Do What We Can

“…do what we can, to deliver any we can, from the poverty that holds them captive and destroys so many of their names.” Jeffrey R. Holland, October 2013

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Last fall, during the October General Conference, Jeffrey R. Holland delivered a supernal sermon on caring for the poor, and on what that means to our everlasting obligation as followers of Christ. (I wrote up my response to the talk here for BCC.) For myself, and for many Latter-day Saints, Elder Hollands words have had long echoing ripples. They were supposed to, frankly. I have found myself, particularly over the holidays, keenly aware of the comforts and blessings of my life, and of the responsibility I bear with those blessings and comforts. As we were admonished in the sermon, in clear, cutting words, being a follower of the Savior means acknowledging very real commandments, not mere suggestions, on how to live.

“…cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery on themselves. Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn’t that why this compassionate ruler asks, “Are we not all beggars?” Don’t we all cry out for help? And hope? And answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we’ve made and troubles we’ve caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses? That mercy will triumph over justice- at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says “We obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God who compassionately responds. But we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.”

In the spirit of following this prophetic counsel, and in attempting to more carefully align our lived lives with our spiritual aims as Latter-day Saints, BCC as a community has together decided to commit to action. Our actions will be imperfect, of course, because we are imperfect. But imperfect action is better than no action at all. There are poor and needy among us the world over, and in looking at charities to which we might contribute, we have settled on Oxfam America. On New Year’s Eve, this community managed to quadruple the funds raised in one day. We are committed to doing more of this work.

Oxfam is a recommended charity. It is reputable, established, influential and transparent. Is it perfect? Undoubtably not- but waiting on perfection is but another method of doing nothing. Look for more updates and some searingly interesting tax commentary by our own Sam Brunson on how best to help, and from RJH and other authors as we commit to and set up the BCC account for Oxfam America.

We will lift where we stand. And we will do it now. We hope you will join us.

Comments

  1. I missed the opportunity to take advantage of the matching donation last month/year. I’m happy to have another opportunity to participate.

  2. Cheers, Tracy. It should be emphasized that members should continue to give generously through established Church programs such as fast offerings. This is in supplement. In other words, give more.

  3. I love the idea behind this endorsement of Oxfam! I would have loved to have given on New Year’s Eve, but I wasn’t online that day. Next time there is going to be a matching drive, could you guys give us a couple of days notice, perhaps? Thanks much!

  4. Oxfam is just one of many charities that the LDS church partners with around the world to deliver goods and services, utilizing existing networks rather than duplicating efforts. A worthy call to help. Thanks, BCC and Tracy. How do we contribute?

  5. KevinF, we’re setting up a donation page and will (hopefully) have a button we can sidebar. We’re planning on making this a year-long project, with the intent to give more, as Steve said, and not replace donations we already make through worthwhile church programs. We’ve just got to try.

  6. Thanks for pushing us in a good direction, Tracy and BCC!

  7. “…do what we can, to deliver any we can, from the poverty that holds them captive and destroys so many of their names.” Jeffrey R. Holland, October 2013
    You have this at the top of your post, yet I believe it should be dreams instead of names and was from 2014, correct?