Are We Not All Beggars?

Image from LDS.org, used with permission
In Relief Society recently, we studied Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk "Are We Not All Beggars?" from October 2014 General Conference. It was a wonderful lesson. Our instructor asked us to think of a time in our lives when we have needed something, whether that was spiritual, temporal, emotional, or physical, and how our needs were met, and then write it down on some cards she provided.

The response was overwhelming, and only a few could be shared in class. Following are twenty-one different responses to that question. They are amazing and show not only how we all are in need, but also how much our Heavenly Father loves us and meets our needs Himself or through those around us. They also show that we hold great power to affect others' lives for good if we will but reach out!
"Are we not all beggars? Don't we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don't we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? don't we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at lease in our case?" --Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
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My family is not close by (we are in four states). Many times I have needed my mom, but I feel terrible asking her to spend the money and time to come help. She has never said no and is always willing to hop on a plane or drive the eleven or twelve hours to be here.

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I appreciate a faithful man who is my son's home teaching companion. He not only ministers to his home teaching families, but he is also the hands of Christ reaching out to rescue a young man who is struggling. He has continued to make the effort to be a friend to my son for many years. My greatest desires for my children are met through the kindness and service of this wonderful man and other caring people in the ward.

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I was slowly growing more ill day by day when I was only two years married. I was substituting at the time at a junior high school, limping into the school each morning. Eventually I couldn't walk, not even get myself to the bathroom. I could only lay on the couch in pain. My mother-in-law came and sat by my side for a couple of days to be there for me and help me.

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When I was about 19 I had made some poor decisions. I knew they weren't the best decisions, and one bad decision led into another. I felt like a horrible person. I started to withdraw from my family and people I loved the most because I felt ashamed and unworthy. My good friend asked me one day how things were going, and I eventually spilled the beans. She reminded me that just because I had made a few bad decisions and mistakes that all was not lost. I was still a good person. Knowing that she believed in me and loved me helped me to love myself again and see that all was not lost.

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During college I had moved away from home. I was lonely and homesick and also was asking the questions, "Why am I here? (both at school and on this earth)," and "What is my purpose?" I felt very alone. Through some deep soul-searching prayer (I remember pouring out my heart and sobbing), study, and supportive roommates/friends, I was able to find answers and peace. I know Heavenly Father helped me to find what I was looking for.

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When I broke my ankle so many of my friends were right there to help. Whether it was having my kids over to play, bringing in meals, or cleaning my house, it was all such a blessing to me. Such a great example of Christlike service.

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My mom is always giving me what I need. She looks out for me all the time. She is there if I have a question or problem. Most of the time she helps me get over my fears.

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One time when I was struggling a lot with my self worth when I was in high school, I came home to a dozen white roses and a note from my parents saying how pure and special I was, just like each one of those roses. It meant a lot hearing it come from my parents.

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After a big disappointment which left me feeling angry, sad, and a failure, my sister dropped by with a card to express her confidence in me. She also brought a humorous picture book and a pint of ice cream.

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My husband's company that he was working for had been bought out/taken over by another company, and his job was phased out. This was also right around 9/11, and the economy was very sluggish. Finding work was extremely difficult, as were the worries of providing for our young family. My parents extended the offer to have us move in with them while we got back on our feet. Having that burden lifted was so helpful so that we could focus on the other priorities.

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I was just having one of those overwhelming days. I was picking up one of my kids from a piano lesson, and despite my best efforts to keep myself composed, I started crying. I was totally embarrassed, especially since I couldn't put what was wrong with me into words. It was just "one of those days." Later that evening this sweet 17-year-old piano teacher showed up at our home with dinner. What was more needed than the food was just to know I wasn't alone.

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When we had our first child we had hardly any money and couldn't afford to buy all that we needed for him. The people at my husband's new job threw him a baby shower (not knowing any of our circumstances). They were so generous and gave us so much more than we could ever ask for. I have always been so grateful to them.

