Charity! Spiritual-esque thoughts.

[This post originates from an old Book of Mormon project that Shanti did while at BYU and is published here with her permission.]

For Book of Mormon we have to share what we learned with someone each week. I thought I’d share some of the awesome thoughts that Brother Griffin had about Moroni 7.

First, (7:43) we talked about the importance of having both a soft heart and a firm mind.

Soft Heart and Firm Mind

A hard heart doesn’t work, because those with a hard heart won’t be able to accept the gospel due to their stubbornness and pride. A soft mind doesn’t work because then you would be mush. Actually, it doesn’t work because then you could be persuaded to believe anything. I connected that to what President Packer talked about in conference, cautioning us against being tolerant to a fault. “Tolerance is a virtue, but, like all virtues, when exaggerated it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the ‘tolerance trap’ so that we are not swallowed up in it.”

Anyway, I really liked this idea, because it encourages you to be both confident and unwavering with your beliefs and loving and kind and humble. We can be confident in the Lord. I liked the more tangible analogy of those taking place in our minds and in our hearts. For me, since those are separate places, it seemed less conflicting. Plus it reminds me of rationals and idealists a little.

So, if you look at verse 45, there are many attributes of charity. The problem with this is that people tend to think of charity as this nebulous blob out in space, floating around with other nebulous abstract ideas.

Nebulous Abstract Ideas

It’s pretty hard to try to be like (or not be like) a nebulous blob of nothing. This seems pretty obvious, but I think we tend to read verses like that thinking more about the idea of the attribute than who it describes. Maybe it’s easier if you envision a person. The easiest way to actually understand them as human traits is to substitute either “Christ” or “the devil” every time the word appears in the scriptures. If we do that here, it’s easy to think of specific stories we can learn about that exemplify each aspect of charity in the Savior’s life.

For example, the Savior…

  • suffereth long (Luke 22:44)
  • is kind (John 8:11)
  • envieth not
  • is not puffed up (D&C 19:19)
  • seeketh not His own (Moses 4:2)
  • is not easily provoked (Luke 23:34)
  • thinketh no evil (Matthew 4:10)
  • rejoiceth not in iniquity (Matthew 21:13)
  • rejoiceth in truth (John 14:6)
  • beareth all things (D&C 76:107)
  • believeth all things
  • hopeth all things
  • endureth all things (D&C 19:18)

Knowing this, we can try to emulate the Savior. To make it even easier to understand, you can look for those same qualities in our parents and others who we look up to because their example can be more concretely applied to our own lives.

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