Journey through the Book of Mormon: Mosiah 27 (Laboring With Their Own Hands)

3 And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality among all men;

4 That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace; that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support.

5 Yea, and all their priests and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support, in all cases save it were in sickness, or in much want; and doing these things, they did abound in the grace of God.
I love this description of the affairs of the Church at the time of Mosiah and Alma. Members were strictly commanded not to oppress or persecute each other, but instead to treat each other as equals. 

And they all, including the priests, were taugh to labor diligently in order to avoid pride and contention. The leaders of the Church understood that when anyone is seen as shirking responsibility and living off hand-outs resentment is inevitable. They understood that even though we are commanded to be free with our substance and not to judge the begged, human nature invariably leads to contention over such matters.

At first glance, the command for all to work diligently and support his or herself seems at tension with the ideals of charity and loving ones neighbor. But in reality the two are integrally connected. 


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