Thursday, January 20, 2011

Experiment in Charity

My thoughts have lately been on the topic of charity (the pure love of Christ) and how one obtains it.    I found the following passages of scripture enlightening:

-          John 15:9-11 – Keep Christ’s commandments to abide in the Christ’s Love

-          Moroni 8: 25-26 – Repentance brings Holy Ghost, which fills with perfect love

-          Alma 38: 12 – Bridle passions to be filled with love

-          Eph 3:14-19 – The prayers of others can help one know the love of Christ

-          2 Nephi 4:21-24 – Mighty prayer brings the love of God

-          Mosiah 4:11-12 – Great humility and sincere prayer will fill you with the love of God

-          Mosiah 2:4 – Keep the commandments to be filled with love

-          Moroni 7:48 – Pray with all energy of heart to be filled with God’s love

I’m seeing a pattern here of repentance, obedience, humility, and earnest prayer explicitly asking for charity.    It’s the latter two items that I’ve been thinking about lately.  

Yesterday I was talking with a friend and I had an epiphany.  It occurred to me that literally “asking for charity” in a blanket fashion, as I assumed from Moroni 7:48, is not  much different than praying for “all the sick people to get better” or for “all those who didn’t come this week to come next week.”    Those are hollow expressions that don’t require much faith and don’t really work.    This general asking for charity is pretty much what I have been doing in my prayers and it’s become a rote thing and not very effective.   My friend reminded me of a talk by David A Bednar in which he said:  “meaningful morning prayer is an important element in the spiritual creation of each day” and recommended planning out the day with God in our morning prayers.

So today I decided to adjust my prayers somewhat and think of three instances in the day when I could anticipate needing the gift of charity, and ask for charity for that specific instance.     One difference I noticed immediately is that there was much more revelation.  I had specific ideas come to me for each instance that I will try to do as the day progresses.    I will give a report later.

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