Charity – My First Thoughts

For the next 2 weeks, I’m going to be doing a scripture-study series on Charity. I’m excited about it – the final day will be Valentine’s Day!. You can study along with me here, and if you want the assignments in advance, email me at chococatania [at] gmail [dot] com, and I’ll send them to you. If you want to guest post a blog, then email me, too and let me know! I’d love to get other perspectives on these study assignments.

Well…before I even look in my scriptures, I want to write my impression of charity: I think of it as the pure love of Christ, but it is always tempting to try to fit into this little package called service. I mean, sometimes we think that charity is doing something charitable rather than the love that is behind service. I’m not sure if I’m making sense…but those are my initial ideas on charity.

I love the list we get in Moroni 7 on charity:

“And charity 1suffereth long, and 2is kind, and 3envieth not, and is 4not puffed up, 5seeketh not her own, is 6not easily provoked, 7thinketh no evil, and 8rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, 9beareth all things, 10believeth all things, 11hopeth all things, 12endureth all things.” – Moroni 7:45

This list is going to be the basis of what we’ll study for the next two weeks, but as I read it, I’m overcome with one major impression: Charity is everything.

Mormon emphasizes this in verse 46:

“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—” – Moroni 7:46 (emphasis added)

I am a woman of many failures. In fact, as I write this post, I am sitting in my sweats – even though it is 3:40 PM. I have done several things today, and I have reasons for “sitting around”, but I’m often overwhelmed by what I feel is expected of me and my inability to live up to these expectations.

What strikes me is that we are told to have charity. We aren’t told that we should never fail. We are told that charity never fails. In fact, we are told in this verse that everything but charity fails. I find this quite comforting, now that I think about it. Heavenly Father doesn’t expect me to be successful – in and of myself. He expects me to have charity.

“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

In this final verse, we are told the real source of charity – and why it doesn’t fail. Charity is the pure love of Christ. It endures forever. And when we get charity, things go well for us.

I can see how this can apply to my own situation. Even though I’m imperfect, even though I have many failures, if I obtain charity, then I obtain Christ’s pure love. I become worthy of His grace and mercy, and He enables me to be perfected. He saves us. Things will definitely be well with us if we obtain charity.

These are a few quick thoughts…and my mind is swirling with other ideas:

  • Feeling God’s love – is feeling Charity – as it comes from Him. Perhaps it is impossible to obtain charity without first feeling His love.
  • Charity is not just something I do one time. It isn’t like Charity? Check.
  • As I develop Christlike love, my heart will become charitable, and then I have a feeling all of that “service” stuff will come into my life more, too. I can see why service and charity are often confused. It is more that service can be a product of charity rather than charity itself.

    What are your thoughts on charity?