President Henry B. Eyring opened the Saturday Morning Session of the 185th Annual General Conference on April 4. President Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke about succoring the needy through the law of the fast.
Speaking of the love the Savior has for mankind, and their desire to be accepted of him, he said:
“You and I want that warm welcome from the Savior. But how can we deserve it? There are more hungry, homeless and lonely children of Heavenly Father than we can possibly reach. And the numbers grow ever farther from our reach. So the Lord has given us something that we can each do. It is a commandment so simple that a child can understand it. It is a commandment with a wonderful promise for those in need and for us. It is the law of the fast.”
President Eyring referred to Isaiah’s words on the law of the fast, stating that it gives its adherents access to special blessings and promises, including safety and the opportunity to bless the poor.
As President Eyring shared the experience of the effects of Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and of a member living in war-torn Sierra Leone, he taught that church members are able to succor and give service through freely given fast offerings. These funds provide safety from life’s storms, both physical and spiritual.
“Other storms and tragedies will come across the world to people the Lord loves and whose sorrows he feels,” he said. “Part of your fast offering and mine this month will be used to help someone, somewhere, whose relief the Lord will feel as if it were his own. Your fast offering will do more than help feed and clothe bodies. It will heal and change hearts.”
Humble sacrifices made by ordinary human beings help the needy while positively affecting the givers’ spiritual well-being.
“Just as the recipient of the blessing of your fast offering and mine can change hearts, so does fasting for the good of another,” President Eyring said. “The brief time we fast every month and the small amount we offer for the poor may give us only a small part of the change in our natures to have no more desire to do evil.”