Have you ever felt the weight of the world?
"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."Our fabulous teacher highlighted the verse for its application to the lesson, namely the featuring of pride. The other points were an afterthought. The iniquity of the city of Sodom was pride, as well as other things.
The teacher read the list, took a breath at this part of the verse, and then began into the next verse.
This was the part she omitted: "Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."
Is taking care of the poor and needy such an afterthought that it doesn't even make it into the list of latter-day abominations? It is an afterthought! In fact, a no thought.
As one of the 4-fold missions of the Church, I found its omission in the discussion startling.
I sat there, hoping we would come back to this point. I waited for someone else to highlight it too. I even raised my hand at one point, but the teacher didn't see it and was steadily moving on, so I put it back down. (I've already made a few too many waves of late, so didn't feel like starting another soapbox.) This day I was not up for a heated heart in a potentially heated discussion. I think my heart died a little.
WHEN will it be acknowledged a SIN that we refuse to STRENGTHEN the HAND of the POOR and NEEDY? When will it not be a burden, but a pleasure?
There are so many extravagances in this country. So many expectations, and taken-for-granteds. I heard the sisters jump on board in despising pride, yet we walk in it. We swim in it. We boast of it!
I posted the following in my Ward Facebook page last week.
Brothers and Sisters, I want to thank _____ ______ for drawing this to my attention today. I hope no one minds me sharing some thoughts about the message she shared.Would you like to see the follow up comments? Here is the first, after I tagged the Bishop's wife.
The cause of the Christians in the Middle East has been heavy on my heart since the start of the new year, when a friend asked me to pray for Baghdad as ISIS was pressing near. I have had my head in the sand politically for a long time, and have simply believed all I could do was pray for these people. _____ shared a link where as individuals we can mark what we personally can do, (at this point it is specifically in pressing the government), together to remove the restrictions for CHRISTIAN refugees. This page gathers our info for how we can commit to help. The Church has committed up to $1 million in donations to this crisis, but it is currently foreign aid only. Currently the US is only open to Syrian refugees, so there is little we can do at home beyond prayer. However the US gov't will NOT justify bringing in Christians. These are our brothers and sisters, and this is not a partisan issue. It is a true humanitarian crisis.
Will you please prayerfully consider what your family would be willing to do to help? I personally would be happy to volunteer any funds relegated to our social activities, ward parties, scouting activities, etc, but I am just one member out of hundreds. Would you be willing to ask that our ward activity funds be offered in service as food, shelter, raiment for these souls? How about our Holiday Dinner funds? We have shown very easily how well we can put together a pot luck for Linger Longer. Can we together voice our support of donation of resources, whatever we may have?
I believe the heavens are watching, truly, to see if we are willing to respond. While there are several organizations I have seen cropping up, asking for donations, I appreciate that this one is not just interested in money, but tangible service, opening of homes, and true agape in the pure love of Christ. I share this here because as a ward family I believe we can do this with greater strength together than separately. I hope the fact that Glenn Beck is a political activist does not repel anyone from considering this opportunity. Last night he spoke in the Brandon, FL, Stake, regarding this opportunity. I hope and pray the message spreads. If you prefer another organization to consider, please, by all means, share some links.
We are on the cusp of the 4th blood moon in a tetrad of blood moons over Jewish holy days. I believe these are signs, just as the scriptures alert. We are being warned. Today marks the Jewish New Year, which Christ would have celebrated the end of the Schmitah, or 7th year, the year of rest. This evening marks the start of a Jubilee year. It is a big, big deal. May we celebrate, please, and remember what Jesus was truly about. Mosiah 3-4.
