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Charity for Our Companion is the Only Eternal Principle

I think sometimes we look at charity as the ultimate characteristic of perfection. 

Perhaps we believe that if we haven’t perfected charity in this life, we have wasted our time here. Maybe we need to have a better understanding of charity. It isn’t as daunting as what some of us might think. Yes, charity is the love of Christ, it is perfect love, but we do not have to be perfect in order to have perfect love.

Have you ever had your heart softened by an example of love or kindness? If so, you were touched by an act of charity. It is a feeling in your heart to lift burdens, to ease pain, to show kindness and do what is right. It is thinking of the widow’s struggling, being a companion to the lonely or filling a need for someone. Ultimately it is being the Savior’s hands for those who need help.

I loved an example given by Elder Paul V. Johnson for The Friend Magazine. He said, “In third or fourth grade a friend and I were riding our bicycles home from school. Some older children saw us riding by and started chasing us. I was terrified! We rode as fast as we could, with the bullies on their bikes just behind. When we made it safely to my friend’s house, I promised myself that I would never be a bully. Of course, I wasn’t always perfect. But I did try to look out for classmates whom others did not treat kindly. When I stood up for these friends, I felt the Savior’s love for them and for me.”1

Bullies on their Bikes

I loved an example given by Elder Paul V. Johnson for The Friend Magazine. He said, “In third or fourth grade a friend and I were riding our bicycles home from school. Some older children saw us riding by and started chasing us. I was terrified! We rode as fast as we could, with the bullies on their bikes just behind. When we made it safely to my friend’s house, I promised myself that I would never be a bully. Of course, I wasn’t always perfect. But I did try to look out for classmates whom others did not treat kindly. When I stood up for these friends, I felt the Savior’s love for them and for me.”1 .

When he showed kindness to his friends, he felt the Savior’s love for them and for himself. How many marriages would be improved if each spouse could feel the Savior’s love for themselves and their spouse?

When I feel valued and loved by the Savior, I am happier and can feel peace. There are things I can do to ensure that I have those feelings like having meaningful prayer, consistent scripture study and by giving of my time in service to others. Feeling the Savior’s love for our dear companions isn’t always that simple.

Pray for Charity Daily

We should pray for the gift of charity daily. A common phrase touring around the world is “You can’t take it with you.” I suppose that depends on what “it” is referring to. Material things don’t come with us when we leave this mortal existence, but the many good works to which our hearts have been inclined to do, certainly do go with us. I believe that we will get to say thank you to those who have touched us by a comment or a kind act. Charitable service will never be forgotten.

Showing forth charity in a marriage relationship would bring the greatest blessings. Could we comfort instead of getting angry, could we help instead of hinder? Stress and disappointment, burdens, addictions and afflictions are part of mortal life but if we were to show more love to our spouses instead of judgment or impatience, our relationships would become sweet. Our homes would be safe havens for one another and for our children. The Spirit would be poured out upon us which would have an everlasting effect upon on families.

I loved the comment by Sister Craig from the general women’s conference last October. She quoted Sister Camilla Kimball when she said, “Never suppress a generous thought.”2 Those generous thoughts are the blooms of charity. May we ever cultivate this beautiful gift as we seek to do the Lord’s work in our own homes and in our communities.

1 “Choosing Kindness”, Elder Paul V. Johnson, The Friend Magazine, January 2007, pp 8-9

2 “Divine Discontent”, Sister Michelle D. Craig, General Conference, Saturday evening session, October 2018

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