Charity is a gift of the Spirit. Charity helps us to see others as God sees them. I have had moments in my life where the Lord has helped me to see others the way he does. Sometimes illustrating what something looks like helps us to see and understand concepts better than reading about them. The following story shared by President Gordon B. Hinckley was made into a Mormon Message and illustrates the idea that the Lord can help us to see others through heaven’s eyes:
We were miserable performers as children. We could do all kinds of things together while playing, but for one of us to try to sing a solo before the others was like asking ice cream to stay hard on the kitchen stove. In the beginning, we would laugh and make cute remarks about one another’s performance. But our parents persisted. We sang together. We prayed together. We listened quietly while Mother read Bible and Book of Mormon stories. Father told us stories out of his memory. I still remember one of those stories. I found it recently while going through a book he had published some years ago. Listen to it:
“An older boy and his young companion were walking along a road which led through a field. They saw an old coat and a badly worn pair of men’s shoes by the roadside, and in the distance they saw the owner working in the field.
“The younger boy suggested that they hide the shoes, conceal themselves, and watch the perplexity on the owner’s face when he returned.
“The older boy … thought that would not be so good. He said the owner must be a very poor man. So, after talking the matter over, at his suggestion, they concluded to try another experiment. Instead of hiding the shoes, they would put a silver dollar in each one and … see what the owner did when he discovered the money. So they did that.
“Pretty soon the man returned from the field, put on his coat, slipped one foot into a shoe, felt something hard, took it out and found a silver dollar. Wonder and surprise [shone] upon his face. He looked at the dollar again and again, turned around and could see nobody, then proceeded to put on the other shoe; when to his great surprise he found another dollar. His feelings overcame him. … He knelt down and offered aloud a prayer of thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife being sick and helpless and his children without bread. … He fervently thanked the Lord for this bounty from unknown hands and evoked the blessing of heaven upon those who gave him this needed help.
“The boys remained [hidden] until he had gone.” They had been touched by his prayer and felt something warm within their hearts. As they left to walk down the road, one said to the other, “Don’t you have a good feeling?” 1
1. President Gordon B. Hinckley, April 1993 General Conference. See also Lessons I Learned as a Boy, New Era, October 1998. Adapted from Bryant S. Hinckley, Not by Bread Alone, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1955, p. 95.