Psalm 6:1-2 O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger... Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak
The Lord is justified in punishing us for our sins. If he rebuked us and chastened us immediately after every sin, we would learn our lesson quickly. But do we really want that? Isn't this probationary state a chance for us to learn how to be obedient for reasons other than fear?
Some forget that God is justified for punishing us. He was justified when he made an example of the man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36). He was justified when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:24-25). He was justified when he cursed Cain (Gen. 4:10-12).
Once this concept is understood, then the need for daily mercy from the Lord becomes more evident. We become more like the publican who prayed:
standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the [self-righteous]: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:13-14).
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God. (Alma 26:12)
Paul wrote, "my strength is made perfect in weakness... when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Cor. 9-10)
Spencer W. Kimball
In your secret prayers do you beat your breast and present yourself with your soul bared, or do you dress yourself in fancy coverings and pressure God to see your virtues? Do you emphasize your goodness and cover your sins with a blanket of pretense? Or do you plead for mercy at the hands of Kind Providence? (October 11, 1961, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1961, p. 6)
Psalm 6:5 in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Jehovah Witnesses use passages like this and others from Ecclesiastes to teach that there is no spirit that survives death (Eccles. 3:10; 8:8; 9:5). They teach that when the body dies, the spirit no longer exists until the resurrection. Is that what David meant when he asked "who shall give thee thanks from the grave?" Isn't he rather saying, "Dear God, have mercy on my soul; if I am preserved by thy power, I will live to praise thee and give thanks. Therefore, save me from my sins and save me from my enemies"?
"Dead men tell no tales," so boasts the pirate. Well, the idea is that "dead men say no prayers" either. King Hezekiah understood this when he declared, "For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee... the living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day." (Isa. 38:18-19)
Psalm 6:6 I am weary with my groaning... I water my couch with my tears
Spencer W. Kimball
The recognition of guilt should give one a sense of humility, of a "broken heart and a contrite spirit," and bring him to the proverbial "sackcloth and ashes" attitude. This does not mean that one must be servile and self-effacing to the destructive point, but rather one must have an honest desire to right the wrong.
Whatever our predispositions when influenced by the pride of our hearts, the person convinced of his sin and suffering godly sorrow for it in humility is reduced-or rather in this case elevated-to tears. Thus he expresses anguish for his folly and for the grief it has brought to the innocent. Those who have not been through the experience may not comprehend this reaction, but the spiritual writers with their deep insight understood that there is a healing balm in tears for the humble soul who is reaching toward God. Jeremiah wrote: "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night." (Jeremiah 9:1.) The Psalmist cried in his anguish: "I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears." (Psalm 6:6.) And again he pleaded: "Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted." (Psalm 25:16.) (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 88)
Psalm 6:8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity
The Savior quoted this idea in his Sermon on the Mount. The Psalmist wanted to depart from the company of the wicked, but the Savior used it to describe those who thought they were his servants:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt. 7:31-32, emphasis added. See also Luke 25-27)
Psalm 7:4 I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy
When David was a young adult and Saul was king of Israel, Saul became jealous of David's popularity. After killing Goliath, he became a military hero and something of a celebrity. The women loved David, dancing and singing, "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." (1 Sam 18:6-7) Out of both jealousy and fear, Saul decided to kill David.
David was the king's armor bearer, harpist, and son-in-law. While David was playing the harp, Saul threw a javelin at him but missed (1 Sam. 19:10). He sent servants to kill him but to no avail. Jonathan and his wife helped him escape Saul's wrath.
Exiled to the wilderness with a small band of men, David hid for his life. Returning from battle, Saul rested in the mouth of a cave, not realizing David's men were deeper in the cave. While Saul was asleep, David had a perfect opportunity to kill him. He might have reasoned, "has not the Lord brought Saul into my hands that I may kill him?"
