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Charity: What Does It Mean to Love Like the Savior?

By Comeuntochrist.org
Jesus healing a man

A Pure and Perfect Love

In the scriptures, charity is known as “the pure love of Christ.” It’s a divine love that is pure and complete. It’s how we are each loved by our Heavenly Father and the Savior, and it’s how They encourage us to love each other. To His Apostles, the Savior said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). This commandment still applies to us today.

Virtues of the Savior

When Paul taught the Corinthians about the concept of charity, he was describing all of the virtues possessed by Jesus Christ. The Savior was long-suffering, kind, humble, unselfish, and self-possessed. Throughout His short life, He shunned evil and preached and celebrated the truth. By example, He showed us how to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things (see 1 Corinthians 13:4–7; Moroni 7:45).


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Why Charity?

Why would the Savior ask us to develop charity? Why would He ask us to do all we can to learn to love like He does? The answer is simple. This world, and all the people in it, are in desperate need of this perfect form of love. When each of us understands that we are loved and cherished, we have what’s needed to soar to greater heights, reach our potential, and then help others do the same.

Seek It, Develop It, Share It

In order for us to to understand what charity really feels like, we can go to our Heavenly Father in prayer and persistently seek to know how He feels about us. In His own time and in His own way, He will help us feel His love—and He often does it through other people.

In an address given at Brigham Young University entitled “For God So Loved You,” William B. Lund talks about his experience of feeling small after studying the vastness of space and God’s creations, but he emphasizes the wonderful truth that each of us matters to our Heavenly Father. We are all deeply and perfectly loved by Him. We can also find evidence of God’s love in the scriptures; the fact that we have scriptures is evidence of that love.

We honor our Heavenly Father when we do our very best to develop a charitable character and become like His Son. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Because of our human nature, each of us will inevitably fall short of the Savior’s perfect example of charity, but He only asks that we continue to try—that we never give up. Truly, charity is a lifelong endeavor.

Once we become confident in our Heavenly Father’s and Savior’s love for us, it’s natural to desire to share that perfect love with others. The following video is illustrative of loving in the Savior’s way.


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