So I was just studying a passage of scripture in the Bible found in Matthew 25:34-40. This is one of the most famous scriptures of all time and contains timeless wisdom and evidence of remarkable love and service. I believe it goes by the name of the parable of the sheep and the goats at the last day. I committed this passage to memory for the first time today and then I reviewed another scripture found in the Book of Mormon in Alma 32:42 in which Alma teaches the poor about faith on the word of God. Because I studied these two different passages in succession, it brought out interesting parallels that I thought I would share.
When anyone who is trying to be kind; to be charitable; to serve and bless those who are less fortunate in any way, they are blessed, but they’re blessed in an interesting way. The way that they are blessed is manifested by their response to their King who is telling them at the last day that they are about to enter into a kingdom which has been prepared for them from the foundation of the world precisely because of their kindness in feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and the imprisoned. These righteous, kind and generous people who the King is speaking to are surprised when he told them that they had given him food, drink, and a hand up. Their surprise is what is interesting to me. Clearly they had not been doing these nice things in order to receive a reward. They weren’t coming to the King saying, “Look what I’ve done! Look how I’ve helped these people, surely I deserve a reward.” But instead they apparently had been doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. This is moving to me, and makes me want to be better and to serve and be like these good people who are being highlighted and set up as examples to us by our King and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Next, in the scripture passage found in the Book of Mormon, Alma talked about how if the poor and poverty stricken crowd whom he was addressing would exercise faith and patience, diligence and care to read, study, ponder, and try to live according to the word of God, that they would be filled with a feast. They would come to taste the pure, sweet, and precious gift and word of God. The thing that caught my eye that related to the previous scripture found in the Book of Matthew in the Bible was how these poor people would be able to feast and eat and drink and be filled. If we can study and apply the word of God in our lives, this conscientious effort will lead us to become the kind of people described in the passage in Matthew. And then, in a fascinating and wonderful irony, we’ll be the ones caring for the sick, visiting the imprisoned, taking in the stranger, and giving food and drink to others, but we’ll also ourselves be filled, that we will hunger not, neither shall we thirst.