"I invite you to not only love each other more,
but to love each other better."
Bonnie D Parkin
Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching the women a lesson on Charity. It was wonderful. I always feel like I learn so much more than the sisters that I teach. I had a sheet of thoughts that I put together to add to the things taught in my lesson.
"Real charity is not something you give away; it is something you aquire and make a part of yourself". Marvin J. Ashton
Charity, to me, is the pure love of Christ. It is the greatest of all the virtues. Charity is a process, it is not an event. It takes time to develop. It takes time to learn. Love itself, is not a feeling, it is a verb. It is a doing word. It requires us to do things for others. Charity is so much more than just doing things for others. It is doing them with your heart, and your mind. It is choosing to behave in a Christ-like manner. Not only doing a Jesus did, but loving as He did also. He sees each one of us, and can love us in spite of the things we have done wrong. He loves us even if we have made bad choices in our lives. He can look past the outside and find the good that others might not see.
We discussed the parable of the good samaritan (which is one of my favorites!) and we also discussed how it is possible to love others. We might not be able to love in quite the same way that the Savior did, but we can make Him the center of our lives and follow His examples and teachings as we strive to become more like Him.
There are four ways which we can all work on in order to become more charitable. They are:
- Study the life of Christ. We can follow His example and be more like Him.
- Pray to have greater charity. Especially when we have uncharitable feelings toward others.
- Learn to love ourselves. Yes, this is important! The Savior taught that we must love others as we love ourselves. He did not say to love them instead of ourselves. Part of loving ourselves is to try and understand our true worth as children of a loving Heavenly Father. It is to realize that He forgives us when we repent and we must also learn to forgive ourselves.
- Avoid thinking you are better than others. We can have patience with their faults. We can seek to understand them and serve them. It is through service that we find the way to love.
You don't always know what battles your neighbor is fighting. The person that you don't get along with may be battling things that you could not bear. Most of us turn one face to the world and morne and grieve in private. You have no way of knowing what I am going through (unless I have shared it with you) and if I have, you might not understand what a battle it is for me.
I used to have a friend who once said to me, "Patty, I do not know how you can endure the things you have endured. I do not understand how you can be the person that you are. Any of those multitude of trials would be so difficult for me to handle. Honestly, I do not know if I could bear them. I do not understand why you must endure so many while I do not have even a few of the trials that you do". This wonderful friend later in her life, endured things that I am not sure that I could have endured myself.
You see, we all walk through times of pain and discouragement. We all despair, we all lose hope, we all walk to the edge of the cliff and journey along danger's path. None of us are ever completely alone. Even though there are times that we feel that way. Even though there are times that we don't feel His love, It is important to remember that He is there.
We really can't possibly know what others are going through. We can imagine, we can vision, we can dream. But we cannot know. But, the Savior does. He loves you perfectly. He has suffered for all, that we might not suffer if we will only believe, repent and follow Him.
May you find a place in your heart today for charity.
I shared a recipe for Friendship Fudge
this is the easiest fudge I have ever made, and my children totally loved it.
4 cups Powdered Sugar
3 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened margarine (I used real butter)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Mix it all together, roll it into a log, slice and serve.
Just so you know, we made it last night for family night, and there is none left today :-(
I did not need the calories anyway!