Charity has been defined as “the pure love of Christ.” Moroni 7:47 or “everlasting love”Moroni 8:17
What is Charity or the Pure love of Christ? It is the love that Christ has for the children of men and that the children of men should have for one another. It is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love and the most joyous to the soul. (see 1 Nephi 11:23).
The prophet Mormon taught: “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” (Moroni 7:45; see also 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
How can We Emulate Christ and Show Charity to our fellow beings? We learn to love and serve others. We do all we can to emulate the Savior. We truly follow his example. We strive to love as he loves, with compassion, patience and mercy. Charity is the opposite of criticism and judging. Charity manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, charity is forgiveness, charity is patience.
It is not always easy to have charity. We can be hurt by the actions of others and long for our grievances to be addressed. We may continue to be hurt by the actions of others, since our reactions, even when we are sweet and forgiving, doesn’t always make them nicer to be around.
What would Jesus do in this situation? He forgave men their trespassed against him. Many were cruel in their action and words towards him. He wants us to forgive as he did. He also sought out those who were searching for his gospel and shared it with them. He did not try to teach those who’s hearts were closed and who wanted only to hurt him. He taught in parables so as to teach only those who were ready to hear what he had to share. He continued to go about his work (teaching his gospel) and glorified the Father in doing so.
How do we implement this in our lives? We have all been hurt or offended by the actions of those who would despitefully use us, those who strive to build themselves up by putting us down. This kind of love does not come easy and it does not come instantly. We have to work at it, a little today and a little tomorrow. We can pray for ourselves to feel charity and also for those who have hurt us to have their hearts softened.
How do we combat abuse, forgive and go on living our lives with charity? I find that if I want to have the charity I should have for unkind people, I have to pray continually for my heart to be softened towards those types of people. We need to use the power of the atonement in our lives so we can have our wounds healed. We do this through prayer, through fasting, through prayer again, through service to those who have open hearts and are receptive to us and our service, through prayer again, through positive affirmation, and we pray again. W pray for ourselves and for those who have hurt us. We also pray for comfort. Then we go out and serve.
Not everyone will accept the service you wish to give, so serve those that you can, always being receptive to the promptings of the savior. He will guide you to those who need your help and will be receptive to it. This kind of love does not come easy and it does not come instantly. We have to work at it, a little today and a little tomorrow. We can pray for ourselves to feel charity and also for those who have hurt us to have their hearts softened.
President Thomas S. Monson states “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”
Lets Get Started: My Challenge to You.
I would challenge each of you to start each day with prayer asking the Lord who he needs your help today, and how he needs you to help them. Then pray that they will be receptive to the help you offer. Turn you heart to Christ and be his hands, and share his light. It will shine through you as you love and serve others.
“I am confident there are within our sphere of influence those who are lonely, those who are ill, and those who feel discouraged. Ours is the opportunity to help them and to lift their spirits. The Savior brought hope to the hopeless and strength to the weak. He healed the sick; He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. Throughout His ministry He reached out in charity to any in need. As we emulate His example, we will bless lives, including our own.” Pres. Monson
May God bless each and everyone of you as you strive to have charity and become a light of Christlike love.