Feeling the Love of the Lord through Generosity

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“Feeling the Love of the Lord through Generosity,” Liahona, Sept. 2004, 25

Visiting Teaching Message:

Feeling the Love of the Lord through Generosity

Prayerfully select and read from this message the scriptures and teachings that meet the needs of the sisters you visit. Share your experiences and testimony. Invite those you teach to do the same.

How Have You Experienced the Generosity of the Lord?

Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Among the perfect attributes of our living God, one that is and will be a great blessing to us, is His generosity. Important though it is, this quality is one that tends to be less noted.

“God’s generosity is associated with divine gladness, such as is evoked when His children keep His commandments. He is quick to bless and is delighted to honor the faithful (see D&C 76:5). God’s generosity is expressed also in His long-suffering, His being always ready to respond when His children are inclined to ‘feel after Him’ (see Acts 17:27; D&C 112:13)” (If Thou Endure It Well [1996], 39).

President John Taylor (1808–87): “If we have life, or health, or possessions; if we have children, and friends and homes, if we have the light of truth, the blessings of the everlasting gospel, the revelations of God, the holy priesthood, with all its blessings and government and rule, all these and every true enjoyment that we possess come from God. We do not always realize this, but it is nevertheless true that to God we are indebted for every good and perfect gift” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor [2001], 175).

How Can You Express Generosity?

2 Corinthians 9:7: “According as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “When Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society, he called us to ‘relieve the poor’ and ‘to save souls’ [History of the Church, 5:25]. When we fulfill this mandate, we are living welfare. … The Lord’s Storehouse—where ‘there is enough and to spare’—is [symbolically] what the Lord has placed in each of us (D&C 104:17). It is one woman making a difference for another. It is one sister offering to listen or talk with a sister who may be lonely. It is a sister developing a close friendship with the sister she visit teaches. It is you and me with our strengths, our skills, and our talents blessing the life of another.

“We choose what we give to the Lord’s Storehouse from what He has given us. Sisters, do you see the abundance we have to draw upon? What gifts have you been given that you can bring to the Lord’s Storehouse?” (“Welfare, the Crowning Principle of a Christian Life,” BYU Women’s Conference, 1 May 2003, 3).

President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988), First Counselor in the First Presidency: “Be generous in your giving, that you yourselves may grow. Don’t give just for the benefit of the poor, but give for your own welfare. Give enough so that you can give yourself into the kingdom of God through consecrating of your means and your time. Pay an honest tithing and a generous fast offering if you want the blessings of heaven. I promise every one of you who will do it that you will increase your own prosperity, both spiritually and temporally. The Lord will reward you according to your deeds” (“The Blessing of the Fast,” Tambuli, Dec. 1982, 4; see Ensign, July 1982, 4).

Photograph by Christina Smith, illustrated by Keith Larson