No, not the charity where you donate all your old, unwanted, and broken things to the poor so you can get rid of it (and I have done that). I'm talking about charity, the love of Christ. What is it? A prophet from the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, defines it this way:
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." (Moroni 7:45)
Those are just a few aspects of charity, but it still doesn't really explain it, does it? It's true. There's a lot more to charity than just the outward expressions of it. The most basic explanation is also given by the Book of Mormon prophet Moroni: "charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever" (Moroni 7:47). In short, charity encompasses the type of love that Christ possesses, and that he showed to everyone while he was on the earth, culminated in his great atoning sacrifice for us, as well as the love he continues to extend to all of us who are imperfect, broken, conceited, sorrowful, lost, prideful, unsure, and everything in between. It is a perfect love that never ends.
Even more than that, though, it is more than just showing love for those around you, more than little acts of service and kind words. Properly interpreted, it is the love we feel for those around us which then motivates those little acts. We cannot in this life attain to the perfect love that Christ showed, but we can start. It might not be easy--in fact, I promise that it will not be easy--but it is possible and it will be worth it.
How do we develop charity? A possible solution will be given in my next post, so stay tuned!