Have you ever met one of those people who just always gives? They give and give as though that’s all they care about.

My wife is like this. Regardless of how tired she is, how much she’s already given, how busy she is, or how late it is, she is always giving—giving to our children, giving to me, giving to her friends, giving to neighbors and members of our church, and even giving to people that she doesn’t even know.

There are lots of stories of these kinds of people, like this, and this, and countless others. These people seem to have a particular mindset, often called Abundance Mentality. It’s as though they feel like there’s an undiminishable reserve and there’s always enough to give. Always.

I contrast that to the far more frequently encountered Scarcity Mentality. In this mindset we feel like we’ve got no more to give, or that we didn’t have enough to start with, or that we’re too busy or tired and we’ll give tomorrow.

The key thing to realize is this. It is not a difference in the availability of resources. It’s a difference in perspective. It’s another illustration of how we can control life, simply by choosing to perceive it differently—of how perception truly does shape reality.

So, do you know someone with Abundance Mentality? If so, please share so that we may all be inspired by their stories, that perhaps we can all give a little bit more.


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6 Responses

  1. In Jan 2008 I went to the funeral of a 55 year old sister who fit this description. I knew her well. I would never have thought she was capable of taking her life–she did.

    She gave and gave and gave of herself, maybe to the point of exhaustion. Her loved ones explained that she had lost a battle with depression. She had everything with no apparent problems. Great husband, children, and plenty of financial resources. Active in the church.

    We must take time to sharpen our saws and care for our mental and physical well-being.

    I sometimes wonder if some in the church serve to the point that it is a service “gospel hobby”.

    Years back Elder Dallin Oaks talked about our strengths becoming our weaknesses, if we’re not careful.

  2. That’s a tragic tale indeed. I’ve seen how severely one can be inhibited by mental illness, although I’ve no experience with depression. I wonder, though, if the unmatchable joy that accompanies such constant giving was her way of self-medicating her depression, of sharpening her own saw. The scriptures tell us that there should be moderation in all things, but also that we should waste away our lives in service, and that by losing our life, we will find it.

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of a friend, especially one of this nature. We need more like her, although I imagine her willing heart is being enjoyed by others just the same.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Rusty,

    Like you, I am inspired by these rare folks that seem to give and give and give unceasingly. I happen to be married to one, too.

    It’s an interesting balance to strike, I think, between magnifying the strength and abundance that we have been blessed with and thereby qualifying for the blessing of being “sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of [our] bodies,” (D&C 84:33) and possibly falling into a situation like the one described by Jared where we might be running “faster than [we have] strength.” (Mosiah 4:27) There is a young brother in my ward that will drop anything he is doing and RUN, day or night, rain or shine, to help anyone in need or to fulfill any assignment. I know that the ward leaders are very careful about which assignments that they send his way, because he will act immediately without regard to personal consequences. He always seems to be energized by his service and to shine even more brightly because of it.

    On the other hand, there is a late middle-aged sister in our ward that has a similar commitment to serving and helping as the young brother above, but regularly serves herself sick. Sometimes, she wears herself so thin that she literally will end up in bed for several days in a row, almost entirely incapacitated. It’s hard to watch sometimes, because she is one of the most selfless people I have ever met, but she clearly has difficulty with the “wisdom and order” part of Mosiah 4:27.

    I don’t have any answers on how to differentiate. I know that both this brother and sister can testify powerfully of the Lord’s blessings that they have received, precisely because of their “Abundance Mentality.” They are each an inspiration to me.

    [Excellent blog, by the way! I added you to my blogroll and added your About Me page to StumbleUpon. Thanks for taking the time to add some worthwhile commentary to the web!]


  4. Wow, thank you! I’m glad you’ve found it valuable, and appreciate your help spreading the word.

    Thanks also for such a well-thought out (and scriptural) reply. That whole notion of balance. It’s an illusive thing indeed.

    I hope to see you again, and I’m happy to hear you’re so fortunate to have a wife like mine!

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