Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Developing charity by faking charity rather than doing good works

There is a strong inclination among us to believe charity is primarily an attitude. Because of this we also believe it is something we can simply adopt. We believe we can simply choose to have real charity. But that is not true.

If it was true, the scriptures wouldn't say 

Moroni 7:48 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...

This scripture is profound because it makes clear that charity is something that is bestowed. That means it is not something we can simply acquire by force of will or by force of habit.

But of course, we can fake it.

But if we think we can fake our way into real charity, we are fooling ourselves. 

The problem with that is that real charity is inspired by the Holy Ghost. One who is moved by real charity will be moved by the things that move the the Father and the Son. This will not look anything like our cultures notion of what being Christlike is. Instead it will be much more like the way Christ really acted. It will be moved at the plight of those in need, but it will also be inspired against the oppressive Pharisees.

It will be confident. As Christ was always confident. It will be primarily interested in doing the will of the Father. It will be submissive and like a little child.

Instead of faking an attitude, we should be about good works. 

If we will persist in good works the Lord can bestow charity upon us. If we will do good works, then he can answer our prayers offered with all the energy of our hearts to be given the gift of charity.

As he does bestow it upon us, I think we will find it looks very different than the fake versions of charity. Instead, it will look much more like the pure love of Christ. We will act more like the Savior would. Acting more like the Savior is quite a bit different than our cultures notion of being Christlike. After all, Christ's pure love was first and foremost a love for his Father.

If we will simply strive to do good works instead of faking charity as an attitude, we will also be real people. We will not come across as artificial. Our actions will bear the stamp of reality, rather than the stamp of artifice.

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