Thank you, _______, for sharing this. now.mercuryone.org
"I appreciate the need for donating to worthy causes. As with anything, each person and family can elect to help. I would caution on expecting the local ward to donate funds. The church has a humanitarian arm where they do what they can and feel is best in the situation. The local funds are set aside for the care of the local members. I don’t know the exact process, but I doubt there are ever excess funds; what is remaining off of events and projects is often put to the members in need. I know that in our hearts we would like to care for those overseas, but the local ward funds are probably not the way to go. This isn’t a commentary on the need or validity of this project. I just doubt that the ward can donate official funds."Well I expected as much. Yes, carry on. THE LOCAL FUNDS ARE SET ASIDE FOR THE CARE OF THE LOCAL MEMBERS. I DOUBT THERE ARE EVER EXCESS FUNDS. I JUST DOUBT THAT THE WARD CAN DONATE...
[Ironically, since posting that post last week, Glenn Beck's audience has donated over SEVEN MILLION dollars. The LDS Church, with its vast resources and reach of over 14 million members, has indiscriminately donated aprox $1.2 million, back in 2012. I have no idea what the total is as of today, however the Deseret News updated their article on 9/14/15 and it circulated as if it were fresh, although written back in 2012. ]
So carry on with your iPhone 6s. Carry on with your new SUVs and competitive soccer leagues. Carry on with your Linger Longers, your paper plates and plastic cups (with cupboards full of china and glassware), carry on with your scout badges, your craft parties, your ward budgets designated to buy plastic tablecloths and centerpieces for the chili cookoffs. Carry on with the corn and mashed potatoes for holiday dinners and the lights and utilities for buildings and temples and shopping malls and billboards and ad campaigns on YouTube. Carry on with the HeartSell, the paid actors, the MormonMessages, the iPads for missionaries, the General Authority stipends and vacations, the Follow the Prophet, the All is Well in Zion! Carry on, carry on, carry on!!!
Among the talk of Planned Parenthood selling of baby parts, and boys getting raped in Afghanistan and soldiers being disciplined for not looking the other way, we are ripe. Let's not even talk about girls who are Activity Day Girls' age getting raped and sold in Syria as sex slaves as our government is giving both money and weapons to terrorists. Let's not think of the men being CRUCIFIED because they follow Jesus, or toddlers beheaded and left in the streets. Let's not talk about the mothers being separated from their living children and the culture of death which we ignore.
What if we actually supported a mother in bringing life to this planet? What if women were paid to bring babies into the world, rather than paying for their dead babies? What if rather than saying we are pro-life, we quit griping about welfare and supporting single moms who made choices that we don't approve of? (That's a tough pill for even me to swallow.) What if we offered a better choice and incentive to KEEP the baby, rather than shaming the woman seeking the abortion? What if we did this outside of government control, but willingly, such that there were no need for the government?
What if we truly fed the poor, not just food, but true light and knowledge, rather than damning them up, insisting they aren't ready? What if we lifted them up?
What if rapist men in Aftganistan (and surely other nations) had something better to do with their genitals than screw their sons? Bastards!!!
What if we talk about the true problem in this world with pornography, and how it is the LARGEST expenditure of money in the WORLD? How about we talk how to truly overcome it?
This world is so ripe in sin, it is sickening. This post is dark, yes. It is not uplifting in the least. In reading these things I cannot help but weep, feeling the horrible weight of the world on my heart. Please God, when will You intervene with your earthquakes of which You warned? When will the earth swallow these horrific sins up, and vomit them out as dross?
The Savior died for ALL these. All these sinners, these rapists, these murders. These Satanists. All these women screaming with pride for their rights to kill their offspring unborn. All these folks killing police officers as a right of justice. The men (and hidden women) removing their precious childrens' innocence beneath the sheets. The thought, just reading the news I just read is nauseating. It would be better for a millstone to be hung around their necks, but they continue to practice their barbary. REPENT!!! Your Allah condones this horror? Are you SERIOUS? Your sons are screaming out each night for salvation, and your hellish king says Carry on!?
The one TRUE GOD speaks of REPENTANCE. Of LOVE. Of FORGIVENESS. Of MERCY. May GOD have MERCY on your hellbent souls. May you please, please, I beg of you, cease from raping your children, from killing innocents in all lands, and from this horrible, horrible wickedness. There are people who can help, and there is a GOD who will help if you ask. May we, as followers of CHRIST