this talk (i.e. sermon) a lot since I heard it during General Conference. I know I've often wondered how I can "do my part" to help others. When I heard this, I was immediately humbled because I've had these exact uncharitable thoughts: "For one thing, we can, as King Benjamin taught, cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves. Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn't that why this compassionate ruler asks, 'Are we not all beggars?' Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us."
I'm so glad that we have Thanksgiving before Christmas. It's such a great reminder to concentrate on all of our blessings before we get into the gift giving and receiving part of the holidays. We have this day to really focus on all the things that we've been blessed with and then look for ways to move into a season of giving service to others. I'm going to really try to focus less on material gifts this year and instead, try to focus on giving service and love. I'm super excited about JustServe (no one asked me to post this FYI - I just heard about yesterday and I think it's pretty great) that allows you to search for service opportunities in your area (almost like a job search website like monster.com). Each service organization is vetted and you can sign up for a slot in whichever organization or position you want (assuming it's not filled). What a great way to start the holiday season! I know that I'm always meaning to serve during the Christmas season in particular, but have never known where to start. I'd love to hear how you're helping your fellow man this holiday season!