Study Guide: Charity | December 2016
Charity. Love. Service. It matters.
I remember being in 7th grade when I was cut from the basketball team. I was devastated. That night, one of the High School Seniors from my church showed up on with a bundle of suckers and a note that said, “The coach was a real sucker for not choosing you.”
I still have that note today.
I remember the day friends and family gathered together to fast on my behalf just days before I was admitted to have brain surgery. To this day I well up with tears when I think of the peace that washed over me because of their love and sacrifice in my behalf.
I remember having a ‘terrible, bad-mom, life is falling apart’ day, when out of the blue a dear friend showed up on my door step with a tub of cookie dough and my favorite flowers.
I remember having a difficult time after my husband and I moved states from Arizona to California. It was my birthday. I was lonely and having a hard time adjusting. While getting ready for bed, one of my very best friends from Arizona jumped into the doorway of my bedroom and surprised me. She had driven 5.5 hours just to spend a day with me.
I cried and was overwhelmed that someone would do that for me.
“Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through the valleys of darkness and through the veil of death….Without charity—or the pure love of Christ—whatever else we accomplish matters little. With it, all else becomes vibrant and alive.
— Joseph B. Wirthlin
I think we can all agree that there is something about this time of year. Especially this year with the amazing and beautiful #LightTheWorld initiative - can you feel it? It’s magical. It’s healing. It’s joy.
There is no doubt that service is the springboard for this magic, but this unseen tangible spirit that we’re feeling as we engage ourselves into the true meaning of Christmas, it’s charity. It’s kindness, forgiveness, patience. It’s the pure love of Christ. It’s HIM.
How do we know this? I bet you can’t guess where this is going? Yes, the scriptures! What would we do without God’s words? Without the precious records that give us the knowledge of who this King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Savior of the world is.
Today’s Light the World prompt is “Jesus Read the Scriptures and So Can You.”
And with that I am excited to share this month’s study guide on Charity.
Charity is the spirit of Christmas. The answer to finding joy and happiness. The antidote for pain, fear and the darkness. It is Christ. And what better way to learn about Christ, than from Christ himself. Charity is everything that He is, and everything that He has ever taught.
His Atonement, His Miracles, His Mighty Grace, His Ministry…It’s love.
With the parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ teaches us the importance of loving our neighbor, which includes all of our brothers and sisters.
To the scribes and Pharisees who tried to condemn a woman who had been taken in adultery, Christ taught us the importance of never judging another, because none of us is without sin.
With the washing of His apostles’ feet, Christ teaches us that there is no service or charitable act that is beneath us.
With the parable of the lost sheep, Christ teaches us that each and every child of God matters, and that He loves us all.
After receiving the devastating news that John the Baptist had been martyred for Christ name, Jesus teaches us the importance of losing ourselves in the service of others, even while in our own personal grief.
With Mary and Martha, He teaches us what it means to mourn with those that mourn—as He lovingly held them in His arms and wept alongside them as they grieved the loss of their brother Lazarus.
With Peter, Christ teaches us true patience, love, encouragement—and what it means to truly believe in someone.
To those who have offended us in the most inexcusable ways—Christ teaches us ultimate forgiveness and compassion as He uttered words only Christ himself could while being nailed to the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
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—
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: 45-47
I testify that charity, the pure love of Christ, it matters.
For charity is the means by which we find Christ. When we chose to “come unto Him” and develop a pure heart, our hands become His hands. Our touch becomes His touch. And our love becomes His love.
And together, Lighting the World is possible after all!
I can’t wait for each of you to dive into this month’s study guide! Also, as a gift, I have included this I am the Light of the World printable, plus a free image you can use to post on social media.
Today, as our minds reflect the importance of the scriptures, I challenge you to share your love of them with others. Helping someone else cultivate a desire to read the scriptures is one of the greatest services we can give them!
So please, have courage, share the scriptures with others! Feel free to use our images, share the study guide, or gift someone this printable. When we share our light, it not only blesses others, but I promise it will strengthen your own testimony as well!