Instead, David responded, "I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed." The next day, David showed Saul, "my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not... yet thou huntest my soul to take it." (1 Sam. 24:10-11)
Truly, David had delivered Saul who was his enemy without cause. In another attempt to kill David, Saul brought his men to the hill of Hachilah. Like Teancum in Alma (Alma 51), David and his servant snuck into Saul's camp in the middle of the night. With perfect opportunity to kill Saul, David chose to preserve his life, taking his spear and water cruse as proof of his innocence. The next day, David showed Saul's camp that he had been in their camp the preceding night, "Behold the king's spear! And let one of the young men come over and fetch it... for the Lord delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed" (1 Sam26:22-23). David's great respect for the Lord's anointed-even if their actions are evil-is a powerful reminder to us that the Lord's servants are to be revered not judged.
Psalm 7:8 Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity
To me the principle of integrity is one of the greatest blessings we can possibly possess. He who proves true to himself or his brethren, to his friends and his God, will have the evidence within him that he is accepted; he will have the confidence of his God and of his friends. It is a great and a glorious principle; it is something that gives you that assurance in your friends that you can trust your property, your life, your all in the hands of your brethren. (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, edited by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], 260)
Spencer W. Kimball
Integrity is one of the cornerstones of character... Integrity is a state or quality of being complete, undivided, or unbroken. It is wholeness and unimpaired. It is purity and moral soundness. It is unadulterated genuineness and deep sincerity. It is courage, a human virtue of incalculable value. It is honesty, uprightness, and righteousness. Take these away and there is left but an empty shell....
Integrity in individuals and corporate bodies is not to ask, "What will others think of me, and my practices?" but, "What do I think of myself if I do this or fail to do that?" Is it proper? Is it right? Would the Master approve? ...
Integrity in man should bring inner peace, sureness of purpose, and security in action. Lack of it brings the reverse: disunity, fear, sorrow, unsureness.
Integrity (which includes the willingness and ability to live by our beliefs and commitments) is one of the foundation stones of good character, and without good character one cannot hope to enjoy the presence of God here or in the eternities. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 192)
Psalm 7:9 God trieth the hearts and reins
"Reins (i.e. kidneys). In the ancient system of physiology the kidneys were believed to be the seat of desire and longing, which accounts for their often being coupled with the heart." (Dictionary of the Bible, William Smith, "Reins")
Neal A. Maxwell
All have trials... It seems God is always stretching those who meekly serve Him most. At times, His best pupils experience the most rigorous and continuous courses! Eventually, each father or son who proves to be a "man of Christ" will thereby become a distinguished alumnus of life's school of affliction, graduating with honors. This is a wintry doctrine, but a true one. (Ensign, Sept. 1993, 67)
God hath said that He would have a tried people, that He would purge them as gold, now we think that this time He has chosen His own crucible, wherein we have been tried; and we think if we get through with any degree of safety, and shall have kept the faith. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, [SLC: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 135)
Rulon S. Wells
We read in the scriptures, and have been told from time to time, that the Lord will have a tried people. The only thing that will enable the people to withstand the trials that may come upon them will be the knowledge which they have that this is the work of God. When that knowledge has taken root in their hearts, the storms of adversity and great calamities may come, but they will stand firm and immovable because their faith will be founded upon the rock of revelation. (Conference Report, April 1904, Afternoon Session, 97)
Psalm 7:11 God is angry with the wicked every day
I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.
I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man; (D&C 63:32-33)
Ezra Taft Benson
Why is the Lord angry with the wicked? Because they have rejected the gospel. They have rejected Jesus Christ as the God of this world. They have rejected the Author of salvation. (God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], 93)
Joseph Fielding Smith
We know that the Lord is merciful and kind and that he does not rejoice in causing fear in the hearts of the righteous; nor does he command them to approach him in the spirit of fear in the sense in which this term is usually interpreted. It is true that the wicked will fear and tremble before him in that great day of judgment and that he is angry with the wicked, and dreadful fear and trembling will fill their hearts at his coming. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 2: 2)
God whom we serve, who is an exalted living being, possessing body, parts and passions, who listens to the prayers of his Saints, is a reasonable, merciful, and intelligent being, who is filled with knowledge and wisdom, who is full of light and glory, and the foundations of whose throne are laid in eternal truth; whose personal form is perfect in proportion and beauty. He loves the good, and is angry with the wicked every day as it is written in the Scriptures. He hates the evil that is done by evil doers, and is merciful to the repenting sinner. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 11: 252)
Psalm 7:15-16 He... is fallen in to the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head
God is remarkably just when he punishes the wicked. He gives them just what they deserve. If they have set a trap for another, they get trapped. If they have dug a pit, they fall in. Although sometimes these divine retributions are not immediate or visible, it gives us hope that our enemies will indeed get what they deserve.
