Jesus Christ taught that the two greatest commandments are to love God and love others.
The Savior made it clear that loving “your neighbor” is more than being nice to the people who live near you. Part of the responsibility of His followers is to show charity—the pure love of Christ—to everyone, including those you might consider your enemy. As we follow the first commandment as Jesus did, to love God with all our hearts, He can help us to better love all of His children, even when that seems difficult.
Sometimes serving others can be more meaningful—and more fun—when you do it with someone else. We would love to have you serve with us! Here are a few of the ways we work together to show Christlike charity.
Within our congregations, Church members are divided up into partnerships and assigned a few people to minister to. When we minister to others, we try to serve them as the Savior would. Ministering partners are designed to act as a sort of built-in friend. They make sure everyone in the congregation has someone looking out for them and someone they can turn to if they need anything.
Throughout the Church, members are encouraged to fast and pray monthly, going without food and drink for about 24 hours (if they are physically able). Church members then donate the money that would have been used for those meals to a fund to help those in need.
With these donations, local leaders can help those in need with financial assistance for food, housing, and transportation. Church leaders also help individuals receiving assistance make a plan to improve their situation, often using additional resources like employment services, counseling through Family Services, self-reliance courses, and more.
This assistance allows those in need to feel the love of the Savior, as well as the love of their community and family—even, and especially when, times are hard.
When disasters happen around the world, the Church and its members mobilize to help. As part of a robust disaster relief system, the Church provides food, medical supplies, clothing, and other essentials in areas affected by natural disasters, war, and other catastrophic events. The Church also collaborates with other trusted organizations to address the unique needs arising from each situation.
Church members are also anxious to get involved. When a disaster strikes, members and missionaries in the surrounding area coordinate quickly to gather and sort donations, clear debris, and provide food, clothing, shelter, and emotional support, when needed.
The Church works to care for those in need around the world through a variety of programs and projects.
This work varies from area to area based on the specific needs of each region. The Church is particularly focused on improving access to clean water and sanitation, maternal and newborn care, healthcare, education, food security, and aid for refugees. Working with trusted organizations to implement these initiatives helps the Church maximize the impact of our efforts to love our neighbor as ourselves.
What does loving your neighbor look like for you personally? Here are a few ideas about how you can follow Jesus’s example:
You can find service projects in your area or ways to serve remotely by visiting JustServe.org.