<p>&#34;Nothing you do makes much of a difference if you do not have charity. You can speak with tongues, have the gift of prophecy, understand all mysteries, and possess all knowledge; even if you have the faith to move mountains, without charity it won&#39;t profit you at all....<br/><br/>&#34;Without charity—or the pure love of Christ—whatever else we accomplish matters little. With it, all else becomes vibrant and alive.<br/><br/>&#34;When we inspire and teach others to fill their hearts with love, obedience flows from the inside out in voluntary acts of self-sacrifice and service&#34; (Ensign, Nov 2007, 28–31).</p><p>&#34;We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life. This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason—for the pure love of Christ. The Apostle Paul illustrated this in his famous teaching about the importance of charity (see <a href="https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-cor/13?lang&#61;eng" data-type="externalLink" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-ordinal="1">1 Cor. 13</a>). The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, &#39;the pure love of Christ&#39; (<a href="https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/7.47/?lang&#61;eng" data-type="externalLink" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-ordinal="2">Moro. 7:47</a>), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes&#34; (Ensign, Nov 2000, 32–34).</p>&#34;We must have love for God&#39;s children...<br/><br/>&#34;Joseph F. Smith said: &#39;Charity, or love, is the greatest principle in existence. If we can lend a helping hand to the oppressed, if we can aid those who are despondent and in sorrow, if we can uplift and ameliorate the condition of mankind, it is our mission to do it, it is an essential part of our religion to do it&#39; (in Conference Report, Apr. 1917, 4). When we feel love for God&#39;s children, we are given opportunities to help them in their journey back to His presence&#34; (Ensign, Nov 2006, 97–99).&#34;The pure love of Christ.... What does this phrase mean? We find part of the answer in Joshua: &#39;Take diligent heed... to love the Lord your God... and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.&#39; Charity is our love for the Lord, shown through our acts of service, patience, compassion, and understanding for one another....<br/><br/>&#34;Charity is also the Lord&#39;s love for us, shown through His acts of service, patience, compassion, and understanding.<br/><br/>&#34;The &#39;pure love of Christ&#39; refers not only to our love for the Savior but to His love for each of us....<br/><br/>&#34;Do we judge one another? Do we criticize each other for individual choices, thinking we know better?&#34; (Ensign, Nov 2003, 104).&#34;We need to be kinder with one another, more gentle and forgiving. We need to be slower to anger and more prompt to help. We need to extend the hand of friendship and resist the hand of retribution. In short, we need to love one another with the pure love of Christ, with genuine charity and compassion and, if necessary, shared suffering, for that is the way God loves us....<br/><br/>&#34;We need to walk more resolutely and more charitably the path that Jesus has shown. We need to &#39;pause to help and lift another&#39; and surely we will find &#39;strength beyond [our] own.&#39; If we would do more to learn &#39;the healer&#39;s art,&#39; there would be untold chances to use it, to touch the &#39;wounded and the weary&#39; and show to all &#39;a gentle[r] heart&#39;&#34; (Ensign, May 1992, 61).&#34;Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself....<br/><br/>&#34;Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don&#39;t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone&#39;s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn&#39;t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another&#39;s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other&#34; (Ensign, May 1992, 18).<p>&#34;The Book of Mormon provides insight into the relationship between patience and charity. Mormon... name[s] the 13 elements of charity, or the pure love of Christ. I find it most interesting that 4 of the 13 elements of this must-have virtue relate to patience (see <a href="https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/7.44-45/?lang&#61;eng" data-type="externalLink" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-ordinal="1">Moroni 7:44–45</a>).<br/><br/>&#34;First, &#39;charity suffereth long.&#39; That is what patience is all about. Charity &#39;is not easily provoked&#39; is another aspect of this quality, as is charity &#39;beareth all things.&#39; And finally, charity &#39;endureth all things&#39; is certainly an expression of patience (<a href="https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/7.45/?lang&#61;eng" data-type="externalLink" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-ordinal="2">Moroni 7:45</a>). From these defining elements it is evident that without patience gracing our soul, we would be seriously lacking with respect to a Christlike character&#34; (Ensign, Nov 2006, 15–17).</p>&#34;The Apostle Paul taught that three divine principles form a foundation upon which we can build the structure of our lives....<br/><br/>&#34;The principles of faith and hope working together must be accompanied by charity, which is the greatest of all.... It is the perfect manifestation of our faith and hope.<br/><br/>&#34;Working together, these three eternal principles will help give us the broad eternal perspective we need to face life&#39;s toughest challenges, including the prophesied ordeals of the last days. Real faith fosters hope for the future; it allows us to look beyond ourselves and our present cares. Fortified by hope, we are moved to demonstrate the pure love of Christ through daily acts of obedience and Christian service&#34; (Ensign, Nov 1992, 31).&#34;There is one gift I would like to focus on—the gift of charity. Use charity, &#39;the pure love of Christ&#39; (Moro. 7:47), and give service for the right reasons. Charity is the ability to make life more meaningful for others....<br/><br/>&#34;There are times when we need to be lifted. There are times when we need to be strengthened. Be that kind of friend and that kind of person who lifts and strengthens others. Never make someone have to choose between your ways and the Lord&#39;s ways. And always make sure that you&#39;re making it easier to live God&#39;s commandments for those who are by your side and who are your friends. Then you will understand whether you have charity&#34; (Ensign, Feb 2002, 12).&#34;Ponder with me a moment the following majestic gifts: the glories of all creation, the earth, the heavens; your feelings of love and joy; His responses of mercy, forgiveness, and innumerable answers to prayer; the gift of loved ones; and finally the greatest gift of all—the Father&#39;s gift of His atoning Son, the perfect one in charity, even the God of love....<br/><br/>&#34;Righteous feelings generated by a man seem to precede the increase of those feelings from the Spirit. Unless you are feeling love, you cannot convey true love to others. The Lord has told us to love one another as He loves us, so remember: to be loved, truly love&#34; (Ensign, May 2002, 82).