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.