Comments about ‘Concrete barriers erected in American Fork to deter panhandlers’

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Published: Monday, May 6 2013 5:45 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

@Stalwart Sentinel

Yes, "Wisdom and in order" implies taking care to not give above one's means, true. But it very much ALSO implies not throwing one's pearls before swine. You miss a very important point regarding King Benjamin's words. He was referring to persons who are IN FACT poor, hungry, sick, devoid of protective clothing, etc. -- not to persons who PRETEND to be. We hear in the news from time to time about people getting a lot of money for their cancer treatments or such, only to learn later that they were outright deceiving and defrauding their fellow man. Rightly they were prosecuted. Four times, over a period of three YEARS, I myself heard the same downtown Salt Lake City panhandler give the same, intricate, rather convincing story about being en route to another state and how he needs $17 to replace his car engine's broken serpentine belt so that he may complete his journey. The 3rd and 4th times, I stepped in. Perhaps other readers here have heard the story first-hand themselves.

I suggest a careful and honest re-read of King Benjamin's words.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

anti-liar - What you just expressed is a non-sequitur. If your story is true, the fact that a panhandler has given the same line more than once does not reduce his impoverished state.

Indeed, King Benjamin teaches that we are all indebted spiritual beggars (Mosiah 4: 19-20). Have you ever made the same mistake twice and asked for forgiveness? Can you imagine if God treated you as you treat the panhandler - denying your request because He's already heard you throw that line at Him three or four times before?

I submit that is the takeaway from King Benjamin. Ultimately, it is our job to give, where able, and not withhold charity from the poor or else we will be treated in like kind at the Judgment Seat.

Mapleton, UT

I recently helped a homeless person "get into the system" in Utah county. It took me nearly two months, nearly a thousand dollars, and enough frustration to write a handbook on the subject. But in the end, the effort was successful, and my new friend has some stability in his life for the first time in many, many years. This problem is a human problem. I believe that most people who are in unfortunate circumstances need a helper and a mentor. It was difficult, but rewarding to be able to help another human being.

If more of us would step up and truly give of our time and resources to help another--rather than just passing a few bills out the window--then the problem could be solved. My approach is not for everyone, but I hope some will try it...

Global Warner
Provo, UT

Where are the true Christians in our area? I’m not surprised at the callousness of some public officials in Utah. What is dismaying is the way they seek to get the poor and homeless out of our communities. Many provide bus fare to Salt Lake City where homelessness is more common. They then rest assured that Utah County can more easily pretend to not have a poverty problem and people can smugly enjoy life in Happy Valley. But I prefer the teachings of King Benjamin about not judging the beggar who lifts out his hand for alms. To do so requires that we must repent. We’re explicitly told to not condemn such individuals for in reality, we’re all beggars. I also accept the teachings of Brigham Young who declared that it’s better to give to nine unworthy people seeking charity, food, etc. than to overlook the truly deserving person.

Nies, MI

Panhandling must pay pretty well if panhandlers can afford lawyers. I have to make payments to the dentist.

Harwich, MA

Hypocrisy has no bounds apparently.

S.L.C., UT

Probably save some lives by placing that pony wall on the island. Panhandling has been deemed free speech and that's fine but in the middle of a busy street. Only a matter of time till one stumbled and ended up run over.

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