Career

Without Vision, The People Perish. 1

Grow Where You Are Planted. 3

The Doctrine of Opportune Moments: Priorities of a Successful Saint. 6

The Essential Foot Soldier – See Book Eternal Redemption, Topic Exaltation. 7

Immorality of Business Morality: Entertained goons in Babylon. 8

Legalizing Evil: The Downfall of Nations in the Name of Tax Benefits. 8

Absurd Advertising In Babylon’s Gospel of Consumerism.. 9

Poverty Perspective from Elder Richard J. Maynes. 12

Notes on Richistan by Robert Frank. 13

about the new rich and how they affect the world. Published about 2008. 13

Prophets Teach Us Not to Overly Focus on Finance. 14

Prophets Teach the Need to Tithe. 16

Prophets Teach Righteous Finance Principles. 17

Vocation Appendix A: The False Gods We Worship by President Spencer W. Kimball 26

 

 

Note: see also my notes on Atlas Shrugged in my government essays, which has powerful teachings on being an honest business person.

Without Vision, The People Perish

 

 

We buy books on the most advanced studies of our field of interest, lest the insane introduction classes bore us so thoroughly that we lose hope. Therefore, the Doctrine and Covenants insists that when we seek learning (notice the instruction to focus on learning rather than getting degrees, certifications, recognitions, etc.) “Out of the BEST books”.

We study hard things, we learn not the novice material. Even the children can be expected to read increasingly challenging things rather than popcorn novels day in and day out.

We seek for the top skills and knowledge in our field so that we can expand that field and invent machinery and methods to improve that scientist. Any industrialist should also be a scientist, and any scientist should also be an industrialist. The creation and the created, the theory and the implementation, these must remain as close to one another as possible, and the person who can connect the two, creating both, is the most invaluable worker in that field.

We always seek excellence, and to push the work along, leaving both the product and the method in a more refined form than they were when we came. We seek to use the time of our lives to exponentially improve matters for generations.

This improvement doesn’t mean writing more laws and regulations, but rather getting rid of those. It doesn’t mean writing longer textbooks, but shorter ones. Eliminate the fluff and make all things clear and useful.

To obtain vision, we must expand also to an eternal view, and thus we must obtain and maintain families. We must marry and bare children at any cost. This organization is the eternal organization, and it enlivens, orients, and gives meaning to all things. Wisdom seen outside of a family scenario could and would be better if it were in a family scenario. We would eliminate much wasted time if we organized ourselves into family structures early on in life (as the prophets gave long plead) and sought to build up those structures first and foremost, for this is the root and bedrock of society.

Have you, or have you seen others, who lose the fire of faith, the passion and devotion, for their chosen field of study and labor (or God forbid for their wife and children)? Let that man regain his footings by renewing his vision. Passion isn’t something one finds, but something one develops. Holy passion can be obtained in any field of honest work as one “applies himself unto it”. Prophets have taught that we don’t find a soul mate, but you select someone and make them into your soul mate. They’re taught that there isn’t just 1 right person, but that any male and female living the gospel can be compatible. Similarly, choice of vocation isn’t an eternal deal breaker. Matthew was a tax collector. Luke a physician. We could go on and on of the vary different vocations apostles (prototypical saints) have had. Of course, you can feel your way through and find something that fits your tastes and desires to give and receive in a certain way in your work. Research well your choices before you plunge into them, then be a finisher, because finishing is perhaps even more important than what it is you finish. And most often divorces are not from selecting the wrong person, but from failing to maintain a marriage. Career work can be similar, we can fail to remember the big picture or fail to have the patience to go through the mundane seasons. Elder Holland has encouraged students to stay in their chosen career oath since if it was ok with God before, it’s till ok with him now.

Look to the temple for the outline of success: there we learn the eternal method of redemption which is creation, fall, atonement. These 3 things in that order. We must remember our creation, the beginnings, so that we can leave our fall, our failures and lows, and gain redemption through the atonement of Christ the Lord our God. We must see the creation, or we will never reach atonement, we will never have the faith the work our salvation with fear and trembling. We would never have the faith to become excellent in our vocation and research. Let the man look at the excellence of the field which once inspired him, lest the days of slow mediocrity (which our schools and colleges insist upon) drown us in estranged despair. Since mediocrity is so commonly presented at schools, the main and best hope for younglings is to be exposed to excellence in their homes before they ever go off to school. It is wide to post pone their going off to school through home education in the years before adulthood, or at least until the teen (high school) years. Fill your homes with books about the greatest minds. Teach the children of greatness, not of averages. Instill to them a fighting spirit of conquest industry science liberty and adventure rather than a feeling of being wronged, underprivileged, disadvantaged, wanting special rights and privileges. Purify the child of the entitled dogmas of our time which insist that they are enough and teach them to be more. Show their potential rather than leaving them to wallow in their current knowledge and skills. The trend in school is to find the average number of performance, and seek to bring everyone to that level, which lowers the standards every time another evaluation is performed.

