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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.’ 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 women 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 in the Church (2010), 6.1.2

Humanitarian videos

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Show one of the Church’s humanitarian videos, and ask the young women what they learn about helping the poor and needy from the Church’s example. Invite them to share experiences they have had helping others.
  • Ask the young women 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 women the statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf at the beginning of this outline, and ask the young women to listen for answers to the question. Invite them to share what they find. How can we help the poor and needy become more self-reliant? 

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women 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:

  • Divide the young women 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 women 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 women to discuss ways they can help those in need in their families, ward, and community.
  • Share with the young women a story about caring for those in need from your own experience, or share a story from one of the talks suggested in this outline. Give class members a moment to think of ways they can care for the poor and needy (including small acts of kindness or expressions of love and concern for others). Then invite them to write their ideas on the board. Assign each young woman to read a scripture about ways to care for the poor (such as those suggested in this outline). Invite them to share with the class what they learned and add to the list on the board. Invite the young women to share experiences they have had caring for those in need and how they felt about the experiences.
  • Invite a member of the bishopric to share with the young women his feelings about caring for the poor and needy and opportunities the young women have to help ward or community members in need. He could also discuss 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). Consider using class time to plan a specific service activity based on this discussion.
  • 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 class, 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 women 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 class service project in the ward or community.

Ask the young women 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?

 

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Complete one of the following in Personal Progress: Individual Worth value project 3 or Good Works value experience 6.
  • Perform an act of service for someone in need.
  • Follow President Thomas S. Monson’s counsel to “pray for the inspiration to know of the needs of those around us, and then ... go forward and provide assistance” (“God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 110).