Living by the scriptures

"Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just." - Mosiah 4:17

As I stood waiting for a prescription to be filled, I glanced at a container on the counter, asking for donations. "Aren't you going to put some money in?" asked my 10-year old son.

"No," I responded. "That's not a good thing to do. The people who need the money don't usually get it, anyway." I quickly shrugged off the conversation.

Several weeks later in a similar situation, I returned to the subject with my son. I explained my mistake in not donating, having recognized that where the money goes isn't really the issue, but whether we are teaching our hearts to respond as Christ would in all our daily activities. He told me that he had felt disappointment in not putting in a few pennies previously.

For many years I had felt increasingly hard-hearted toward those soliciting aid on street corners. I also felt agitated at little bells ringing outside stores at Christmas. My lack of participation in any of these "giving" experiences was partly due to the rationalizing attitude so appropriately defined by King Benjamin.

Finally, I responded to President Ezra Taft Benson's challenge to commit to reading the Book of Mormon. Daily reading, coupled with prayer, has created some remarkable changes within me. I have begun to feel a softening to reach out to those in need. My understanding is growing that being guided by the Spirit will lead me to Christlike actions, wherever those opportunities are found.

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