If a person does not work in the highest platform if his chosen career, this is ok. There are no bad jobs, only people bad enough to think they are above them. A person in a basic position can do that job well and can study the trade to learn all about it. A natural consequence of learning more knowledge and skills in your field is often advancement, including desire for whatever other opportunities there are, and ability to obtain therein. Knowledge of one’s field also gives perspective to how important their role is in the operation.

It is also regular and honorable for a person to work in a field of choice and go into the business side of that work. Business is how we live. It’s how we get bread. It’s how we fund things. It’s how we exchange. The only shame in business is if the product you are promoting is one that appeals to men’s vices, or if the business is performed by means of theft. But oh, how dreadful is the man whose only knowledge is how to squeeze profits! Especially if he produces nothing, and only cuts cream from another person’s milk. Yes, services are valuable just like products, but some of these supposed services could hardly be called that. Many a middle man has traveled through life putting on a facade rather than being worth his salt.

It is also very dangerous to work in businesses which have been taken over by government, as government operations usually are unconstitutional, and involve unfair play via grants, subsidies, and all manner of other modes of operation which undermine the work of competitors in that field. Competition is good, but unfair play against them isn’t. Government is the guys who bring the guns to the party. Make no mistake about it, they always carry with them their only incentive: force (and its close cousin, blackmail). Government operations have unbalanced budgets from being virtually unlimited in their funding. They feed into the work of lobbyists and moochers rather than operating on the rule of law. They stress democratic mob rule rather than republican representation, and thus slowly give way to the masses who have learned that they can vote their way into ease and idleness, and soon after that, their economy goes to ruin, and government becomes their king (and never a nice one) rather than their servant. Loud are the voices which call for jobs for the sake of being employed rather than jobs for the sake of giving one’s skill to a company. It is demoralizing to fill positions with needy people rather than skilled people. Only government could afford to operate at such inevitably large loss of profit. Yes, there are positions of work for unskilled laborers, but those jobs are often difficult. 1 man willing to work has 3 jobs whilst being around 10 lazy men who say they can find none. Thus, the scripture reads that to him that hath more shall be given – if is the man himself who allows himself to receive or forbids himself from receiving based on his choices. A man must be willing to have humble beginnings if he is to gain career advancement.

Another disease is the unwillingness to work while going to college, and the fruit of that is a mountain of debt with its decades of slavery, or an unwillingness to enroll in a college, claiming that such is impossible in their situation. The collage one attends need not be the loftiest of names, let it be one which is affordable, and which will provide training adequate to enter the work force at a position which will better meet one’s needs.

Hugh Nibley taught that we should seek not only depth, but breadth. It was said of Nibley that he not only excelled in his field but knew more than others of their fields. To know in only your field is vanity and will taint your views unnecessarily. The master must be something of what was called “a renaissance man”, who sought to know not only industry, not only science, not only literature, not only persuasion if the mind, not only the fields, not only the pen, not only the machine, not only the sport, but all of those. Today we think this is strange and wonder how such could be done without running into mediocrity. But if a person can learn financial strategies to pull himself out of abject poverty, and if he is willing to use some of his free time (rich or poor we all have it, but especially if we are rich) to learn and practice these constructive things, he can succeed in learning them well.

Let man learn his trade and earn his training for that but let him also gain an education history economics good government art sciences music and other blessed things which, as money is taken care of, can be magnified. The uneducated man is one who will fall for the pressures of his day, and his money will slip through his hands as he votes for higher taxes for the supposed public good.

While we don’t have faith in money as a provider for all our needs, we can use money to serve others joyfully. Those who aren’t joyful cannot give full hearted service. Thus, using our money not only to serve others but to bring ourselves joy is important.

 

Grow Where You Are Planted

 

 

 

Elder Stanley G Ellis spoke of this in a conference

report not long ago, suggesting that wherever we are,

we should grow, rather than be always looking to

leave and live somewhere else, living reserving

ourselves to give more fully in some more comfortable

location or something.

 

I will suggest why it is good to not be moving from

home to home as is so common in our time.

