Monday, August 24, 2009

Charity and Fear

Mormon says something very interesting in one of his letters to his son Moroni. He says, “Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear” (Moroni 8:16).

Mormon is at war and has watched his people being slaughtered by the hundreds. He knows the torture, the cruelty, the horrors that wicked men can inflict on others. And yet he says he is not afraid because perfect love casts out fear. I pondered on this a long time trying to understand. Does he mean that because he loves those inflicting the cruelty with a perfect love, he isn’t afraid of what they will do? Or does he mean that loving God with a perfect love, which we call charity, casts away fear so much that no matter what they do to us, we aren’t afraid?

I think the meaning lies within the latter. Having perfect love isn’t about forcing ourselves to love our enemies. It is about loving God and receiving the gift of charity from Him so that love fills us and expels all negative feelings and thoughts. It is so contrary to the natural man that it is difficult to image. But to a man like Mormon, it comes naturally. Perfect love fills him so that he cannot feel fear.

Perfect love or charity is God’s love—a love he shares with us when we seek it with all our heart, might, mind, and soul. And because it is His, it never fails us even in the face of grave danger.


Karen said...

I agree Sherrie. And really, if we can separate the people and their actions, we can learn to love the person no matter what their action.

Have a wonderful week!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Karen, It is a gift! Thanks, and you have a great week also.