“Charity never faileth” (Moro. 7:46).
Perhaps we may not fully understand the meaning of this scripture or how it applies to our lives. But we can gain a testimony of its truth as we experience the joy that comes from serving others.
Charity is a fundamental principle in the lives of sisters everywhere, in every circumstance. It motivates us to serve at inconvenient times, with no thought of recompense.
Mormon tells us that “charity is the pure love of Christ” (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, many of whose parents were out of work because of the political disorder. These children began showing their parents gardening skills, which led to many new family gardens. As others watched them establish gardens, they, too, became involved. Julia not only helped alleviate temporal distress, but she also met the social and spiritual needs of many members of her community.
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 as visiting teachers. They act as instruments in the Lord’s hands as they love, encourage, welcome, teach, and strengthen—often at considerable personal sacrifice.
Mothers 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 minister “unto … the least of these” (Matt. 25:40) without judgment or criticism. 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?
Exercising charity means not having to be asked. Women can ‘be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pas much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves” (D&C 58:27–28; italics added). The Savior’s example of one-on-one caring demonstrates how we can show kindness beyond what is expected.
As we serve with Christlike compassion, the Lord’s blessings will attend our efforts. And “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?