Hello everyone! This week was pretty fun; we had a lot of success with finding new people this week and we have been studying the language really hard to try to get better and to show our faith that we are prepared to find people for the Lord.
Anyway so today I want to talk about the Christlike attribute of charity. Charity is often described as perfect love or Christlike love. It is the willingness to sacrifice for others and have a concern for their eternal well-being. Paul says this about the importance of charity:
"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."
Charity is the path to perfection. When we are willing to sacrifice all to help others and to serve God, not because of fear, but because of true love for them, we have started the pathway to perfection. In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ commanded all of his followers to be perfect, even as he is perfect. In 2 Peter, Peter gives a laundry list of attributes that we must develop if we are to be fruitful unto God. The last attribute, or the highest, was the gift of Charity. Charity is the end goal of perfection. John also writes this of charity:
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him."
God is love. Christ is love. If we desire to seek to be like them and to follow them, we must develop this attribute. Christ commanded his disciple in John 13 to love others, he commanded the multitude to love your enemies (Matt 5:43), and he warned the scribes to remember the two great commandments of the law; to love god and your neighbor (Matt 22: 37-40). Anyone who seeks to distort the fundamental necessity of love greatly misunderstands the commandments of God. Although we are not perfect and we will never be in this life, we must do our best to love and serve God and those around us.
In the Book of Mormon, a prophet gives a promise to those who have charity.
If a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. 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. 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 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. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
I testify that the quest to develop perfect charity will not be finished in this life. We will never be perfect at loving those around us or loving our Father. But it is a commandment and it is our privilege to come unto Christ and be perfected in him. Through his grace, we can find strength we could never imagine, and patience that we could never dream of. The quest of charity is the quest to be as Christ is, and no joy will be greater than the joy we can have when we see him again, and feel his love again.
I love you all,
Side note: the peace sign is used to cover up the fat on people's face. It’s pretty funny.