Charity is the pure love which our Savior Jesus Christ felt for all men. He has commanded us to love one another as he loves us. We start to develop this trait in our lives when, from the heart, we show genuine concern and compassion for all of those around us.
I came across Moroni 7:45-47 this morning.
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.The Savior gave us the complete example of His life to follow. He showed us how to love. He showed us how to treat each other. By His example, we learn that the physical and spiritual needs of those around us are important. One of my very favorite scripture verses is found in the New Testament. Before Christ gave His life for us, He said:
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13He loved us so much that He laid down His life for us. There was no other way that we could ever get back home He was our example of how to feel and treat others. He did not like wickedness, but He loved the sinner. He had compassion for the elderly, the children, the sick, the poor, and the needy. There was no one that He turned away. He had such great love that He was able to forgive the soldiers who pounded the nails in His hands and feet. He taught us that we also need to forgive others. We need to learn to love others the way that He did. He said:
"I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you...For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?" Matthew 5:44, 46This gift is one that I struggle with on a daily basis. I want to be more charitable. I want to be better to my friends, my family and to those around me. I know that one of the most important things to do is to learn to love myself. It means to understand my worth as a child of God. The Savior taught that we must love others as we love ourselves, I think that unless you learn to love yourself, you are never able to completely love others. In order for this to happen, we must trust and respect ourselves. We need to obey the commandments, try a little harder to be a little better, we need to forgive ourselves and repent. We can love ourselves better as we learn to feel the comforting assurance that our Heavenly Father loves us. I think that charity is all about love. Love is an action word. It is not a passive word. It requires work and effort on our part. It requires us to look with compassion on those around us. Not because we think we are better, but because we truly care for those around us.
Charity is the pure love of Christ. Charity cannot be developed in the abstract. It must be experienced. C. Max Caldwell said:
"Charity is not just a precept or a principle, nor is it just a word to describe actions or attitudes Rather, it is an internal condition that must be developed and experienced in order to be understood."And Sister Bonnie D. Parkin said:
"I invite you to not only love each other more but love each other better."
This wonderful gift is available to each of us should we desire to have it in our own lives. We have to be willing to put aside all of the old attitudes and pick up a new one. One that requires work, one that requires perseverance, one that requires temperance, tenacity, patience, faith, and hope. One that will, in the end, be the one that matters most of all. For it is the one attribute that is most like Him.