What if you won the lottery?
I laugh at my dad sometimes when he dreams about one day winning the lottery. He tells me how many things he would buy us, which is kind but highly unlikely.
I laugh at my dad sometimes when he dreams about one day winning the lottery. He tells me how many things he would buy us, which is kind but highly unlikely. I think at some point in our lives, most of us fantasize about what we would do with a huge amount of money. Those of my friends who have expressed a desire to help others may not have a lot of money, but they have a lot of heart. While money can do a lot of things, what is in our heart can be far more powerful.
I enjoy serving in my ward. I like to be able to lift and help others. It does something for me that stretches me in some ways and blesses me in many others. That being said, there are often needs among the members of our ward that I can’t meet because I don’t have those extra expenses within my budget. That can feel frustrating at times. Many of the leaders of the church have told us not to go into debt, even for good things, the exception being houses and education. We need to remember to live within our means even with those two very good reasons.
I may not be able to take a meal to a family every weekend, but I can go visit with a lonely sister. I can watch children for a couple who would like to go to the temple. I can check on someone who has been on my mind.
Just a few days ago, I was called upon to go sit with a dear sister in our ward who is quite ill. She is a friend of our family and I was more than happy to go. As I walked in and saw how she suffered, my heart swelled with compassion. I lifted the spoon to help her eat, helped her sit up and get out of bed for a moment. It wasn’t until later that I began to ponder this situation. The spirit whispered to me that if the Savior were standing here in my place, He too would be helping to feed her, to move her, to walk her to the bathroom, to comfort and to bless. The works that come from a compassionate heart are eternal.
Helping the needy
Brother S. Dilworth Young spoke in the general conference many years ago. He said, “The revelations given to Joseph Smith on this subject are numerous and were among the early ones. To care for the poor is one of the first and early obligations. To help the needy and those who mourn follows close behind. All of us have some time, but those who are not given great responsibility in the organizations have more time to seek out the poor, needy, and helpless.
“And this help is badly needed. All about us are those in need of encouragement, assistance, and help—help of a kind we can all give, not money, but time and attention and personal encouragement, especially to those who must bear great responsibility for loved ones and who cannot pass it to others for the simple reason there are no others to whom to pass it.
“What great relief would come to a young mother with a sick child if one assisted her for a while. A little time, not just calling on the confined for five minutes, but for an hour, reading, helping, feeding, cheering, will change whole attitudes. You will find the need in many homes.”1
We can all be more Christlike as we do our best to take care of ourselves and our families within our means yet reach out to those in need with our hearts full of love and hands ready to help.
- “By Love, Serve One Another,” Elder S. Dilworth Young, General Conference Address, October 1971