Purse nor Scrip

It’s good to be prepared and conscientious, but it’s also important to make room for other people to serve.

When Jesus called seventy missionaries and sent them out, two by two, to preach the gospel, He instructed them to travel lightly. “Carry neither purse, nor scrip,” He said, “nor [extra pair of] shoes.” He told them that other people would be willing to feed them, and that they should accept the help, “for the labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:4, 7).

A purse (ballantion in Greek) is a bag for money. A scrip (pera) is a bag for carrying provisions. These missionaries were to pack lightly, not bringing everything they might need, trusting God and other people to provide for them as they served.

When Alma gave up the office of chief judge to travel throughout the land building up the church, he seems to have followed a similar pattern. Given his prominence, he surely could have arranged to travel comfortably. But in the city of Ammonihah, he approached a stranger named Amulek and asked, “Will ye give to an humble servant of God something to eat?” (Alma 8:19). Amulek welcomed Alma into his home and was greatly blessed by Alma’s presence. (See Alma 10:10-11.)

In 1832, the Lord provided similar guidance to modern missionaries:

Let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom….

And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also….

Whoso receiveth you receiveth me; and the same will feed you, and clothe you, and give you money.

And he who feeds you, or clothes you, or gives you money, shall in nowise lose his reward.

Doctrine and Covenants 84:86, 88-90

Today, I will remember not to overprepare. I will be diligent in fulfilling my responsibilities, but I won’t try to do all the work myself. I’ll make room for others to help, remembering that they will also be blessed for their service.

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