Friday, January 30, 2015


New signs are now being posted throughout Salt Lake City asking the community to not give money to those who extend their hand for help. The signs say in bold letters : PLEASE DON'T SUPPORT PANHANDLING.  The sign asks that you give to agencies instead.  The list of agencies are listed on the website. Recently, the Utah State Legislature passed a bill cracking down on beggars making it illegal to ask for money in certain areas.
I am reminded of King Benjamin's sermon in Mosiah 4 which reads: "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?"

His sermon reminds us that we are forbidden from turning away the beggar. We are forbidden from judging them. We have but one duty toward them; that is to help them. Not through a third party agency but to help them one on one. What if the Good Samaritan decided not to help the man stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead along the road.. but told the man.. I can't help you because I already donated money to a local agency instead.

The hymn `Called to Serve' has become an anthem for members of the Church, especially for those serving missions.  It is  customary for the missionaries to stand and sing it at the Missionary Training Center as well as on their missions. The entire congregation even stood when it was sung at General Conference a couple of years ago. (See below video).

A friend of mine whose son is currently serving a mission shared the following withe me. The Elder reported back this past week to his family that in their zone conference, an Apostle and a General Authority were both in attendance.  When it was time for the closing song, all of the missionaries stood up to sing "Called to Serve". Everyone stood up except the Apostle and the General Authority. After the song was over, the Apostle got up and told the missionaries that we are not to stand when we sing the hymns. He continued to teach the missionaries that if they looked up on the stand and noticed that they were not standing, they should have known that they should not have stood up as well. It was one more example of how we are to look to our leaders and follow them in all what they do.
Clarification: The Apostle did not say that we are no longer to stand when we sing "Call to Serve" but just like the handbook states, that it should be the Presiding Priesthood Holder who should determine whether or not we stand as a congregation. 


Taylor said...

So wait, let me get this right..... We can't stand during hymns, we should stand when the prophet enters the room, but we can't stand in the temple when making covenants?.... This is all very confusing.

Im afraid we've become skilled at "straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel"

STRETCH said...

Below is a section out of the handbook. We had Elder Oaks and a Area GA come to our area a while back and taught everyone ONLY a priesthood leader should have the congregation stand or not. A Ward Music Leader should not "take over the meeting" by indicating we all stand during rest hymn.

When I Heard this I thought it was ludicrous. They even taught that its better not to stand and it will take time but we need to "Change the culture" and make sure the Priesthood is always directing what happens in Sacrament meeting.

As If our meetings were not boring and dead enough, no more standing to wake people up miid way.

It does make me sad, as the majority seem to go along with these changes without even thinking for themselves. "If its directed by our leaders, must come from God, so good enough for me" is the attitude and direct quote.

Yep, we are led carefully down to Hell...

Regarding the panhandling...I have had some of my my sacred experiences with other sons or daughters of God in giving to them, I am sad SLC is doing everything they can to eliminate this option. I pray there are many of us that will wake and say that its not ok to just follow our leaders and give at the office. We are sent to serve...or I could say we are called to serve.


Handbook 2
Sec 14.4.3
Congregational Singing

Most Church meetings are enhanced by the singing of hymns. Music provides a primary means by which members participate in Church worship services. Congregational singing has a unique and often underused power for unifying members as they worship together.

As appropriate, a priesthood leader may ask a congregation to stand for an intermediate hymn or a national anthem (see “Hymns for Congregations,” Hymns, 380–81).

Gary Gibson said...

After reading this, my wife reminded me of what a good little Pharisee I used to be. I even had our family not stand during a hymn when the music director had the ward do it. PUKE!

I am so grateful for repentance.

Wasn't the primary indictment against Sodom and Gomorrah their treatment of the poor?

Anonymous said...

The #1 sign of a true follower of Christ is that they do & give all they can to help the needy and alleviate their sufferings, 1st in their own family, then for those around them. A righteous society would put up signs encouraging helping the poor, not the opposite.

The arrogance of the Church leaders is astounding, and getting worse, but what is most unbelievable is that most members don't see through it, but practically worship them, and make these men their Gods, far more then they ever followed Christ. For these men preach an easier softer Gospel then Christ did.

Kathryn said...

Not Standing to Sing: I have not heard of this new "Commandment." If the generally accepted practice has been changed, wouldn't it have been more appropriate to have sent a memo out to all bishops and mission presidents etc. that was was now a policy not to stand for singing hymns unless otherwise directed by the "Priesthood Leader?"

This example appears to have been a "Test" to see who would "Follow the Priesthood" and who would not. It's seems a bit arrogant to me. What is the real reason for not standing? And like Taylor said in the first comment... are they not "straining at a nat while swallowing a camel?" Aren't there more serious issues they should be confronting than this? How about... not repenting or not preparing our hearts for Zion, etc. Such foolishness.

No Pan Handling: I'm so tired of laws that stand in the way of operating as a person with "free will." With such laws, it discourages kindness and giving as directed, at that moment, by the Spirit. If I turnover my donations to any organization, I lose control of how my donations will be spent. I'm not sure the Lord is please when I pass off my personal responsibility for the poor and needy to Babylon.

Government wants to rule everything.... even our compassionate offerings. This may appear a "No Big Deal" law... but little by little we are being robbed of our Self-determinism. These are dangerous times.

Will said...

Probably some nasty, wicked, non believer of the Book of Mormon idea to put up those signs. I can't believe the selfish bastards would do such a thing.

LJn said...

Height of arrogance and pride? It reminds me of the description of them that I've heard in the past, "They are behaving like a parade of fools."

When their eyes are opened and they see how stupid they really look with that childish behavior, they will probably feel foolish and small and stupid, indeed. How sad that they opt not to humble themselves. How sad that they opt to exalt themselves, and set themselves up for a light unto the people. (Makes me want to watch myself even more, even though I will never be put in such a tempting position as they are in currently. It must be nigh unto impossible to avoid pride, arrogance, selfishness, and all that when one is held up as good as God, adored, honored, idolized, given money and position and power over the souls of men, women and children (as they suppose). Very difficult indeed.)

I fear Salt Lake City is setting itself up for destruction. In essence, casting out the poor (probably because some of the beggars are "professional" and because some find their presence offensive). "Are we not all beggars before God?"

Pops said...

Lol, Will

Anonymous said...

Looks like Salt Lake City (and most of Mormonville) is like Sodom & Gomorrah, who's greatest sin was ignoring the suffering of the poor and the fatherless.

I have known over 100 single mothers and 'none' that I have known of have been taken care of and supported by the Church or their own extended LDS relatives, as Christ taught the fatherless should be.

These single mothers are usually made to suffer even more because of how the Church 'looks the other way' and supports and rewards the men who abandon or abuse their families.

LJn said...

There is a program in several cities, Salt Lake included, that give permanent housing to the chronically homeless with no strings attached. When my brother was talking about this a few years ago (members of the LDS church helped set up the furniture in the apartments and he was impressed by their speed - and one of his daughters was blown away by it), I didn't realize it was that kind of homeless program.

The idea came from a city back east, but was discovered by my brother and his coworker as they struggled for ideas to help the homeless. These articles talk about it (I hope this comment doesn't go into your spam filter).

It's true that the hook for gov'ts and corporations (the church got involved in donating for this, also) is that it costs less to house and help them this way than it was costing to take care of them when they went to emergency care, police were called, etc. All of that is explained in the first article and probably the second one, too (I've only read the first article).