Charity: The Pure Love of Jesus Christ
In John 15:12, Jesus Christ says to his followers, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Followers of Jesus Christ are commanded to love and serve one another just as Jesus Christ loves and serves us. He is the greatest example of love and service that the world has ever known. In Mormon belief, the pure love of God for mankind is often called charity. The Book of Mormon says this about charity:
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye hae not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail– But charity is the pure love of Christ and it endureth forever, and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him (Moroni 7:46-47)
Charity, or love, is a gift from God which He gives us as we serve one another and as we pray. Service is an important part of love. One of the ways we show our love for God and for other people is by serving them. To serve others means that we help them without expecting any reward or compensation. In the Book of Mormon we read:
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God (Mosiah 2:17).
We also show our love of God by keeping His commandments. This means we should believe in Jesus Christ and repent of our sins and be baptized in Jesus’ name by one who has authority from God. We must also keep God’s commandments to love and serve one another, to keep ourselves morally clean, and to be honest and faithful in all our actions. In 1 John 5:3, we read, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous.”
There are many ways to show our love for others and for God. We show our love for God by keeping His commandments, being baptized, and heeding the words of his living prophets. We show our love for others by serving them. To serve others means that we help them in their trials and comfort them when they are in despair. We should rejoice when others succeed and help them when they fail. Jesus Christ said this to a man who asked him what the greatest commandment was:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)