Christ and Charity

Jesus Charity Mormon

Against the Wind by Liz Lemon Swindle

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of charity. A charitable person is forgiving, understanding, service-oriented, humble, always willing to help, and always looks at people in a tolerant or favorable way.  Christ demonstrated all of these characteristics with the people He served and met. Jesus Christ demonstrated charity constantly and encouraged His followers to do the same.  However, His greatest acts of charity were His suffering in Gethsemane and the sacrifice of His life on the cross, through which we all have the opportunity to have everlasting life and live with Heavenly Father again.

Jesus’ earthly ministry was filled with examples of charity.  In the New Testament, we read about the woman who committed adultery.  Her peers wanted to stone her.  The law found adultery punishable by death.  Jesus Christ condemned the community, forgave the woman, and told her to sin no more.  Christ taught that it is God’s role to judge, not man’s.  Jesus understands that mistakes are necessary for men and women to progress.  He has empathy for all.  During his earthly ministry, Jesus would give blessings to the sick on the Sabbath.  Although it was His day to rest, he still found joy in serving and healing others.   He also considered the law of charity and love superior to letter of the law of the Sabbath.

Jesus Christ told his followers to love one another.  He taught us to be charitable and selfless.  He would befriend the outcast, dine with sinners, and devote his time to building up others.  Through His example, we can find the qualities we should desire to emulate.

Jesus taught his followers to be humble, including those in high positions of authority and leadership.  For example, the religious leaders of His day were preoccupied with the acquisition of riches and showy clothing.  Jesus Christ rebuked them in Matthew 15:6-9, saying, “‘these people draw near to Me with their mouths, and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”  He taught that we should not follow the lures of worldliness, but follow the laws of God.  He taught that there is no room for hypocrisy in the kingdom of God.  Our beliefs must be in line with our actions.  Members of the Mormon Church strive to live this principle every day.

Christ could have been arrogant or prideful, for He was all-powerful.  Instead, He found reason to be charitable.  Jesus Christ taught us to love all people, even those who are hard to love.  There were many during His lifetime who hated Him and wanted to destroy Him and his mission.  Yet He still showed charity to those who despised Him.  True charity is to love unconditionally.  He was committed to uplifting others, even those who had been forgotten or abandoned.  Mormons strive to follow His example in charity and service.  His example inspired many service organizations within the Mormon Church and has inspired people worldwide to serve each other.

Christ’s life is the ultimate example of charity.  Through His example, we can learn how to find happiness and how to enrich the lives of others.  Christ shows us that if we put others first, we can find true joy.  In truth, the definition of charity is the pure love of Christ.  Charity is actually one of the spiritual gifts, and as such, can be acquired as a gift from Christ.  It should be sought with prayer and diligence:

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).