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Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Lesson Taught by Leila J.

     In a talk by Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorom of the Twelve at the April 1992 General Conference he said: "Charity is, perhaps, in many ways, a misunderstood word. We often equate charity with visiting the sick, taking in casseroles to those in need, or sharing our excess with those less fortunate. But really it is much, much more.
     "Real charity is something you give away. It is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again."
What is CHARITY?

Charity is the greatest of all virtues.
Charity is giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.
To be charitable is to be forgiving.
Being charitable is accepting other peoples weaknesses, their differences and their shortcomings.
Being charitable is hoping that another person 
is successful.
We can not only hope for their success,
but we can cheer them on.


     President Monson, in his talk Charity Never Faileth, shares the following thoughts:
Charity is the opposite of criticism and judging.
Charity manifests itself when we are tolerant of others, and lenient towards their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.
Charity impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness, affliction and distress, but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.
Charity gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, and to those who are afflicted.
True charity is LOVE in ACTION.
Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings, 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.  Charity has been defined as "the highest,  noblest, strongest kind of love," the PURE LOVE OF CHRIST....; and whosoever is found possessed of it in the last day, it shall be well with them.

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt, or remain quiet." -Marvin J. Ashton

My sister in law shared the following experience:
"If we want to be charitable, we need to stop judging and categorizing other people. Years ago I drove one of my kids to the Junior High each day. Every morning, even on blustery days, we passed a young child pulling a couple of younger siblings in a wagon. I just knew that he was taking them to a babysitter on the way to school, and I judged the mother of those children. Why did she send them off to school in the cold every morning while she went off to work? She should be at home when her children needed her. My judgement was very harsh! A few weeks later I found out that the mother, who was sending her children off to the babysitter each morning, was someone I knew. I had taught her in Young Women when she was 15 years old. She had married and had children, and then she had made the decision to leave her husband when he was not providing for his family. That experience taught me a great lesson about not judging  other people."

President Monson shared this anecdote: A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and saw her next door neighbor hanging out her wash. 
"That laundry's not clean!", Lisa exclaimed. "Our neighbor doesn't know how to get clothes clean!"
John looked on, but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her clothes to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.
A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out the window and see a nice, clean wash, hanging in her neighbors yard. She said to her husband, "Look John--shes finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it?"
John replied, "Well dear, I have the answer for you. You'll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!"

Matthew 7:1-3
1-Judge not that ye be not judged.
2-For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3-And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considereth not the beam that is in thy own eye?
Or, to paraphrase, why beholdest thou what thou think is dirty laundry at thy neighbors house, but considereth not the soiled window in your own house?
President Monson also shared this quote:
"Mother Teressa, a catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them.' I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer--with Mother Teressa: No, we cannot."

In a ward I was visiting recently for a Primary Sacrament meeting program, I found myself judging the chorister during the opening song because of her demanding leading style. My thoughts were that she was a hard core music expert who wanted the congregation and the organist to perform to her standards. I was surprised to learn later in the meeting that she was also the Primary Chorister. What I also learned is that she was delightful, cheerful, and had the children singing with all their hearts. Because I had been preparing for this lesson at the time, I realized that I was judging a sweet charming sister, who was dutifully fulfilling her calling.

President Uchtdorf said: "The Love of Christ is not a pretend love. It is not a greeting-card love. It is not the kind of love that is praised in popular music or movies.  This love brings about real change of character. It can work miracles."
President Uchtdorf suggests that we "take a moment and look at other people around you... Everyone you see around, or at any other time, was valiant in the pre-mortal world. That un-assuming, and ordinary looking person...may have been one of the great figures you loved and admired in the sphere of spirits. You may have been such a role model yourself!
     Every person you see--no matter race, religion, political beliefs, body type or appearance...has the same Heavenly Father as you, and she left his loving presence just as you did, eager to come to this Earth and live so that she could one day return to him.
     "However, she might feel alone...She may even occasionally forget the purpose of her journey. Please remind her through your words and your actions that she is not alone... Consider this, though they do not remember, they to at one time, yearned to return to their Father in Heaven.
     I like this quote from C. S. Lewis: "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. It is immortals who we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit."

Elder Ashton once asked at a fireside: "How can you tell if someone is converted to Jesus Christ?" All the comments were worthwhile, but he taught that the best indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is by the way we treat other people."

President Monson said this: "In a hundred small ways, each one of wears the mantel of Charity.  Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing their best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out."

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