If Ye Turn Away the Needy – Alma 34:28

28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need–I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.
(Alma 34:28)

If we feel that our prayers are not bringing us closer to God, we might need to examine our lives and see if we need to repent. In the passage above Amulek teaches the poor among the Zoramites that their prayers are vain if they ignore the needs of the people around them. James taught that true religion is living the gospel, not just talking about it:

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
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 1:26-27)

Likewise, Brigham Young taught that our “faith, religion, and profession of religion” will not save any of us unless we act on it and serve those who need our help (quoted by Linda K. Burton in “I Was a Stranger,” General Conference, April 2016).
Today I will pay attention to the needs of the people around me. I will remember that charity means loving and serving others, helping them with the challenges they face, taking action, and getting involved.

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