In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul talks about the importance of helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. He begins the chapter talking about the church in Macedonia and how the members there take care of each other, sharing their wealth with the poor. Extending this comparison, Paul talks about Jesus Christ and His wealth. Despite His riches, though, He came to earth poor and humble, suffering pain and death to enable us to share in His wealth one day. Encouraging the saints of Corinth to follow the Macedonians and Christ, Paul tells them to share with one another and bring equality to the church.
The same spirit of unity that Paul urges the Corinthians to seek is present among the Nephites and Lamanites in 4 Nephi 1 in the Book of Mormon. Writing about this time, Mormon describes that “they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift” (4 Nephi 1:3). Further chronicling the years after Christ’s visit, Moroni talks about how the people found happiness working together to rebuild cities, follow the commandments, and avoid contention.
This unity is seen in Jerry Thompson’s painting of a circle of people eating together. None of them wear expensive clothing and their meal looks small, but looking at this painting, I am struck by how happy they all look. Just as the scriptural accounts in Corinthians and 4 Nephi promise, and Thompson’s artwork portrays, sharing your blessings with others and following the commandments leads to true and lasting happiness.-Emma Belnap, Research Assistant