Become an Instrument in the Hands of God by Caring for the Poor and Needy


Prayerfully select and read from this message the scriptures and teachings that meet the needs of the sisters you visit. Share your experiences and testimony. Invite those you teach to do the same.

What Does the Lord Say about Caring for the Poor and Needy?

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Our Heavenly Father is concerned for [the poor and needy]. They are all his children. … The poor—especially widows, orphans, and strangers—have long been the concern of God and the godly. … To those who cared for the poor, blessings were promised” (“In the Lord’s Own Way,” Ensign, May 1986, 25).

Matthew 25:37–40: “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

How Can I Be an Instrument to Care for Others?

Mosiah 4:26: “Ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally.”

Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “I will never again see home teaching or visiting teaching as only programs. … Such work is an opportunity, not a burden. … Every member has made a covenant to do works of kindness as the Savior would do. So any call to bear witness and to care for others is not a request for extra service; it is a blessing designed by a loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. … Each is a chance to prove what blessings flow from being a covenant people, and each is an opportunity for which you agreed to be accountable” (“Witnesses for God,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 31).

Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop: “The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that it is our responsibility ‘to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church or in any other, or in no church at all, wherever he finds them’ (Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1842, 732). May we be generous with our time and liberal in our contributions for the care of those who suffer” (“Go, and Do Thou Likewise,” Ensign, May 1997, 77).

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “The Lord’s Storehouse—where ‘there is enough and to spare’—is [symbolically] what the Lord has placed in each of us (D&C 104:17). It is one woman making a difference for another. It is one sister offering to listen or talk with a sister who may be lonely. It is a sister developing a close friendship with the sister she visit teaches. It is you and me with our strengths, our skills, and our talents blessing the life of another” (“Welfare, the Crowning Principle of a Christian Life,” BYU Women’s Conference, May 1, 2003, 3).

[photos] Photographs by Craig Dimond, except as noted; inset: photograph by Welden C. Andersen, posed by models; border © Artbeats