There is a scripture in The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, that talks about God’s love in a way that has come to mean a lot to me. Mormon, the ancient American prophet from whom The Book of Mormon takes its name, is addressing a small group of committed Christians in a society that has become corrupt, worldly, and even murderous. After describing to them the importance of faith, hope, and charity, he ends with this beautiful promise:
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure (Moroni 7:46-48).
Mormon’s words were actually recorded by his son, Moroni, who had, by the time he made the record, witnessed his father’s death in battle and the complete destruction of civil society. Mormon, who had seen “all things…fail,” must have taken tremendous comfort in his father’s assurance that the love of Christ would never fail.
Charity Never Faileth
A few months ago, our family moved across town to a new home. Because members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are organized into congregations by geographic location, we moved into a new “ward,” or congregation, as well. Shortly before we left, we were given the opportunity to address the members of our ward, with whom we had worshipped, prayed, and served God for the previous 17 years. I knew I would likely never have the opportunity to address our dear friends as a group again. If you had a single opportunity to address those you loved one last time, what would you say?
I knew what I wanted to say. It is the same message that Mormon gave to his people and left for his son Moroni. It is the one message I hope most to instill in the hearts of my children. The message is this: “Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” Christ’s love will never fail you. God will never leave you.
Filled with His Love
As a mother and a friend, I learned quite a while ago (to my great dismay!) that I cannot prevent suffering in the ones I love. People I love become sick, they die, they hurt themselves, and they hurt other people. No matter how much I love them, I can’t “fix” their problems. A part of me realizes that I shouldn’t, because no one can learn without struggling for themselves, but it is painful to see them suffer.
No one can “fix” my problems, either. But Moroni 7:48 promises me that Jesus Christ, my Savior, can