Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why I think charity is the best spiritual gift

Charity Quotes from Elder Worthlin in “The Great Commandment” (Ensign, Nov. 2007)

  • “Charity is the one trait that, if developed, will most improve our lives.”
  • Charity “is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • Charity “is our focus as followers of the living Christ.”
  • Charity “is our signature as a people.” 
  • Charity “is the central object of our existence.” 
  • “The greater the measure of our love, the greater is our joy.”
  • “In the end, the development of such love is the true measure of success in life.” 
  • “The most cherished and sacred moments of our lives are those filled with the spirit of love.” 
  • “The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation...The means of this refinement is our Christlike love. There is no pain it cannot soften, no bitterness it cannot remove, no hatred it cannot alter.” 
  • Charity is the means of experiencing “a mighty change in...our hearts.”
  • “ increase harmony, spirituality, and build up the kingdom of God...teach others to love the Lord and their fellowman.” 
  • “Without charity–or the pure love of Christ–whatever else we accomplish matters little.”
  • “With [charity], all else becomes vibrant and alive.”  
  • “When we love the Lord  obedience ceases to be a burden.  Obedience becomes a delight.” 
  • “When we love the Lord, we seek less for things that benefit us and turn our hearts toward things that will bless and uplift others.” 
  • Charity (loving one another as Jesus loves us) is “the grand key to happiness in this life and glory in the next.” 
  • “The measure of our love is the measure of the greatness of our souls.” 
  • "Charity (loving God with all our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves) is the quality that “defines us best as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” 
  • “Nothing you do makes much of a difference if you do not have charity.” 
  • “Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship.”
  • Charity “comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles.” 
  • “True love lasts forever.”
  • “‘Love is one of the chief characteristics of Diety...’” (Worthlin quoting Joseph Smith).
  • “‘If any man love God, the same is known of him’” (Worthlin quoting 1 Cor. 8:3).
  • Of the 600+ commandments the Pharisees had identified in the law, Jesus identified the greatest of them all - to love God with all our hearts.  The second is to love our neighbor as ourselves. 
  • When Joseph Smith was “asked why he gained so many followers and retained them,” his answer was, ‘It is because I possess the principle of love.’”
  • “Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life.” 
  • “When we reach out to assist the least of Heavenly Father’s children, we do it unto Him.” 

Charity Quotes from President Monson in “Charity Never Faileth” (General Relief Society Meeting, Ensign, Nov. 2010)

  • I consider charity—or “the pure love of Christ”—to be the opposite of criticism and judging. In speaking of charity, I do not at this moment have in mind the relief of the suffering through the giving of our substance. That, of course, is necessary and proper. Tonight, however, I have in mind the charity that manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.
  • I have in mind the charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.
  • There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. 
  • True charity is love in action. 
  • The need for charity is everywhere.
  • Needed is the charity which refuses to find satisfaction in hearing or in repeating the reports of misfortunes that come to others, unless by so doing, the unfortunate one may be benefited. 
  • The American educator and politician Horace Mann once said, “To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike.” 
  • Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.
  • Charity, that pure love of Christ, is manifest when a group of young women from a singles ward travels hundreds of miles to attend the funeral services for the mother of one of their Relief Society sisters. Charity is shown when devoted visiting teachers return month after month, year after year to the same uninterested, somewhat critical sister. It is evident when an elderly widow is remembered and taken to ward functions and to Relief Society activities. It is felt when the sister sitting alone in Relief Society receives the invitation, “Come—sit by us.”
  • In a hundred small ways, all of you (Relief Society sisters) wear the mantle of charity.
  • Life is perfect for none of us.  Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.

Charity Quotes from President Uchtdorf, "The Love of God" (Ensign, Nov. 2009)

  • Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk. 
  • When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden. 
  • Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ. 
  • God does not look on the outward appearance. I believe that He doesn't care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. 
  • He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked. What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. 
  • Since “God is love,”  the closer we approach Him, the more profoundly we experience love.
  • If you listen for the voice of the Father, He will lead you on a course that will allow you to experience the pure love of Christ.
  • Heavenly Father’s love for His children is the core message of the plan of happiness, which plan is made active through the Atonement of Jesus Christ—the greatest expression of love the world has ever known. How clearly the Savior spoke when He said that every other commandment hangs upon the principle of love. If we do not neglect the great laws—if we truly learn to love our Heavenly Father and our fellowman with all our heart, soul, and mind—all else will fall into place..
  • Divine love is the factor that transforms reluctant compliance with God’s commandments into blessed dedication and consecration.
  • Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship. Love is the way of the disciple.
  • ...What attribute should define us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?  Let us be known as a people who love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and who love our neighbor as ourselves.     

Charity Quotes from Sheri Dew   

  • Sheri Dew spoke of her life changing lesson that how we treat others is the most accurate  measure of our discipleship.
  • “Charity is not an emotion or an action. It is not something we feel or do. Charity is who the Savior is. It is His most defining and dominant attribute. It is what enabled Him to endure the Garden and the cross for you and me. It is one of the things that makes Him God. Thus, when we plead for the gift of charity, we aren't asking for lovely feelings toward someone who bugs us or someone who has injured or wounded us. We are actually pleading for our very natures to be changed, for our character and disposition to become more and more like the Savior's, so that we literally feel as He would feel and thus do what He would do.” (“If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Hard, And Other Reassuring Truths” p. 57).

Scriptures about Charity

  • Charity is the pure love of Christ (Moroni 7:47).
  • Charity is the love God has for his children (Ether 12:34). 
  • Cleave unto charity, which is te greatest of all (Moroni 7:46)
  • Charity never faileth (Moroni 7:46). 
  • The fruit of the tree of life (in Lehi’s dream) is most precious, most desirable, and “the greatest of all the gifts of God (1 Nephi 15:36).  
  • The fruit is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things...and the most joyous to the soul (1 Nephi 11:22-23)
  • Except men have charity they are nothing (2 Nephi 26:30 and Moroni 7:44, 46).
  • When Jesus was asked which of the commandments was the greatest in the law, which the Pharisees had identified more than 600 laws, Jesus told them, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt 22:40).  The greatest is “Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart...soul...mind.” The second is to “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt 22:36-39). 
  • Except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God (Moroni 10:21).
  • Charity is defined as “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love” (Bible Dictionary, “Charity”). 

God Invites us to Ask for Charity 

  • Seek earnestly the best gifts (DC 46:8).
  • Covet earnestly the best gifts (1 Cor 12:31). 
  • Desire spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14:1).  
  • Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with [charity]...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 (Moroni 7:48). It changes us to love, see, and be like God.
  • “If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. …No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them” (George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, Apr. 23, 1894, 260). 

Click here for quotes about other spiritual gifts. 


Marni Hall said...

My favorite reason to have charity - "That when he shall appear we shall be like him" (Moroni 7:48). I don't know of any other spiritual gift that specifically mentions that, and counsels that we should "pray ... with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love." Must be important!

Becky Edwards said...

So true, Marni. Thanks for sharing that.