“Charity never faileth.” (Moro. 7:46.) Perhaps we don’t appreciate this phrase because it is used so often. We may not fully understand its meaning or how it applies to our lives. But we can gain a testimony of its truth as we experience the joy that comes from giving and receiving service.
Charity is a fundamental principle in the lives of sisters everywhere, in every circumstance. It motivates us to serve at inconvenient times and to help others with no thought of recompense.
Mormon tells us that “charity is the pure love of Christ … and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moro. 7:47.) Opportunities to show this kind of love surround us daily.
For example, Julia Mavimbela shows charity in her community service in Soweto, a township outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. She works to eliminate illiteracy and other social problems among her people. In addition to working with national and community leaders, she began gardening with children between the ages of four and ten, many of whose parents were out of work because of the political disorder. Children began showing their parents gardening skills, which led to many new family gardens. Julia not only helped alleviate temporal distress, but she met the social and spiritual needs of many members of her community. “The Church has brought me answers to some of the many problems that are common in our country,” she says. “It has changed me from feeling bitter to feeling love for other people.” (See Ensign, April 1990, pp. 68–69.)
How can we develop the kind of love that motivates us to serve in Christlike ways?
Opportunities to serve are usually manifest in seemingly insignificant ways. Women all over the world selflessly minister to the needs of their sisters as visiting teachers. They act as instruments in the Lord’s hands as they love, encourage, welcome, teach, strengthen, help, and unite—often at considerable personal sacrifice.
Mothers, many without a husband in their home, labor consistently day after day in loving, teaching, and training their children. Sisters are often called to teach and train other people’s children in classes and activities.
Charitable women listen to those who are discouraged and depressed. They seek to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” (D&C 81:5.)
What are some small, ordinary ways that we can exercise charity?
We do not have to be asked in order to exercise charity. Women can “be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.” (D&C 58:27–28; italics added.)
We need not be commanded to serve with charity. The Savior’s example of one-on-one caring demonstrates how we can help satisfy the spiritual, temporal, and emotional needs of others by showing kindness beyond what is expected. The Lord has given us the power of love and has encouraged us to use it.
Charity is a never-failing principle—one with a divine promise. As we serve with Christlike compassion—in our own homes, neighborhoods, and communities—the Lord’s blessings will attend our efforts, and “it shall be well” with us. “When he shall appear we shall be like him” because we will have learned to love as he does. (Moro. 7:48.)
In what ways can we grow as we exercise charity?