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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)

Thomas S. Monson, “Kindness, Charity, and Love,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 66–67

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 104–7

Thomas S. Monson, “Love—the Essence of the Gospel,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 91–94

Dallin H. Oaks, “Loving Others and Living with Differences,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 25–28

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

Videos: “Sharing the Light of Christ,” “Let Us Be Men,” “Dayton’s Legs,” “Bullying—Stop It,” “True Christianity,” “Why Am I Here?” “We Don’t Need to Be the Same to Be One”

Music for youth theme: “Treat Everyone with Love

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 the young men to read John 15:9–131 John 4:7–11, 18–21; and Moroni 7:47–48. What do the young men learn from these verses about how to develop Christlike love? How will these qualities help them become more effective priesthood servants? Invite quorum members to find stories in the scriptures that illustrate the Savior’s love, and ask them to share these stories with each other. How can we follow the Savior’s example? They could also read and discuss stories in one of the talks listed in this outline or share examples of times when they or people they know have been blessed by acts of Christlike love.
  • Everything that Jesus Christ did for us was out of perfect love—for us and for His Father. How can we develop the ability to obey out of perfect love, as the Savior did, and not out of fear? Divide the quorum into two groups to study President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear.” Assign one group to share what they learn from the sections titled “Fear as Manipulation” and “The Problem with Fear” and the other group to share what they learn from the sections titled “A Better Way” and “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear.” Give the young men time to write their thoughts to the following questions: In what ways am I compelled to do things out of fear? What can I do to develop Christlike love? What do I want to change because of what I learned?
  • Bring pieces of paper to class (one paper for each young man) with one of the following words at the top: Kindness, Charity, and Love. Give a piece of paper to each young man, and invite him to search President Thomas S. Monson’s talks “Love—the Essence of the Gospel” and “Kindness, Charity, and Love,” looking for a quotation or story that teaches about the word on his paper. Invite the young men to share what they found. What opportunities do we have as a quorum to be more kind, loving, and charitable?
  • 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 sections of Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s talk “Loving Others and Living with Differences.” Ask the young men to look for counsel that will help them love others in difficult situations. What else can the young men learn by studying a scriptural example of a person who showed love to those who persecuted or offended him or her? Possible examples include the Savior (see Luke 23:34), Joseph in Egypt (see Genesis 45), or Pahoran (see Alma 61:9). Invite the young men to quietly ponder someone in their life whom 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 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.