Article of Faith 11

I missed writing my Article of Faith post last week, so I guess we get two this week. Here’s the first:

We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

This last Sunday in Elders Quorum, the teacher taught about Charity. It was one of those remarkable lessons where the teacher really doesn’t do much except guide the class through a discussion. Personally, I found several gems of truth that I think were meant just for me.

One of those is that charity is often a simple act when we are being charitable to those around us, but is more difficult within your own family. One person even went so far as to state this his brother was a very unique person in that he always sought ways to help his family in any way he could. It made me wonder if I were like that, and the answer, sadly, is that I could be like that and I am like that sometimes, but I’m not truly like that despite the wishes of my heart.

Another person commented that charity is really easy when it feels good, but what about when it doesn’t? What about when you have to work with someone who frustrates you or deal with a situation you don’t like? What about that midnight call for help when you really just want to hang up the phone and go back to sleep?

But the comment that has stuck with me more than any other was the definition that someone gave of charity. Modern society seems to put a limiting definition on charity so that it only applies to giving and taking care of those less-fortunate than ourselves, but this person defined charity as any action which Christ himself would take on behalf of others. It has the ring of truth, and in that light, charity becomes more than the assistance we render; it’s the attitudes, the thoughts, the goals, and the intent as well. It’s much, much more.

This week, I’ve made a conscious effort to think of charity in those terms, and I find that I’m not “up to snuff” as it were with Paul’s list of charitable attributes that he listed in Corinthians 13. But I’m also noticing that with the reminder to be more charitable in its total definition, that my life has been a little quieter, a little calmer. A little easier. In some small, mostly insignificant ways, I think I’m understanding a little more how Christ can say “Cast your burdens upon me.” For a truly charitable person, the burdens are no more difficult to bear than the love felt for the other.

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