Charity

02/17/2011

One of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon is Ether 12:33-34.

“And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast aloved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.

And now I know that this alove which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.”

God loves us so much that He layed down His life on our behalf. He layed down His life and “took it again” or arose from the dead through resurrection, “to prepare a place for the children of men.” In verse 34 we learn that unless we have charity like Christ’s we can’t return to our Heavenly Father’s presence in heaven. Multiple scriptures support this daunting notion.

Paul tells us in Corinthians that unless he has charity, he is nothing. Nephi spoke the same, saying that unless men have charity they are nothing. What I feel sheds a little light on the subject of the importance of charity comes from the words of King Benjamin as he addresses his people from a tower. He teaches them that to serve your fellow men is to serve God. We are charitable just by seeking to show our love for others through service, and through this service, we serve God.

While teaching in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ is asked which of all the commandments is greatest. In response, he tells them to love God. He says the great commandment is to love God, and the second greatest commandment is to love each other. I imagine that the lawyer sought to entangle Christ in His words, provoking Him to name a specific and/or situational commandment as greatest, to which the lawyer could offer up the question of another commandment equally as important in another situation. However, the apostle Peter teaches that charity will prevent one from sinning. This declaration is verified by Jesus Christ himself in the records of John the Beloved, where He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Which states plainly the desire of our Savior for us to do as He has asked us to do. Simple.

I know that if we truly have love for each other, we won’t have the desire to commit any since because we will know that our choosing to make wrong decisions will hurt our relationships with each other, as well as with God. As we have love for God and each other and follow Him faithfully, I know that we will always abound in good works. Let us show our love for Him by keeping His commandments and loving each other.

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