Ministering with Charity
July 2023

“Ministering with Charity,” Liahona, July 2023.

Ministering Principles

Ministering with Charity

We can make a profound difference by showing love in natural ways.

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How Dorcas Helped the Poor, Classic Bible Art Collection / licensed from GoodSalt.com

An Example of Charity

Tabitha (also known as Dorcas) was a disciple of Jesus Christ who lived in Joppa. She was known as a woman “full of good works and almsdeeds” (Acts 9:36). She was loved because she did so much to love others. Like the Savior, she wore out her life serving. She had skills and talents that she used to make a difference.

One of those skills was making coats and garments, at least some of which went to widows in need. To those who received her gifts, she was a godsend. When Peter came to see her after her death, “all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them” (Acts 9:39). He was so moved that he raised her from the dead, which caused many to believe in the Savior (Acts 9:40–42).

Ministering with Charity

Charity is the love Jesus has for us and the love He expects us to have for each other. It’s loving our neighbor as ourselves (see Matthew 22:37–39), treating them with the same compassion, patience, and mercy that we would desire for ourselves (see Matthew 7:12). It’s serving them, like Tabitha, using the gifts and talents we’ve been given.

We can make a profound difference by showing our love in ways that are natural to us—even if what we do is simple. If you’re talented at sewing, that could be a way to minister, but maybe you’re better at running a lawnmower than a sewing machine. Or perhaps your gift is knowing how to really listen and be there as a true friend.

Developing Charity

How can we develop the Christlike attribute of charity?

  • Charity is a gift that Heavenly Father bestows upon all those who are true followers of Jesus Christ. “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7:48).

  • Mormon taught what charity is: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (Moroni 7:45). These are not just ways to tell when you are filled with love; they are also related attributes that will contribute to an increased capacity to love as we develop them.

  • Compassion follows empathy.1 As we seek to understand others, we give charity a greater opportunity to grow. Practice asking questions in a helpful and loving way, and then listen with patience and understanding.

  • Practice charity. Give your time and other resources, including your forgiveness, to those who need it. President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) taught: “Forgiveness should go hand in hand with love. … Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.”2