Monday, July 20, 2009

Lessons on Charity

The lesson in Relief Society was on charity. I was worried, because most people say stupid things when they try to talk about charity. The teacher was really nervous, but I could tell she was trying.

I listened and tried to really understand what charity is. Charity is the love of Christ. When we are filled with charity we feel the way Christ feels about people. We understand them. We love them completely. I have felt that feeling a few times in my life, and I loved it. It was amazing, and unfortunately it was fleeting.

Charity is seeing things and understanding things the way Christ would. Christ loves us. He KNOWS us, and completely understands us. He understands and has compassion for our faults and weaknesses, and he wants us to change them.

I think true charity, or pure love lifts up everyone involved. The moment I felt it for Paul... I was lifted up, I hope he was lifted up, and we both grew in a way that we couldn't have without that love. BJ has had amazing love for me, and that has made all the difference in the world. If he had only been trying to be my bishop, or just serve me without an open mind... Neither one of us would have been this blessed.

If everyone had charity, the world would be a better place, but how do I take care of me? If Christ is the ultimate example of charity... He let people mistreat him and eventually murder him. Is that charity? Is that how I should be?


  1. Those last few questions are excellent thinking questions. I'm not going to claim that I have the answers to them but I'll at least share a few of my thoughts.

    I think it goes along well with the definition of selfish from one of your earlier posts. "putting what the Lord wants for us ahead of what we want for us, or what others want for us".

    The Savior did the will of The Father. He had a pure love for all of us, but even he, at one point said, "Father, if thou be willing take this cup from me". But I think the more important thing is the next line "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done" (Luke 22:42)

    I think charity, the pure love of Christ, would be getting to the point where we do the will of the Lord, and put that above what we want for ourselves. I think it would also include doing what the Lord wants for others as well. In the Savior's case that included dying by the hands of his enemies. That was the case for Joseph Smith, Abinadi and others as well.

    I don't think that allowing others to persecute us is always the Lord's will. But I guess that's where the spirit comes in to help us figure out what it means in our individual lives.

    Anyway, I hope some of those thoughts were helpful. Thanks for the thought provoking questions. That's something I'll have to make a part of my studies to see what I can find.

  2. Sorry, I just thought of more stuff to say.

    There are other cases where the Lord's will is for his people to fight back. One example of that is Captain Moroni. The Lord blessed him with the power to completely subdue the Lamanites. He never went on the offensive to attack Lamanite cities, but he was blessed with the power to defend himself and those under his stewardship.

    The Book of Mormon says that if every man were like Moroni the very powers of hell would be shaken forever (Alma 48:17) so I think it's safe to say that the Lord sanctioned the actions of Moroni in fighting off the Lamanites.

    Still, a very interesting question. I think the most important thing is being aware of the Lord's will. From the Moroni example, he did plenty of praying and acting on the spirit, but he also inquired of the prophet Alma, to know where to place his armies. (Alma 43:23) So, it's important to listen to the spirit as well as council from worthy leaders.

    Anyway, I'll shut up now. You just got me thinking, and once I start I have a hard time stopping.