Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Endowment

Several months ago I attended a Sunday School Class where Brother Tony Damiano was giving a lesson that really got me thinking. I have wanted to a post on it ever since and today's the day.

He talked about how commodities and things change hands between various individuals.

1. A Gift~ A person chooses something that they find valuable and hopes the recipient will love it also. The gift is given as a token of esteem, love or appreciation for their association and nothing is expected in return.

2. A Sale~One person has something of value and another person wants it. They negotiate a price that seems fair in both of their eyes and an exchange is made. This works best when each feels that got the better end of the deal.

3. An Endowment~One person has something of great value that he wants to give to another but in exchange he wants something of far less value from the recipient.

He then told the story of Duke University to illustrate his point.

Duke University in Durham N.C. was originally known as Trinity College. A very wealthy family endowed the college with three $100,000 gifts. This endowment was huge by the standards of the day and since 1925, it has given over a billion dollars to the people of North and South Carolina. The Endowment makes gifts to support child care, hospitals, churches, and higher education in those states.

The Duke Family asked for a few things in return, one that women be admitted with the same status and criteria as men and two that they rename the college, Duke University in honor of the family. There may have been a few more stipulations but, the point is that what they asked in return was nothing compared to what the University received by complying with the family's wishes. Much was given ~ very little was expected in return.

I thought this was really brilliant as a way to more fully understand how little our Father in Heaven and the Savior ask of us to inherit all that they have. I just love lessons like this that stay with you a long time~and get you to really ponder things of the spirit.

Unwrap the Gift!


Julie said...

Thank you for sharing. I love hearing Brother Damiano, I always learn so much from him.

Bonnie said...

Me too, Julie! He is one of the best teachers because he makes every lesson fun and memorable! The other thing I love about his teaching is it is backed up with a great testimony and lots of study.

Laura said...

What an interesting story about Duke University. Never had heard that, is such an incredible concept---thanks for sharing!