September 6, 2021


What got me through the most intense pain, confusion, and darkness of my life was the unconditional love of  someone close to me. I could heal because that person gave me the safe space to heal. He showed me the true meaning of charity. He showed me charity in action.

"Charity, or love, is the greatest principle in existence." -Joseph F. Smith

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things...for charity never is the pure love of Christ." -Moroni 7:45-47

I never knew the magnitude and the deep importance of this principle until I NEEDED it. I didn't know I needed it. But without it I could've been swallowed up in darkness. 

But he was SO patient. I could talk things through over and over and over again. He was kind when I forgot. He helped me sort out truth. He gave me hope. He often even put my pain above his own. He has been all the things that charity is. 

And unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, charity does indeed suffer long. Like years long. There is no time limit on charity.

Charity is the gateway to hope.
Hope leads to faith.
FAITH HOPE and CHARITY bring you to CHRIST. 
Christ offers peace and joy greater than anything.

As I was thinking about these things I read something from Joseph F. Smith that talked about how too many times we are "selfish and narrow" but there is 'a breadth of feeling" as we reach out in charity. I loved that image to me that charity opens up the way for something greater, deeper, wider, more encompassing, and more expansive--a breadth of feeling. Selfishness is so narrow, confining, and limiting. 

I am finding that as I do the things that are hard to me, but kind and right and loving to someone else that my life and love is expanding, not diminishing. For I know that respecting and honoring all of God's children as God's children is helping me feel more connected and stronger. I just feel deeper. 

It is so difficult for me to show charity to some people. I don't know why.  I've been thinking about that. I guess I think that charity has human boundaries. While we don't judge, we don't enable. While we forgive, we do not need to set ourselves up to be hurt over and over again. We endure, but we take care of ourselves, too. Maybe charity looks different at different times and with different people and that's okay. How important it is to be guided by the spirit and to keep ourselves and our judgements in check!

Charity changes you as the giver and as the receiver.

"We may give without loving, but we cannot love without giving."-Bernard Meltzer

(Beautiful early morning hike!)