Bryan Sebesta

The Theology of 'I Feel My Savior's Love'

Assumed Audience Anyone interested in the theology suggested by LDS primary songs

The primary song, “I Feel My Savior’s Love”, goes like this:

I feel my Savior’s love
In all the world around me.
His Spirit warms my soul
Through ev’rything I see.
He knows I will follow him,
Give all my life to him.
I feel my Savior’s love,
The love he freely gives me.

I have some questions. My Savior knows I will follow him. In fact, I won’t just follow him, but I’ll give all my life to him! But do I know this? The song isn’t clear. The Savior knows it, but I do not, it seems.

And how does the Savior know that I’m this committed, anyway?1 Well, “I feel my Savior’s love” and “His spirit warms my soul.” There’s a receptivity that’s being noted, and what I am receptive to is Creation, as perceived by my senses. I’m a bit like Alma here: “all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44).2 I have that same sensitivity.

But the song doesn’t say to what extent I feel my Savior’s love, or to what extent His spirit warms my soul. There’s two possibilities:

  1. I really feel my Savior’s love, and my Spirit is really warmed. That’s supported by the fact that something about my receptivity indicates to God that I will not just follow Him, but I will give all my life for him. Doesn’t that support that I am truly, madly, and deeply feeling my Savior’s love?
  2. I only lightly feel the Savior’s love, and am just beginning to have His Spirit warm my soul; I’m on the beginning of my spiritual journey, and this is just an initial receptivity. But somehow, from this small beginning, God can extrapolate that I will give everything to Him. Perhaps that is all He needs to know that, in the long run, I’ll be His eventually?

Given that the song is a primary song, I’m inclined to think that the authors3 intend the second meaning. And honestly, that is beautiful.

  1. I’m bracketing questions of God’s omniscience here, and only looking at what this verse suggests. ↩︎

  2. The full verse goes something like “Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it…” It just occurred to me that here, Alma’s anticipating the “two books of nature” idea! And this song is riffing off of it. ↩︎

  3. There are, apparently, three authors to the words of this song: Ralph Rodgers Jr. (1936–1996), K. Newell Dayley (b. 1939), and Laurie Huffman (b. 1948). To what extent each contributed to this song, I haven’t a clue. ↩︎