For example, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were cast into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship Babylon's idols. Not only did they survive, but "the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego" (Dan. 3:22). Second, Daniel's enemies plotted his demise by enacting a law against any prayers for a month. Daniel continued to pray and was cast into the lion's den. Of course Daniel survived, but we should take heart that the lions did not go hungry, "they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces" (Dan. 6:24). Finally, when Haman plotted against Mordecai, his evil was turned upon his own head. "So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai" (Esther 7:10)
Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes
Thomas S. Monson
Some years ago, the Salt Lake City newspapers published an obituary notice of a close friend-a mother and wife taken by death in the prime of her life. I visited the mortuary and joined a host of persons gathered to express condolence to the distraught husband and motherless children. Suddenly the smallest child, Kelly, recognized me and took my hand in hers. "Come with me," she said, and she led me to the casket in which rested the body of her beloved mother. "I'm not crying, Brother Monson, and neither must you. My mommy told me many times about death and life with Heavenly Father. I belong to my mommy and my daddy. We'll all be together again." The words of the Psalmist echoed to my soul: "Out of the mouth of babes ... hast thou ordained strength." (Ps. 8:2.)
Through tear-moistened eyes, I recognized a beautiful and faith-filled smile. For my young friend, whose tiny hand yet clasped mine, there would never be a hopeless dawn. Sustained by her unfailing testimony, knowing that life continues beyond the grave, she, her father, her brothers, her sisters, and indeed all who share this knowledge of divine truth can declare to the world: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Ps. 30:5.) ("Hopeless Dawn-Joyful Morning," Ensign, Feb. 1993, 5)
Psalm 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers
David, doubtless... had been contemplating the heavens, the vastness of them, and the greatness of God's power as witnessed therein; for he says in another place, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world."
Turning from a contemplation of the great works of the Creator, and looking upon man in his insignificance, very naturally he gave expression to the thought contained in this psalm-"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?" But notwithstanding there seemed to be in the mind of the poet the idea of the insignificance of man, yet he was careful to observe that God had exalted him above the rest of His creatures that live upon the earth. He took note that the beasts of the field, all sheep and oxen, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, were all placed under the dominion of man. Indeed, if you follow the thoughts of the Prophet David upon this subject, you will discover that in his mind this superiority in man and his dominion over the other creations of God argued for him some special relationship to Deity. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 4, Jan. 27, 1895)
Psalm 8:4 What is man that thou art mindful of him?
Henry D. Taylor
Well might we ask the same question, "What is man?" and well might the answer be: Man is the spiritual offspring of heavenly parents, privileged through righteous living to come to this world, to be born of earthly parents, and to be blessed with a mortal body. (Conference Report, April 1968, Afternoon Meeting 31)
Gordon B. Hinckley
I first read the following words 67 years ago in a college English class: "What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!" (Hamlet, act 2, scene 2, lines 303-7).
I recognize that these words of Hamlet were spoken in irony. And yet there is so much of truth in them. They describe the great potential excellence of men and women. If Shakespeare had written nothing else, I think he would have been remembered for these few words of soliloquy. They go hand in hand with these words of David:
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour (Ps. 8:3-5).
They also go with the words of the Lord to Job when He spoke out of the whirlwind:
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. ...
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4, 7).
These magnificent words declare the wonder of man. And when I speak of man, I of course speak also of woman. We are all children of God, and there is something of His divinity within each of us. We are more than a son or daughter of Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So who reside in such-and-such a place. We are of the family of God, with such a tremendous potential for excellence. The distance between mediocrity and excellence can be ever so small.
...I speak of the need for a little more effort, a little more self-discipline, a little more consecrated effort in the direction of excellence in our lives.
