A central invitation of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to give up our wealth in favor of those in need. King Benjamin expresses this imperative by instructing us to give our substance to the poor, just as freely as Christ gave his life for ours (Mosiah 4:16-26). Jesus invites a young man who wants to become perfect to sell all his possessions and give the resulting funds to the poor to obtain treasure in heaven (Matthew 19:21). A revelation of Joseph Smith’s from 1832 invites us to make ourselves materially equal with the poor, “for if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things; for if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you” (D&C 78:6-7). What better Christmas offering could we make than to try to embrace Jesus’s words on this?
Janet from Feminist Mormon Housewives has organized an excellent way for us, as an internet community of Mormons, to move in the direction of such a more fully Christian life. She has opened up a community fundraising team with the organization Heifer International. Heifer International, for those unfamiliar with the group, seeks a long-term and sustainable end to world hunger by giving extremely poor families economically productive livestock and training, along with encouragement toward self-sufficiency and toward eventually passing the gift along to others who are also in need. The easiest way to give is to open up the General Team Donation page. There you can make a contribution, in the name of the Mormon blogging group, for any amount starting at $10.
The Mormon blogs have proven to be a genuine community of friendship and of religious growth. Let’s also show that we can be a community of Christian care for the neediest and hungriest in our world. Giving a collective gift to Heifer International this Christmas will not single-handedly qualify us for the Celestial Kingdom, but it seems to me that it can be a step on our paths. This Christmas, let’s give some needy family the gift of life and hope. How better could we celebrate He who gave everything to give us the same, in more abundance?