One day as the Savior was with a group of disciples, He started talking to them about treasure and the importance of laying up treasures in heaven.
Those are profound questions that can’t be answered in one or two sentences. Why? For me the reason has to do with the fact that the actions required by the answers are lifelong, not something we do in an hour or a day and then are done.
What Does Christ Mean By “Treasures in Heaven”?
Part of the answer to this question is found directly in Matthew 25:34-40:
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Those who serve Christ will look for ways to bless the lives of others not only when they are hungry or thirsty, but also when they are tired, poor, naked, ill, or in prison—not just physical prison, but spiritual prison induced by poor choices. We will forget ourselves and go to work, ever striving to give a hand to anyone we can within our sphere of influence.
Are there other ways to lay up treasures in heaven? What about taking the time to listen? How about taking the time to play with a child, calling a friend and say hi, or welcoming a new neighbor to the area? All of these actions are acts of service that can lift and encourage the souls around us. How do these things help us lay up treasure? An ancient prophet and king, known in the Book of Mormon as King Benjamin, gives us the answer. It is found in Mosiah 2:17:
17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
When we serve our fellow beings, we serve God. When we serve God, we lay up treasures in heaven through our actions which are recorded by the angels in heaven.
What Am I Doing Each Day to Lay Up “Treasures in Heaven”?
This is a very personal question, and one that we must each answer for ourselves.
What do I do? I pray for God to show me what I can do or to lead me to someone whose life I can bless. I look first to those closest to me, meaning my dear wife, children, and wonderful mother-in-law. What can I do to help them today? How can I serve them? What can I do to bless and uplift them?
Then I look out from there. Is there a neighbor, either near or far (with today’s technology someone can be halfway around the world and still be a neighbor!), that I can help? We have neighbors next door that we’ve adopted as surrogate grandparents. We get their mail for them. We take the trash out for them. We visit them, talk with them, and listen to them. We shovel the snow for them when needed. These are simple things that bless their lives and for which we receive multitudes of blessings in return.
The list of things we can do to bless others is endless. It is important to remember not to run faster than we have strength. Look for something to do each day, but keep it simple.
One final thought: it is important to remember that there is a key that unlocks the door to heaven’s treasury, where our treasures can be laid. We must always be sure that our motivation for doing what we do is done out of selfless love, just like Christ. Only then will our actions turn the key and open the door. Christ is the keeper of that door and He knows the thoughts, intents, and desires of our hearts.
May each one of us live to hear the Savior say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).
Randall McNeely is a husband, father of five, and author. He is also a singer/songwriter and has written several patriotic songs, children’s songs, and multiple religious hymns. The best known is 'Oh Jesus, Savior of Mankind', which won a Special Recognition award in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2008 Music Submission contest. He and two of his daughters have also recorded and released the children’s song Everybody Speaks Smile! Randy has a firm testimony of Jesus Christ. He is the light and the life of the world. It is said and written of Him that "He went about doing good." In doing so, He weaved light into the hearts and souls of all with whom He came in contact, both in word and deed. Randy's desire is to have the same said of him. He wants to have the words and lyrics he writes uplift, inspire, and bless others. To read more articles by Randy visit his Pure Testimony website at www.puretestimony.org.