In one of my recent studies I was putting emphasis on the Christ-like attribute of Charity. Often times I wonder to myself, "I wish I could love people like the Savior does, how do I get this attribute?!" In Moroni 7:48 it tells us that we should, "Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ." We are directed to pray and ask for this attribute. It is a gift to be bestowed and not an object to be forcefully obtained. I have come to an understanding that it is on the Lord's time that we are blessed with greater measures of charity. However, it is God's will that we become like Him. If we diligently seek, we will find. The end of this verse gives us a little clue as to what we need to do to be given the gift of charity. It says that this gift is bestowed upon true followers of Jesus Christ. But what does it mean to be a true follower of Jesus Christ?
Along with charity, I have been studying the topic of consecration lately. To consecrate something is to set it apart for a specific purpose. Our Heavenly Father has asked us to consecrate ourselves to His will. He wants us to completely give our will over to Him so that He can lead us to Eternal Life. When we give our will to Him we become a true follower of Jesus Christ. As I was studying this topic I went to the famous parable of "The Rich Young Ruler." In this parable there is a young man who approaches Jesus Christ with the question, "what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" Jesus tells him that he must keep all of the commandments to which the young man replies, "Master, all these have I observed from my youth." With complete awareness, Jesus tells the young man that he still lacks one thing. Jesus tells him to sell everything that he has, give the money to the poor and then to follow Him. The young men then, "was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions." The young man was not willing to give everything to the Lord. Although he appeared to be giving most of his will to God, it wasn't enough. If we aren't willing to give everything then there is still, "One thing [we] lackest." While this story is generally used to emphasize the importance of consecration, something else stood out to me. Never before had I noticed the foot note on the word "give" in Mark 10:21. The footnote says TG Charity. When I found that I had a really strong impression hit me that the thing the young man was missing was charity. He did not love God and those around him more than he loved himself. Because he failed to keep the two great commandments, he could not inherit eternal life.
Charity, the greatest attribute... How does one obtain it? From the parable of "The Rich Young Ruler," I discovered something that I have never understood before. We gain charity as we consecrate our lives to the will of God. If one wants to obtain charity, all they have to do is repent. Change your life so that it is in accordance with the will of God and the Father will bless you with this great love. It is a gift that our Heavenly Father wants to give you because you need it to return to Him. Please change your life and pray to the father for this love because as Moroni tells us, "if ye have not charity, ye are nothing."