Spiritual Aspects of Giving
The Relationship Between Temporal and Spiritual Salvation
As a religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is interested in the spiritual salvation of God’s children – the entire human family. Nevertheless, Christ blessed his people temporally as well as spiritually, healing the sick, the lame, and the blind.
We are also concerned with both the temporal and spiritual salvation of the human family. Working in concert with one another we can often accomplish this more effectively than working alone. In a recent conference, Church leader Elder D. Todd Christofferson made remarks related to this concept. He said:
While the most important aspects of redemption have to do with repentance and forgiveness, there is a very significant temporal aspect as well…
This kind of redemptive work means helping people with their problems. It means befriending the poor and the weak, alleviating suffering, righting wrongs, defending truth, strengthening the rising generation, and achieving security and happiness at home. Much of our redemptive work on earth is to help others grow and achieve their just hopes and aspirations…
Some forms of temporal redemption come by collaborative effort. It is one of the reasons the Savior created a church…
People acting alone or in ad hoc groups cannot always provide means on a scale needed to address larger challenges. As followers of Jesus Christ we are a community of Saints organized to help redeem the needs of our fellow Saints and as many others as we can reach across the globe. [“Redemption”, April 2013 General Conference, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]
Latter-day Saints: Gifts Beyond Tithes and Offerings
Every person must decide how to manage the blessings the Lord has given them. Latter-day Saints (Mormons) consider tithing a commandment and many will follow the counsel of church leaders to fast two meals once per month and donate the money to the poor. Many Latter-day Saints also give additional gifts in support of education, church projects, and community initiatives. When those gifts are significantly large or complex, gift planning can help ensure that those gifts will be administered in such a way as to:
- Ensure that immediate and future personal and family needs are met first;
- Perpetuate your legacy and family values through subsequent generations;
- Provide tax advantages.
- Adjust your income to your needs over time.
Consecration and Gift Planning
Christians, including Latter-day Saints, believe in the doctrine of consecration. Some may feel that to be truly consecrated, one must sell all worldly goods and donate to the poor. Christ invited some of his followers to do just that and similar sacrifices are made to this very day. For many Christians, however it is not so extreme. Consecration is the act of dedicating one’s life, time, talent, and resources to building God’s kingdom on earth. That may mean working to provide for a family, to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, gasoline, and utility bills. (see D&C 19:34) It may mean paying tithing and serving in the Church. It may mean putting children through college, funding their education, or helping them through financial “bumpy spots.” Consecration may mean helping extended family members, visiting the sick, volunteering at the soup kitchen, or donating to educational and charitable causes whether at church or in the larger community.