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There's been a flurry of letters about whether or not to give to beggars. As a Mormon, whenever I pass a beggar, I'm haunted by the exhortation of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon:

"And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

"Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just — But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent." (Mosiah 4:16-18)

I know, not all who hold out a sign are beggars (some are con artists); regardless, we should be generous. If not directly, then indirectly to food banks, homeless shelters and aid societies.

Josephine M. Jones

Salt Lake City

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