Tools for the Journey
- An understanding of why we are asked to fast.
- How to pay a Fast Offering.
- A willing heart.
As church members we are invited to fast on the first Sunday of every month. This fast should cover 24 hours approximately and include the abstaining from two consecutive meals; food and water. Members are then invited to pay a generous fast offering to help others in need. The fast offering is then used at the Bishop’s discretion to help local members first and any surplus is then given to those further afield, but all is given to aid and to help others.
There is no specific amount of money or percentage that should be paid; as there is with tithing, which is 10%, but for those who are generous the Lord offers a blessing. The Lord expects his children to take care of the poor and the needy, when they are unable to take care of themselves.
“For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land” (Deuteronomy 15:11).
There are some members, me included, that are unable to fast for the required amount of time or indeed at all. My counsel to you is this, the Lord knows you and what you can and cannot do. He does not wish for you to make yourself sick, so that you can fulfill the Lord’s command to fast. However, this does mean that you cannot fast in your heart and give a generous fast offering just the same –
“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:37)
After careful prayer and pondering with the Lord, my own fast offering is 5% of my food budget, this may or may not be right for you. As I must take regular medication with food, I am unable to fast completely, but I try to abstain from treats and foods that i do not need to sustain myself. Only you can decide if your fast and offering is acceptable to God, although a commandment, it is also a very personal thing.
At Church, member’s fast offerings are placed in an envelope and given to a member of Bishopric, along with tithing or any member of the Deacon’s Quorum provided no tithing is included in the envelope. If, you do not attend a church that will allow you to pay a fast offering, then you may want to set up a charitable offering as a regular donation – to a food charity?? (As per the photo at the top of the page – there is a specific envelope for Fast offerings, but personally, I have never seen one.)
To Do List
- Prayerfully consider how you can fast.
- Prayerfully consider how much of a fast offering you are able to pay.
- Make a commitment to do both.