Music and the Spoken Word

The Greatest Form of Charity - Sunday, April 14, 2019

Not long ago, a three-year-old girl was watching a movie with her family. With a puzzled look on her face, she pointed at the screen and said, “Mom, that chicken is weird!”

Her mother smiled. “Honey, that is a peacock.” 1

Sometimes we think we know what we’re looking at, but our understanding is limited—whether it’s about chickens, peacocks, or people. We don’t know the full story on anyone’s life, and we know almost nothing about many of the people with whom we interact daily.

We all know how frustrating it is to be judged unfairly or wrongly perceived. The truth is that no one is qualified to pass final judgments on anyone else—our own shortcomings and lack of perfect understanding disqualify us from that. Besides, not one of us is ready for “final” judgment yet anyway. We are all works in progress, not finished products.

If we focus on the differences and perceived flaws in those around us, that’s what we’ll get: differences and flaws. But if we try to look at what we have in common, what we share, then we have a greater likelihood of connection and understanding. And there is much we have in common: we all share this earth as our home, we all seek happiness and peace, and we all thrive on love and connection. Compared to that, our differences are rather minor.

It’s been said that “the greatest form of charity may be to withhold judgment.” 2 Everyone needs love instead of judgment, compassion instead of harshness, understanding and acceptance instead of condemnation. And although our perceptions and our judgments are less than perfect, there is One whose perception and judgment is perfect—God sees His children with love and compassion. He sees our glorious potential. Imagine what could happen if we sincerely tried to see others that way.

It may seem obvious, but peacocks are not chickens, and each person is wonderfully unique. As we withhold judgment long enough to see each other as we truly are, we will open doors of friendship and understanding, happiness and peace.

1 See Jean B. Bingham, “I Will Bring the Light of the Gospel into My Home,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 6.
2 Sandra Rogers, in Jean B. Bingham, “I Will Bring the Light of the Gospel,” 6.
April 14, 2019
Broadcast Number 4,674

The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy

Richard Elliott

Lloyd Newell

Redeemer of Israel
Freeman Lewis; arr. Mack Wilberg

I Know That My Savior Loves Me
Tami Jeppson Creamer and Derena Bell; arr. Ryan Murphy

Praise and Thanksgiving
Dale Wood

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, from Oklahoma!
Richard Rodgers; arr. Arthur Harris

Tree of Life
Mack Wilberg

The Morning Breaks
George Careless; arr. Mack Wilberg