“Let Not Thy Left Hand Know What Thy Right Hand Doeth”

Bryan Richards

To give without anyone else knowing is to give anonymously. But we are to give without the left hand even knowing what is going on. In the metaphor, the left hand represents the possibility of receiving something in return. The left hand must be kept quietly at one's side, or else it might hope to receive some kind of benefit from the work of the right hand. Elder Carlos E. Asay has reminded us, "Those who strive to share the gospel with the hope of some tangible reward uppermost in their minds are too much like those who give with one hand and expect to receive with the other or who give a gift that sticks to their fingers. On the other hand, those who give or share with an intangible blessing in mind are required to exercise a greater faith. Their motive for doing seems purer than those who do with the expectation of an immediate and tangible return." (The Seven M's of Missionary Service: Proclaiming the Gospel as a Member or Full-time Missionary, chap. 6)

Henry B. Eyring

"…the Lord said, 'Do not your alms before men.' (Matthew 6:1.) And the best people don't. They do good very privately. Now and then I get a glimpse, always by accident, of the way some people live the simple commandments of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They don't know more than you and I know; they just do more of the simple things you and I have already been taught as children in a Primary class. I discover acts of kindness, of forgiveness, or of moral endurance beyond what I had thought we could do." (To Draw Closer To God, pp. 67-68)