One morning last week, I was reading through and studying Moroni, chapter seven, in the Book of Mormon. In this chapter is a great address given by the prophet Mormon to the people. There is so much contained in this address, there isn't a chance that I could discuss it all in one post. Perhaps I will get to some of the rest of it at a later time, but something really stuck out to me that I wanted to write about today.
Mormon talks about the importance of faith, hope, and charity, and how one must possess all of these attributes to come closer to God and find true happiness. Towards the end of his address, Mormon focuses on charity, and he said something very interesting.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— UAdd a Note
"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)
I've quoted these verses in an earlier post, but something I learned something very different this time. The Book of Mormon has footnotes, with further explanations and cross references to verses in the Bible and Book of Mormon. In verse 47, it has a footnote on the word "love", which directed me to the Old Testament, specifically Joshua 22:5, which reads:
"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul."
What I felt impressed with is that charity is not only the pure love that Christ has for all men, that we can be given, but also our love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. As I thought about this concept, a flood of verses came to mind.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men." 2 Nephi 31:20
"Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40
"If ye love me, keep my commandments" John 14:15
If we truly and purely love Jesus Christ, then we will strive to lay down our lives for His sake, and we do this through service to others and keeping the commandments He has given us. The more we come to love Him, the more His light will shine through us in lifting up those around us. The rest of charity just falls into place when we have Jesus Christ as our example and focus.
I thought it was pretty neat, and it really helped open my eyes to the driving motivation behind true charity. What do you think?