Lesson 16: Charity

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, (2002), 52–55


Each young man will seek to develop and express charity.


  1. 1.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      Scriptures for each young man.

    2. b.

      Tape or other materials for posting wordstrips.

  2. 2.

    Prepare the following wordstrips:

    1. a.

      “Charity is the pure love of Christ.”

    2. b.

      “Charity suffereth long, and is kind.”

    3. c.

      “Charity envieth not.”

    4. d.

      “Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.”

    5. e.

      Charity “doth not behave itself unseemly.”

    6. f.

      Charity “seeketh not her own.”

    7. g.

      Charity “is not easily provoked.”

    8. h.

      Charity “thinketh no evil.”

    9. i.

      Charity “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”

Suggested Lesson Development

Charity Is the Pure Love of Christ


  • What does the word charity mean to you?

Let the young men discuss this question. Emphasize that charity is another word for love.

Story and discussion

Have the young men listen to see if anyone in the following story showed charity:

Craig was a new member of the quorum. He was excited about participating with the rest of the quorum on a camping trip to a lake. It was to be his first camp with the quorum. His family was not active in the Church, and the other boys hadn’t accepted him as they had other members of the group.

When the young men were deciding which car to go in, Craig got last choice. No one wanted to sit by him. When they arrived at camp, he was left in a tent by himself. No one wanted to be his buddy for the swimming events. When work assignments were given, Craig was given more than his share.

He didn’t seem happy during the week they were at the camp. He spent time by himself, and at the end of the camp he seemed glad it was time to go home.

  • Why do you think Craig was left out of the group activities?

  • Was anyone charitable in this story?

  • If this happened in your quorum, what could you do to show charity for a new member?

Scriptures and discussion

Have a young man read Moroni 7:47–48.

What is the reward for those who show charity?

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the early Saints in Corinth, advising them to examine their actions to see if they had charity. Have a young man read 1 Corinthians 13:1–2 aloud while the others follow along in their scriptures.

  • What do you think Paul meant by becoming “as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal”? (If we speak or act insincerely, without the honest intent of the heart, the words or actions are hollow and merely noise.)

  • Why might we be considered as “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” if we give without the proper attitude?

  • According to verse two, having charity is more important than what other powerful gift?

  • How did Moroni define charity? (The pure love of Christ. Reread Moroni 7:47 if necessary.)

Wordstrip and discussion

Post wordstrip a: “Charity is the pure love of Christ.”

  • Why do you think charity is called “the pure love of Christ” rather than just “love”? (Charity is more than giving, even more than giving with feeling. It is loving in the way that Christ loves and being willing to give even your life in the service of others if necessary.)

Explain that Christ healed, preached, administered to the sick, and gave his life not out of duty or a need to use his power, but out of love. He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34).

Scripture and discussion

The Savior said, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The Apostle John tells us the responsibility we have because of Jesus’ love for us. Have a young man read John 15:12.

  • What is this responsibility?

We Become More Charitable by Overcoming Unfavorable Characteristics

Scriptures, wordstrips, and discussion

Explain that Christ showed us by example how to demonstrate charity. We have been challenged to develop charity in our own lives so that we can become more like him, but sometimes we do things that prevent us from doing so.

To learn further characteristics of charity, have a young man read 1 Corinthians 13:4.

Post wordstrip b: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind.”

  • What would be another way to say “suffereth long”? (Is patient.)

  • How does suffering long and being kind enable us to love others in spite of their faults?

Explain that Christ’s love is not based on how we look or act. His love is unconditional. He loves us in spite of our faults.

Post wordstrip c: “Charity envieth not.”

Tell the young men the following situation. When Dave, a popular boy, made the basketball team, Jim said: “He wasn’t that good. He only made it because the coach likes him.”

  • What might Jim be feeling? (Jealousy or envy.)

  • How do we show envy?

  • Do sarcasm and biting remarks sometimes indicate envy? Why and how?

  • What might Jim do to overcome his feelings of envy?

Explain that a charitable person is happy when someone else is successful.

Post wordstrip d: “Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.”

  • What does it mean to vaunt oneself? (To boast, brag, or act vainly.)

Present the following situation. When report cards were passed out, Mike said: “I don’t even need to look at mine! My grades are always the highest in the class.”

  • Why do you think Mike boasted about his grades?

  • What is uncharitable about acting vain or boasting?

  • What could you do if you were tempted to boast?

To further explain charity, have a young man read 1 Corinthians 13:5. Have the young man reading the scripture insert the words “An Aaronic Priesthood holder who has charity …” at the beginning of the verse.

Post wordstrip e: Charity “doth not behave itself unseemly.”

