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Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Offerings

by Eliana (bio)

I know the purpose of fast offerings: President Gordon B. Hinckley has said that if the principles of fast day and the fast offering were observed throughout the world, "the hungry would be fed, the naked clothed, the homeless sheltered. Our burden of taxes would be lightened. The giver would not suffer but would be blessed by [this] small abstinence. A new measure of concern and unselfishness would grow in the hearts of people everywhere. Can anyone doubt the divine wisdom that created this program which has blessed the people of this church as well as many who are not members of this church?" (1991)

I know the stated expectation of amount: "An important reason for fasting is to contribute the amount saved from the meals not eaten to care for the poor and the needy." L. Tom Perry, 1986

I even know the optional super-sized version: "Sometimes we have been a bit penurious, and figured that we had for breakfast one egg and that cost so many cents and then we give that to the Lord. I think that when we are affluent, as many of us are, … we ought to be very, very generous … and give, instead of the amount we saved by our two meals of fasting, perhaps much, much more—ten times more where we are in a position to do it." Spencer W. Kimball, 1974

At my house, no one fasts. Another subject for another day. The cost of food is something like $10 for a day of meals for our family. If you take out dinner, let's say like $5. That seems like a silly fast offering, even if multiplied by every single person in my ward.

Of all things done with my financial contributions, I feel most strongly about fast offerings. It seems like the purest of Christ-like charity. It shouldn't matter what others are contributing, but I do wonder. People are weird talking about money, so I'm wary of bringing it up.

If you aren't comfortable sharing a specific dollar amount that you give as fast offerings, how about a percentage? I give 1%. That is neither right nor wrong, just where it is for now. I'm thinking about it a lot though and would love to hear your thoughts.

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