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Giving selflessly part of gospel from beginning

To have charity is to love Christ and to love others as He does

I recently asked a Church member why, in addition to paying tithing and fast offerings, he gives so generously to Church institutions and programs. "Doctrines and covenants," he answered, "doctrines of the gospel and covenants I have made." For him and his wife, giving is an integral part of living the gospel.

Another Latter-day Saint, after funding scholarships at a Church university, told me, "I have been a businessman all my life and this is the greatest investment I ever made because it is an investment in other people's lives."

On a different occasion, I was present when a supporter of Church education was asked to speak to recipients of funds he had donated. He told them how he had been baptized while attending a Church university and how he wanted to serve a mission but lacked the funds. He told how a ward priesthood quorum stepped in and paid for his mission.

"Everything I know and am today was learned on my mission," he said. "You have come tonight to thank me," he continued, "but I merely passed on what a quorum gave me 45 years ago; and all I ask is that you pass the gift to someone else."

I have witnessed Church members from all walks of life demonstrating charity in a variety of ways — freely giving their time, talents and treasure to bless God's children the world over. Indeed, the instances of selfless giving are infinite — as is the good that comes from each singular act of charity.

I believe that expressing charity by helping to bear one another's burdens fulfills a baptismal covenant, and I find it interesting that in demonstrating charity we jointly keep the two great commandments (see Matthew 22: 37—40). To have charity is to love Christ and to love others as He does. "Love one another; as I have loved you," the Savior commanded (John 13:34).

Giving selflessly has been a part of gospel living from the beginning. In the scriptures, both the Apostle Paul and the Book of Mormon Prophet Mormon teach that charity "seeketh not her own" (1 Corinthians 13:5; Moroni 7:45). Indeed, the love of Christ is never selfish or self-promoting.

Through my work at LDS Foundation, I have come to know many good people who demonstrate a love of Christ in quiet and anonymous ways — men and women who love the Savior and all of their neighbors; people who give of their time, talent, and treasure without seeking honor; and people whose generosity is acknowledged in marvelous ways by heaven.

  • McClain Bybee, a member of the Canyon View 9th Ward, Orem Utah Canyon View Stake, is the managing director of LDS Foundation, the department of the Office of the Presiding Bishopric whose mission is to correlate, encourage, facilitate and acknowledge voluntary donations beyond tithes and fast offerings to the Church and its institutions. Visit www.ldsfoundation.org for more information.
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