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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 develop Christlike love, we must seek it, pray for it, and follow the example of the Savior in our thoughts, words, and actions.

Prepare yourself spiritually

What scriptures and other resources will help the young women develop the Christlike attribute of charity?

Genesis 45; Luke 23:33–34; Alma 61:9 (Examples of people who showed love)

Leviticus 19:18 (Love thy neighbor as thyself)

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

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)

Mosiah 4:16 (Succor those who stand in need of your succor)

3 Nephi 12:44 (Love your enemies)

Moroni 7:45–48 (Charity is the pure love of Christ; pray to be filled with this love)

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, 25–27

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

Videos: “Cheering Each Other On,” “For Madison,” “Sharing the Light of Christ,” “Bullying—Stop It,” “Why Am I Here?” “We Don’t Need to Be the Same to Be One”

Music for youth theme: “Treat Everyone with Love

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • On a few slips of paper, write “I have felt the most love from someone when ___________.” Hand these slips of paper to each of the young women before class begins, and ask her to think of how she would fill in the blank. Invite the young women to share their thoughts to begin the lesson.
  • Invite the young women to sing “Love One Another” (Hymns, no. 308). Ask the young women to share what the words of this hymn mean to them. 

Learn together

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

  • 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, such as the Savior had, and not out of fear? Divide the class 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 women 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 woman) with one of the following words at the top: Kindness, Charity, and Love. Give a piece of paper to each young woman, and invite her 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 her paper. Invite the young women to share what they found. What opportunities do we have as a class to be more kind, loving, and charitable?
  • Invite the young women to read John 15:9–131 John 4:7–11, 18–21; and Moroni 7:47–48. What do the young women learn from these verses about how to develop Christlike love? What does the phrase “pure love of Christ” mean to them? Invite the young women 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.
  • Write the following scripture references on the board: Mosiah 4:16 and Leviticus 19:18. Divide the class into two groups, and assign each group one of the scripture passages. Instruct the young women to identify the commandments given in their passage and to write a summary of the commandments on the board next to the scripture reference. What opportunities do they have to follow these commandments at home, at school, and in the community? What obstacles might keep us from obeying these commandments? How can we overcome these obstacles? Invite the young women to watch “Bullying—Stop It” and discuss what they can do to live these commandments when they face similar situations.
  • As a class, read, watch, or listen to Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s talk “Loving Others and Living with Differences.” Ask the young women to look for the counsel that will help them love others in difficult situations. What else can the young women 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 women 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 of the videos suggested in this outline. What do the young women learn about Christlike love from these videos? Ask the young women 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 women 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 women to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand how to develop Christlike love? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this topic?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Pray for or show love to someone for whom they have had negative feelings.
  • Show love to someone who may need special attention or help (see Good Works value experiences 3, 5, and 6, Personal Progress, 54–55).