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Church News viewpoint: 'My brother's keeper'

Within hours of a devastating earthquake hitting the poverty-ravaged nation of Haiti, generous people worldwide were sacrificing time, energy and resources to help the victims.

And just as quickly, scam artists were busy at work, trying to find ways to lure generous people to give them money instead, using false promises and outright lies. Typical among these was a Web site pretending to belong to the Red Cross of the United Kingdom. People were urged to click on a link that would send them to a site telling them where to wire money. But the money never would go to Haiti or to relieve any sort of suffering. It would go to line the pockets of someone interested only in personal gain.

Experts say disasters always bring out this dark side of humanity. In truth, the practice goes back to the very beginning of the human race. Cain killed Abel because Satan had taught him this was a way to obtain worldly wealth without any legitimate work. When the Lord confronted Cain and asked, "Where is Abel thy brother?" Cain answered with a lie, "I know not." Then he asked a question of his own. "Am I my brother's keeper?"

That question is as relative today as it was then. The answer we give defines whose side we are on. The Lord always has made it clear that we have a responsibility to look out for the welfare of our neighbors. Satan teaches the opposite.

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This story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the Deseret News.