The Widow’s Mites

Luke 21:1–4

1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Elder Alexander B. Morrison said:

“Jesus, the Master Teacher, repeatedly taught eternal truths drawn from common experiences of life. One such lesson deals with the need to be generous in our giving—to give with the spirit of sacrifice and devout intent to bless those less fortunate than ourselves. Luke records that as Jesus sat in the temple He observed those who cast their contributions into the treasure chests therein. Some deposited their gifts with devoutness and sincerity of purpose, but others, though they gave great sums of silver and gold, did so ostentatiously, primarily to be seen of men.

“Among the long lines of contributors was a poor widow, who cast into the treasure chest all that she had, two small bronze coins, known as mites. Taken together they amounted to less than half a cent in American money. Noting the disparity between what she gave and the much greater contributions of some others, Jesus proclaimed, ‘Of a truth . . . , this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.’ Though the rich had given from their abundance, ‘she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had’ (Luke 21:1–4). Jesus knew it is not the amount we give that matters. In the arithmetic of heaven, value is determined not by quantity but by quality. It is the intent of the willing heart and mind that is acceptable to God (see 2 Cor. 8:12).”

(“For This Cause Came I into the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 26–27.)