- Our Heavenly Father wishes to bless His children spiritually and temporally. He understands each of their needs, their pains, and their hopes.
- In the Church today we are offered the opportunity to fast once a month and give a generous fast offering through our bishop or branch president for the benefit of the poor and the needy. Some of what you give will be used to help those around you, perhaps someone in your own family. The Lord’s servants will pray and fast for the revelation to know whom to help and what help to give. That which is not needed to help people in your local Church unit will become available to bless other Church members across the world who are in need.
He speaks about the temporal effects of helping others in need but also speaks of the changes that will happen to us and to the recipient when such generosity is shown.
- Part of your fast offering and mine this month will be used to help someone, somewhere, whose relief the Lord will feel as if it were His own. Your fast offering will do more than help feed and clothe bodies. It will heal and change hearts. The fruit of a free-will offering may be the desire in the heart of the recipient to reach out to others in need.
We are never to young to learn the law of the fast. President Eyring gives great advice to those that are young and although he speaks about fasting, I think there are many areas where this advice can be used on our kids to teach them correct principles in their lives.
- Many children, and some adults, may for personal reasons find a 24-hour fast difficult. It can be, in the words of Isaiah, felt that the fast has “afflicted [their] soul.” Wise parents recognize that possibility and so are careful to follow the counsel of President Joseph F. Smith: “Better to teach them the principle, and let them observe it when they are old enough to choose intelligently.”
President Eyring speaks for the Saviors time on earth and how he fasted for a time. He speaks of the blessings that came to the Savior and how those blessings can be ours as well.
- We do not know all the reasons why Jesus Christ went into the wilderness to fast and to pray. But we know at least one of the effects: the Savior completely resisted Satan’s temptations to misuse His divine power. The brief time we fast every month and the small amount we offer for the poor may give us only a small part of the change in our natures to have no more desire to do evil.
Finally, he shares his testimony of the Savior and the blessings of the fast in his life.
- I bear my witness that Jesus is the Christ, that in His Church we are invited to help Him as He cares for the poor in His way, and that He promises everlasting blessings will come from our helping Him.
President Eying breaks down the law of the fast into the most simple terms. Great blessings can be ours as we partner with Christ to care for those in need. I have seen the blessings of a loving bishop caring for those that need assistance. I have been asked to bridge some of those concerns with members that are struggling. In my experience, I have observed that a person that is consumed with how to take care of themselves temporally, rarely puts any focus on their spiritual lives. The Lord needs our help to feed their stomachs but he also needs our help to feed their souls. Next time you are asked to provide care and comfort, I would encourage you to look at how to feed their spiritual souls as well instead of just meeting their temporal needs.