The Gift of Love
13:1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,1 but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 13:2And if I have the gift of prophecy,2 and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.3 13:3And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned,4 but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
- tongues of men and angels. The “tongues of men” represent the expressions of intellectual knowledge; the tongues of “angels” represent the expressions of spiritual truths.
- the gift of prophecy. Metaphysically, the ability to foretell the outcome of mental causes. When intuition is developed, it enables its possessor to perceive the connection between cause, and effect and to grasp the underlying truth of conditions and knowledge beyond the average person's power to understand. The one whose intuitive powers are developed gains the power of prophecy through observation. “That which hath been (in cause) is that which shall be (in effect).”
- have not love, I am nothing. God is love, so humans are love. Without love the I AM is nothing, no matter how great one's feats of faith.
- body to be burned. Being a martyr.
13:4Love suffereth long,1 and is kind;2 love envieth not;3 love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,4 13:5doth not behave itself unseemly,5 seeketh not its own,6 is not provoked,7 taketh not account of evil;8 13:6rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth;9 13:7beareth all things,10 believeth all things,11 hopeth all things, endureth all things.12
- suffereth long. A steady, quiet confidence in the Divine law of love.
- kind. Returning good for evil. Gentleman and ladylike.
- envieth not. Generous. Unless one gives oneself with the gift, love is not involved. Nothing is gained from mere giving. To be acceptable the gift must be made in the spirit of love.
- vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Not boastful or arrogant.
- doth not behave itself unseemly. Courteous, not rude.
- seeketh not its own. Unselfish, does not insist on its own way.
- not provoked. Of good temper, not irritable or resentful.
- taketh not account of evil. Pure in heart. Love does not condone or ignore evil, but by recognizing only the good as real and true, it calls forth the good, and leaves what appears to be evil to vanish, as darkness vanishes with the coming of light.
- rejoiceth with the truth. Joyful.
- beareth all things. Unresentful.
- believeth all things. Trusting, give your cloak to he who asks for your coat.
- endureth all things. Never fails. Source: Charles Fillmore lesson August 24, 1919, Social Responsibility.
13:8Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. 13:9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 13:10but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.13:11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things. 13:12For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face:1 now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known. 13:13But now abideth faith, hope, love,2 these three; and the greatest of these is love.3
- For now we see through a mirror darkly; but then face to face. To see through a glass darkly, means to see through the obstructed vision of the mortal; but to see “face to face,” means to see with spiritual vision, which is unobstructed, perfect.
- abideth faith, hope, love. Faith and hope lead to divine love in the heart, and love in turn helps us attain perfection as the Father is perfect.
- the greatest of these is love. Love is love greater than faith or hope because its full expression includes faith and hope, as well as love.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks
Following Entry: I Corinthians 14