Charity and Sacrifice Talk

This is a talk I gave a few years ago, just recorded it now. How charity is the highest spiritual attribute, and how sacrifice is a central principle for developing charity.

Also, how both perfectionists and slackers miss out on the full blessings of the atonement.


Charity and Sacrifice Talk


Cwic Media Podcast

Raw Transcript


Charity and Sacrifice Talk


one thing I have learned in life is that

love or charity is much more a verb than

a noun

much more what we do than what we feel I

would argue that our feelings of love

come from our actions and the actions of

those who love us the Lord uses love as

a verb he told his disciples if ye love

me keep my Commandments and to Peter he

said Simon son of Jonas lovest thou me

he saith unto Him yay Lord thou knowest

that I love thee he saith unto Him feed

my sheep the scriptures are very clear

about the importance of love or charity

Moroni said wherefore my beloved

brethren if you 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 Moroni 7:46

Peter professed and above all things

have fervent charity among yourselves

for charity shall cover the multitude of

sins that’s good to know

1st Peter 4:8 Nephi wrote behold the

LORD hath forbidden this thing wherefore

the Lord God hath given a commandment

that all men should have charity which

charity is love and except they should

have charity they were nothing that’s in

2nd Nephi 26 30 and Paul in his first

epistle to the Corinthians is stated and

now abideth faith hope and charity these

three but the greatest of these is

charity so the greatest thing that we

can attribute we can develop is the

attribute of love or charity now in

mortality Jesus gave us many examples of

how to live with love and charity one

great example is that he loved those who

were not loved

he sat an8 with the sinners when those

preaching righteousness would have

nothing to do with them

it was president Kimball who gave a

definition of charity as love the sinner

hate the sin and of course we are all

sinners Jesus also stopped at Jacob’s

Well and asked a Samaritan woman for

water despite the objections of his own

disciples John 4:9 says then saith the

woman of Samaria unto Him how is that

how is it that thou being a Jew ask us

drink of me which am a woman of Samaria

for the Jews have no dealings with the

Samaritans and then we have several

parables and teachings from Christ about

the Samaritans who were hated among the

Jews as sinners and as lesser than them

is not the chosen people you had the

parable of the Good Samaritan of course

where it was the Samaritan above all

else whether it was priesthood holders

or other Jews that actually held out the

man that was on the side of the world

helped out the man that was on the side

of the road and of course when we think

about the commandment to love your

neighbor from Christ we think about

where he comes from Jesus lived in

Galilee Galilee is north of Jerusalem

and is surrounded by Samaria and by

Samaritans and so love your neighbor

takes has a little bit more of a meaning

when you understand that his neighbors

were the Samaritans other examples of

love and charity and his teachings

include the parable of the prodigal son

who came back made all the mistakes but

who was loved by the father when he came

back or the lost sheep you know being

the one that needed to be found by the


Christ was accepting and loving to all

his ire was directed at those who judged

and excluded through a false filter of

righteous superiority Jesus saw all men

and women for who they really are sons

and daughters of God and his brothers

and sisters

John chapter 5 is the allegory of Jesus

as the vine and his disciples are the

branches and basically showing how Jesus

as the vine is the source of strength

and the branches then are drawing from

the vine for that strength Jesus then

goes in and ties the allegory of the

vine directly to the principle of love

and charity in John 15 9 he says as the

father hath loved me so have I loved you

continue ye and my love and then in

verse 12 he says this is my commandment

that you love one another as I have

loved you Lehigh does the same thing in

his famous vision he partakes of the

fruit something similar to the vine is

The Tree of Life in in Lehigh’s vision

he protects to the fruit which is the

love of God the greatest gift and then

desires others to partake of it he

accepts the love of God and then loves

others similar to how the disciples

might be the branches to the vine they

accept the love of Christ and then are

to go out and to love others but the

greatest example Jesus gave of love

crowned by his atoning sacrifice was his

willingness to live a life of sacrifice

and therefore a life filled with love

and charity he sacrificed his own

desires because he loved the father he

sacrificed his own needs because he

loved us elder Tanner equated sacrifice

with love when he said I quote if we are

to have this love of which the Savior

spoke in which he emphasizes as being

the most important thing in life it must

begin in the home and there and then

carry into our daily lives sacrifice for

one another make one another happy

sacrifice is a constant theme in the

life and teachings of the mortal Messiah

overcoming the trials and tribulations

of this world by living a higher law of

love and charity

Jesus was in fact restoring a higher law

a higher law as part of his mission

living that higher law is what we call

sacrifice and his synonymous with love

when Adam and Eve were driven from the

Garden of Eden they were given a set of

laws as well as taught the gospel of

Jesus Christ they were to begin to till

the ground to labor for their food in

them and the Book of Moses states that

they had been commanded to build an

altar and offer sacrifices unto the Lord

in short they were commanded and taught

to sacrifice living the lower laws of a

new fallen world by living the higher

laws it was to be that living a life of

sacrifice would be the only way to point

them and to guide them back to the

presence of God this would require a

love of God family and neighbor the

ritual act of sacrifice pointed them to

the anticipated great sacrifice of

Jehovah it required them to participate

and it taught that it was through the

law of sacrifice that the atonement

could take effect in their lives to

better describe the concept of sacrifice

we can look at the word as it came to us

from the Greek New Testament – via Latin

that is Sasha

Vasari or sacrifice or e to make holy

above the entrance of every temple are

the words holiness unto the Lord as

members of the Covenant would bring

their sacrifices to the temple they were

committing themselves to holiness that

is to live a life consecrated or a life

set apart from this world they were as

the Savior did through his atoning

sacrifice making themselves and others

holy sacrifice was an act of love for

God and Allah of love for others one of

our hymns gives us an example of how we

can participate with the Lord in loving

others one of my favorite men of all

time President David all McKay taught us

all something about living a life of

love for others when he suggested a

modest one word change in the anthem

Battle Hymn of the Republic the original

words were as he died to make men holy

let us die to make men free the inspired

changed taught a significant lesson as

you know the phrase now reads as he died

to make men holy let us live to make men

free in other words let us do as the

Savior did follow his example and live a

life of love and charity to make men

free through the gospel of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ our brother has given each

of us the opportunity to live lives of

love and charity to grow and progress to

lift others to be happy and how was this

done it was possible only through the

love of our older brother

these poignant words by Jesus are

perhaps the greatest example on the

topic of love in Scripture an example of

how to live and bring down the blessings

of heaven are uttered by Jesus in the

Garden of Gethsemane I quote o my father

if it be possible let this cup pass from

me nevertheless not as I will but as

thou wilt even the Savior had to go

through the process of sacrifice with

all of its determination courage and

Trust in his father and in the eternal

principle of love and charity these are

words directed at each of us we too

might think act and live not as I will

but as thou wilt each week we are in a

sense partaking of his sacrifice and in

a smaller way committing to do the same

by taking upon us his name and

remembering his example always I think

that a Malachi speaks of what we offer

when we partake of a sacrament in Omni


he states I would that she should come

unto Christ who is the Holy One of

Israel and partake of his salvation and

the power of his return

yay come unto him and offer your whole

souls as an offering unto Him sacrifices

in the Old Testament including those

offered by Adam and other sacrifices

that were instituted with the law of

Moses were done away with when the

Savior offered himself a sacrifice for

sin for the consequences of the laws of

this world those sacrifices looked

forward to his sacrifice but always

required the participation of the

individuals or families but a certain

sacrifice has always been required by

God of man this is the time of Adam 2

today and that is the sacrifice of

ourselves by offering a broken heart and

a contrite spirit upon the altar of God

again that love or charity along with

humility to God as it states in Psalms

51 17 the sacrifices of God are a broken

spirit a broken and contrite heart now

if we go back further to the Hebrew of

the Old Testament we get the word Corbin

which is translated sacrifice it

provides an additional understanding of

the word sacrifice and how it ties to

love and charity Corbin literally means

an act of moving closer to God in the

great sacrifice that is often referred

to as the atonement God was moving

closer to us in fact condescending below

all of a fallen mankind it was the

greatest act of love that ever was and

ever will be in return he asks us to

love him and move toward him by

acquiring charity this is what is meant

by atonement being at one with God or

covenant to come together love is of

course not a one-way street so to speak

it is not only the part of the atonement

of the Savior to have charity but it is

also our part our choice our act

to follow the example of love for God

and others set by the Savior and to move

toward him David puts it plainly in

Psalm 73 28 but as for me nearness to

God is good this is the economy of God

sacrificed by us brings us closer to God

a broken heart and a contrite spirit and

the highest of all godly attributes

charity is the path back to our Heavenly

Father and away from this fallen state

it is the key that opens the door to

individual family and more broadly to

human progress and to elevating

ourselves above the fray of this

mortality with its baggage of lower laws

and lower consequences the Savior again

in asking us to follow his example of

love and ever adhering to his role as a

teacher gives us this personal teaching

in John 6:38 about sacrifice and how to

live when he stated I quote for I am

came down from heaven not to do mine own

will but the will of him that sent me

that of course is why all came down from

heaven all of us to do the will of the


I would like to make what I believe is

an important point I talk on just about

any subject can produce a list of things

to do and not to do I have consciously

stayed away from that but charity and

the gospel are only secondarily about

two do’s and primarily about our hearts

that is true charity and love toward

others produces good works this was the

Lord’s primary message to the ruling

parties of his time focusing on a list

produces important acts but it is the

focus on our hearts and on love and

charity and on the hearts of others that

changes men and women a list alone can

show us what we are accomplishing but it

also gives us a constant reminder of

what we are not doing always falling

short of perfection

we might put ourselves in two categories

those who demand too much of themselves

and those who do not demand enough of

themselves they have a common issue both

types of people show a low tolerance for

pain one tries to ignore it while the

other tries to run ahead of it but both

reflect the prominence of self and

perhaps a lack of understanding the

atonement the issue at hand for both is

the readiness to offer the Lord a broken

heart and a contrite spirit and follow

the example of the Savior in loving God

our neighbors and all men and women

neither the perfectionist nor the

slacker knows that the course they

pursue is pleasing God and both lack in

an attitude of love and charity and

therefore are limiting their ability to

bring down the power and blessings of

heaven perfectionists can believe that

there is only perfect and not perfect

blemished and unblemished Nephi almost

certainly a perfectionist gives us a

glimpse of himself when he declares

notwithstanding the great goodness of

the Lord in showing me his great and

marvelous works my heart exclaiming Oh

wretched man that I am I am encompassed

about because of the temptations and the

sins which do so easily beset me


and this is key I know in whom I have

trusted and then he ties together this

trust and the blessings of a life filled

with love toward others by saying may

the gates of Hell be shut continually

before me because that my heart is

broken and my spirit is contrite though

he knows he falls short ultimately he

trusts in the Lord he partakes of the

fruit of the tree from Lehigh’s vision

and understands that it is the love of

God and in turn his love for others that

waxes strong his confidence it was King

David in the twenty-third Psalm that so

eloquently described

his trusting in the Lord that brings him

not to say that his cup is half full but

that it runneth over

the message and example of our brother

is clear live a life full of love by

living a higher law through love toward

God and our fellow man this is how we

get closer to God and by helping others

do the same

through the enabling empower principle

of love when asked which is the great

commandment to the law Jesus replied

thou shalt love the Lord thy God with

all thy heart and with all thy soul and

with all thy mind this is the first and

Great Commandment and the second is like

unto it thou shalt love thy neighbor as

thyself on these two Commandments hang

all the law and the prophets it has been

my experience that I as I have been put

into situations where I have had to

extend myself to sacrifice my self and

to bear the burdens of others and to put

my arm around them and to help them when

that opportunity arises I firmly believe

that that charity is required of all of

us and it is what enriches our lives and

these mortal laws this mortality that we

live in gives us the opportunity to

exert that and to develop that charity

and I say these things in the name of

Jesus Christ

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