Because Paul was accused of taking money that had been gathered for the Saints in Jerusalem, he sent Titus and two other brethren to collect the remaining contributions (see 2 Corinthians 8:16–24). He asked the Corinthian Saints to give generously, for “God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7; see also 8:1–15).
Prayerfully study 2 Corinthians 8–9and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.
Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for 2 Corinthians 8–9.
Invite a student to come to the front of the room. Ask: If money were no object, what would you buy? Once the student decides on something, write a fake check for the amount it costs (or use play money) and hand it to him. Invite another student to join the first student at the front of the room, and ask the class to imagine that this student’s family has just experienced a tragedy. Their home recently burned to the ground and they have no insurance. Ask the student to whom you gave the check:
How could you help this needy family?
How hard would it be to part with the amount of money on the check? Why?
Who needs the money more?
Invite students to relate experiences they are familiar with that show people caring for others.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:7looking for what it takes to live the gospel.
Why does it take faith to give to those in need?
How can we give to the needy today?
Read the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:
“Some of the tests incident to man’s mortal probation involve his instinctive love for money, his pursuit of riches in general, his desires for the power, influence, and ease that grow out of great wealth. When ‘he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,’ however, ‘and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord’ (Mosiah 3:19), he then becomes subject to a higher law. Money is no longer his master; it is his servant to do good and work righteousness; he becomes a cheerful giver” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:435).
Invite students to read 2 Corinthians 9:7, and ask:
What does this verse teach about giving?
How does the Lord want us to give?
Explain that Paul was asking the Corinthian Saints to help those in Jerusalem who were less fortunate. Have them read 2 Corinthians 8:14–15, and ask: How did Paul want them to accomplish this?
Share this statement by President Marion G. Romney:
“The Lord claims the earth as His; … it is not yours and mine to own and manage independently of Him. No matter how many stocks and bonds or how much land and other properties we possess, they are not wholly ours. They are His” (in Glen L. Rudd, Pure Religion , 291).
Remind students that everything on the earth belongs to the Lord (see D&C 104:12–18), so we should cheerfully share what we have according to His principles of caring for the poor. Have them read 2 Corinthians 9:6looking for the promise the Lord made to those who give with a willing heart (see also Luke 6:38). Encourage students to regularly contribute to the fast offering fund in addition to paying their tithing.