Nurture the Body with Real Food; Nurture the Spirit with Light and Truth!
Through the pure love of Jesus Christ (the gift of charity), we find lasting peace, and comfort. His pure love endows us with power to bear and do all things that we are called to do in our redemptive pathway, according to the Lord’s will, and to believe and receive all things from the Lord. The pure love of Jesus Christ becomes an anchor to the soul and helps us to endure all trials, troubles, and tribulations that we are called upon to bear for the word’s sake, as we follow him and do the work he asks us to do.
In charity, we cease to draw attention to ourselves, and our focus shifts from self, toward lifting and blessing others. Filled with his love and peace, we are enabled to walk continually in meekness and in the lowliness of the Lord’s Spirit, without becoming easily provoked. We also cease to gossip and speak evil of others, or to criticize and point out the faults of others, and we cease to allow unkind thoughts to be a part of us.
In contrast, without receiving his pure love, we cannot obtain fruitful hope, and without such hope we cannot lay hold upon fruitful faith, and without such faith and hope it is impossible to bear and do all things, believe and receive all things, and to endure all things necessary to lay hold upon the faith necessary to become like Jesus and our Father in heaven, and to receive eternal life.
Charity is the greatest gift of all, and it endures forever through diligence unto prayer, and it is the most joyous to the soul. In charity we become firmly rooted and converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and our hearts are changed, and they become pure; and our selfish concerns and desires are replaced with Christ’s pure love and a desire to serve God and our fellowmen continually, enduring in all things, until the end of our separation from God shall come, when we shall dwell with him again.
Charity is like the sun’s rays that shine upon the earth to provide life-sustaining power that enables photosynthesis in plants. It is also like heaven’s rains that carry nutrients in the soil to roots of plants. Through the Sun’s power and heaven’s rains drooping, wilting, and dying plants receive what they need to become robust, full, and resplendent.
Likewise, the love we give to others enables those we lift and serve with power to move forward in their redemptive pathway and to share their hidden burdens with us. Thus, we come to know their needs and how to best lift them further to Christ. Moreover, knowing the burdens of another causes our hearts to overflow like rain that falls upon the earth. Thus, our hearts are brought to feel, and our eyes to see, and our minds to know how to help transform downtrodden souls into robust, full, and resplendent children of God, and to help nourish a tree of life within them with the pure love of Jesus Christ.
As we mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and impart of our substance to the poor, according to what we have—feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and administering to their temporal and spiritual relief, according to their wants and needs—and our capacity to help and bless others—we retain a remission of sins from day to day, and we lay hold upon charity’s perfecting, enabling, and sanctifying influence.
In contrast, when we do not do these things, but say to ourselves, “This person has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand…, and will not help him, for his punishments are just,” our hearts harden and further ascension in grace that could otherwise be ours, is lost to us.
It was while they were in the path of discipleship, inviting others to Jesus Christ, that the resurrected Lord appeared to his disciples on the road to Emmaus. We, too, come to know Jesus Christ, as we love and serve one another.
In this path he comforts, succors, and instructs us, as he did his disciples anciently, and our faith becomes perfected, and we become sanctified and are made pure and holy. For each act of loving grace we render to another, while following God’s Spirit, heaven’s grace is further bestowed upon us. For example, God asked the widow of Zarephath to feed the prophet Elijah. In her great want she gave to Elijah all the food that she had, and then prepared herself and her son to die.
Heaven then gave to the widow, the blessing of Elijah, which preserved her and her son during the three years of famine that followed. Throughout the famine, her cruise of oil never ran dry, and her barrel of flour was continually replenished. Thus, she, her son, and Elijah were each spared.
Likewise, as we make each sacrifice the Lord asks of us, heaven’s blessings flow unimpeded into our lives. With each sacrifice made, we ascend further in grace to become like him, until there is no remnant or spot of the natural man left in us, and all our selfish strivings cease, and our deepest yearnings are fulfilled, and our life’s missions are made known unto us.
In the service of others we come to stand securely, peacefully, joyfully, and restfully amid the trials and tempests of our earthly existence. We also come to a knowledge and love of God, which becomes an anchor to our souls. Through loving service to one another the Lord’s righteousness and truth sweeps across the earth, as with a mighty flood.
With charity his elect will be gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which is the Lord’s abode, which he has prepared, and which shall come forth out of all the creations which he has made. Then, for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.