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Lessons Learned from the Widow’s Mite

By Mormon.org
widow's mite

A Lesson in the Temple

While teaching in the temple, the Savior took the opportunity to teach His Apostles a spiritual lesson on faith, sacrifice, and love when He drew their attention to a widow who contributed two mites—all that she had—into the treasury as a monetary offering (see Luke 21:4). The Savior made mention of others making contributions of much larger sums but taught that the widow had cast in more than the wealthy individuals because she had given all that she had.

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A Sacrifice Fueled by Love

The widow’s sacrifice was fueled by her love for God and her trust that He would take care of her. As we ponder on her sacrifice, it’s important to understand that our Heavenly Father has no need for our sacrifices; He is God. There is nothing He needs from us that He can’t do or provide for Himself. In this life, when you sacrifice for God, the real beneficiary is yourself.

The offering of the two mites served a spiritual purpose more than a temporal one. To our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, everything is spiritual. Their primary interest is in our hearts (see 1 Samuel 16:7).

The widow was sanctified and blessed by her faith, love, and sacrifice. Christ’s Apostles learned from her example, and today we are blessed because they chose to record it. If we can imagine for a moment God’s reaction to her offering—seeing her as a loving Father sees His child—we have to imagine that the observation was tender as He watched her give Him all she had; surely, His desire to bless her increased in that moment.

The widow exemplified the childlike faith that Christ praised when He brought a child before His disciples and taught, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (see Matthew 18:2–4). To become like a child we have to learn to trust completely in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. We have to sacrifice with the faith that They know what’s best for us and that They’ll take care of us—like the faithful widow.

Is There a Modern Application to This Story?

Is the Lord asking us to give all that we have? When it comes down to it, what the Lord really wants from us is our hearts, and for some, that can be the hardest thing to give. In life, our hearts get battered, broken, and bruised by the things that happen to us and by the choices we make. We struggle with trust and we learn to build fortresses around our hearts, and when we do, we often encapsulate our mistakes, problems, and sins.

The human family has a tendency to cling to personal pain and sorrows. We convince ourselves that these things belong to us and that we have to carry them. But our sorrow, sin, pain, and mistakes belong to the Savior. He suffered for them, and if we offer them to Him, He can heal us. He has invited: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28, 30).

What Are Your Two Mites?

What in your life might the two mites represent? Perhaps you can’t forgive someone, perhaps you’re fighting a battle of addiction, maybe you struggle to control your temper—these and countless other spiritual ailments can be offered up for healing. It’s true that in giving we receive—especially when we give all we can to God and Jesus Christ.