Why can't people all over the world have charity in their hearts and minds all year around instead of just this time of year? But, do people really know what charity really is? Suppose you could ask God what He thought about charity, would you be interested in what He thinks?
CHARITY FROM OAHSPE
Book of Judgement
1. HEAR my words, O man, and be considerate of the justice of thy Creator.
2. These are my exhibits which I place before thee, that thou shalt not err:
3. And thou be a rich man, and adorn a city by donating unto it a park, with statuary and pleasure-walks, hoping to glorify thyself thereby, and be praised by men; therein thyself burieth thyself in the first resurrection. And the act lowereth thy grade instead of raising it.
4. For in whatsoever thou givest, thou shalt consider, first, the lowest of the low, whether they have bread to eat, and a place to sleep: And the sick, whether they have attendance and good provision.
5. And thou be a rich man and contribute a house for the orphans or for the helpless and aged who cannot help themselves, it raiseth thee in grade.
6. But so far as thou doeth this for the applause of men, thou detracteth from the rate of thy beneficence.
7. Neither doth such a good work help thee more than the poor man helpeth his own grade by assisting one poor orphan.
8. For thy resurrection dependeth not on the quantity thou givest, but as to whether thou givest according to what thou hast. Of which matter thou shalt judge thyself.
9. For he who giveth a penny may be raised up more by so doing, than he that giveth ten times ten thousand.
10. A certain rich man, being converted from the desires of earth, went about casting his money freely in the streets, and in giving to whosoever asked him therefor.
11. And some gathered it up, and fed and clothed themselves; others took of it, and went and got drunk, and became worse than before.
12. The measure of righteousness of that man's behavior was not in giving what he had to the poor, but in the good and evil that came of it, being weighed, as to which outbalanced the other.
13. And where he lowered the grade of them that received this money, or where he lowered a greater number than he raised, there his act of casting the money away was a judgment against him.
14. He who giveth, saying: Here, thou beggar! doeth a good corporeal act, but an evil spiritual act. He lifteth up with one hand, but knocketh down with the other. Such an act detracteth from the grade of that man.
15. A certain rich man, being converted to do good works, went and built a score of soup-houses to feed the poor gratuitously.
16. And all the poor people of that town went therein and were fed. But the next year, behold, there were twice as many poor. And the rich man built another score of soup-houses, and they were all fed.
17. But the next year, there were still twice as many poor people to feed; but the rich man had exhausted his means, and could feed none at all.
18. Judgment is therefore rendered against that man for his supposed beneficence.
19. For, whilst he did a little corporeal good, he did a great spiritual wrong, because he lowered the grade of manhood and womanhood in those that he fed. His benevolence promoted dependence.
20. A rich man founded a place of labor for the poor, who had nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep. And he said unto them:
21. The Creator hath given you hands to work with; come ye, be men and women.
22. And they went and worked and earned their living.
23. Judgment is rendered in favor of that man, for he raised the spiritual grade of the poor. This is a beneficence that extendeth into heaven.
24. Let thy charity be to the sick and helpless, but be thou wise in directing the able-bodied to help themselves.
25. For all charity tendeth to lower the self-respect of the receiver, and casteth him lower in the grades in heaven.
26. Certain ones depend on alms, not having either sickness nor yet strong bodies. Nevertheless, were they aroused, they could support themselves.
27. When thou givest them regularly, they depend on thee. These become beggars in the lowest grades in heaven.
28. That which thou givest them accounteth against thine own grade. Better is it for thee and for them, that thou arouse them from their degradation.
29. To do this tenderly and mercifully, is a great virtue; to do it cruelly, is a great crime.
30. Consider not so much what thou shalt do to raise thine own grade, but what thou canst do to raise the grade of those within thy reach.
31. Remember, all men and women are thy brothers and sisters, and thou shalt labor to make them make themselves a glory unto the Creator.
The Book of Judgement
GOD JUDGETH CHARITIES.
1. GOD said: A certain man built a dam across a river, using only stones, but no cement. And the water ran through the crevices, rendering the dam worthless.
2. Then came certain neighbors to him, saying: Thou shalt apply cement to the crevices.
3. So, the man went to the lower side, and applied cement; but, lo and behold, the result was only temporary, for the water washed the cement away.
