love each of my children deeply. I have made it clear to each one that I will always love them, no matter what. But this very love is the reason that I want each to achieve their greatest potential, because I know that this is the path to maximizing joy and happiness.

    That’s why I feel disappointed when any of my children chooses a different path. It hurts most when they make deliberate choices that are contrary to the path of growth and joy. It’s not simply that I feel disrespected; it’s that I feel sorrow because such choices will diminish their ability to experience happiness.

    Yes, I will always love each of my children. But that can never provide a satisfactory excuse for any of my children to deliberately abuse that relationship. The same holds true for our relationship with Deity. God will always love us. But that’s no excuse for abusing that relationship.

  10. I have to laugh at the picture you used because most people probably don’t get the reference. “Stop saying that, make him stop saying that.” from What’s Up Doc, my favorite movie of all time.

    Great post too. I completely agree.

  11. I know that Jesus loves me with an unconditional love, and whom he loveth he chasteneth. He doesn’t want me to stay where I am. He wants me to grow, improve, and live up to my potential to become like Him and Heavenly Father. He wants to correct me, build me, strengthen me, and see me overcome all my weaknesses and completely root out all my natural man tendencies. He wants me to submit my will to His in all things, and not seek my own, or to find my own path. There is only one path that leads to eternal happiness and we find that by following Him in every aspect of our lives. Anything less than that is life’s ultimate tragedy. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments and follow the prophets in all they say.

  12. I missed this when you originally blogged it. This is probably said better than anything else I have ever heard on this subject or situation. I have seen for a long time that His love is a reason to sugar coat anything that is done that is not acceptable. Thank you!

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