Become an Instrument in the Hands of God by Exercising Charity

“Become an Instrument in the Hands of God by Exercising Charity,” Ensign, Dec. 2007, 60

Visiting Teaching Message:

Become an Instrument in the Hands of God by 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.

What Is Charity?

President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95): “‘A new commandment I give unto you,’ [the Savior] said, ‘That ye love one another; … By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ (John 13:34–35.) This love that we should have for our brothers and sisters in the human family, and that Christ has for every one of us, is called charity or ‘the pure love of Christ.’ (Moro. 7:47.) It is the love that prompted the suffering and sacrifice of Christ’s atonement. It is the highest pinnacle the human soul can reach and the deepest expression of the human heart. …

“The Savior has commanded us to love one another as he has loved us; to clothe ourselves ‘with the bond of charity’ (D&C 88:125), as he so clothed himself. We are called upon to purify our inner feelings, to change our hearts, to make our outward actions and appearance conform to what we say we believe. …

“Those who are filled with the love of Christ do not seek to force others to do better; they inspire others to do better, indeed inspire them to the pursuit of God. We need to extend the hand of friendship. We need to be kinder, more gentle, more forgiving, and slower to anger” (“A More Excellent Way,” Ensign, May 1992, 61–63).

How Can Charity Help Me Be an Instrument in the Hands of God?

Ether 12:28: “Faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Once we see through the eye of faith that we are children of a loving Father who has given us the gift of His Son to redeem us, we experience a mighty change in our hearts. We feel ‘to sing the song of redeeming love’ [Alma 5:26], and our hearts overflow with charity. Knowing that the love of God ‘is the most desirable of all things … and the most joyous to the soul’ [1 Nephi 11:22–23], we want to share our joy with others. We want to serve them and bless them” (“Cultivating Divine Attributes,” Liahona, Jan. 1999, 31; Ensign, Nov. 1998, 27).

Anne C. Pingree, former second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: “We can alter the face of the earth one family and one home at a time through charity, our small and simple acts of pure love.

“Charity, the Savior’s pure love, is the ‘highest, noblest, strongest kind of love,’ which we ‘pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart’ to possess. Elder Dallin H. Oaks teaches us that charity ‘is not an act but a condition or state of being [one becomes].’ Our day-to-day offerings of charity are ‘written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; … in [the] fleshy tables of [our] heart[s].’ Little by little our charitable acts change our natures, define our characters, and ultimately make us women with the courage and commitment to say to the Lord, ‘Here am I; send me’” (“Charity: One Family, One Home at a Time,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 108–9).

Inset photograph by Henrik Als, posed by models; other photographs by Craig Dimond

Border © Photospin