Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Source of Charity, the Perfect Love of Christ

More than anything else in this world of war and sorrow, we need charity, the pure love of Christ. Mormon teaches us how we can be filled with this love, and through the downfall of the Nephite nation, we can see the consequences of losing this love. From that story, it's easy to see parallels in the world today. But there is also hope that man can change and be filled with the charity toward one another.

The key to experiencing the pure love of Christ is the Holy Ghost. In an epistle to his son Moroni, Mormon writes, "And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer..." (Moroni 8:26). Therefore, the key to feeling the love of Christ is to do that which will permit the Holy Ghost to dwell in our hearts. This can take place as Mormon explained, through repentance and a remission of sins and through a meekness and lowliness of heart or humility.

Prayer can also invite the Holy Spirit to be with us. Mormon teaches that we can pray to be filled with the pure love of Christ. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ..." (Moroni 7:48).

If the visitation of the Holy Ghost will fill us with love, then driving away the Holy Ghost will cause that love to depart as well. The story of the Nephites' downfall demonstrates this principle. Mormon describes for his son what he sees happening to the Nephites as they deny the Holy Ghost. He writes, "I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them; and in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 8:28).

Without the Holy Ghost, the Nephites are no longer filled with the love of Christ. The resulting void is filled with anger. Mormon tells his son that the Nephites "do not repent, and Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with another" (Moroni 9:3). Worse, because "the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them" (Moroni 9:4), "they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually" (Moroni 9:5).

Looking at terrorism in the world today, we can understand why the prophecy is being fulfilled that in the last days "the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:12). With so much wickedness driving the Holy Ghost out of the hearts of men, they are being filled with anger and hatred. Terrorists do not fear death and even "thirst after blood and revenge continually."

What can we do? Share the gospel which leads to a mighty change of heart. Alma the Younger teaches of people who received the gospel and experienced this change of heart, and as a result, they "humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end..." (Alma 5:13). That humility, trust in God, and faithfulness will bring the Holy Ghost into the hearts of men. Pray that doors will open around the world for the preaching of the gospel. And wherever you are, set an example of righteous living and share your testimonies that Spirit can work on those around you and lead to their hearts being filled with the pure love of Christ.

1 comment:

Eric Nielson said...

I often feel that when things are bad for individuals or communities or nations or whatever that what they really need is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything else will be temporary at best.