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Are We Not All Beggars?
Transcript of Are We Not All Beggars?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
General Conference – October, 2014
Saturday Morning Session
What is the
Purpose of the Church?
Proclaim the Gospel
Perfect the Saints
Redeem the Dead
Done What You Could
“Why trouble ye her?
she hath wrought a good work. …
“She hath done what she could.”
Mark 4: 6-8
Obtain vs. Retain
Little wonder that King Benjamin says we:
a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we
a remission of our sins by compassionately responding
to the poor who plead to us.
Law of the Fast
You will recognize that I speak here of
Difficult Societal Needs
that go well beyond members of the Church.
Fortunately the Lord’s way of assisting our own is easier:
All who are physically able are
to observe the law of the fast.
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? …
“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 … ?
[that thou] undo the heavy burdens,
and … let the oppressed go free … ?”
The Purpose of the Church
In fulfilling its purpose to
Help Individuals and Families Qualify for Exaltation
the Church focuses on
Divinely appointed responsibilities. These include:
1. Helping members live the Gospel of Jesus Christ
2. Gathering Israel through Missionary Work
3. Caring for the Poor and Needy
4. Enabling the Salvation of the Dead by:
Performing vicarious ordinances
Handbook 2, Section 2.2
Jesus stood up in His home synagogue in Nazareth and read these words prophesied by Isaiah and recorded in the Gospel of Luke:
Luke 4: 18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he hath anointed me to
preach the gospel to the poor;
he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to preach deliverance to the captives,
and … set at liberty them that are bruised
Jesus’s first and foremost messianic duty
would be to bless the poor,
Including the Poor in Spirit.
Luke 4: 22-23
“And all bare him witness, and
at the gracious words which
proceeded out of his mouth.
And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?”
“And he said unto them,
Ye will surely say unto me this
Proverb, Physician, heal thyself…”
How do We
Treat the Homeless?
Foxes have holes, and … birds … have nests;
but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head
Apparently the Creator of heaven and earth
“and all things that in them are”
was, at least in His adult life, homeless.
Rich or poor, we are to “do what we can” when others are in need.
[A journalist] said that,
she was accomplishing absolutely nothing.
This remarkable little woman shot back that
her work was about love, not statistics.
“What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean,”
she would say on another occasion.
“But if we didn’t do it, the ocean would
be one drop less [than it is]
Soberly, the journalist concluded that
Christianity is obviously not a statistical endeavor
So how might we “do what we can”?
Down through history,
poverty has been one of humankind’s
greatest and most widespread challenges.
Its obvious toll is usually physical,
but the Spiritual and Emotional damage
it can bring may be even more debilitating.
For what do we beg?
Mosiah 4:11–12, 20, 26
“Are we not all beggars?”
Perhaps some have created their own difficulties,
but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing?
Don’t we all cry out for
Answers to Prayers?
Don’t we all beg for
Mistakes we have made
Troubles we have caused?
Don’t we all implore that
Grace will compensate
for our weaknesses,
Mercy will triumph over
Justice at least in our case?
Pray for Those in Need
After You Have Prayed
They were, Mormon says,
Poor as to things of the world
2. and also …
Poor in heart
Two conditions that almost
always go together.
Alma and Amulek counter
that reprehensible rejection
of the shabbily dressed
by telling them that whatever
privileges others may deny them,
they can always pray—
in their fields and in their houses,
in their families and in their hearts.
But then, to this very group who had
themselves been turned away,
...do not suppose that this is all; for
After ye have done all these things, 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 unto you, … your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and [you] are as hypocrites who do deny the faith
What a stunning reminder that
rich or poor, we are to "do what we can"
when others are in need.