On November 15, 2015, our sacrament meeting was centered around the question "Why is NO POOR AMONG THEM a requirement for Zion?"
This is my introduction to the speakers.
There was a young man who thought he had this religion stuff all figured out. He was checking boxes left and right. The letter of the law? He put the stamp on it and stuck it in the mailbox of righteousness. He was pretty amazing. I mean, obviously, right? Because he was rich too and what better sign is there of God's approval than dripping in dinero? Anyway, he heard about some hip new rabbi and went to check him out. The guy seemed legit, so the young man told the rabbi how on fleek his life was and asked if there was anything else someone this awesome could do to impress God.
The rabbi listened and nodded. Obviously he was crazy impressed. Then he said, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."
And the young man, the scripture says, went away sorrowful.
This rabbi's brother taught that pure religion and undefiled is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction.
When faith gets sticky or confusing---when the details seem unclear, contradictory, uncertain---we can know that one of the teachings of Jesus is always plain and available:
Sell that thou hast, and give to the poor.
This is not an easy doctrine. I have certainly walked past the poor. I have certainly pulled off the freeway, the only prayer in my heart that I don't get caught at the stoplight right next to the guy who hasn't showered in a couple months, asking me for change. And he doesn't even mean that I should change my heart---that would be Jesus talking---he's just asking for a quarter.
Inasmuch as I have withheld a quarter from the least of these, Lord, I have withheld it from thee.
This is a hard doctrine. But it is essential to building Zion. And it's a good place to start.
Today, we'll be reasoning together on this notion of Zion.