In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, charity is defined as the pure love of Christ. Jesus Christ loves each of us and sees us all as equals. He recognizes our potential and wants us to do our best to return to live with Him again. His love is perfect, and although we are not perfect, our Heavenly Father has asked us to do all we can to develop charity and become more like Christ in all that we do.
The scriptures provide a clearer picture of charity and offer examples of charity in action. During His ministry, Christ declared, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34-35). The Savior’s time on earth was defined by His love. He performed miracles, healed the sick, and was crucified for our sins because His love for us was so great. In turn, He asks us to extend that same charity to our fellow men and women during our mortal lives. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni teaches about charity, saying, “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 7:46-47).
What steps can you take to develop charity? Preach My Gospel, the training manual for missionaries, recommends several steps anyone can take. The first is to pray for the gift of charity, asking God sincerely to help you develop this gift. Another suggestion is to look for opportunities to serve (Preach My Gospel, chapter 6). By doing these things, you can move closer to obtaining the gift of charity for your fellow men and women. Additionally, the talks listed here are designed to offer counsel and insight regarding the principle of charity. We hope that as you read them you will find suggestions and receive revelation to help you move forward in this endeavor.