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Bill "Papa" Lee

"But Charity is the pure love of Christ"...Moroni 7: 47-48

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The title, and scripture reference is one of God's greatest commands, other than to believe in Him. We are promised that "whoso is found possessed of it (Charity) in the last day, it shall be well with him". The scripture goes on to inform us, that it is how, (to paraphrase) "we shall know him, see him, and be like him". In fact it is a teaching in all of our standard works, and has many names, and many functions. 

I have always been good at GIVING,  "Charity", in all it's many forms, in my fourty years in the Church, I have worked helping people recover from flooding, hurricane relief, using the skills I have helping others with almost every area, and even given money. On the holidays, send anonymous food baskets, gifts. Up until my injury, I was weekly going out on team ups (splits) to help teach, to assist in any way that I can. Worked countless times at the Bishop's Storehouse, and Temple Work, etc. 

Now, I say none of this to boast, but to speak of my "problem", I am having. Now that I am unable to do what I did in the past, despite the long hours, of service to others, it was always a labor of love. Now, be it my sons, or any others, I find it almost unbearable to sit idle, watching others helping, or extend Charity to me! Currently my sons and some friends are doing two projects at our home, and when they are working, I am walking around, trying to find something I can do. My sons, my friends, and my wife, are pleading with me to "sit down and relax", so I don't get hurt. My Father was the same way, always first to help out others, but never asked for help in return. 

I wish to solicit from others their opinions on the concept of, "True Charity", as spelled out in James 1: 27, and "True Religion...before God". Some in my family and my Church family tell me, that by "not asking for help", or "not allowing others to help", means I am not truly living the command of "Charity". They tell me that it is my pride that makes me "uncomfortable, or "unwilling" to ask for help. Is this so? All I see in the scriptures, are the commandments, is to "be Charitable", and "to give Charity". Back in July, I had asked any of my children to help with the weed eating, so I just did it myself. My wife found me two acres away from my front door lying upon my back, unable to get up and get into the house. Two weeks later I was having "Heart stints", put in my heart. 

So, is it pride, or simply trying to be self sufficient, as we are taught in Church, to be so? How do we let go, and let others do the things we are now unable to do? 

So this is both a "genuine question", and a "doctrinal discussion", I seek. 

P.S. Please forgive any errors, it is very late, and I am very tired. 

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A few thoughts:

The principle of Charity, as taught in the scriptures and particularly  in the Book of Mormon, like many principles of the Gospel has multiple meanings.

The pure love of Christ can mean to have pure love for Christ as our Redeemer. The pure love of Christ can mean to love and serve others as Christ would do. That seems to be the type of  Charity to which you are referring. Another meaning of Charity is to enjoy the pure love of Christ for us-individually- as we partake of the blessings of His Atonement and more importantly feel His love for us.  Our physical or mental ability to serve others has little to do with  Christ's love for us individually. We can enjoy true Charity in our lives regardless of our ability to serve others as we desire. 

As for allowing others to help you....

I have heard the apostles (Elder Bednar?) talk about one of the defining characteristics of Christ- his ability to put aside his own suffering and  reach out to help another. It happened when after betrayed, arrested and led with a rope around his neck, he reached out in mercy to restore the ear that  Peter had cut off. It happened when on the cross, he reached out to make arrangements for the welfare of his mother.

Recently, a member of my ward was in a serious accident. This couple's first request to me was that ward members not be  informed, as they did not want visitors, well-wishers or meals brought  in.  They are good people, but have tended to live the gospel on their own terms. I of  course respected their wishes, but I was a little saddened at their request. Many ward members would have been grateful for the opportunity to serve. Here was an opportunity for  them to emulate the Savior. In spite of their difficulties, they might have reached out to others and given them a chance to serve and to love as the Savior would - to show charity.

You may be physically restricted from serving others, but perhaps you can serve them by allowing them to serve you.  You obviously know the joy of helping others - why not give others the blessing of also knowing that joy by serving  you?

 

....another way you can serve with limited mobility - write notes/letters to ward members, family,  friends. Pray about what others might need to hear. You may be a messenger of Charity to someone who is struggling.

Our greatest growth come during our toughest times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How would you have felt if all those people you so generously helped felt guilty, resentful, uncomfortable, or ungrateful for your service or rejected your loving offers? If we are unwilling to accept other’s service, then none of us can serve.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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7 hours ago, Broker said:

A few thoughts:

The principle of Charity, as taught in the scriptures and particularly  in the Book of Mormon, like many principles of the Gospel has multiple meanings.

The pure love of Christ can mean to have pure love for Christ as our Redeemer. The pure love of Christ can mean to love and serve others as Christ would do. That seems to be the type of  Charity to which you are referring. Another meaning of Charity is to enjoy the pure love of Christ for us-individually- as we partake of the blessings of His Atonement and more importantly feel His love for us.  Our physical or mental ability to serve others has little to do with  Christ's love for us individually. We can enjoy true Charity in our lives regardless of our ability to serve others as we desire. 

As for allowing others to help you....

