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Mormon Charity – Because We Have Been Given Much

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly referred to as the Mormon Church) are humanitarians by nature. They define the word charity as “the pure love of Christ” and emulate the love of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, by always being willing to “lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Hebrews 12:12) whenever and wherever the need arises. The assistance that they give to others may be locally based in the communities in which they live, or in a village in some remote part of the world.

Joseph Smith, the first prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ, taught the people that they were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, provide for the widow, dry up the tear of the orphan, and comfort the afflicted, regardless if they are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, another affiliation or denomination, or no church at all, wherever they may be found. Concerning this same matter, the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself taught, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me” (Matthew 25:45). Latter-day Saints realize that all mankind are their brothers and sisters, and as such they ought to love each other and care for one another as much as they are able. Latter-day Saints further understand that it is an impossibility to say that they love God and not show love and compassion towards their fellowman:

If a man say, I love God, and hateh his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also (1 John 4:20,21.)

Some may wonder why members of The Church of Jesus Christ are so compassionate and giving. King Benjamin, a prophet-king who ruled an ancient people known as the Nephites until about 124 B.C., answered this question in his great, final sermon which is recorded in The Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ) in Mosiah chapters 2 – 6. In Mosiah 4:19-24 are recorded these words from King Benjamin’s sermon:

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.

And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give

A person would do well to strive to live their life with a spirit of gratitude for that which he has, and with joy and gladness in his heart should ring the melody “Because I have been given much, I too must give.”

Additional Resources:

Basic Mormon Beliefs and Real Mormons

Mormon Giving