 

Optimal child development. Children thrive with

consistency. They can make friends from childhood,

and not be so strongly tempted to put on strange

masks to find quick friends in new areas. Moving is

one of the great disturbances to child development,

and greatly affects adults as well.

 

Neighbors learn to get along. Squabbles happen between

neighbors, and learning to forgive and get along is a

divine thing, instead of resenting and moving away.

You can keep needed boundaries from unsafe behaviors

of others, and only in extreme cases would a person

need to shut out someone from their life.

 

Pay off the home and save for missionary service.

What if instead of buying a mansion at first chance

and living house poor, you paid off your house, and

saved money toward furthering your education and

serving missions? Not to mention helping your

children do the same, but you must always take care

of yourself too, or your power to fully take care of

your children will be diminished, and the children do

need to learn to work for things on their own. Of

course you will endeavor to teach your children, and

cultivate an atmosphere of a love for legitimate

education in your home.

 

85% of cars today are financed rather than owned

outright. And I would guess that even less homes are

owned outright. Why do we insist on carrying on with

the plagues of debt? Like Dave Ramsey, the Christian

financial genius suggests, pay cash for a home. Pay

cash for everything. Cut credit cards in half, no one

gets rich with those things. And sky miles are a

joke.

 

Get to know the people in your neighborhood. How long

will we persist in not even knowing the names of our

neighbors? How can we build the friendships needed to

do missionary work if we are moving from place to

place so often?

 

If your family grows, have a fuller house, or build

on a room above the attic or on the side if you have

space. In old times it was common to raise a dozen children in what we would call a 2-bedroom apartment. Naturally the kids will need to learn to enjoy spending time outside, and how to get along peaceably.

 

How will you have influence in local politics if you

haven’t lived there very long, or if you don’t plan

on staying? Instead, get to know the neighbors, and

one by one, persuade them the justice of your

political views, and lead the community to thrive

thereby.

 

Jesus was of Galilee, a small place comparatively.

Twas there that he grew and worked. He saw no need to

be building himself increasingly large homes every

chance he got. He spent his spare time rather in

learning the law and the prophets, serving others,

and teaching the gospel. What a genius investor,

investing in things which bring highest dividends!

 

What of where I am being desolated in the day of the wrath of the Lord? Pray that your house is passed over like those in Israel of old with the blood of the lamb on their door. Then stand with those good remaining in the community and build whatever you can from the ruins. If it is not passed over, like the temples which were burned by evil men, then say like Brigham Young, “good, the Lord wants it, let him have it.” Then, also like Brigham, go build another one.

Yes, the book of revelation speaks of us (the woman) hiding out for a while the dragon plays around… we would do well to tend to financial preparation; listen to Dave Ramsey to learn how to do that; he shares the opinion of our prophets that we should get and stay out of debt asap. But yes, what a happy thing it will be to go somewhere safe if we are called to do so, or what a happy thing to have the storm pass by our homes and get to stay there. I think Brigham said at some point that just because New Jerusalem will be here on doesn’t mean we need to all leave our houses we’ve worked to establish. Find a very affordable home and pay it off. If your family grows a lot just build more rooms onto the house. There is likely a little village of saints where you live who could help each other and would likely need to go on horse into town now and then for supplies. I’m hoping when the New Jerusalem is here we can just teleport there. The Book of Mormon says the 3 Nephites teleport so why not us? That way we can do work in the various areas, including preaching in India Arabia etc., and teleport home, and not have to up our roots. Metropolitan areas? Might not be able to stake down there too well. However, I think the John Taylor vision, maybe Isaiah too, speaks of empty cities after destructions which the saints have the pleasure of taking over since they’re sort of the last ones standing, however sad that is. The Old Testament promises that the people of the Lord will get to “reap where they have not sown”; the Lord owns everything, and if he wants to give a good bit of it to his saints who serve him day and night, it is his prerogative to do so. Of course, those surviving the plagues will be the saints and whatever other good people are around. But the idea that there’ll likely be plenty of houses you can just stake your claim for remains. But at present it’s still a good idea to seek a house. Ramsey says pay cash for a house but remember it’s optimal for child development to limit the number of times you move to a reasonable amount.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Doctrine of Opportune Moments: Priorities of a Successful Saint

 

 

“If you were waiting for the opportune moment, that was it!”

-Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean

 

It seems to me that there are certain ideal or opportune moments wherein if we act, we will succeed. Consider the following evidences:

 

(A somewhat related note: Truman G Madsen speaks of how apparently women have a particular sense of timing, they know things before men, they can discern things spiritually and be prepared to act on them quickly, whereas for men it often requires prolonged reasoning and milling it over.)

