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How can I develop Christlike love?

The pure love of Christ, known as charity, is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love and the most joyous to the soul (see 1 Nephi 11:23). Jesus Christ is the perfect example of charity. In His mortal ministry, He “went about doing good,” showing tender compassion for the poor, afflicted, and distressed (see Matthew 4:23; Acts 10:38). To obtain Christlike love, we must seek it, pray for it, and follow the example of the Savior in our thoughts, words, and deeds.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources, selecting those that best apply to the young men.

1 Samuel 16:7 (The Lord looks on the heart)

Luke 10:30–37 (Parable of the good Samaritan); see also the Bible video “Parable of the Good Samaritan”

Luke 23:33–34 (Jesus forgave the Roman soldiers who crucified Him)

John 15:9–13 (Christ demonstrated His love for us by laying down His life)

1 John 4:7–11, 18–21 (God is love)

Moroni 7:45–48 (We can pray to be filled with charity, the pure love of Christ)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Merciful Obtain Mercy,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 70–77

Charity,” True to the Faith (2004), 27–29

Videos: “Sharing the Light of Christ,” “Let Us Be Men,” “Dayton’s Legs”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Invite the young men to think of one thing they applied from last week’s lesson and share it with the quorum or in small groups.
  • On a few slips of paper, write the phrase “I have felt the most love from someone when ___________.” Hand these slips of paper to each of the young men before the quorum meeting begins, and ask each young man to think of how he would fill in the blank. Invite the young men to share their thoughts to begin the lesson.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help quorum members learn how to develop Christlike love. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite a quorum member to read Moroni 7:45 out loud to the class. Ask the other young men to follow along in their scriptures and identify one of the qualities mentioned that they would like to develop. Ask each to share the quality he chose and why he chose it. Then read verses 47–48 together and ask the young men to listen for what Moroni tells us we need to do to begin developing these qualities. How will these qualities help them become more effective priesthood servants?
  • Ask the young men to read one of the following scriptures: John 15:9–13; 1 John 4:7–11; 1 John 4:18–22. What do they learn about Christlike love from these verses? Invite the young men to share phrases from these scriptures that impress or inspire them and to explain why they find them meaningful.
  • Invite the young men to search Luke 10:25–29 and identify the questions the lawyer asked the Savior. Explain that in response to these questions, the Savior gave the parable of the good Samaritan. Assign several young men to represent some of the characters in the parable, and ask them to dramatize the story as you read it together (verses 30–35). Pause occasionally to ask those representing the Levite, the priest, and the Samaritan why they may have acted the way they did, and discuss their answers as a quorum. Read the Savior’s command to the lawyer in verses 36–37, and invite the young men to share situations they might face that are similar to the situation in the parable.
  • As a quorum, read, watch, or listen to the sections titled “The Bottom Line” and “The Love of God” from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “The Merciful Shall Obtain Mercy.” Instruct the young men to look for the counsel President Uchtdorf gives to those who feel negative feelings toward others and how we can get rid of these feelings. Invite the young men to quietly ponder someone in their life who they may have bad feelings for and think of ways they can show more Christlike love toward that person.
  • Watch one or more of the videos suggested in this outline. What do the young men learn about Christlike love from these videos? How do the messages of the videos differ from what the world teaches about what it means to be a man? Ask the young men to share an experience in which someone’s act of service helped them feel the love of the Savior. What did that experience teach them about Jesus Christ? Invite the young men to consider someone they know who may need to feel the love of the Lord. What can they do to help that person?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to develop Christlike love? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his feelings about how Christlike love is connected with fulfilling priesthood service.
  • Invite the young men to act on the impressions they have had during the quorum meeting to develop Christlike love and improve their relationships with others.