Feeling the Love of the Lord through Exercising Charity

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“Feeling the Love of the Lord through Exercising Charity,” Ensign, June 2004, 61

Visiting Teaching Message:

Feeling the Love of the Lord through Exercising Charity

Prayerfully select and read from this message the scriptures and teachings that meet the needs of the sisters you visit. Share your experiences and testimony. Invite those you teach to do the same.

Moroni 7:47: “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.”

Elder Gene R. Cook of the Seventy: “It is part of the gift of charity to be able to recognize the Lord’s hand and feel His love in all that surrounds us. … Ponder with me a moment the following majestic gifts: the glories of all creation, the earth, the heavens; your feelings of love and joy; His responses of mercy, forgiveness, and innumerable answers to prayer; the gift of loved ones; and finally the greatest gift of all—the Father’s gift of His atoning Son, the perfect one in charity, even the God of love” (“Charity: Perfect and Everlasting Love,” Liahona, July 2002, 92; Ensign, May 2002, 83).

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. …

“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other” (“The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign, May 1992, 19).

Anne C. Pingree, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: “As we try to deal patiently and lovingly every day with fussy babies, challenging teenagers, difficult roommates, less-active spouses, or elderly, disabled parents, we may ask ourselves: ‘Is what I am doing really important? Does it matter or make a difference?’ Dear sisters, what you are doing with your families matters! It matters so very, very much. Daily, each of us learns and relearns at home that charity, the Savior’s pure love, never faileth. So many Relief Society sisters do great good serving in their families” (“Charity: One Family, One Home at a Time,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 109).

Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy: “[Charity] is not developed entirely by our own power, even though our faithfulness is a necessary qualification to receive it. Rather, charity is ‘bestowed upon’ the ‘true followers’ of Christ (Moro. 7:48; emphasis added). … The purpose of the endowment of charity is not merely to cause Christ’s followers to engage in charitable acts toward others, desirable as that is. The ultimate purpose is to transform his followers to become like him” (“Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Liahona, Apr. 1997, 46; Ensign, Apr. 1990, 12).

  • How can you further acquire the charity that will prompt you to love others as the Savior loves them?

  • What can you do to overcome uncharitable thoughts and feelings?

Background: Photograph by Matthew Reier; inset: Photograph by Craig Dimond, posed by models