This didn't sit quite right with me, perhaps because despite being a naturally cheerful person and inclined to look on the bright side, I've not been particularly cheerful over a big chunk of my life.
As I was sitting there, pondering over this concept, the baptismal covenant found in Mosiah came to my mind.
". . . as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing . . . to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death . . . what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him . . . ?As I thought of these words, I experienced an enlightenment.
Charity is not dispensing something from a heightened position. It is getting down in the trenches. That is why it is the "pure love of Christ". And that is partly why the Atonement had to happen.
By atoning the way He did, Christ demonstrated that He would get down in the dirt and grime with us. He showed that even though it was not His actions that brought about mortality, He would suffer it with us. He is not a God of dictum from on high, He is a God of the trenches.
I always knew that, I just needed to be reminded. And the question came to me, who needed me to get down in the trenches with them, "that [Christ] may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon [me]?"
Sure, the gospel is not a gospel of sad faces and flashy weeping and wailing. It is certainly important to be of cheerful countenance in the right times and right places. But it is also a gospel of mourning with a person who needs you, of being genuine and empathetic.
That is charity.