Before he died, Joseph Fielding McConkie (son of Bruce R McConckie) was writing a book about the marriage debate. He died before publishing it, so his family published it for him. [Diane] was reading part tonight, after feeling frustrated in church meetings that were saying we must love like the Savior and to do that we must never say or recognize the existence of sin. Anyway, this is long, but it makes so much sense that I wanted to share a portion of it with you.
"Giving respectable names to unrespectable behavior will not change the effects of that behavior nor will redefining divine law change the effects of the law. In recent years we have witnessed the popularizing of the idea that God's love is unconditional with the appending idea that what we really do does not matter. This notion has found its way into sacrament meeting talks, testimony meetings, and our auxilliary classes. Consider for a moment what is involved here. All things that are right, good, and proper, require the existence of certain conditions for them to exist. Love is no exception. What father Lehi was telling us when he said that "it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things" is that everything has conditions. To illustrate his point he said that if there were no such thing as "bad" there could be no such thing as "good". If there was no such thing as "sin" there could be no such thing as "righteousness". Without oppositites, or we might say conditions, all things would remain, as Lehi stated it, "a compound in one".
That is to say, if God loves everyone exactly the same then love has no identifying characteristics, or distinguishable effect. It would be the same as a man saying that the love that he shares with his wife he shares in like manner with all women.
While there is a form of love that a man properly ought to have that is universal and thus embraces all men, women, and children, there must also be a love that is unique and special that he shares with his wife alone. This love exists and is protected by a sacred vow or covenant that we cleave unto each other "and none else". Conditions are the life blood of this love and without those conditions it can neither live, nor continue to grow.
If we lived in a world in which everything was the same color, there would be no such thing as color. So it is that if we say there is no sin we have said there is no righteousness. If the temperature is the same everywhere all the time then there can be no such thing as hot or cold. Thus it is that Lehi tells us that for something to exist it must have its conditions or its opposite. (2 Nephi 2:11-13) Repetitiously scripture tells us that Christ is God's "beloved Son". Indeed they declare him to be his "most Beloved Son". (Mormon 5:14) If there is not some form of love that God has for his firstborn son, the Only Begotten in the Flesh, that exceeds the love he has for the rest of his children, these statements are both meaningless and misleading.
Scripture clearly declares that God's love, like that shared by a husband and wife, is conditioned on our behavior. On this matter there cannot be any honest room for disagreement:
"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:10)
"If you keep not my commandments, the love of the Father shall not continue with you," (D&C 95:12)
"If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him," (John 14:23)
"I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." (Poverbs 8:17)
"Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you;" (D&C 88:63)
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)
"And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord." (D&C 124:15)