Devotional brings business twist to giving service to others

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    By Laura Shaver

    BYU professor J. Michael Pinegar reminded students of the need to serve others during devotional Tuesday.

    Pinegar, professor of finance in the Marriott School of Management, spoke on the topic of “The Lord”s Goods.”

    “I want to talk about the importance of using the Lord”s goods wisely,” Pinegar said. “I prefer the phrase the ”Lord”s goods” because it implies accountability on our part for the way we use what really belongs to the Lord.”

    Pinegar related a personal experience about a semester when he gave his students a choice of two different final exams. One option for the final exam was an open note, open book, closed neighbor experience, while the other option was a paper written about four hours of service the student wouldn”t have normally done and two hours of reading the scriptures and other church literature about what the Lord has said about wealth.

    Pinegar said 126 students opted for the service based final exam, even though it was more time consuming.

    “As for me, I spent more time reading these finals than I would have the regular final,” Pinegar said. “At times, what I read brought tears to my eyes. On a regular final, that would not have been a good sign. For this final, my tears were tears of gratitude.”

    Pinegar read the words some of his students had written in their papers about the service they did for the final exam.

    “One student spent 20 hours on the service portion alone, because in his words, ”the service became addictive,”” Pinegar said.

    According to the parable of the talents, or the parable of the Lord”s goods, part of our responsibility is to enlarge not only our own portion of those goods, but the portion enjoyed by others as well.

    “When we sacrifice to provide for each other in the Lord”s way, we show gratitude for his sacrifice and we bear record of it,” Pinegar said. “Whether it be through fast offerings, the Perpetual Education Fund, humanitarian services or any other worthy means we do it in the similitude of the sacrifice of the only begotten of the father.”

    Pinegar said everyone will not have the same ability to give to others, but everyone should still do what they can.

    “The offerings we make may more frequently be determined by our attitude than our ability,” he said. “I am convinced the Lord gratefully accepts gifts of whatever size, so long as we give them with the right attitude. Moreover, sometimes what people need is not our money, but our time, our service.”

    Pinegar said those who have a lot of worldly possessions may have the hardest time giving.

    “If we are not careful, we may find it even more difficult to give when we have much,” Pinegar said.

    Pinegar referred to a quote by Brigham Young: “The worst fear I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God, and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the church and go to hell.” Pinegar said the thought was scary.

    Pinegar concluded his address with a prayer.

    “Brothers and sisters we are all servants. We have received talents, which are indeed the Lord”s goods. Those goods should help us develop his attributes,” Pinegar said. “At this university, in particular, we should strive to become like the Savior, to have his eyes, his ears and his pure heart in seeking every man another”s good. May we do so is my prayer.”

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