SALT LAKE CITY — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke Saturday afternoon in the LDS Church’s 184th General Conference, encouraging Church members to help the poor and needy.
“Down through history, poverty has been considered humankind’s greatest and most widespread challenge,” he said. “…The great Redeemer has issued no more persistent call than for us to join him in lifting this heavy burden from the people.”
Elder Holland opened by illustrating the Savior’s love for the impoverished, as Christ was homeless himself. “‘What mean ye,’ he cried, ‘that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor?'”
Quoting King Benjamin, Elder Holland advised members to “cease withholding (their) means because (they) see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves.”
“Are we not all beggars?” Elder Holland said. “Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused?”
Elder Holland also said Church members can pray and fast for those who are in need.
“I bear witness of the miracles, both spiritual and temporal, that come to those who live the law of the fast,” he said. “…Cherish that sacred privilege at least monthly, and be as generous as circumstances permit in your fast offering and other humanitarian, educational and missionary contributions. I promise that God will be generous to you.”
Wrapping up, Elder Holland related a story of President Thomas S. Monson, who, on one of his plane flights from impoverished East Germany, was seen wearing slippers because he had given his shoes away to someone in need.
Elder Holland concluded his address by urging listeners to put forth effort to help those in poverty.
“May we … do what we can to deliver any we can from the poverty that holds them captive and destroys so many of their dreams.”