I’ve seen a lot of things, or remembered, that I wanted to talk about today, but I didn’t want to do multiple posts. (Those multiple posts on Sept. 11th were kind of an accident.) Finally I had it! They all had a common theme running through them.
Dictionary.com defines charity as generous actions or donations to the poor, ill or helpless; something given to a person or persons in need; a charitable fund, foundation or institution; a benevolent feeling, especially toward those in need or in disfavor.
The Bible Dictionary defines it as the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ.
This last week, two storms hit Mexico and search and rescue teams were out Saturday to dig through the mudslides that had covered the village of La Pintada. They spent hours digging through the mud in the rain looking for any survivors, even when it became apparent that they weren’t going to find them. They were a 16-soldier team with five rescue dogs to aid them. Their commander, Lt. Carlos Alberto Mendoza told The Associated Press that “They are doing unbelievable work, hours and hours for just one body. No matter how hard the day is, they never get tired of working.”
They are digging and digging with little hope of finding survivors, but still taking the time even though it can take up to 14 hours just to uncover one body so that they may identify them and give them a proper burial and closure for their families.
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (Moroni 7: 45)
In another case, closer to home for me, my Alma mater Riverton High School chose their new Homecoming King and Queen yesterday. The two who were chosen were special needs students who didn’t even know they were in the running. It was not a concerted effort at the school, it was something that just happened because Riverton High School is the kind of place that makes room for you and welcomes you with arms wide open.
Riverton High School also has what they call ‘Silver Rush’ where the student body officers spend weeks leading up to the school fundraiser or drive carefully choosing a charity in which the school will then spend all of December up until the last day before Christmas Vacation not only raising money to donate, but also educating the student populace on the charity and what it does. Each year they raise more money than the year before and the entire student body takes part in the fundraiser. I know this because the year after I graduated, they were outside of my grocery store caroling for donations. They also offer to clean houses and do yard work for people around all of Riverton and donate all of the earnings to the charity of that year.
“Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just– But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interst in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars: Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold and silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?…And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.” (Mosiah 4: 17-19, 21)
The last thing I wanted to talk about is a rather large family during Christmas a little under twenty years ago. this family had been hard up for anything during that winter and weren’t sure that they would be able to do much for Christmas. Starting exactly 1 2 days before Christmas they received a knock on their front door. There was a small stampede to open the door as a good half of the children were under the age of 11 and wanted to reach the door first just because. They were surprised to see a small box on their doorstep and no one in sight. It was dark out and being winter already snowing gently. Inside the box were enough Advent necklaces for everyone in the house to where with a piece of candy for everyday until Christmas Day.
The following night there was another knock on the door. Upon opening the door, they found another gift. I don’t recall what it was, but it mentioned that there were now only 11 days left until Christmas in note with it. This followed for the rest of the time until Christmas Eve. Each night a knock was heard at the door and no matter how fast any of the children ran, no one was ever caught placing the gift of the day on the doorstep and no car was seen peeling down the street. The gifts were useful things as well as fun things such as the Advent candy necklaces; oranges and other food, toiletries that were getting scarce in the home, hats and scarves and mittens for hands that had been using mismatched socks instead. Smiles were brought to the family’s faces and they never knew who was to thank only that someone was thinking of them when it had looked like the world was turning against them.
“Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16: 14)
Whatever you may call charity, I know that it is a driving force in our world that exists no matter where you go and I am most grateful for that.
News article on storms in Mexico: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=235&sid=25186682&title=rescuers-dig-in-mud-rain-for-dead-in-mexico-slide
News article on RHS Homecoming Royalty: http://fox13now.com/2013/09/21/high-school-sets-popularity-aside-for-homecoming-royalty-picks/