The last few months, I've been working on developing charity. And I've seen changes. I've seen blessings. And not only in my life, but in the lives of others.
As I've worked to develop charity, I've found my love for the people I work with grow, little by little. Before, it was sometimes difficult for me to pay attention when other people talked for a long period of time. I also often found myself wanting to give my two cents, not considering that what the other was saying might be important to know. It was also sometimes difficult to get along with people because we had different ways of doing things and, I'm rather chagrined to admit it, I wanted things to go my way. But as I've concentrated on being "long-suffering" and "patient," and
really listening to the other person rather than just wanting to say
what I had to say, I've come to know each person better. I feel like I
have a greater understanding of their needs and how help them understand, so they get what they need and what they're looking for. And my relationships have improved a lot since I first set this goal for myself.
But that's not the only change I've noticed. As I focus more on them rather than on myself, the Spirit speaks to me more easily and I can be inspired to say what the investigator needs to hear. The other day we taught a lesson with an investigator and a member, and we were teaching a longer lesson and only had an hour to get through it. And I felt myself getting impatient because I wanted to get through the lesson and move on. But I realized before long that I was being selfish and I wasn't feeling charity for either of those people. So I made a conscious decision to listen and try to love them both.
Almost instantly I noticed a difference. The story the investigator was telling was an important one from his youth that made it easier to understand why he was the way he was, and the member was teaching well, just not in the way I would have taught it. And it didn't matter if I wasn't the one doing the majority of the teaching, because true doctrine was being taught and the Spirit was there. By the end of the lesson, the investigator had understood the doctrine well and was excited to keep learning, and the member had made a valuable contribution. And I know that lesson would not have turned out as well had I not made the effort to have charity for each person in the room.
Truly the quest for charity is worth it. I've seen not only with this particular investigator, but with all of them. My love has grown and my desire to serve and help them has increased. And even with strangers on the street, I have more desire to serve them and help them come to the knowledge of their Savior. And this is only after a few weeks. I'm going to keep working on developing this divine attribute so I can experience and then share the pure love that Jesus Christ has for each and every person on the planet. I know that with His help it is not only possible, but probable.
I invite each of you to make an effort to be more kind to those around you. Show your love and consideration for them, even in the little things, and I promise you will have a happier, more positive outlook on life, even when things are difficult.