The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

Charity, the love of others that motivates us to serve them, is closely connected with the Atonement.

In his great Atonement sermon, King Benjamin addressed the righteous Nephites, who had just received miraculous forgiveness from their sins, telling them what they must do next:

16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 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—
18 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 interest in the kingdom of God.
19 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 for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
Mosiah 4:16-19

In Amulek’s great Atonement sermon, he makes an explicit connection between our cry for mercy and the imperative for us to help others:

17 Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;
18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.
19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.
20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
23 Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.
28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.
29 Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.
Alma 34:17-29

The Savior himself made this connection in only a few words:

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
John 13:34

In other words, as I (Christ) have loved you (by sacrificing himself in Gethsemane and Calvary to redeem you), you should, within the limits of your mortal abilities, help and assist others.

When King Benjamin speaks of beggars, he is not referring only to those who lack material means to support themselves, the poor in money.  I believe that he is also referring to the poor in spirit.  This category includes some who have a great deal of money.

The message that we take to the poor in spirit is to come unto Christ.

3 Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
3 Nephi 12:3

Following is a wonderful example of pure love and how it ministers to the poor in spirit.  As some of the comments indicate, the ministry and service traveled in two directions:  to the girl who was ill by the cheerleaders and from the girl who was ill to the cheerleaders.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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