Sunday, October 5, 2014

Elder Holland's Talk on the Poor - LDS General Conference, Saturday PM

The official church meme from Elder Holland's talk
There were a lot of tweets and Facebook posts about Elder Holland's talk on the Poor. And knowing and liking him as I do, I wanted to hear it. I pulled up our recording made while we were on the band trip to Logan and I watched it - skipping back a few times to make sure that I got it right. You can check out the recording at

Here are my notes:

Jesus proclaimed his ministry as to the poor. Ancient prophets condemned Israel for mistreating the poor. God said, "They [the Poor] shall not suffer." [Imperative demand]

In response to Judas's criticism about the anointing the Lord's feet,  "She has done what she could."

Mother Teresa   "Love - not statistics" What she did was just a drop in the ocean but it was a drop.

Christianity is not a statistical endeavor

How might we do what we can?
"Cease withholding our means" because we see the poor as bringing their misery on themselves

Are we not all beggars before God?  We obtain a remission of our sins by pleading unto God. We retain a remission of our sins by serving the poor. King Benjamin.

If you turn away the needy and afflicted your prayer is in vain.

Rich or poor we are to help others.

[This is the part I wanted to get just right so I rewound it a few times]
Now, lest I be accused of proposing quixotic global social programs, or of endorsing panhandling as a growth industry. I reassure you that my reverence for principles of industry, thrift, self-reliance, and ambition. is as strong as that of any man or woman alive. We are always expected to help ourselves before we seek help from others.
[It was in somewhat of a self-deprecating, humorous tone - there was laughter after the "growth industry" comment. I note that he does not condemn "quixotic global social programs," he just didn't want to be accused of promoting them. I don't mind being so accused even if that's not exactly what I propose. Read throughout my blog and you may get it. Simply put, I don't believe in socialism, i.e., government ownership of industry and means of production except for general utilities that all need - and health care, maybe. But I do believe that with private enterprise there should be a strong presence of a democratic-republican, constitutional government that regulates private enterprise to prevents its abuses for the social good of all - that all may have more opportunity to exercise "industry, thrift, self-reliance, and ambition."]

[on with my notes]:

Doesn't know what each must do to help the poor but God knows and he will tell you in answer to prayer.

Difficult societal needs well beyond members of our church

The Lord's mean of addressing our own are easier - the Law of the Fast. Cites Isaiah again.

Blessings for living the law of the fast,

Be as generous as you can in the fast and God will be generous to you.

Admits that he doesn't know how the poor feel. And he doesn't understand all the reasons for the disparities in opportunities and conditions in life.

Not brother's keeper, but brother's brother And he has an obligation of care.

Story about President Monson coming home from Eastern Europe in his house slippers because he had given away the shoes off his feet.

[Principles over programs seems to be his approach here, which I don't mind at all. And in the mindset promoted by President Uchtdorf, I need to ask, "Is it I, Lord?" as we all must.]

We should help fulfill the promise that the poor will see the Lord's coming and have their burdens lifted.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Qourum of Twelve Apostles
And my Freshman Book of Mormon Teacher!

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