Topic Study: Generosity

(December 2002 TG Entry: Generosity.  Thoughts given in Sacrament Meeting, Woodridge II Ward, December 15, 2002.)

I             Tithing

Tithing is one key to developing generosity.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Mal. 3:10

Certainly we live in a land that has abundance.  All you need to do is to drive through a neighborhood on Saturday in America when garage doors are open to see that there really isn’t enough room to receive any more blessings.

If we live in such as land, then what are our obligations?

II            Obligated to Give

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:38

III           What To Give

Although there is great abundance in our land, there are still those among us who do not have much to give.  What would the Lord have them give?

1 NOW Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;

3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.

5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.

6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

Acts 3:1 – 8

Such as Peter had, he gave.

IV          Our Example

I believe that Peter gave as he had received.

22 ¶ And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29 And he said, Come.  And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Matt. 14:22 – 33

In the same way that the Savior lifted Peter up, Peter gave to another.  In the same way that he gives to us, we must give to others.

V           Lacking Generosity

Tell the story about seeing the elder giving Fast Offerings, and what happened when you were not forthcoming in your giving.

VI          Never Suppress a Generous Thought

Personal Ministry: Sacred and Precious


BYU devotional address given on 13 February 2007.

I’d like to begin with a story.

My daughter-in-law’s mother, Susan, was a wonderful seamstress. President Kimball lived in their ward. One Sunday, Susan noticed that he had a new suit. Her father had recently returned from a trip to New York and had brought her some exquisite silk fabric. Susan thought that fabric would make a handsome tie to go with President Kimball’s new suit. So on Monday she made the tie. She wrapped it in tissue paper and walked up the block to President Kimball’s home.

On her way to the front door, she suddenly stopped and thought, “Who am I to make a tie for the prophet? He probably has plenty of them.” Deciding she had made a mistake, she turned to leave.

Just then Sister Kimball opened the front door and said, “Oh, Susan!”

Stumbling all over herself, Susan said, “I saw President Kimball in his new suit on Sunday. Dad just brought me some silk from New York . . . and so I made him a tie.”

Before Susan could continue, Sister Kimball stopped her, took hold of her shoulders, and said: “Susan, never suppress a generous thought.”

Susan didn’t have an assignment to make that tie. She wasn’t hired to do so. Despite feeling a bit hesitant, she did it because it felt right. Susan had a quiet sense of mission to serve others. I was also the beneficiary of such service. Her service went beyond any calling because it lasted throughout her life. Never suppressing a generous thought became a part of her personal ministry.

Other References

  • Ex. 25:2 man that giveth it willingly with his heart
  • Ex. 35:21 they brought the Lord’s offering to the work
  • Ex. 36:5 people bring much more than enough
  • Deut. 15:11 open thine hand wide unto … thy poor
  • Ps. 112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor
  • Prov. 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord
  • Matt. 5:42 (Luke 6:30; 3 Ne. 12:42) Give to him that asketh
  • Matt. 6:1 (3 Ne. 13:1) do not your alms before men, to be seen of them
  • Matt. 10:8 freely ye have received, freely give
  • Matt. 25:35 I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat
  • Mark 10:21 sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor
  • Mark 12:44 she of her want did cast in all that she had
  • Luke 3:11 He that hath two coats … impart to him that hath none
  • Luke 6:35 lend, hoping for nothing
  • Luke 11:41 give alms of such things as ye have
  • Luke 14:13 when thou makest a feast, call the poor
  • Acts 20:35 more blessed to give than to receive
  • 1 Cor. 16:3 them will I send to bring your liberality
  • 2 Cor. 8:2 poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality
  • 2 Cor. 9:7 God loveth a cheerful giver
  • 1 Tim. 6:18 be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing
  • Jacob 2:17 be familiar with all and free with your substance
  • Mosiah 4:16 administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need
  • Mosiah 18:28 impart of their substance of their own free will
  • Alma 1:30 they were liberal to all, both old and young
  • Alma 34:29 if ye do not remember to be charitable
  • Morm. 8:39 Why do ye … suffer the hungry … to pass by you
  • Moro. 7:8 giveth a gift … grudgingly … counted evil
  • D&C 42:31 impart of your substance unto the poor
  • D&C 52:40 remember in all things the poor and the needy
  • D&C 56:16 Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance.

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