Quotes on Charity

See: Ether 12:34; Mosiah 4:21

Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself.  And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again.  It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.  Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped.  Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us.  Charity is expecting the best of each other. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1992, p. 19

The world in which we live would benefit greatly if men and women everywhere would exercise the pure love of Christ, which is kind, meek, and lowly.  It is without envy or pride.  It is selfless because it seeks nothing in return.  It does not countenance evil or ill will, nor rejoice in iniquity; it has no place for bigotry, hatred, or violence.  It refuses to condone ridicule, vulgarity, abuse, or ostracism.  It encourages diverse people to live together in Christian love regardless of religious belief, race, nationality, financial standing, education, or culture. — President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, May 1992, pp. 61-62

Even the gifts of God are of little final use, if one has not developed the quality of charity.  I hope we understand the implications of those words.  Without charity we can’t go to the upper rooms of the celestial kingdom.  It is just as essential as baptism.  So what we are to do and what we are to be are incredibly important. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, address at New Mission Presidents Seminar, Church News, July 2, 1994, p. 5

Above all the attributes of godliness and perfection, charity is the one most devoutly to be desired.  Charity is more than love, far more; it is everlasting love, perfect love, the pure love of Christ which endureth forever.  It is love so centered in righteousness that the possessor has no aim or desire except for the eternal welfare of his own soul and for the souls of those around him.  (2 Ne. 26:30; Moro. 7:47; 8:25-26.  McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 121)

Mormon defined charity as “the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47).  What does this mean?  Love that is pure and selfless thinks of others, acts with kindness, does not insist on victory, rejoices in truth, and is long-suffering and patient.  For whoever has charity at the Judgment Day, “it shall be well with him” (v. 47). Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 147

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped.  Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us.  Charity is expecting the best of each other. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” Ensign, May 1992, p. 19

Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion.  Charity is something one becomes.  Thus, as Moroni declared, “except men shall have charity they cannot inherit” the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 2000, p. 34

Charity is not an act but a way of life, a condition of the heart. — Robert Millet, BYU Education Week 2005

We have always managed to give something to the poor, and refuse no one who asks for food.  I believe this is the general sentiment and character of the Latter-day Saints.  I think all the Mormon people are kindly disposed, and are generous toward the poor and unfortunate, and that there is not a Latter-day Saint under the sound of my voice or anywhere that would not divide his portion with his fellow creature in case of need. . . .

I have seen men go away from my door with good bread and butter in their hands (good enough for any king to eat, for my folks make good bread and good butter, as good as I ever ate on earth) and when out of the gate they have thrown it into the street.  It was not food they wanted. They wanted money. For what? That they might go to some gambling [hall] or to some drinking saloon.  Of course they are responsible for that.  We can only judge by appearances and by the promptings of the good spirit within us; and it is better to give to a dozen that are unworthy than to turn away empty one worthy person. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 194

Stated simply, charity means subordinating our interests and needs to those of others, as the Savior has done for all of us. The Apostle Paul wrote that of faith, hope, and charity, “the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. 13:13), and Moroni wrote that “except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God” (Moro. 10:21).  I believe that selfless service is a distinctive part of the gospel. As President Spencer W. Kimball said, welfare service “is not a program, but the essence of the gospel.  It is the gospel in action.” — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, October 1991

            Many people imagine that charity is giving a dollar to somebody; but real, genuine charity is giving love and sympathy, and that is the kind of charity that the apostle had reference to in this 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians.
            I remember that after that teaching given to me as a young man, as a boy, almost, by the President of the Church.  I read this chapter about once a week for quite a while, then once a month for several months.  I thought I needed it in my business, so to speak; that it was one of the things that were necessary for my advancement. — President Heber J. Grant, Opening Session of General Conference, October 1920

The caring for the poor and the handicapped and those who need our help is a main purpose and an absolute requirement in fulfilling the royal law of loving our neighbors as ourselves.  You will remember the great sermon of Amulek on prayer, in which he tells the people to pray and tells them how often to pray – morning, night, and noon – and tells them where to pray and how to pray and what to pray for.  He goes into great detail and then he says that “after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need – I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.”  (See Alma 34:17–38.) — President Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1978

One may have many talents and knowledge but never acquire wisdom because he does not learn to be compassionate with his fellow man.  We will never approach godliness until we learn to love and lift.  Indifference to others and their plight denies us life’s sweetest moments of joy and service.” — Elder Marvin J. Ashton,  “The Measure Of Our Hearts,” General Conference, October 1988

If performed in the right spirit, there is no higher worship than the unpurchased service to another soul of whatever faith, belief, or social stratum.  The Savior of the world said it simply, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). — President James E. Faust, “A Second Birth,” Ensign, June 1998, p. 5

Charity, or love, is the greatest principle in existence.  If we can lend a helping hand to the oppressed, if we can aid those who are despondent and in sorrow, if we can uplift and ameliorate the condition of mankind, it is our mission to do it, it is an essential part of our religion to do it. — President Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, April, 1918, p. 4

