Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. - Ezra Taft Benson

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If we are generous with our means....

If we are generous with our means, there is no need for anyone to go without.

"There is no necessity for any man, woman, or child in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to go without, for the Church is organized to help those who lack the necessities of life. There is plenty for all, and to spare. … God has permitted men to get wealth, and if they obtained it properly, it is theirs, and he will bless them in its use if they will use it properly.
We are becoming so wrapped up with the world that we forget the people who are suffering that we could help, in many cases.
"Think of the men that have been out of employment and the women also. … Think of the number of our Father’s children that he loves just as much as he loves us who will be in distress. Think of what the suffering will be if we who are more fortunate are not generous with the substance God has placed in our hands—not only the substance, but if we withhold from his children the word of encouragement and helpfulness and fail to visit in the homes where there are so many in need and give what it is possible for each one of us to give. Brethren and sisters, all these opportunities are given to us to enrich ourselves and develop our characters and that we may lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal [see Matthew 6:20]. These opportunities are offered to us by an all-wise Father who knowing the end from the beginning has said: “This is the path, walk you in it.”
"Let us … look around us in our neighborhood—not leave it to the Bishop and the Relief Society, but let each of us be ministers of loving kindness to those who will need us so much. And whatever we do let us not make those who require assistance feel like paupers. Let us give what we give as though it belonged to them. God has loaned it to us. Sometimes we who have accumulated means [act] as though we think it belongs to us. Everything that we have, our food, our clothing, our shelter, our homes and our opportunities are all given to us as stewards in the Church and kingdom of our Heavenly Father, and if we will … impart of our substance even though it may be but the widow’s mite, we will obtain from him who lives on high the blessings we need in our day here upon the earth, and when the time comes for us to go hence we will find awaiting us the blessing of a loving Father who has appreciated the efforts we have put forth. 
"If we desire to be identified with the kingdom of our Lord, the celestial kingdom, this is our opportunity to prepare,—with love unfeigned, with industry, with thrift, with perseverance, with a desire to do all that is within our power to bless others, to give—not to be always feeling we must receive, but desire to give, for I say to you: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [Acts 20:35.] The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of giving, not only of our substance but of ourselves, and I thank my Heavenly Father that I belong to such an organization that has been so instructed."  - President George Albert Smith