 

-According to Sean Covey author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, 90% of being successful is just showing up. That means all we do that day matters little compared to the monumental moment of showing up, and that on time too.

-When it comes to school, it’s all based on turning in assignments, and scoring well on exams. Let everything else fall apart and do whatever you want throughout the semester with your time, but so long as you are successful in these 2 items, you will do excellently in the class, and receive an excellent grade to show for it.

-For unmarried people: dating can be a numbers game. In other words, you must spend lots of time dating to find a combatable partner. Show up to the date. Show up to the prayer consultation with Father in Heaven after the date. Show up to ask her to marry you. Perform these steps over and over and you’re bound to get it right, and within a respectable time frame as well.

-For families: have the weekly family night, the weekly couples date, the parent child outings & interviews & blessings, tell the bedtime stories, log 15 minutes or more per day playing with your child/children, make enough money to pay the modest expenses, pray with your family daily morning and night including scripture study with them daily, take them to church weekly. Do these things regularly, religiously, faithfully, making them regular appointments not to be missed, and you will do well. It has been said by a prophet that anyone can serve a mission, but it takes a true disciple to lead a family in righteousness. Do these things, and they will not solve all your problems, but they will be the springboard for you to successfully solve all your problems.

-College for the family-oriented person? It involves beauty and joyful discovery and scientific mastery in the field of the heart, but only inasmuch as such pursuit does not get in the way of meeting the needs of the family. The family oriented genuine student also cares but little for the fanfare of the world, the titles and letters, but realizes that learning does not stop with university, it continues indefinitely, daily, in powerful non-formal and sometimes formal avenues with the advent of the internet and affordable / easily accessible books of all sorts.

-The family-oriented learner and career man is foremost guided by this truth: he will care for his family first and foremost forever. He will let nothing get in the way of his family. If he foresees a certain size of family, or a certain gift for his family which is Holiness to the Lord, he will break through heaven and hell to bring it about. He is as the Puritan of old, who will die before seeing someone else provide for his own, and who will build his own coffin. He knows that any failure in his designs are his fault alone. He takes risks, oh does he! But those risks are risks in the right direction, not risks which pull him in the wrong direction. He brings all things together in one in Christ, and ministers with holiness and rigorous balance of his difficult affairs.

-The family-oriented man does much good in many fields, but he knows how to prioritize family relationships and duties above all else. Yes, he impacts the community and world, and that generationally and exponentially, but first and foremost, he impacts his family generationally. He does family history work, but he also does family future work. He understands that the core way that he ministers to the whole world is by ministering to those in his own home. He foresees the future, wherein his children grow to fill the world as salt and leaven for the whole. Every lesson he teaches at home is worth 100 lessons taught at the pulpit or the town square, or the social media group, etc. He calculates to bless the entire world and derives this power to bless from the work done in his home.

-Joseph Smith taught that the man filled with the love of God will not be content with ministering to his family alone but will seek to range though the world blessing the entire human race. This however does not excuse man from his home duties. In the D&C, the prophet Joseph is chastised by the Lord for not caring sufficiently to his family duties. If even this grand archangel brother Joseph can be at fault in this, oh how we need be vigilant! As Moroni said, if there be fault, we seek to do well and learn from it. And oh, the courage of the traveling missionary! This is good doctrine, we can taste it. But it has its time and season. One missionary reluctant to return home for the mission field was asked by a wise leader, ‘what is it that you fear upon returning home? Do you not know that there is much work you must do there yet for the building of the kingdom of God in earth?’ Let the family man also find ways to reach far and wide while ministering to his family. For example, he might write a book which can teach others in his absence, and his writings he may use the great latter-day tool of the worldwide internet web to send his messages repeatedly and instantly to the far ends of the earth. Let the man of God fear no pain in fulfilling all his duties, for life is short, and the coming of the Lord is at hand. The judgement of him who is righteous is soon to burst upon us like the morning rays!

 

 

 

 

 

Immorality of Business Morality: Entertained Goons in Babylon

Violence is on the television screen at the public places and the people cheer; this is the sign that the hearts have waxed cold. They do this for entertainment they don’t care about reality. They will not lift a finger to protect their nation nor the morals of their nation. They have no morals except what they need to get gain. And all hell fights against the church of the lamb of God and those whom seek for such. The science is bias in their favor and we are in Babylon the great, though it shall fall, praise God! Hosanna, Lord save us!

