Loaves of bread with blue background

The Power in Fast Offerings

When we choose to sacrifice more through fast offerings, not only will we be blessing others, but our own lives will be blessed as well.

Picture quote of wheat with the words: Upon the law of the fast, one finds a personal well-spring of power to overcome self-indulgence and selfishness."

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

In a world of monthly expenses, credit card bills, and student loans, the decision of how much to donate for fast offerings can be a laborious one. Realizing the difficulty of determining what amount to give, Po Nien (Felipe) Chou and Petra Chou discuss the great rewards of monetary charity in their article, “Like the Widow of Zarephath: The Miracle of Fast Offerings.”

In this article, the authors bear personal testimony of the powerful blessings they witnessed after increasing their own fast offering donations. They also recall the biblical story of the widow of Zarephath, who gave everything she had faithfully, not knowing whether doing so would result in her humble family’s starvation. Through these narratives, the authors illustrate that while giving up our physical possessions is not easy, the result is more rewarding than we could ever imagine.

While not as extreme as the widow’s tale, the authors’ own story of donating funds is also a powerful illustration of the incredible good that can come from sacrifice. After determining that they could be more generous with their fast offerings, Brother and Sister Chou saw rewards in their own lives. The couple witnessed personal spiritual blessings as the selfishness in their family lessened. Temporal blessings also came as grocery bills decreased, gas in their tanks lasted longer, and food storage stayed full.

Though the widow of Zarephath understood that giving to Elijah would mean offering up her family’s final meal, she still sacrificed her last remnants of meal and oil to the prophet. Just as she and her son were able to eat for many days following the miraculous regeneration of food, we too can witness all kinds of blessings when we increase our sacrifices.

Read more about the Chous’ sacrifice and resulting blessings in their article, “Like the Widow of Zarephath: The Miracle of Fast Offerings.”

Source: Ensign and Liahona

—Sophia Szilagyi, Mormon Insights contributor 

feature image by markus spiske

Find more insights

Read or watch “Are We Not All Beggars?” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland to learn more about the importance of fasting and sacrifice.

Study Elder David A. Bednar’s general conference talk “The Windows of Heaven” to gain insight into the blessings that come from living the law of tithing.

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