This is the great day of decision for each of us. For many it is the time of beginning something that will go on for as long as you live. I plead with you: don't be a scrub! Rise to the high ground of spiritual, mental, and physical excellence. You can do it. You may not be a genius. You may be lacking in some skills. But so many of us can do better than we are now doing. We are members of this great Church whose influence is now felt over the world. We are people with a present and with a future. Don't muff your opportunities. Be excellent. ("The Quest for Excellence," Ensign, Sept. 1999, 2, 5)
Russell M. Nelson
Why were we created? Why are we here? Why are we upon the earth?
God has made it plain over and over again that the world was made for mankind. We are here to work out our divine destiny, according to an eternal plan that was presented to us in the great council of heaven. Our bodies have been created to accommodate our spirits, to allow us to experience the challenges of mortality and continue our eternal progression. ("The Magnificence of Man," New Era, Oct. 1987, 49)
Psalm 8:5 thou has made him a little lower than the angels
L. Tom Perry
Have you ever thought of yourself as a junior angel crowned with glory and honor? Every one of our Father in Heaven's children is great in His sight. If the Lord sees greatness in you, how then should you see yourself? We have all been blessed with many talents and abilities. Some have been blessed with the talent to sing, some to paint, some to speak, some to dance, some to create beautiful things with their hands, and others to render compassionate service. Some may possess many, others only a few. It matters not the size or the quantity but the effort we put forth to develop the talents and abilities we have received. You are not competing with anyone else. You are only competing with yourself to do the best with whatever you have received. Each talent that is developed will be greatly needed and will give you tremendous fulfillment and satisfaction during your life. ("Youth of the Noble Birthright," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 74)
Psalm 8:6 thou hast put all things under his feet
Joseph Fielding Smith
It is true, that man was made to have dominion over all the works of the Almighty upon the earth, for he is the crowning glory of all creation. Moreover, while man in this mortal world with its changing scenes is made a little lower than the angels, yet the power is in him to rise far above the angels through the exercise of his agency. He may become like God, his Father, who planted in his being the divine spark in the creation, which spark is developed to its fulness through the glorious mission on the earth of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
In mortality man is created a little lower than the angels, but he is also created far above the animal creations upon the earth, over which he has always held dominion. (The Progress of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1964], 17 - 18)
Psalm 9:7 the Lord... hath prepared his throne for judgment
The ninth psalm may not be the most famous of psalms, but within its few verses is the prophecy of Millennial Judgment-the assurance that the both the wicked and the righteous will receive their due. This judgment will be administered from the millennial throne of Christ. He will share this responsibility with righteous priesthood holders (1 Cor. 6:22; Rev. 20:4).
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
...and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works (Rev. 20:4, 12)
Bruce R. McConkie
With reference to the coming day of judgment, let us turn first to the Psalms, to those inspired poetic gems of rhythmic beauty, which speak in grand words of the return of the Lord Jesus to judge the world. They speak as plainly of this coming day as they do with reference to his first coming, and to his ministry, atoning sacrifice, death, and resurrection. Indeed, it is the divine purpose to set forth in prose, poetry, and song repeated allusions to and truths about the Lord Jesus and all that he has done and yet will do in the eternal scheme of things. It is the divine purpose to keep the hearts of men turned everlastingly to Him by whom all things are, by whom salvation comes, by whom men are resurrected, judged, and awarded their places in the mansions that are prepared.
What then say the Psalms about the coming day of judgment? They say: "The Lord shall endure for ever [or, better, sitteth (as king) for ever]: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness." Jehovah is the Judge; the Lord Jehovah judgeth all men; the Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son. "The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. . . . The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." How can a just God do other than send the wicked to hell? If he saves the righteous, he must damn the wicked. He shall make a full end of all nations at his coming, and the wicked among them shall be burned, with their eternal spirits, as a consequence, going to hell. "Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight." (Ps. 9:7-19) Such are the inspired words of David the king. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 510)
[During the Millennium] there will still be millions on the earth who will not believe in him; but they will be obliged to acknowledge his kingly government. (Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 115)
Psalm 9:9 The Lord will also be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble
"As a teenager, I learned from the scriptures that 'the Lord ... will be a refuge for the oppressed.' (Ps. 9:9.) No matter how heavy our burdens are, God will help us bear them. Psalm 55:22 promises: 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.' And Jesus offered this consolation: 'Come unto me, all ye that ... are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' (Matt. 11:28.) Those scriptures are true. That principle is true. Our Heavenly Father is perfect-perfect in his love, acceptance, patience, and support. He is always there for us and can give us the help we need if we will continually turn to him, seeking guidance, direction, and love." ("A Refuge for the Oppressed," Ensign, Jan. 1992, 64)
Psalm 9:11 the Lord... dwelleth in Zion
During his mortal ministry, the Master visited Jerusalem but he did not dwell there. Therefore this passage is both Messianic and Millennial. During the Millennium, Christ will dwell with the saints a thousand years. From Zion, he will judge the world, "for out of Zion shall go forth the law." (Isa. 2:3) The scriptures seem to indicate that he will dwell in the two great temples of the two great capitals of the Millennium: the old Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem (Zion).