 

 

 

 

 

Legalizing Evil: The Downfall of Nations in the Name of Tax Benefits

 

 

Some things should be illegal even if they are otherwise taxable, or even if they might go underground. We should not act in fear of things going underground. We should stand for good principles and let the cards lie where they call and use police to stop crime. If we don’t like things going underground, we should lobby for a stronger police force, not for weaker standards. This is what Moroni did when threatened by the “king-men”.

The church is oft against regulated legal evil as seen in their opposition to prop 8 (legalizing homosexual marriage), and Elder Quinton L. Cooks devotional a few weeks about “the banquet of all choices” (see speech at https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/quentin-l-cook_banquet-consequences-cumulative-result-choices/) speaks about how the movement to legalize marijuana for recreational use is evil.

In the same logic of legalizing drugs etc. so they don’t go underground and give the bad guys the tax benefits, we may as well call for legalizing other bad activities that “are going to happen anyway” in the name of getting taxes to the US Government. We could legalize rape, child abuse, child pornography, prostitution, pornography, murder, etc. We may as well elect the Devil himself as President to not offend anyone! Surely, he will do a good job at representing the 1/3 minority… You see, some want to legalize these things so things that are already happening can be further regulated. But then we become the bad guy. This money is dirty money, and I want nothing to do with it! We want to get rid of drug cartels yes, but not by becoming the cartel ourselves! The USA needs to take a moral high ground, and not sink to the depravity of evil. You see, the ends to not justify the means!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absurd Advertising in Babylon’s Gospel of Consumerism

-For more critical info about this, see the film “The True Cost: Who Pays the Price for Our Clothes?” about the sweat shops which suffer for us to have cheap nice clothes. And we just let it happen. We can boycott this by where we choose to spend our money! The film is on Netflix, and here is a link to my notes on it: https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/category/the-true-cost-who-pays-the-price-for-our-clothes/

-Also mind you, in 4th Nephi, it gives the first reason for the falling apart of Zion as the love of costly apparel.

-on 2018 the beer vending company Bud Light had advertised that their beverage was “for the many, not for the few”. Wow! Sounds like the broad road to hell which Jesus spoke of!

-on 11/9/15 I saw a clothing brand called “No Boundaries”. It is notorious for being extremely tight fitting! This is open rebellion and sexual debauchery!

-One store is called “Vanity”. “Ah, they have the best jeans!” some say. No! You don’t shop at a store named vanity people!

-One makeup brand is called “Lavillin”! It’s like the name “Cruella Deville”! Look at it: la means the, then is the word “villain”. Why people?!

-in May of 2016 in the New York Times I was flipping through and saw a picture of a woman with extremely expensive clothing, gaudy and pride full, she was the center of the universe, her own deity. The caption said, “Believe in The Magic of Giving”. It was to sell a 400$ coat from Calvin Clein. In the next page or so was a picture of a woman living in a small hut not even big enough for her to fully lay down in, with a tarp for a roof, and a couple of eating utensils stacked up around the door. The floor was dirt. She was in Myanmar. I wept at how backward and heartless our society is.

-A shopping mall in Utah county says, “The Center of it All!” What planet are we on?! We are in trouble folks! The center of it all used to be the temple! Truly, we have made this place our temple! We believe not in the Lord our God, but in the works of our own hands! Think no longer that we are superior to those who worshipped the work of their hands in days of old!

-One shirt I’ve seen often lately says “Ball is everything!”. Wow let’s not have diversity, nor healthy recreation, let’s have this consume every aspect of our lives and define us!

-A radio advertisement I heard said “When I wake in the morning I think of sports and media, this consumes my life, I want a career in this.”

-When you’re in a shopping mall (God help you to not be in there when it falls), you see “Victoria’s Secret” underwear products being advertised in much more than life size images right there in open sight. Is nothing sacred anymore? So much for the secret, Victoria. This is not normal folks.

-Do we question folks, that these things are an abomination and a sign of the times that we live in the last and most wicked time of this earth, and on the most wicked planet in the universe? This is the doctrine. This is part of the problem folks.

– “Darkness prevails at this time as it did at the time Jesus Christ was about to be crucified. The powers of darkness strove to obscure the glorious Son of righteousness, that began to dawn upon the world, and was soon to burst in great blessings upon the heads of the faithful” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 90‑91.)