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This is not a large or major problem I face, but something that has helped me many, many times. Whether I had a new baby or just a busy day and needed something from the store but no time to go out, I could and can always call my mom, give her my list and she always delivers and even throws in some price matching. Sounds simple but makes my life so much less stressful to be able to ask my mom for help. She actually loves to shop and spend my money so hopefully it helps my dad too.

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There was a time when I had to speak at a tri-stake conference at college. I was really feeling the need for comfort when my mother called me. She had not known I was speaking, but the Spirit did and that I could receive comfort from hearing the comforting voice of my mother. She then told me that when bodies couldn't meet, that spirits communicate with one another and that is how she felt she knew to call.

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I was moving and I had to be out of my house because we had to sign on our new house in a town five hours away. We were in a time crunch. I didn't know if we would make it, and then there was a knock at the door. Several R.S. sisters were there with buckets and cleaner and a carpet shampooer. If it wasn't for them we would not have made it to the signing of our new house.

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One time a few months ago, I was struggling more than usual spiritually as well as emotionally and physically. I didn't have the energy to take care of my kids, husband, or myself the way I knew I should. Not even close. I didn't know where to turn and didn't feel my prayers were enough (and I didn't really want to pray either). I thought of my parents and sent them an email while I cried. They sent me back the most loving, powerful supportive responses I could have hoped for. My mom encouraged me to pray, pour out my heart and ask/invite the Spirit and angels to be with me, guide me and help me find the hope, energy and whatever else I needed, as well as read the scriptures. I did so. Since then visiting teachers have boosted my spirits, as well as friends. And most importantly, God. I have felt a more real power from Him since then. More than ever before. What a beautiful succession of blessings.

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I can't think of a specific incident, but I have a mother-in-law that is always there when I need her. She comes and takes one of my kids to spend the day with her, and it usually happens when there was a lot of fighting going on. She has dropped everything to watch my kids when I have needed to take a child to the doctor or see someone in the hospital. I always feel like she knows what I need without having to tell her anything.

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I was dealing with some personal struggles that I felt unable to talk about with anyone. Knowing no one that had been in my particular situation, and I didn't know what to do, I went to the temple and was crying when a temple worker reached out and just hugged me for a long time. Through her hug I felt her love for me and also my Heavenly Father's love for me. It didn't change my situation or solve my problems, but it did strengthen my spirit. It was what I needed in that moment.

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My experiences with receiving help usually have to do with the Lord helping me because I don't like asking others for help. When I was a teenager I made some bad choices and ended up pregnant. I made the choice to place my baby for adoption. On the day of placement, as I was listening to the worker read the paperwork I had to sign to give up my rights to my baby, I panicked. I knew I couldn't do it. I had promised myself I would pray if I started doubting. So I prayed to Heavenly Father to give me strength. The Spirit took over my body, literally, and signed the papers for me. I felt peace, calm, and love. And once the papers were signed, the fear and panic and pain came flooding back. This is the moment in my life that I remember the Savior's love for me the absolute most. I asked, and he took my burden.

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When I was in the MTC, I was struggling a lot and really wanted to come home. I had called my parents and told my branch leader that I had made the decision to come home. That same afternoon my MTC instructor came up to me after class and said, "I felt very inspired to talk to you." He had no idea of my plan to go home but was a mouthpiece for the Lord through the Spirit in telling me exactly what I felt my Father in Heaven needed me to hear as he counseled and encouraged me. That experience made me change my mind about leaving, and all because my teacher followed the Spirit and reached out to me, I was able to have the most unforgettable and life changing experiences instead of giving up.

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I had a baby that did not sleep for the first eight months of her life. I was so exhausted that I just couldn't feel the Spirit. I was numb. Our R.S. president challenged us to read the Book of Mormon every day of the new year. Since I was up all night anyway, I decided to take that challenge. As the days went on, I began to feel again. It was slow but noticeable. It became my lifeline. I haven't missed a day in over eleven years. I know there is great healing power in the scriptures. I don't know if any of the other sisters in my ward had similar experiences, but I know that challenge was for me, and I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows me.

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