Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mormon Monday: Fast Offerings

Once a month, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are asked to fast with a purpose and give a fast offering.

This is one of the most powerful blessings given to us.

About a year ago, my husband counselled me about all the amazing blessings that can come from fasting.  He opened up to Isaiah, Chapter 58.  Read some of the promises that come from a true fast:

6: ...to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke.
8: ...Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and they righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be they reward.
9: Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am...
10:...then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.
11: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose water fail not.

So here's the run down: wickedness can't touch you.  Your burdens will be lifted.  If you're oppressed, you'll be set free, and anything weighing you down will be gone.  Your health "shall spring forth speedily"(this resonates with me, a lot!).  You'll get the glory of God.  Heavenly Father will answer your prayers.  The darkness in your life will be as "the noonday".  And you will have Heavenly guidance, continually.

Say what?  And all I have to do is fast once a month?  Of course with every blessing, Heavenly Father asks of us an offering, a sacrifice.  In our case, we give a fast offering that is equal to or greater than the meals we would have eaten had we not fasted.

For example, if I spend $15 a  meal on our family of six, and we fast for three meals (technically the littles don't all fast for three meals.  The older really only fast for one or two...) then we would offer a fast offering of $45 or more.  Isn't it fun when religion turns to math?  I know, right?!

Anywho...the amount you offer is between you and the Lord.  But when you get in return is all the above.  Blessings are poured down upon you.  It's awesome.

Mormons use these fast offerings to lift up the afflicted, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and help the poor.  100% of the fast offerings given go directly to this cause.  It's beautiful.  I'm so thankful for Fast Sunday, however you can fast any time.  Anytime you need extra strength, and answer to an important or deep prayers, or added love and guidance.

Our Savior set a beautiful example when he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  Having met with the greatest of temptations by Satan himself, even in his weakened state, the Savior withstood.  Truly each blessing promised by the Lord in Isaiah rained upon the Savior, and he was strengthened and blessed.  We are promised the same the blessings.  They are ours for the taking.  Anyone can do it.

In April of this year, we were blessed to hear from leaders of our Church.  One of the kindest most compassionate men, Elder Henry B. Eyring gave this beautiful talk: "Is Not This the Fast I Have Chosen?"

Again, you can leave any questions you have in the comments.  Or visit LDS.org for more information.

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