Alms is described in the Dictionary as “Money or goods given to the poor in charity”. The Savior gave an interesting directive about alms giving. “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6: 3-4 in the Bible)
Any alms giving will bless others, but when it is done anonymously apparently according the above scripture there are special divine blessings in store for the giver. A person (name withheld) related her/his experience in anonymously giving to an unknown mother and daughter in need.
“While sitting in a medical clinic waiting room, I noticed a mother with her daughter. The child wore a face mask and coughed many times. Her eyes were sunken, and her face was pale. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Her mother looked worn-out.
The waiting room was small, so I heard everything she said. After she paid her co-pay for their visit, the receptionist reminded her of a past-due balance that was more than double what her current visit cost.
The woman explained, with difficulty controlling her emotions, that she would not have any spare money until the following month. She said she barely had enough to pay her rent. The receptionist told her she should try to pay off her balance as quickly as possible. The woman and her child were then ushered into the back for their appointment.
As I sat there, I couldn’t stop thinking about the woman and her situation. I am by no means wealthy, but when I thought about how good the Lord has been to my family and me, I felt an overwhelming desire to help this woman and her daughter.
I approached the receptionist, wondering if what I wanted to do was even possible. I explained that I had overheard the woman’s predicament and wanted to pay her remaining balance. The receptionist was surprised but also delighted to honor my request.
I asked her to tell the woman that the balance had been paid and that she no longer need worry about it. I also told the receptionist not to say who had paid it. Then I paid the balance and continued with my appointment. I did not see the woman or her daughter again, but I prayed that things would soon improve for them.
It is hard to describe the amazing joy that filled my soul as I left the clinic that day. More than ever before, I knew that I wanted to be more like my Savior and to experience more often the joy that comes from serving Him.” (Article in February 2021 Liahona Magazine Entitled “Fulness of Joy”)
The Savior Can Help Us in Our Alms Giving
In a very dramatic physical way the Savior through the apostle Peter helped a crippled man. “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; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 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. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Acts 3: 2-8 in the Bible)
The Lord may not work through us in such a dramatic way, but there are ways that he can work through us in blessing others.
- Prompt us to help someone in need as in the experience quoted above. If we take action to help someone when prompted, the chances are more promptings will follow (there are many people all arounds us in need). If we do not follow the divine promptings, chances are they will stop coming.
- Be observant of the people we know or come in contact that are in need. Ask the Lord for guidance if He would like us to help them and how.
- Ask family, friends, civic and church leaders to identify people they know who are in need and try to help to the extent we have the means and capability to help.
This Christ like concern for helping others will open the windows of Heaven for blessings to the givers.