- I wish to speak for the widow, the fatherless, the disadvantaged and downtrodden, the hungry, the homeless, and the cold. I wish to speak for those God has always loved and spoken of in an urgent way. I wish to speak of the poor.
He speaks about the teaching of King Benjamin and his instruction to care for the poor and needy. He speaks of living a Zion like society which was on the earth after the Savior visited the Nephites after his death. Of this Zion society he says:
- We may not yet be the Zion of which our prophets foretold and toward which the poets and priests of Israel have pointed us, but we long for it and we keep working toward it. I do not know whether a full implementation of such a society can be realized until Christ comes, but I know that when He did come to the Nephites, His majestic teachings and ennobling spirit led to the happiest of all times, a time in which “there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.” That blessed circumstance was, I suppose, achieved on only one other occasion of which we know—the city of Enoch, where “they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.”
He speaks of the Prophet Joseph Smith seeing the great responsibility and us being able to meet that responsibility by being more Christlike.
- The Prophet Joseph Smith had such a grand view of our possibilities, a view given him by the revelations of God. He knew that the real task was in being more Christlike—caring the way the Savior cared, loving the way he loved, “every man seeking the interest of his neighbor,” the scripture says, “and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.”
Elder Holland acknowledges that a talk in General Conference will not change the world, but it can change each of us individually to do a little more, to be a little more righteous, to be a little more kind, and to be a little more compassionate.
- I know that a talk in general conference is not going to cut through the centuries of temporal inequity that have plagued humankind, but I also know that the gospel of Jesus Christ holds the answer to every social and political and economic problem this world has ever faced. And I know we can each do something, however small that act may seem to be. We can pay an honest tithe and give our fast and free-will offerings, according to our circumstances. And we can watch for other ways to help. To worthy causes and needy people, we can give time if we don’t have money, and we can give love when our time runs out. We can share the loaves we have and trust God that the cruse of oil will not fail.
He concludes with his hope that we will be a little more than we are today.
- May he bless us to hear the often silent cries of the sorrowing and the afflicted, the downtrodden, the disadvantaged, the poor. Indeed may he bless us to hear the whispering of the Holy Spirit when any neighbor anywhere “is suffering,” and to “drop everything and come running.”
This is a great talk to read right before Thanksgiving. We have so many things in our lives to be thankful for and the greatest is the wonderful blessings that the Savior grants to each one of us. We all have issues and problems in life. We all struggle in one way or another. How we respond to the challenges of life speak to our commitment of discipleship. The Lord doesn't ask for everything from us, but He asks that the be actively engaged in the things that will help the children of God to follow Him. The basic needs of life need to be met before we can hope to change hearts and minds to follow the Savior. I think that is important to think about. A person struggling to meet the basic necessities of life is occupied with how to make ends meet instead of how they can be helpful to the cause of Christ. It is my hope that this holiday season that we can all provide a little comfort to those in need so they have time to focus on the spiritual needs of their life and find true peace in the Savior.