So…I have a few goals this year (probably more than I can handle), but I have also decided that I want an overarching theme for the year – a quality that I want to work on. This year, it’s charity (and a little diligence, still).
Last year – I was okay with diligence, but I wasn’t really that diligent…haha. No, I just think that this year, when thinking about Charity, I’d like to be a little bit more active in acquiring this trait. So, I think that I’ll write about charity and/or diligence once a week (or maybe every other week) on Sundays. Good idea, no?
So – today, In order to obtain Charity, we need to first feel God’s love. This concept is really important, and I feel like it is a crucial first step. I mean, how do we expect to obtain charity and express it if we haven’t felt what it is in the first place?
In the Doctrine and Covenants, we learn,
“21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” – Doctrine and Covenants 130:21
So – according to this scripture, we can obtain charity, or the Pure of Love of Christ, when we keep the law upon which it is predicated.
Now…onto the commandment:
“1 Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.” – Deuteronomy 11:1
We have been commanded to love the Lord. That is accomplished through keeping the commandments, His statutes and His judgments – or ordinances.
As we keep the commandments, we are then blessed. In the book of John, the Savior explains,
“10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” – John 15:10
Christ promises us that as we keep His commandments – including the commandment of Loving Him, then he blesses us to be able to abide in His love – just as He abides in the Love of God.
Isn’t this blessing great? And I’d have to say that I’ve experienced this promise and know it to be true. When I’m doing what I should be doing, when I’m keeping the commandments, when I’m living a better life, when I’m renewing and remembering the covenants I’ve made with Heavenly Father, then I feel more of God’s love in my life. I feel more confident; I feel stronger; and I feel the peace and comfort that only God can give. Even if everything isn’t “hunky dory”, I’ve seen that when I keep the commandments, I abide in His love.
(by the way – I don’t think that we should get hung up on the idea of things being “hunky dory.” The Lord never promises that our lives will be perfect or free from difficulty when we keep His commandments. He promises, instead, that we’ll “abide in His love.” These two concepts are vastly different we shouldn’t let ourselves get confused.)
And now, as far as charity is concerned, I really think that it is impossible to love others with the pure love of Christ if we haven’t first felt that love ourselves. How can we share love we don’t have? We first need to abide in His love before we can give this love to others.
So – for now, I can develop a pure love for others by first loving God and experiencing the Love that He has for me and for all of His children.