The thing I love about the Book of Mormon is what I learn about Heavenly Father – especially His love for me. We feel His love as we read the Book of Mormon. Additionally, we see the pattern for obtaining His love and then expressing it to others.
The following is a lesson plan on obtaining and expressing Charity – The Pure love of Christ – the Love that Heavenly Father has for each of us. This will be a lesson that I actually give in November – as it will be a perfect way to lead up to Thanksgiving.
Song: I feel My Savior’s Love
Scripture: “In these latter days we who are privileged to have the Book of Mormon, to be members of the Lord’s Church, to have His gospel, and to keep His commandments know something of God’s infinite love. We know how to make His love our own. As we become His true disciples, we gain the power to love as He does.” – Elder Russell M. Nelson
Read the following scripture from 1 Corinthians:
” 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Take a few seconds to really discuss this set of verses. You may consider asking the following questions:
- When Paul begins, what kind of voice does he first mention? (or tounge)? What does this mean?
- What do you think that the tongue of angels would sound like? Would it be powerful?
- What is a sounding brass? Tinkling cymbal? – Explain that this is a dull sound – not very powerful or noteworthy. Not what you would expect the tongue of an angel to be.
- What do we have to have in order for our words to have power?
- Look in verse 2. Can you imagine having the faith necessary to move a mountain? Do you think that anything would be beyond your power?
- Yet, if you don’t have charity, then what does Paul say you are? How do you think that it is possible – to move mountains, yet be nothing?
- What is charity? – If your children have heard of charity, they may answer with something along the lines of service. Don’t say yes or no to their answer yet, guide them with what Paul teaches in verse 3.
- In verse three, Paul talks about giving service, but without charity, then what good is it?
- Paul teaches us that it is possible to speak strong words, have faith, and even do service without charity. So, what, then is charity? Find the answer in Moroni 7:47:
” 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.” – Moroni 7:47
- What does Mormon teach us that charity is?
Charity is the Pure love of Christ, and we are commanded to possess it. How do you think that we get charity? The Book of Mormon teaches us how we can have charity. It is a process and a blessing. We cannot have charity until we have obtained it from our Heavenly Father.
In the Book of Mormon, Moroni prays to the Lord that the Gentiles will be blessed with grace in order to receive charity. Notice the connection between Christ, grace, and charity:
“36 And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity.
41 And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.” – Ether 12:36, 41
- In order to have charity, we need to have grace.
- In order to get grace, we need to seek Jesus Christ.
How do we seek Christ? What do we do to find him?
(possible answers may include study the scriptures, pray, go to church. These are standard answers, yes, but they are also good answers.)
Is that enough to do? We also need to be baptized to really experience the grace, or the blessing of the atonement.
When we do experience Christ’s grace, how does it feel? How did you feel when you were baptized? How do you feel when you have spiritual experiences that help you grow closer to the Lord?
This experience is the Love of God! We are feeling charity – the pure love that Christ has for us!!
Activity/Application and conclusion of lesson
[In advance, either obtain your own picture of a tree and leaves, or you can download this one and use them in your family. (I shaped the leaves into hearts to help us remember the point of the lesson: Charity=Christ’s love). You may consider – using a set of branches that acts as a tree, and hanging leaves from them. You can also see this cute template at Chocolate on my Cranium. In this part of the lesson, you will discuss ways you have felt God’s pure love, and then ways you can express it.]
- What are some ways that we have experienced God’s love? Write responses on the leaves. [In our family, I will just print out one tree for the entire family. We will each write a couple of responses and place it on the tree.]
Now, we can see many ways that we have experienced God’s Love. Let’s see what we should do next. Turn to 1 Nephi 8:12:
“12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.” – 1 Nephi 8:12
- When Lehi partake of the fruit of the tree of life, which was God’s pure love, what did he want to do?
- When we experience God’s love, what should we do? [Share it!]
How do you think that we can share the Love that we feel from God? [Write down possible answers on leaves.] Now, throughout the month, try to do these things. Just as all of the leaves fall from the trees in fall, try to make your “leaves fall” by doing the acts of charity that you’ve written on your leaves. [As above, the tree is for the whole family. Everyone works together to do their part to make their leaves “fall”].
Bear testimony how experiencing God’s love has motivated you to express this pure love to others.
Closing SongLove One Another
Treat: heart shaped anything! (I will probably make Nutella Sandwiches cut in heart shapes (Using cookie cutters)…a way easy and tasty treat!)