“And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle,
which is the bond of perfectness and peace.”1

How does God see his children?

Isaiah records the Lord’s words: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.2 He told Samuel: the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.3

Are men or women, attractive or plain people - or any group more important to God?

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.4
Everyone is as full of potential and promise to Jesus Christ because of his unlimited power to save each sincerely penitent soul. He looks on the heart.

How can I feel peace?

If you feel like you are in the 'bonds' of sin, consider that Christ loves you right now despite your situation, and is calling you from sorrowful ways to follow him: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.5
Christ wants us to experience the peace only he can give. He said: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. What do we need to do to obtain His peace? He tells us in the previous verses: If ye love me, keep my commandments.6
God gives us commandments that will protect us and to enable us to feel his love for us. And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things; for whoso doeth them shall perish.
For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.7
Christ himself kept the commandments of his Father and we must also if we are to follow him and receive the peace he offers.

How can I feel more accepted by God?

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.8
Acceptance and love are widely misunderstood principles today. God, our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ love us unconditionally regardless of our sensitivity to feel that love or not. They have the power to save us if we let them. They do not accept us unconditionally but give us commandments to change our hearts and help us grow – we need to learn about them then submit to them, trusting their love enough to repent; we may also choose to come ever closer to them by being baptized by one who has authority from God, keep their commandments in faith and endure to the end by continually striving to repent.

Does God require less of men or women?

And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.9

How important is it to seek the gift of charity?

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.10 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.11
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.12

How do I know if I have charity?

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.13

How can I receive the gift of charity?

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.14
For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?15

Friends, there is a better way – I am trying (some days with more success than others) to live according to the better way of love. Let us learn to love God above things that draw us from him by learning of him and trying to follow him step by tottering step. We can love him because he first loved us.16

Sincerely, Rob

1 Doctrine & Covenants 88:125 – Note this exposition incorporates scriptures restored through and revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith and has been compiled by Rob who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2 Isaiah 55:8-9
3 1 Samuel 16:7
4 Galatians 3:26-28
5 Matthew 11:28-30
6 John 14:27, 15
7 2 Nephi 26:32-33
8 Acts 10:34-35
9 Mosiah 27:25-26
10 John 17:3
11 1 John 4:8
12 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
13 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
14 Moroni 7:48 – See the entire chapter of Moroni 7 for a beautiful discourse on praying sincerely, judging between good and evil, understanding how God speaks to his children through prophets and angels, believing in the reality of miracles, and accepting the
foundational nature of faith, hope & charity.
15 Mosiah 5:13
16 1 John 4:19

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