  • What is unseemly behavior? (To behave in an improper or unbecoming manner.)

  • Why is behaving in this way uncharitable?

Post wordstrip f: Charity “seeketh not her own.”

  • What is another way for saying “seeketh not her own”? (Is not selfish.)

Explain that becoming completely unselfish like Jesus is a goal we should each work at daily.

Elder Marion D. Hanks said, “God loves every one of his children, … but God needs instruments of his love. He needs those who can carry his love and make it meaningful and personal in the lives of others” (“Gifts You Can’t Wrap,” New Era, Dec. 1972, p. 18).

  • What can you do to carry Heavenly Father’s love to other people?

  • How can this help you overcome selfishness?

Post wordstrip g: Charity “is not easily provoked.”

  • What does it mean to be provoked? (To become angry, upset, lose one’s temper.)

Present the following situation in your own words. Todd’s younger brother liked Todd’s bike very much. One day he borrowed the bike without asking. When Todd found out, he immediately flew into a rage without giving his brother a chance to explain.

  • How can being easily provoked harm us and the other people involved?

Post wordstrip h: Charity “thinketh no evil.”

  • What are some examples of “thinking evil”? (Vulgar, impure, disrespectful, or unkind thoughts.)

  • How does thinking evil influence your behavior?

Have a young man read 1 Corinthians 13:6. Have the young man reading the scripture insert the words “An Aaronic Priesthood holder who has charity …” at the beginning of the verse.

Post wordstrip i: Charity “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”

  • What does it mean to not rejoice in iniquity?

  • How do some people rejoice in iniquity?

  • Why is truth so important in our lives?


Have the young men listen to an account of how one young man showed charity to a friend.

“Because of varying standards of life and the after effects of a war, there are many underprivileged children in Tae Whan’s homeland, Korea. Many live with only the barest of necessities, their parents giving all to get them through school. But Tae Whan is fortunate. The Kim family is better off than most families.

“One morning Tae Whan asked his mother, ‘Mom, will you fix me another lunch today?’ Mrs. Kim prepared another lunch, thinking that her son was growing so fast that he needed a little something extra to eat. Every day afterwards she would prepare an extra lunch for him to take.

“One day Dr. Kim received a telephone call at work from a close friend.

“‘Hello, Dr. Kim. How is your family doing nowadays?’

“‘Why … they’re great!’ replied Dr. Kim cheerfully.

“The two friends talked back and forth until Mr. Lee blurted out, ‘Are you sure your family isn’t having any problems lately?’

“Pausing, Dr. Kim answered quizzically, ‘Why? What’s wrong?’

“‘Dr. Kim, I saw Tae Whan down on the corner peddling newspapers the other day.’

“‘You what? Are you sure?’

“‘I’m positive! I was just concerned about your family’s welfare and wanted to check with you.’

“Dr. Kim sat that afternoon in the office puzzled, wondering why Tae Whan would do such a thing and not mention a word to anyone. That night after dinner, Dr. Kim quietly waited for the opportunity to talk to his son. Finally he said, ‘Tae Whan, could I speak to you for a minute?’

“‘Why sure, Dad.’

“‘Son, I got a call today from Mr. Lee. He said he saw you downtown selling papers the other day. Is that true?’

“Tae Whan answered sheepishly, ‘Yes, Dad, but I did it to help a classmate. He didn’t have a lunch so I’ve been giving my extra one to him. And for every paper we sell, we earn 40 won (8¢).’

“‘Son, why are you doing this? You should have asked me first.’

“‘But, Dad, every time I help my friend, I feel I’m becoming more like the Good Samaritan. Besides that, I want to help my classmates who aren’t as fortunate as I. It’s not that big of a thing I am doing. I read about it in my seminary manual and felt it was the thing I ought to do.’

“Tae Whan knows the meaning of the Savior’s commandment: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Luke 10:27.)” (“Profiting for Others,” New Era, June 1979, p. 50).

  • Do you know someone you could do something for as Tae Whan did for his friend?


Scripture and discussion

Explain that we can also develop charity in our lives as we eliminate insincerity, selfishness, impatience, envy, vanity, improper behavior, anger, gossip, and deceit.

By following the example of Jesus Christ, we will become more charitable.

Read Moroni 7:47–48 again and ask the young men to listen for what they can do to develop charity.

  • What does this scripture tell us to do?

  • What promises are given to those who live charitable lives?


Challenge the young men to choose someone in their family or among their acquaintances toward whom they could show charity. Encourage them to pray and to seek the help of Heavenly Father in developing the pure love of Christ. You may want to plan a quorum activity where the young men could give charitable service to someone in the ward.