Charity is defined as the pure love of Christ. It is the highest, noblest and strongest kind of love that Jesus Christ has for us and instructed us to have. The ultimate expression of his love was the very act of Atonement when He paid the price for our sins that He said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). It is the same love that He wants us to have for each other when He commanded, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have love you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). He wants us to see other people beyond what our natural eyes can see, to give unselfishly, to forgive one another, to rejoice with others in success and succor them in times of distress, and to be considerate, merciful, patient and compassionate. In Luke 23:34, He expressed his ever forgiving love when as He hung on the cross at Calvary saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Like Jesus who forgave those who had heartlessly crucified him, we are commanded to forgive one another. We can do this through the pure love of Christ that He can bless us with if only we seek him.
In the First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians in the 13th chapter, he discussed charity as an attribute that surpasses all else:
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.
Apostle Paul further explained that if we have no charity, we are nothing. This selfless, eternal love can be obtained only through Christ—who is the master of charity. This can be obtained by recognizing His love in our lives, seeking to have this love to fill our hearts and sharing this divine gift by being charitable to our fellowmen. This recognizing, seeking and sharing is an eternal pursuit because charity is an act of love. It needs to be felt, sought for, exercised and shared ever with a humble and grateful heart.
In the 7th chapter of Moroni of the Book Mormon, Prophet Mormon taught, “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.” He counseled us to “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 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.” We are counseled that having this attribute will draw us closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Possessing this attribute helps us live our lives according to the perfect example that Jesus Christ set when He walked upon this earth. Exercising this attribute points us towards eternal life.
As Jesus never fails so is charity. When we exercise charity in our lives, we will be kinder, more joyful, more selfless, and more forgiving. Charity encompasses all kinds of love that we can give to our fellowmen, even the love we give to our enemies and people who have wronged us. It is the ultimate kind of love that never fails to give light to our souls when our day becomes bleak and grey. It is the love that sustains us when we are faced with the various tests of mortality. It becomes a spring of hope for our righteous desire to do good to our fellowmen. It is an act of love that never failed, nor ever will.