“In what would be the most startling moment of His early ministry, Jesus stood up in His home synagogue in Nazareth and read these words prophesied by Isaiah and recorded in the Gospel of Luke: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and … set at liberty them that are bruised.” (Luke 4:18)
Thus the Savior made the first public announcement of His messianic ministry. But this verse also made clear that on the way to His ultimate atoning sacrifice and Resurrection, Jesus’s first and foremost messianic duty would be to bless the poor, …”
…the Creator of heaven and earth “and all things that in them are” was, at least in His adult life, homeless.
Down through history, poverty has been one of humankind’s greatest and most widespread challenges. Its obvious toll is usually physical, but the spiritual and emotional damage it can bring may be even more debilitating. In any case, the great Redeemer has issued no more persistent call than for us to join Him in lifting this burden from the people. As Jehovah, He said He would judge the house of Israel harshly because “the spoil of the [needy] is in your houses.” “What mean ye,” He cried, “that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor?” (Isaiah 3:14-15)
The writer of Proverbs would make the matter piercingly clear: “He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker,” (Proverbs 14:31) and “whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor … shall [also] cry himself, but shall not be heard.” (Proverbs 21:13)
In our day, the restored Church of Jesus Christ had not yet seen its first anniversary when the Lord commanded the members to “look to the poor and … needy, and administer to their relief that they shall not suffer.” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:35) Note the imperative tone of that passage—“they shall not suffer.” That is language God uses when He means business.”