Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Elder Dale G. Renlund on developing an attitude of charity

Elder Dale G. Renlund (born November 13, 1952) served in the First Quorum of Seventy starting in 2009, until his call to the Quorum of Twelve in October 2015.
"The pure love of Christ or charity is selfless and self-sacrificing, emanates from a pure heart and a good conscience. Charity is more than an act or action. Charity is an attitude, a state of heart and mind that accompanies one’s actions. It is to be an integral part of one’s nature. In fact, all things are to be done in charity. Charity casts out all fears and it is a prerequisite for entering the kingdom of heaven....
"The underlying, fundamental principle that we have shared is that conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement is the key to developing charity, the pure love of Christ. The development of charity then leads to the development of other Christlike attributes."
- Dale G. Renlund and Ruth L. Renlund, “One in Charity,” BYU Women’s Conference, April 29, 2016
Click here to read the full talk

As one of the three cardinal virtues ("faith, hope, and charity") of discipleship, it is good to ponder what charity is and how we can both develop and express it. This interesting address, by Elder Renlund and his wife, was shared with a BYU Women's Conference and gives a number of insights into the important principle.

We often use phrases like "act of charity" in our conversation, and it's tempting to think that the act is the charity. Elder Renlund points out that charity is the inner attitude that generates the act:

The scriptural injunction "Let all your things be done with charity" (1 Cor 16:14) should give us cause to ponder. Do we truly do all things in an attitude or spirit of charity? Do we allow that underlying "state of heart and mind" help to determine all of our actions?

Elder Renlund concludes with the reminder that "conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement is the key to developing charity." We should first seek that conversion, knowing that true charity will be a gift that follows.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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