I have been considering charity, lately. I sat down and watched President Monson's address to the Relief Society entitled, "Charity Never Faileth." I have been praying lately to be kinder, gentler, and able to see past the pretenses, so that i might see 'the person'. I met someone over summer who embodied this love. This person loved each and every person for who they were, exactly as the were, doing whatever they were doing. I've heard before, "hate the sin, love the sinner". I think the first clause there is extraneous--inappropriate, even. Love the sinner. Love the person exactly as they are. Once pretenses fade away and persons are left, you will see only beauty. I enjoyed his talk. Here are some excerpts:
"I consider charity—or “the pure love of Christ”—to be the opposite of criticism and judging... I have in mind the charity that manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.
"I have in mind the charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.
"There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.
"Needed is the charity which refuses to find satisfaction in hearing or in repeating the reports of misfortunes that come to others, unless by so doing, the unfortunate one may be benefited. The American educator and politician Horace Mann once said,
“To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike.”
"In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.
"Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others."
-President T.S. Monson