Students must help those in need

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    By Saranne Lewis

    In his Devotional message Tuesday, July 20, Dale Monson reminded students they are all beggars and need to remember to help out and fill the needs of those around them.

    “I”m too much an amateur to tell the genuine from the professional – real need from opportunism,” he said. “If a person is truly in need, how was I to know?”

    He began his address by telling experiences of beggars he had come across everywhere – from Manhattan to Italy. A young boy from Naples touched his heart, he said, when begging for money at a train station. He gave the boy no money, and watched him as the train pulled away. That face, one of innocence and need, has stayed in Monson”s mind ever since.

    “The young boy had no money, and I had no will to help him,” he said. “Which of us then was the beggar?”

    These narratives were compared to the blind beggar in Mark 10, who searches for the Savior, asking only for his sight. The Savior stopped and mercifully restored the man”s sight. This, as all stories of Jesus Christ, should be an example for all, Monson said.

    Another tale, this time of a young man named Paul who had strayed from the Church, followed. He met this man at the baptism of a friend.

    “Paul didn”t speak as he watched his friend go down into the water, but I had never heard a plea for mercy more clearly,” he said.

    Monson saw in Paul a vivid image of the young boy from Naples, and this time, he acted on the impression to help out in any way he could.

    Monson both started and concluded his message by referring to Erika, a careworn girl from rural Pennsylvania. He said Erika can be anyone who is begging for mercy in a silent manner, and represents those who should be sought out.

    “You”ll recognize her because you”ve seen her face before, just as I have,” he said. “In some way or other, you”ll recognize the child asking for mercy.”

    “You can be someone else”s eyes for just a little while,” he added. “You yourself may, at some point, need to lean on someone else”s arm.”

    Hilary Wertz, 20, a mathematics education major from Wisconsin, said she really enjoyed the message.

    “I thought this talk was amazing,” she said. “I thought it was a good point that we can help people. It”s so important for us to reach out to them.”

    Amy Jensen, 23, an anthropology major from San Jose, Calif., said she was surprised at how the message hit so close to home.

    “I thought it was interesting to start out with a girl from his ward, and then make it apply to everyone,” she said. “I learned that it can be anybody – it can be myself. The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”

    Monson ended with a challenge: “Wherever our roads lead each of us … you and I must find Erika, the face of need.”

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