What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will soon by flying a large donation of essential supplies and hygiene kits to the Middle East to aid the displaced and wounded citizens caught in the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.
I’m grateful for a church that has such a wide-reaching humanitarian aid program. I’m grateful and humbled by so many members of the church that donate their time, talents, and possessions to aid others and “lift up the hands which hang down“.
And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.
And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me… (D&C 42:30-31)
In a time when many are critical of and outspoken against the church, I would ask: Who else is going to such great lengths to be their brother’s keeper? What other organization has its members render 563,000 days of donated labor in a single year?
The church’s newsroom features an extensive list of recent welfare and humanitarian aid that is well worth checking out. The list is massive, yet it does not mention the many other service projects, assistance, and aid donated and rendered on a daily basis.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:3)
That is what really counts—the individual, intimate acts of service. The church does a phenomenal job, and better so (I would argue) than any other organization. But it is not enough. We each need to be our brother’s keeper.
For those of us who are members of the church, we made a baptismal covenant to bear one another’s burdens. Are we doing that? Are we donating generously to the fast offering fund and the humanitarian aid fund in addition to faithfully paying our tithing? Do we really need a new boat, RV, or big screen TV, or can we perhaps set aside some of that money to help those that really stand in need?