I have heard the apostles (Elder Bednar?) talk about one of the defining characteristics of Christ- his ability to put aside his own suffering and  reach out to help another. It happened when after betrayed, arrested and led with a rope around his neck, he reached out in mercy to restore the ear that  Peter had cut off. It happened when on the cross, he reached out to make arrangements for the welfare of his mother.

Recently, a member of my ward was in a serious accident. This couple's first request to me was that ward members not be  informed, as they did not want visitors, well-wishers or meals brought  in.  They are good people, but have tended to live the gospel on their own terms. I of  course respected their wishes, but I was a little saddened at their request. Many ward members would have been grateful for the opportunity to serve. Here was an opportunity for  them to emulate the Savior. In spite of their difficulties, they might have reached out to others and given them a chance to serve and to love as the Savior would - to show charity.

You may be physically restricted from serving others, but perhaps you can serve them by allowing them to serve you.  You obviously know the joy of helping others - why not give others the blessing of also knowing that joy by serving  you?

 

....another way you can serve with limited mobility - write notes/letters to ward members, family,  friends. Pray about what others might need to hear. You may be a messenger of Charity to someone who is struggling.

Our greatest growth come during our toughest times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent! 

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I think it was Elder Lyman Wight of the Twelve who said that Charity is doing for others what they cannot do for themselves

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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

How would you have felt if all those people you so generously helped felt guilty, resentful, uncomfortable, or ungrateful for your service or rejected your loving offers? If we are unwilling to accept other’s service, then none of us can serve.

I am never "resentful",  it is just hard to sit an watch. I want to climb a ladder, hand someone a tool, even though it is easy to lose my balance. When they are gone, I try to do what I can in secret, while my wife is pleading that I stop and sit down before hurting myself. I have punched my way through life, and don't know how to let others do things for me. I am trying to slip them money, I am my Father's Son. 

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48 minutes ago, Duncan said:

I think it was Elder Lyman Wight of the Twelve who said that Charity is doing for others what they cannot do for themselves

I would add it is sometimes working alongside others in things they can do for themselves but some help makes it go much better.

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2 hours ago, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

I am never "resentful",  it is just hard to sit an watch.

So take up knitting or some other thing that you can do from a chair.   Get one of those cycling things that you can do seated (to absorb the physical exercise/activity part of the problem).   Paint those who are helping, or pictures of love that come to your mind by watching them.     Instead of sitting and watching THEM, go sit on the porch and greet everyone who comes by, or invite a boy whose father isn't around a lot to come over so you can teach him to whittle.

It sounds a lot like you are grieving the changes in your capacity to do and be, the way you've lived your life.   You might also look through the current professional literature on that subject, as we all need to get through that transition.

Maybe you're afraid that your value is in your charity, and you fear you are worthless when you cannot do the serving in the way you have always done.   I'm sure you might see that as silly in any objective way, but that doesn't mean you aren't going to need to work through those thoughts to get to a more healthy way of thinking.  (Consider the exercises in David Burns "Feeling Sad".)  If you can figure out what you are feeling, and share that with your loved ones, together you can figure out new ways to think or talk or allocate assignments that work better for you.

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Whether you are able to actually do anything or not charity is a state of the heart and mind. As long as it is still in your heart you are OK. I don't think it is really a matter of pride so much as a matter of allowing yourself to put your life in God's hands and making the best of what you can do. Helping others with counsel and advice when they need it is certainly an act of charity, as well as expressing your love and appreciation to them. 

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3 hours ago, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

I am never "resentful",  it is just hard to sit an watch. I want to climb a ladder, hand someone a tool, even though it is easy to lose my balance. When they are gone, I try to do what I can in secret, while my wife is pleading that I stop and sit down before hurting myself. I have punched my way through life, and don't know how to let others do things for me. I am trying to slip them money, I am my Father's Son. 

I can't imagine you being resentful....it was just one of the reactions I have observed that some people have when they don't want others to help them.

I think many of us can identify. One thing I have learned to do is simply say thank you when someone helps.

Listen to your wife!

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

It sounds a lot like you are grieving the changes in your capacity to do and be, the way you've lived your life.   You might also look through the current professional literature on that subject, as we all need to get through that transition.

I read all the time, I am getting better at my profession, everyday. But have no one to teach. Learning more and more of the scriptures, with little to no outlet to instruct. I am however helping with the home schooling once or twice a week for one of my granddaughters, who turn 13 today, tomorrow my oldest grandson will be 18, really feeling my age. I do have much to be thankful for, I have a home, and due to good investments, my wife and I do not have to work. Well she does not have too, I can't anymore. I still have the heart, and spirit (more mature) of my youth, now trapped in a body, I do not recognize. Took a bad fall a few weeks ago, injured two ribs, and a trip to the hospital; again! We are currently making repairs (remodeling)  to our bathroom so it can have a larger shower, railing, and other things to be in place as things get progressively worse. My wife and I will be helping our granddaughter in Sciences, Social Science, field trips, etc. So, I am also taking upcoming Middle School classes, to stay ahead of her classes, so I am prepared to teach her. My wife has started finding things to keep me out of the house, so that my son's can work with looking over their shoulders, to insure I don't take another tumble. 

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