What is the Lord's Way to Care for the Poor and Needy?
The great commandments (tell) Mark 12 several people tempt the Lord by asking him questions, hoping to find something in his words with which they can accuse him. A scribe watches this questioning, and satisfied with Jesus' answers, approaches Jesus in an attitude to learn, "Which is the greatest commandment?"
mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Brother Uchtdorf quoting J Reuben Clark: As always, we can look to our perfect example, Jesus Christ, for a pattern. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. taught, “When the Savior came upon the earth he had two great missions; one was to work out the Messiahship, the atonement for the fall, and the fulfilment of the law; the other was the work which he did among his brethren and sisters in the flesh by way of relieving their sufferings.”8
President Uchtdorf points out that a coin had two sides. Such is our worship. We must tend to the spiritual as well as the temporal. You cannot have one without the other.
President Uchtdorf said, "Unfortunately, there are those who overlook the temporal because they consider it less important. They treasure the spiritual while minimizing the temporal. While it is important to have our thoughts inclined toward heaven, we miss the essence of our religion if our hands are not also inclined toward our fellowman."
Brigham Young: In 1856 when Brigham Young was presented with the news that the handcart companies were late, he immediately knew they would be in trouble. General Conference was the next day, and he introduced the theme, saying in essence, I will now give you the subject for those who speak today. Our brethren are on the plains, far from the safety of this place. They must be brought here. We will send them aid. then quoting President Young:
“I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains. And attend strictly to those things which we call temporal, or temporal duties. Otherwise, your faith will be in vain. The preaching you have heard will be in vain to you, and you will sink toHell, unless you attend to the things we tell you.”
Almost two months later when those in the last handcart company finally arrived, it was again Sunday and President Young was speaking in church:
“When those persons arrive I do not want to see them put into houses by themselves; I want to have them distributed in the city among the families that have good and comfortable houses; and I wish all the sisters now before me, and all who know how and can, to nurse and wait upon the new comers and prudently administer medicine and food to them. To speak upon these things is a part of my religion, for it pertains to taking care of the Saints. …
“The afternoon meeting will be omitted, for I wish the sisters to go home and prepare to give those who have just arrived a mouthful of something to eat, and to wash them and nurse them up. You know that I would give more for a dish of pudding and milk, or a baked potato and salt, were I in the situation of those persons who have just come in, than I would for all your prayers, though you were to stay here all the afternoon and pray. Prayer is good, but when baked potatoes and pudding and milk are needed, prayer will not supply their place on this occasion; give every duty its proper time and place.
What is the Lord's Way to Care for the Poor and Needy?
Legos and Skylar: If we put Legos together haphazardly, we get something, but not what the Legos were intended to be.
"The Lord’s way of caring for the needy is different from the world’s way. He is not only interested in our immediate needs; He is also concerned about our eternal progression. For this reason, the Lord’s way has always included self-reliance and service to our neighbor in addition to caring for the poor” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Providing in the Lord’s Way,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 54).
Personal stories: growing up, some idea of the Lord’s way. pull home, pull out of mud, push Butch Halstead, come upon woman with broken hip. Mom’s broken neck. welfare system, missionary suits: mom county clerk
President Uchtdorf: This very hour there are many members of the Church who are suffering. They are hungry, stretched financially, and struggling with all manner of physical, emotional, and spiritual distress. They pray with all the energy of their souls for succor, for relief.
We are all enlisted. “All” means all. ...there is something everyone can contribute.11
Alfred P. Doolittle, a character from My Fair Lady sand, The Lord above made man to help his neighbor, but with a little bit of luck when he comes around you won't be home. Many of us put blinders on, and do our best to avoid helping others. However we should keep ourselves open to the idea of helping others.
When Alma Amulek and the Zoromites the found a group who were poorer, who had been turned out from the church becasue of the coarse apparel. To these people Amulek said:
“After [you] have [prayed], if[you] turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if [you] have [it], to those who stand in need—I say untoyou, … your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and [you] are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.”15 ALma 34:28
President Eyring in a discourse entitled: Opportunities to do good, gives a list of things we can be doing:
First, all people are happier and feel more self-respect when they can provide for themselves and their family and then reach out to take care of others.
A second gospel principle that has been a guide to me in welfare work is the power and blessing of unity.
the third principle of action in welfare work for me: Draw your family into the work with you so that they can learn to care for each other as they care for others.
The fourth valuable principle of Church welfare I learned as a bishop.... I found that the Lord sends the Holy Ghost to make it possible to “seek, and ye shall find.” I also learned to involve the Relief Society president in the search. She may get the revelation before you do.
President Uchtdorf: The place to begin is to familiarize ourselves with what the Lord has already revealed.
Jeffrey R. Holland, in conference address entitled: Are we not all beggars, told the story of Mary and Judas Iscariot. Mary anointed Jesus with oil, and Judas felt it was a waste. Jesus responded to leave her alone. "She hath done what she could"
2.For one thing, we can, as King Benjamin taught, cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves.
(another talk) Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being me
3.In addition to taking merciful action in their behalf, we should also pray for those in need.... I don’t know exactly how each of you should fulfill your obligation to those who do not or cannot always help themselves. But I know that God knows, and He will help you and guide you in compassionate acts of discipleship if you are conscientiously wanting and praying and looking for ways to keep a commandment He has given us again and again.
4. We are always expected to help ourselves before we seek help from others.
5. all who are physically able are to observe the law of the fast. Isiah 58: 6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
three quarters of a million people are helped annually with fast offering donations. WHat a blessing that our bishops have this resource. Additionally millions of dollars are donated by church members to be used in humanitarian efforts.
As we seek for spiritual blessings, may we not lose sight of the temporal needs around us. We are all enlisted. Because we have been given much we too must give. As I have Loved you, love one another, Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too.
In the name of Jesus Christ AMEN