Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4
Jesus took time out to show his apostles an example of charity that was probably overlooked in his time. In Mark 12 we read the following:
Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain apoor widow, and she threw in two bmites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this apoor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their aabundance; but she of her bwant did ccast in dall that she had, even all her living (Mark 12:41-44).
There are examples today of wealthy people doing much to alleviate the suffering in the world. Jesus is pointing out to all of us that what he requires is all that we are. The widow, although she had little, gave what she had to build the Kingdom of God on the earth. So too must we be willing to give all that we are in support of truth and righteousness. As we show our willingness to serve him and give all that we are and have, our contribution is counted no less than those who give much. This encounter is another illustration that what matters is what is in our hearts. Some of the wealthy Pharisees that Jesus contends with in Matthew 23 gave much more in the way of financial contributions to the temple, yet missed the Messiah right in front of them.
President Anthony Ivins said:
In this age of organized charity, when the contributions which we make to provide for the necessities of those who have not, are advertised to the world, and we love to be known as liberal givers, it is well to turn again to the word of the Lord, for he has told us that when we give alms we are to see to it that it be not before men, to be seen of them, otherwise we have no reward of our Father which is in Heaven; that we are not to sound a trumpet before us as the hypocrites do, that we may have the honors of men, but that we, when we give alms, are not to let our left hand know what our right hand doeth. In other words, the alms which we give should be contributed for the love of giving, and with desire to administer to the necessities of others, rather than for the praise of men. It was this, my brethren and sisters, which made the widows mite more acceptable to the Lord than all that others had cast into the treasury. 1
With respect to how each of us have a role to play in the gathering of Israel and the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth, President Hinckley put it this way:
I wish to remind you that we are all in this together. It is not a matter of the General Authorities on one hand and the membership of the Church on the other. We are all working as one in a great cause. We are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Within your sphere of responsibility you have as serious an obligation as do I within my sphere of responsibility. Each of us should be determined to build the kingdom of God on the earth and to further the work of righteousness. 2
1. President Anthony W. Ivins, Conference Report, April 1924, emphasis added.
2. President Gordon B. Hinckley, An Ensign to the Nations, A Light to the World, October 2003 Conference.