In the 20th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles Paul quotes the Savior as teaching that "It is more blessed to give . . ." Recently as I have traveled around teaching basic principles of Provident Living this has been one of the most important principles I have been teaching.
We are taught in Section 104 of the Doctrine & Covenants that everything belongs to God and that each of us is a steward over certain earthly blessings bestowed upon us by our Father. We also learn there that our Heavenly Father has prepared ALL things and that there is enough and to spare, but that it must be done His way. That way is that the rich [those with more of certain earthly blessings, not just those with financial wealth] are humbled by giving to the poor [those with fewer of those certain earthly blessings]. We are also cautioned that those who receive their abundance of an earthly blessing, and do not impart to those without will join the father of misery in an abundance of misery after leaving earthly blessings behind.
I have drawn some inferences from these teachings based on my limited experience of 54 years of mortal life: (1) That since God has indeed prepared all things, He has, and will, always make sure there will be those who are rich in some earthly blessing required by the poor. That is, that even as the Savior taught that the poor we always have with us, so too the rich we always have with us. (2) That each individual is rich in some earthly blessing. There is not one person who does not have something to give, some stewardship over earthly blessings. (3) Thus we are all expected to give that which we have to relieve the suffering of someone else; and that as we give, and to the extent we give, we are blessed with more earthly blessings, both of the type we gave away, and also of other types. This is the key truth taught by the Savior in the center parable in Matthew 25. (5) And "that's not all" - as we obey this and other commandments, we get another blessing that is both immediate and lasting - we get happy. The promise in the last verse of the second chapter in Mosiah is very true: "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness." (6) Finally, that given the truthfulness of all of the above, one of the most important things we have to give to others, is this truth: That it really, truly, is more blessed to give. So in how we live our own lives, and the way we help others, we must in all ways be helping them to the position (and disposition) to live giving lives.
I could go on - you all know I can, and do. But as is my nature, I actually told you that to tell you this: This morning we watched another remarkable BYU Forum. This one is on BYU-TV's Move Network on Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 8:00 a.m. Although the program guide says it is a devotional, it is not. It is a speech given by Arthur C. Brooks, an economist (and devout Roman Catholic) who has done quite a bit of research into the economic impacts of giving. It is well worth your while to spend some time listening to this fine presentation that not only presents the positive impacts (both financial and emotionally) that accrue to those who give (both financially and in service), but also at the end provides some insight as to how we are "the leaven which leaveneth the whole lump".