“I Would That Ye Should Do Alms Unto the Poor”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

The Saints are always to care for the poor; to see to their needs and wants, both temporal and spiritual. They are to do alms-to make offerings or deliver gifts or perform deeds of service.

But these actions, important as they are will not have the lasting impact that could otherwise be if we perform them selfishly-in order to have others notice the deed. Service that is self-serving is something less than service. Though we may not be evil individuals, yet to do good acts in order to be seen or noticed or heard is certainly less than noble and may be symptomatic of inner evil.

“God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.” (Moroni 7:6-7.)

A person who does good to be seen of others already has, in the words of the Master, his reward: the praise and esteem of the observers. The unspoken part of the Savior’s chilling warning is essentially: “And let not such a person expect a reward hereafter!”

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4