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. — Anne Frank

In this modern world plagued with counterfeits for the Lord’s plan, we must not be misled into supposing that we can discharge our obligations to the poor and the needy by shifting the responsibility to some governmental or other public agency.  Only by voluntarily giving out of an abundant love for our neighbors can we develop that charity characterized by Mormon as “the pure love of Christ.” (Moro.7:47) This we must develop if we would obtain eternal life. — President Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, October 1972

Suppose that in this community there are ten beggars who beg from door to door for something to eat, and that nine of them are impostors who beg to escape work, and with an evil heart practice imposition upon the generous and sympathetic, and that only one of the ten who visit your doors is worthy of your bounty; which is best, to give food to the ten, to make sure of helping the truly needy one, or to repulse the ten because you do not know which is the worthy one?  You will all say, Administer charitable gifts to the ten, rather than turn away the only truly worthy and truly needy person among them.  If you do this, it will make no difference in your blessings, whether you administer to worthy or unworthy persons, inasmuch as you give alms with a single eye to assist the truly needy. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol.8, p.12, March 5, 1860

It should not discourage us if our kindness is unacknowledged; it has its influence still. — Unknown

As I read and ponder the scriptures, I see that developing faith, hope, and charity within ourselves is a step-by-step process.  Faith begets hope, and together they foster charity.  We read in Moroni, “Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.”  These three virtues may be sequential initially, but once obtained, they become interdependent. Each one is incomplete without the others.  They support and reinforce each other. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Cultivating Divine Attributes,” Ensign, Nov. 1998

Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person . . . is at stake.  Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. — Martin Luther King Jr.

To be involved with outreach is to comply with what Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, called the “doctrine of inclusion.”  “Our doctrines and beliefs are important to us,” he taught.  “We embrace them and cherish them.  I am not suggesting for a moment that we shouldn’t.  On the contrary, our peculiarity and the uniqueness of the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are indispensable elements in offering the people of the world a clear choice.  Neither am I suggesting that we should associate in any relationship that would place us or our families at spiritual risk.”  Quoting the First Presidency message from 1978, Elder Ballard reaffirmed:  “Our message . . . is one of special love and concern for the eternal welfare of all men and women, regardless of religious belief, race, or nationality, knowing that we are truly brothers and sisters of the same Eternal Father.”  “That is our doctrine,” Elder Ballard concluded, “a doctrine of inclusion.  That is what we believe.  That is what we have been taught.  Of all people on this earth, we should be the most loving, the kindest, and the most tolerant because of that doctrine.”  (In Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 44–45.) — Reaching Out: A View on Interfaith Respect:  A devotional talk given on January 12, 2012 by Robert L. Millet, Professor of Religion and Emeritus Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University

No, the Lord doesn’t really need us to take care of the poor, but we need this experience; for it is only through our learning how to take care of each other that we develop within us the Christlike love and disposition necessary to qualify us to return to his presence. — President Marion G. Romney, “Living Welfare Principles,” General Conference, October 1981

Perhaps the world little notes nor long remembers individual acts of kindness – but people do. — Herm Albright

Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known.  Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends.  It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes. . . . Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others.  Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Virtue of Kindness,” Ensign, May 2005, p. 26

The things we hope for lead us to faith, while the things we hope in lead us to charity.   The three qualities faith, hope, and charity working together, grounded on the truth and light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, lead us to abound in good works. — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Infinite Power of Hope,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, pp. 21-24

Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one.  Thus, in what I like to call the Great Asymmetry, every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, to often unnoted and invisible as the “ordinary” efforts of a vast majority. — Stephen Jay Gould

Only a few men on the earth understand the charity that fills the bosom of our Savior.  We should have charity; we should do all we can to reclaim the lost sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, and bring them back to be saved in the presence of our Father and God.  If we do this, our charity will extend to the utmost extent that it is designed for the charity of God to extend in the midst of this people. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 273

The genius of our religion is to have mercy upon all, do good to all, as far as they will let us do good to them. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:282

Respect one another; do not speak lightly of each other.  Some, if they get a little pique against an individual, are disposed to cast him down to hell, as not worthy of a place upon earth.  O fools!  Not to understand that those you condemn are the workmanship of God, as well as yourselves!  God overlooks their weaknesses; and so far as they do good, they are as acceptable as we are.  Thank God that you know better, and be full of mercy and kindness. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 274

Many people imagine that charity is giving a dollar to somebody; but real, genuine charity is giving love and sympathy, and that is the kind of charity that the apostle had reference to in this 13th chapter of First Corinthians. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, p. 153

We need to learn, practice, study, know and understand how angels live with each other.  When this community comes to the point to be perfectly honest and upright, you will never find a poor person; none will lack, all with have sufficient.  Every man, woman, and child will have all they need just as soon as they all become honest.  When the majority of the community are dishonest, it maketh the honest portion poor, for the dishonest serve and enrich themselves at their expense. Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 232

We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life.  This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason – for the pure love of Christ.  The Apostle Paul illustrated this in his famous teaching about the importance of charity.  The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, “the pure love of Christ,” is not an act but a condition or state of being.  Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion.  Charity is something one becomes.  Thus, as Moroni declared, “except men shall have charity they cannot inherit” the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 2000, pp. 32-34