When a lawyer asked Jesus which of the commandments was the greatest, He could have chosen any of the many commandments from the Old Testament, from the law of Moses, or from the Ten Commandments. Instead, He summarized all of the commandments in these two:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37–39).
As President Thomas S. Monson taught last general conference, keeping one commandment helps us keep the other: “We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellowmen if we do not love God, the Father of us all. … We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and, as such, are brothers and sisters. As we keep this truth in mind, loving all of God’s children will become easier” (“Love—the Essence of the Gospel,” Liahona, May 2014, 91).
Developing charity—Christlike love for others—will improve our relationships, help us serve willingly, and fit us for eternal life (see Moroni 10:21). Charity is a spiritual gift that we can pray for and live for; it is “bestowed upon all who are true followers of … Jesus Christ” (Moroni 7:48). It is the “more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31) spoken of by the Apostle Paul and includes being kind, patient, humble, meek, hopeful, and generous (see 1 Corinthians 13).
Life is the perfect laboratory to develop charity. The Savior’s teaching called the Golden Rule can guide our actions: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). All of us are imperfect, yet we all desire to be treated kindly despite our shortcomings.
Communicate with Love
“There exists today a great need for men and women to cultivate respect for each other across wide distances of belief and behavior and across deep canyons of conflicting agendas. …
“The willingness to see through each other’s eyes will transform ‘corrupt communication’ into ‘minister[ing] grace.’ … It may not change or solve the problem, but the more important possibility may be whether ministering grace could change us.
“I bear humble witness that we can ‘minister grace’ through compassionate language when the cultivated gift of the Holy Ghost pierces our hearts with empathy.”
Elder W. Craig Zwick of the Seventy, “What Are You Thinking?” Liahona, May 2014, 43.