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Day 1

So, lots of things to cover regarding charity, and we thought this swing into what Al describes as “some good Jesus New Testament loving” would be of use to all of us. Just remember – stick with it. The purpose of Gospel Study Sesh is to get us all to a better place, spiritually, and as life shows us, we can’t stay there unless we keep at it.

Of interesting note, in our research for this topic, we’ve found a greater prevalence of talks and articles by women, compared to other topics. Thanks for being a bit more naturally charitably-minded, sisters.

Question:

  • We call charity the “pure love of Christ,” but what does that mean?

References:

Day 2

Holy smokes this was a good one for me.

I started on the question “We call charity the “pure love of Christ,” but what does that mean?” by reading through Corinthians 13, takes all of 2 minutes to do if you haven’t yet. But when I got to vs 11-12, I read those differently. I’ve always taken those verses out of context, they never were talking about charity to me, but when I read through them this time, remembering what they were referencing, I was kind of surprised. The idea that we just don’t know right now, we won’t fully know until we are face to face with the Savior, that’s when we get it.

As I continued writing I was thinking about what that love will feel like, to be loved perfectly, and completely, and I tried to describe what a perfect love would be, and I came up with my shopping list of how perfect love would fill me, and motivate me. Then I thought back to the plan of salvation we studied, and how I realized that feeling the love of Christ, that’s what motivates me, that’s what is worth it enough to keep going. Realizing that that’s the power source, I ended up with missionary work, thinking of what kind of a missionary I would have been if I’d focused on helping people connect to the proverbial battery, then trying to get them to start the car, I wonder if my mission would have been different. Certainly, as we deal with ourselves and others, if our focus is Charity, helping others feel it, what would that be like?

Question:

  • How does one develop charity?  Do we get to have charity while on this earth?

References:

Day 3

We’ve had some great comments from you guys about charity. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jenny shared:

“Whenever there is a list of attributes in a scripture…I believe that they are put in an order for a reason….I believe if you learn the attributes in the order given you will have charity in the end.

“Line upon line and attribute upon attribute….thoughts?”

Chris also says:

“When it comes to charity I think of my wife….. She is so loving to everybody in every situation.

“Charity=loving everyone the way The Savior does. I’m going I go back to my Baptist/Lutheran/non-denom roots and use the phrase ‘WWJD.’  If we thought this out before acting we would create true love in action-charity.”

Question:

  • In what areas of my life can I be more charitable? With whom? Time for some self-reflction.

References:

Day 4

So yesterday’s question of “In what areas of my life can I be more charitable? With whom?” was kind of nice after the first day’s question for me.  I feel like after pondering on the “when I was a child, I did childish things” in the context of charity offers me a bit of leeway in my attempts to love others.  I used to view it either as I feel charity for this person or I don’t, but I am a child who attempts in a childish way, I am becoming a ‘man’ in the context of charity, but not there yet, and we shouldn’t feel bad about that.  I don’t know if this makes sense, but the idea that I’m allowed to try, even if I can’t do it right, is really encouraging to me.  With that in mind, I came up with a few areas of my life that need some experimenting with charity, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Question:

  • Identify people and / or experiences in your life where others have shown charity to you.

References:

Day 5

Yesterday’s question – “Identify people and/or experiences in your life where others have shown charity to you” is rightfully broad. I’m not sure I can nail down just a few experiences, but boy, have I been fortunate throughout my life. Even down to the simple things, like how this past Sunday night, I came home from a late priesthood meeting to the smell of baking. What did I come home to? My wife just happily making cookies because she knows I have a massive weakness for cookies. Is that charity? Absolutely. My wife just wanted to make me happy and I so very much appreciated the reprieve after a busy evening.

I often think of charity and grace as synonymous, and we really only make the most of Christ’s grace after we do our part. Do we truly honor His charity toward us by repenting and living a better life? Do we sometimes go too far and assume that His charity is not enough and we have to go it alone? I think the latter is more common than the former. I hope we can all remember that Christ is there for a reason, and we shouldn’t assume that we have to be solitary actors or suffer all things. He already suffered all things. That was the point of the great plan.

Question:

  • “Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing is family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”  –  Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:227
  • “As you increase in innocence and virtue, as you increase in goodness, let your hearts expand, let them be enlarged towards others; you must be long-suffering, and bear with the faults and errors of mankind…. How precious are the souls of men!” – Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:606
  • Building on what I’ve learned about charity this week, whom can I serve NOW? Whom have I served already and whom will I serve through the remainder of this week? This is your assignment. Lose yourself in someone else.

References: