Dean M. Davies: The law of the fast: a personal responsibility to care for the poor and needy

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Bishop Davies
Dean M. Davies, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, addressed priesthood holders about the law of the fast during the priesthood session of General Conference on Oct. 4, 2014. (Mormon Newsroom).

Bishop Dean M. Davies, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, addressed priesthood holders about the blessings of obeying the law of the fast and encouraged them to pay a generous fast offering in order to help the poor and needy.

Bishop Davies started his talk by showing images of Typhoon Haiyan, the typhoon that devastated parts of the Philippines last November. Bishop Davies described how the Church was able to get resources in the early hours of the destruction to those affected by the typhoon.

“Church meetinghouses became shelters for those that didn’t have places to go,” Bishop Davies said.

Plans were set in place for those whose homes were destroyed to help them get back on their own two feet. The resources given to members in order to rebuild their houses were not a “free handout,” Bishop Davies said. The members who received help underwent training to learn how to build new structures in order to further their careers.

“Central to the Lord’s plan for caring for the poor and needy is the law of the fast,” he said.

Bishop Davies quoted from Isaiah and referred to the many blessings found in Isaiah 58.

Bishop Davies said members of the Church are covenant-making and commandment-keeping people.

“I cannot thing of any law, any commandment which, if kept faithfully, is easier to keep and which provides greater blessings than the law of the fast,” he said.

He then turned his counsel to bishops and branch presidents.

“The use of the fast offering is used to support life, not lifestyles,” Bishop Davies said in respect to distribution and use of fast offerings.

Bishop Davies concluded that members of the Church need to be like Jesus Christ, who was diligent in serving the poor and needy during his earthly ministry.

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