Exercising Charity and Nurturing Those in Need


Exercising Charity and Nurturing Those in Need

Prayerfully select and read from this message the scriptures and teachings that meet the needs of the sisters you visit. Share your experiences and testimony. Invite those you teach to do the same.

Blessings of Belonging to Relief Society: In keeping with the Relief Society’s motto, “Charity never faileth,” each sister is encouraged to develop and exercise the pure love of Christ in all aspects of her life. She is also encouraged to nurture and care for those in her family, her ward, and her community.

What Is Charity?

Moroni 7:47: “Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever.”

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “We often equate charity with visiting the sick, taking in casseroles to those in need, or sharing our excess with those who are less fortunate. But really, true charity is much, much more.

“Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. …

“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended. … Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other” (“The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign, May 1992, 18–19).

Moroni 7:48: “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love.”

How Can We Exercise Charity and Nurture Those in Need?

Anne C. Pingree, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: “I testify as did Alma that ‘by small and simple things are great things brought to pass’ [Alma 37:6]. In our homes, those small and simple things—our daily acts of charity—proclaim our conviction, ‘Here am I; send me.’ I leave my witness that the greatest act of charity in time and all eternity was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He willingly laid down His life to atone for my sins and yours. I express my devotion to His cause and my desire to serve Him always, wherever He calls me” (“Charity: One Family, One Home at a Time,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 110).

President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95): “We entreat you to minister with your powerful influence for good in strengthening our families, our church, and our communities. …

“Those who follow Christ seek to follow his example. His suffering in behalf of our sins, shortcomings, sorrows, and sicknesses should motivate us to similarly reach out in charity and compassion to those around us. It is most appropriate that the motto of the longest-standing women’s organization in the world—the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—is ‘Charity Never Faileth’” (“Stand Firm in the Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 97).

[illustration] Illustrated by Shannon Christensen