4. Again his neighbors said unto him: Apply thou the cement at the upper side, and the water will carry it into the crevices, where it will remain with good effect.
5. And the man did so, and, behold, the dam was a complete structure.
6. After such manner, O man, consider all charities. Thou mayst apply thy riches, and thy estates for charity's sake, but of no profit under the sun.
7. When the man applied the cement, where it was not self-sustaining, the waters washed it away.
8. Wherein thou appliest charity, and it be not self-sustaining, judgment is rendered against thee.
9. When the man applied the cement toward the fountain, it became self-sustaining.
10. Wherein thou appliest charity, and it be self-sustaining, judgment is rendered in thy favor.
11. When thou meetest thy neighbor on the road, and he hath fallen down, and broken his legs, and can not stand, consider how foolish it would be, to lift him up, and, then, let him fall again. Flatter not thyself, that such would be charity.
12. And yet, how much of the so-called charity of the world is of that kind.
13. Thou mayst feed three drunkards' families, and flatter thyself thou hast done charity worthily; but, if thou hast not done that which will make them no longer in need of charity, thou hast done little.
14. Another man may not feed them, but he may reform them, and put them in the way to be self-sustaining. Such a man will have done a hundred-fold greater charity.
15. To open the way for employment and industry, this is the greatest of all charity. For, by these avenues, charity will not be needed, even for the aged, nor for orphans.
16. Consider, then, how little any people have to boast of for charity's sake. Even their asylums and poor-houses and homes for the aged and helpless are so many witnesses of condemnation against the people who built them; because some great wrongs and evils existing within the state were also built by the people in the first place.
17. They are as paint and plaster, hiding and redeeming them, in some measure, for the sins of a wicked people.
18. And, when such a city saith: Behold us! what a charitable people we are! I say unto thee, that that city understandeth not the kingdom of thy God.
19. Yet, thou shalt avoid going to the other extreme, doing nothing, which is worst of all. But thou shalt go to the root of the matter; thy charity shall be directed to prevent the causes of such ill-fortunes.
The Book of Judgement
GOD SHOWETH HOW TO DO CHARITY.
1. GOD said: O man, consider the folly of individual effort! One will say: I help my family and my neighbors; let others do so, and all will be well.
2. This is his philosophy and doctrine! Now, I say unto thee, this is just what hath been tried for thousands of years, and it hath resulted in impotency all the while.
3. It hath been said: Sell all thou hast and give it to the poor; but I say unto thee, thou shalt not do this.
4. Though that opened the way to salvation in the ancient days, it is not sufficient in this day. Neither shalt thou hope, that, by giving to the poor, thou shalt escape condemnation.
5. But thou shalt go to the foundation of things, and go systematically.
6. Thy efforts shall not be single-handed, but thou shalt unite with others; and, together, ye shall provide a remedy against poverty.
7. Remembering, it is wiser to accomplish with the young than with the aged. For the mature will be dead in a few years; and, in that day, those that are children will be mature.
8. Better is it, that ye provide a way unto ten fatherless children, than for forty people that are grown.
9. But, even in this, ye may err toward the children. For, to provide them an asylum in infancy, saying: Behold, what a good work we have done! showeth that ye measure not as your God measureth.
10. For it is not sufficient that ye feed and clothe little ones; but ye shall teach them a trade, and occupations, and give them learning, so that, when they are grown, they can sustain themselves.
11. But, even yet, your work is not the highest; but ye shall so provide them, they they will not only be self-supporting, but that they shall be willing and capable of rescuing others, as they were rescued.
12. After this, ye shall see to it, that all things are so provided, that, after your death, your institution be not liable to fall into disuse or perversion.
13. This is founding the Father's kingdom on earth; and whoso laboreth thus, shall be ministered unto by my heavenly kingdoms for the glory of Jehovih.
14. Therefore, let your charity be not for a year, nor for a hundred years; but, be ye the corner-stones, founding places on earth where shall rest perpetually a system that will provide a new race, where poverty and crime and helplessness cannot enter.
15. Ye thus become, even in mortality, members of my second resurrection in heaven.