Every once in a while I get knocked in the face with the realization that my babies are growing up. One of those moments happened today when Lucy gave her first talk in Sacrament meeting. She was asked to speak on Charity and after a week of preparation and very little help on my part, this is what she said:
1st Timothy 4:12 says, “…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” In this last General Conference President Monson used that scripture. He said, “[with charity] we will bless lives, including our own.”
In preparation for my talk, all of the scriptures and talks I read defined charity as the “true and pure love of Christ”. President Monson said in his October 2010 talk, “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down, it is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weakness and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are.” After I read that I realized that charity is what I thought kindness was. And if he had not said that he was talking about charity I would have thought he was talking about kindness.
Bonnie D Parkin said, “Charity is our love for the Lord, shown through our acts of service, patience, compassion, and understanding for one another… The ‘pure love of Christ’ refers not only to our love for the Savior but to His love for each of us.” Charity is often thought of as an action, it is actually our love for Christ that prompts us to love one another.
If we look at charity that way, almost the same as kindness, then being kind to someone new at school is charity because having charity is looking at someone through the Savior’s loving eyes, trying to see the good in them and not their faults.
Elaine L. Jack said, “Charity is the work of the heart… so it is with kindness. Nothing will bring the spirit of the Lord into your… homes, and your personal associations more quickly than showing kindness. ‘Charity is kind.’”
Through small acts of kindness and charity you can follow in the Savior’s footsteps and “act as instruments in His hands as you help care, lift, comfort, listen, encourage, nurture, teach and strengthen” each other.
Charity is also helping someone because you love them and want to help them by lifting their burden a little bit. We can do that by taking dinner to someone who needs to know they are loved, or taking in your neighbors trash cans while they are still at work.
Moroni 7:46-47 says:
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—
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.
In closing, I would like to quote President Hinkley, “Hatred always fails and bitterness always destroys, but ‘charity never faileth’”
I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.