The Enemy of True Benevolence and Proper Gratitude

Prophet Statesmen, Albert E. Bowen

These systems rely for their financial resources upon public treasuries which are fed out of the taxation of the people. The donor thus becomes not a voluntary giver but a compelled giver. Between him and the beneficiaries of his contribution there is no bond, hence the character building value which attends voluntary responses to the cry of need is lost. He has paid his taxes and is through, experiencing none of the exhilaration of spirit which floods the being of the voluntary donor to the relief of distress.

On the other side the beneficiary of aid paid under the mandate of law is all too likely to forget the sense of gratitude which should well up in the heart of one who receives voluntarily rendered succor. Instead he is all too apt to fall into the habit of thinking that he is getting only what is of personal right his and in that spirit to become demanding and grasping for more and greater bestowals at the expense of a proper sense of thankfulness.

Source: Albert E. Bowen. The Church Welfare Plan, p. 16, 1946. Albert E. Bowen (1875–1953) served as a mem­ber of the Quo­rum of the Twelve Apos­tles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to his call to full time church ser­vice he taught at Brigham Young Col­lege, then grad­u­ated with hon­ors from Uni­ver­sity of Chicago law school, prac­ticed law in Logan, Utah, and later Salt Lake City, where he also became involved in many impor­tant busi­ness ven­tures such as the Utah Con­struc­tion Com­pany, the Amer­i­can Sav­ings and Loan Asso­ci­a­tion, and the Utah Fuel Company.