Bruce R. McConkie
"But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion." (Joel 3:1-21.) The great day of redemption and of salvation for the Jews is reserved for the Second Coming. Then, when the Lord dwells among his people-among those who remain-they shall be cleansed by baptism and saved by righteousness. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 461)
Psalm 9:17 the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God
Can the wicked complain when the Lord brings judgment on them? Do they have a right to be upset? Has God been unfair to them? What will be the Lord's answer to them in that fateful day?
At that day, the Lord will have a special message for the wicked:
And this shall ye have of my hand-ye shall lie down in sorrow.
Behold, and lo, there are none to deliver you; for ye obeyed not my voice when I called to you out of the heavens; ye believed not my servants, and when they were sent unto you ye received them not.
Wherefore, they sealed up the testimony and bound up the law, and ye were delivered over unto darkness.
These shall go away into outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. (D&C 133:70-73)
There will be wicked men on the earth during the thousand years. The heathen nations who will not come up to worship will be visited with the judgments of God, and must eventually be destroyed from the earth. (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5:212)
Psalm 10:1 Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
At times when the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer, we wonder why God doesn't step in and do something (Alma 14:8-11). Can you think of another prophet who wondered why God seemed so distant? How about the Prophet Joseph in Liberty Jail?
O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants...? (D&C 121:1-2)
Psalm 10:8-9 his eyes are privily set against the poor... he lieth in wait to catch the poor
To the Lord, taking advantage of the poor, widowed, and orphaned is particularly evil. We might ask, "Who takes advantage of the poor in our day? Who sets traps for them?"
In the United States, short term, pay day loans have become remarkably common. These, some argue, take advantage of the poor and place upon them undue debt.
"Critics... blame payday lenders for exploiting people's financial hardship for profit. They say lenders target the young and the poor, particularly those near military bases and in low-income communities. They also say that borrowers may not understand that the high interest rates are likely to trap them in a 'debt-cycle,' in which they have to repeatedly renew the loan and pay associated fees every two weeks until they can finally save enough to pay off the principal and get out of debt. Critics also say that payday lending unfairly disadvantages the poor, compared to members of the middle class, who pay at most a rate of about 25% on their credit card purchases." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payday_loan)
The Master reviled the scribes and Pharisees for their treatment of the underprivileged as follows:
"For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers." (Matt. 23:4)
What a damning condemnation! They would not so much as move "one of their fingers" to help the poor. How are we doing in this department? Are there ways in which we oppress the poor and underprivileged? If so, we have need to repent.
Abraham H. Cannon
How do we treat the poor, the afflicted, and the suffering, whose cries are not heard through the newspapers of the land, but who are none the less sufferers though they may conceal their trials? Do we feel for those next door to us, who are within touch of us? Do we feel sympathy for their sufferings, and do our hearts yearn to extend help to them? I hope that we do, but I fear that we do not. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. [Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992], vol. 4, July 1, 1894)
Psalm 10:14 thou art the helper of the fatherless
The fatherless and widowed or single women are of particular interest to God. One thing they have in common is the absence of a priesthood holder's support. Don't they deserve help from those with stewardship and means? When the priesthood doesn't take care of the fatherless, the Lord has to take on this responsibility himself, for He is "the helper of the fatherless."
The Lord's brother, James the apostle, explained:
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27)