The Second Great Commandment by President Russell M. Nelson
Content by Kali Toone
Essentially everything in our lives today can be bought in the form of a subscription – groceries and meal prep, books, children’s activities, beauty and fashion, TV shows and movies, Come, Follow Me resources, some of you may even subscribe here at Work & Wonder to receive your general conference workbooks!
Though I firmly believe we should be very conscious and selective of the subscriptions that serve us best, they can be the most efficient and useful parts of our lives. What if we chose to view Fast Offerings as a monthly subscription to humanitarian service?
This shift in perspective was one that came to me over a year of different experiences. Last year I had a moment of harsh realization when I saw our finances were struggling and I looked around at all the stuff – stuff that had come in Amazon boxes that proved I was more focused on the aesthetics and convenience of my life than the feel and purpose of it.
For the next few months I worked hard to simplify and save. I went through the house and started throwing stuff out. Piles and piles of things accumulated all over the house to be donated at Deseret Industries – and nothing I intended to replace with new things. Our savings account increased little by little but I also had several experiences that inspired me to give some of what we were saving to the church so I increased our monthly fast offering by just $5 a month. It wasn’t much but it’s what I felt we could do.
In October President Nelson gave this talk and I felt like all this work was worth it. Sometimes it’s hard to have faith in something when you can’t see the results but I felt that every effort I made to “sacrifice”, every luxury I was willing to give up, was to help someone who struggled.
My son was born with cataracts so at the end of the year we planned a trip to Salt Lake to donate in the Giving Machines after his appointment at Primary Children’s. The trip is over 2 hours so we asked local family if they would like to contribute to our donations. My heart burst as I watched each of our children choose things to donate. It was even more humbling to watch the cards drop that read “Cataract Surgery” and “Eye Exam”. With my mother-in-law’s gracious heart, we could afford to give another person in this world a chance to see it, just like the doctors here had done for my baby boy.
This talk is President Nelson’s testimonial about the blessings of fast offerings and other donations to those all over the world. Please revisit this talk to feel the inspiration of what your subscription could do!
I AM STATEMENT
I AM charity.
FAITH IN ACTION
We know that Fast Offerings are typically the sacrifice we make when we fast once a month and donate that money we would have used. I challenge you to hold a family council in your homes to read this talk together and discuss what subscription you could give up this month to increase the amount you donate to fast offerings. Perhaps, if this is not an option for you, discuss what luxury you could give up this month.
I am a Dr. Pepper addict in denial so my “subscription” is going to the drink shack once (or twice) a week. I challenged myself to give up soda for at least 2 weeks and donate that money to fast offerings.
Just remember that the gospel is not about asking us to do easy things. Fast offerings are very real sacrifices that I have found provide more blessings the harder they are to make!
Sometimes service comes from a place of gratitude. Practice a heart of gratitude by saying thank you to those that have sacrificed to serve you lately!