“Conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement is the key to developing charity, the pure love of Christ,” said Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the 40th annual BYU Women’s Conference in Utah Friday, April 29, 2016.
“The development of charity then leads to the development of other Christlike attributes,” explained Elder Renlund, who spoke with his wife, Ruth, in the Marriott Center during the closing address.
More than 10,000 women of all ages from around the world gathered for the two-day conference to listen to inspiration from Church leaders, attend classes offered by more than 200 presenters and participate in service projects on the Provo campus, which is owned by the Church. Other keynote speakers included Sister Kristen Oaks, wife of Elder Dallin H. Oaks of theQuorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Sister Linda K. Burton, general president of the Relief Society.
This year’s theme was “One in Charity,” taken from a verse in the 19th-century hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” The conference is cosponsored by the Church’s Relief Society, one of the largest women’s organizations in the world, and Brigham Young University.
“As a phrase, ‘one in charity’ can be used as an exhortation — encouragement to join with other individuals to be unified in being charitable, such as the newly introduced ‘I Was a Stranger’ effort,” taught Sister Renlund. “When we think about this phrase as an exhortation, we, as individuals, are strongly encouraged to voluntarily join together to help those in need.”
The “I Was a Stranger” effort was launched by the Church a month ago to assist refugees around the world.
“Charitable giving is something we do because of our humanity. It is something we do because we care about our fellow human beings,” said Elder Renlund.
Elder Renlund continued: “Charity is more than an act or action. Charity is an attitude, a state of heart and mind that accompanies one’s actions. It is to be an integral part of one’s nature. In fact, all things are to be done in charity.”
“Conversion to Jesus Christ is the real key to developing charity. Charity stems from true conversion to Jesus Christ and His Atonement,” emphasized Sister Renlund.
Elder Renlund concluded the presentation with a promise to audience members if they made a better effort to observe the Sabbath. “You will see and feel the fruits of charity developing in yourself, in your very character and being,” he said.