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What is the Lord’s way for providing for the poor and needy?

When Jesus Christ came to earth, He spent much of His ministry caring for the poor and needy. Through His Church, the Lord has provided a way for us to care for those in need. He has asked us to give generously according to what we have received from Him. “The Lord’s way of caring for the needy is different from the world’s way. The Lord has said, ‘[Caring for the poor] must needs be done in mine own way.’ [Doctrine and Covenants 104:16; see also verse 15.] He is not only interested in our immediate needs; He is also concerned about our eternal progression. For this reason, the Lord’s way has always included self-reliance and service to our neighbor in addition to caring for the poor” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Providing in the Lord’s Way,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 54).

Prepare yourself spiritually

What scriptures and other resources will help the young men understand how the Lord provides for the poor and needy?

Isaiah 58:6–11; Malachi 3:8–10; Matthew 25:35–40; D&C 82:18–19 (Ways to care for the poor)

James 1:27; Mosiah 18:27–28; D&C 42:29–30 (The importance of caring for the poor and needy)

Alma 34:27–28; Mormon 8:35–37: D&C 56:16–18; 70:14 (The Lord’s warnings to those who do not care for the poor)

D&C 104:15–18 (Provide for the poor in the Lord’s way)

Henry B. Eyring, “Opportunities to Do Good,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 22–26

D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 37–40

Members’ Efforts to Care for the Poor and Needy and Give Service,” Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 6.1.2

Videos: “Sharing the Light of Christ,” Humanitarian videos

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Ask the young men to share experiences they have had recently that reminded them of something they learned in last week’s lesson.
  • Invite the bishop to come to quorum meeting and explain to the young men how sacred Church funds are used, including fast offerings, humanitarian contributions, and donations to the Perpetual Education Fund (see Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 14.4). Ask him to describe how he helps those in need become more self-reliant.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young men learn about the Lord’s way of providing for the poor and needy. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite a quorum member to study the “Serve Others” section in the Duty to God book (pages 26–27, 50–51, or 74–75) and come prepared to lead a discussion based on the learning activities in this section. Give the young men time in quorum meeting to make a personal plan and a quorum plan to serve others. In a future quorum meeting, ask them to share the experiences they are having fulfilling their plans.
  • Divide the young men into pairs. Assign one member of each pair to read scriptures about the importance of caring for the poor and needy, and assign the other to read scriptures that give warnings to those who do not care for the poor and needy (for ideas, see the scriptures suggested in this outline). Invite the young men to study their scripture passages and then share with their partners what they learned. Ask them why caring for the poor and needy is so important to Heavenly Father. Invite the young men to discuss ways they can help those in need in their families, ward, and community.
  • Share with the young men a story about caring for those in need from your own experiences, or share a story from one of the talks suggested in this outline. Give the quorum members a moment to think of ways they can care for the poor and needy (including small acts of kindness or expressions of concern for others). Then invite them to write their ideas on the board. Assign each young man to read a scripture about ways to care for the poor (such as those suggested in this outline). Invite each to share with the quorum what he learned and add to the list on the board. Invite the quorum members to share experiences they have had caring for those in need and how they felt about the experiences.
  • Write the following questions on the board: What principles does President Eyring teach that can guide us in helping others? What suggestions does he give for planning a service project? As a quorum, read President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “Opportunities to Do Good,” beginning with the statement “Here are some principles that guided me when I wanted to help in the Lord’s way.” Ask the young men to look for the answers to the questions on the board. After reading the talk, discuss the answers to the questions and use the principles and suggestions in the talk to plan a quorum service project for the ward or community.
  • Show the video “Sharing the Light of Christ” or one of the Church’s humanitarian videos, and ask the young men to share what impresses them about these examples. Invite them to share experiences they have had helping others and things they can do to help those in need.
  • Ask the quorum members to list some of the temporal and spiritual needs a person might have. Write on the board, “What is the Lord’s way for providing for the poor and needy?” Share with the young men the statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf at the beginning of this outline, and ask the young men to listen for answers to the question on the board. Invite them to share what they find. How can we help the poor and needy become more self-reliant?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand what it means to provide for the needy in the Lord’s way? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Bear his testimony of his priesthood obligation to serve and lift God’s children.
  • Invite the quorum members to accept this invitation from President Thomas S. Monson: “May we pray for the inspiration to know of the needs of those around us, and then may we go forward and provide assistance” (“God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 110).