The other day we took the kids out to buy some toys with the money they had earned.  As we walked out of the store, a homeless guy was waiting and asked for some change.  I had a couple dollars in my wallet and I also encouraged the kids to give them some of their money, which they did.

He tried to refuse their money, but I insisted as I wanted to teach the kids the lesson so beautifully taught by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon:

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

It also reminded me of this video of being civil to ALL people…not just the ones we are comfortable with:

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-04-008-the-civility-experiment?category=mormon-messages/mormon-messages-2011&lang=eng&cid=HPWE090314389

I’ll have to admit that I’m not always as generous as I should be and I’m judgmental a lot of the time when I see homeless people-especially when I’m in a rush or in a sketchy part of downtown.  Fear and selfishness keeps me moving on rather than stopping and trying to get to know them and help them.

I’m curious. What do you do when you see a beggar or homeless person?

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