Visiting Teaching Message (Oct ’15)
VISITING TEACHING MESSAGE – Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Filled with Charity and Love (Ensign/Liahona Oct 2015)
Faith, Family, Relief
This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring attributes of the Savior.
The Guide to the Scriptures defines charity as “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love” (“Charity”). It is the pure love of Jesus Christ. As we learn of Jesus Christ and strive to become like Him, we will begin to feel His pure love in our lives and be prompted to love and serve others as He would. “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down,” said PresidentThomas S. Monson. “It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”1
In the Book of Mormon, we learn the great truth that we “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that [we] may become the sons [and daughters] of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure” (Moroni 7:48).
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.
34 And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.
From Our History
“A sister who had recently been widowed was grateful for visiting teachers who mourned with her and comforted her. She wrote: ‘I was in desperate need of someone to whom I could reach out; someone who would listen to me. … And they listened. They comforted me. They wept with me. And they hugged me … [and] helped me out of the deep despair and depression of those first months of loneliness.’
“Another woman summed up her feelings when she was the recipient of true charity from a visiting teacher: ‘I knew that I was more than just a number on the record books for her to visit. I knew that she cared about me.’”2
Like these sisters, many Latter-day Saints around the world can attest to the truth of this statement by President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015), President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “How consoling it is to know that no matter where [a family may] go, a Church family awaits them. From the day they arrive, he will belong to a quorum of the priesthood and she will belong to Relief Society.”3
How is Christ our perfect example of love and charity?
1. Thomas S. Monson, “Charity Never Faileth,” Liahona, Nov. 2010, 124.
2. Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society (2011), 119–120.
3. Daughters in My Kingdom, 87.