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Equality and Retaining a Remission of Sins in the Nephite Church


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Alma 1:26-30

26 And when their priests left their labor

to impart the word of God unto the people,

the people also left their labors to hear the word of God.

And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God,

they all returned again diligently unto their labors, and the priest,

not esteeming himself above his hearers,

for the preacher was no better than the hearer,

neither was the teacher any better than the learner.

And thus they were all equal;

and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.

27 And they did impart of their substance,

every man according to that which he had,

to the poor and the needy and the sick and the afflicted.

And they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.

28 And thus they did establish the affairs of the church;

and thus they began to have continual peace again,

notwithstanding all their persecutions.

29 And now because of the steadiness of the church

they began to be exceeding rich,

having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need:

abundance of flocks and herds and fatlings of every kind,

and also abundance of grain and of gold and of silver and of precious things,

and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen and all manner of good homely cloth.

30 And thus in their prosperous circumstances

they did not send away any which was naked or that was hungry

or that was athirst or that was sick or that had not been nourished.

And they did not set their hearts upon riches.

Therefore they were liberal to all,

both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female,

whether out of the church or in the church,

having no respects to persons as to those who stood in need.

 

Question: "Having no respects to persons" means they did not discriminate.  Is it wise to directly and personally give to the poor and needy without discriminating between them and without investigating whether they were truly needy and worthy?  Why, or why not?

 

Alma 4:6-14

11 And it came to pass in the commencement of the ninth year,

Alma seeing the wickedness of the church

and seeing also that the example of the church

began to lead those who were unbelievers on

from one piece of iniquity to another,

thus bringing on the destruction of the people,

12 yea, seeing great unequality among the people,

some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others,

turning their backs upon the needy and the naked

and those which were hungry and those which were athirst

and those which were sick and afflicted

13 —now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people—

while others were abasing themselves,

succoring those who stood in need of their succor,

such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy,

feeding the hungry and suffering all manner of afflictions for Christ’s sake,

which should come according to the spirit of prophecy,

14 looking forward to that day,

thus retaining a remission of their sins,

being filled with great joy

because of the resurrection of the dead,

according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ

from the bands of death.

 

Question:

  1. If personally giving to the poor and needy without respect of persons were required to retain a remission of one's sins, would it be wise to do so?  Why or why not?
  2. Is personally giving to the poor and needy without respect of persons required to retain a remission of one's sins? (hint: Mosiah 4:12)

 

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