 

 

-one surf store in Provo is called “Called to Surf”, a pun, obviously, on “Called to Serve” a mission. Surfing is fun and all, but I don’t like the sound of this. Further, it sort of sounds like becoming a serf / peasant. Hopefully no one opts for the call to surf instead of the call to serve!

-one Utah county billboard said, ‘diamonds were women’s best friend until they invented Botox’. This speaks volumes of vanity!

– “Find the Urge to Splurge” said a bill board pointing to the Utah Fashion-place Mall! I don’t think anyone has trouble finding that urge!
– “OBEY WORLD AGENDA”! said on cap I saw. What does that mean?!
-“the bravery of tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon; The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers; The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings; The rings, and nose jewels; The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins; The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.” (Isaiah 3)
-“15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.
16 ¶ Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
21 The rings, and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils.
24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.” (Isaiah 3:15-26)

The following is a little satirical essay poking at the advertising theory using beauty products to replace the need of a Savior:
Springy-Clothing and Ultra-cleanse body redeeming product for sale! A satyrical mocking of fashion and their claims to attend to ALL your needs, and other filthy media and cultural practices:
(As you proceed indulging in public television and public schools, you’ll find the following messages in a blink!)

-Tired of waiting around for a Messiah to come and glorify your body in immortal splendor and beauty? Weather you feel like you don’t fall in with that group, or whether you of the 21st century just don’t have the time to wait around that long, or whether you just don’t believe God is powerful enough to give you mercy, you’re about to learn about a product that’s just right for you so you can stop worrying about all that!
-Have 10% of your income extra that you don’t know what to do with? Tired of giving it to some Church that just crimps your style? Put it to somewhere that will really count!
-Feel bad for the mistakes you’ve made in this life?
-Want to know the secrets to soap operas? SOAP! It’s all about washing your body to feel renewed and regenerated, even redeemed and free!
-It’s like those in days of old, the Romans were famous for washing their bodies sometimes more than 3 times a day to wash off their sins and mistakes! It’s all about refreshing, renewing, redeeming yourself!
-All that you need is money! It’s that simple!
-Tired of feeling weighed down by your mistakes and being rejected by your peers and loved ones?
-Try this new formula, the cleansing refreshing redeeming wash of ultra-cleanse!
-You’ll be born again as you wash your body! You’ll forget all your flaws and have no more regret or remorse! Oh what dazzling confidence you can have!
-with our products, no matter what moral choices you make, you can live happily ever after just like all the teen films and television shows we pay for to show off our products!
-Buy now and we’ll throw in free this ultra-hair-redeemer, so you can even avoid the plagues foretold by Isaiah the prophet that the wicked would at a soon coming day be bald and stinky!
-As a woman of the 21st century you have way too much to worry about to be concerned with moral character choices you make! Trust us ladies, there is only one way to bypass all of that, and it’s with our all new everlasting body and hair formula’s! You won’t be stinky, on the inside or the out, we guarantee it! Improving the out improves the in!
-no longer reserve sacred parts of your body, curves, lines, etc., for your husband or wife to see, but show everyone! Be free!
-Sacrifice all dignity and principals of modesty to have the competitive advantage in sports and other areas of social life!
-make it impossible for people to ignore you, you’re better than that! It’s like driving down the road with your stereo blasting!
-don’t waste your time trying to become a poet, author, scientist, builder, artist, philosopher, physician, historian, just get money and get it fast! Then you can use this product which brings you all!
-spending all your time hanging out with friends isn’t going to cut it these days, you need to do more to establish yourself socially and find success! You need accessories!
-And remember, the way to get wealth, as popular vote has shown, is to inherit it, or to win the lottery, or to sue someone! If you can’t do any of those, you can always just put us at the top of your budget and rely on government bailouts despite your rank poverty, because life is about priorities, and rights! Don’t let anyone fool you, or anything in the way of the lifestyle you deserve!
-be righteous and holy like the ever so coveted Egyptians and all their pomp! They really had it down!
-Being comely and clean in your apparel is simply not enough! You must make yourself gaudy to be truly attractive! You deserve more!
-find your true self!
-See our great new clothing product line, “OBEY WORLD AGENDA”! What does that mean? Don’t worry about it, they’re just cool clothes!
-So come “Find the Urge to Splurge” at the Utah Fashion-place Mall!
-someone has got to be responsible for you and your needs!
-as a 21st century new age American, it’s a whole new world with whole new rules! You qualify for and deserve to have your cake and eat it to. Your beauty and success are all up to you, and you deserve them just as much as anyone else! Buy your way into the elite social class because you can!
-find a new you!
-be the person you always dreamed you could become!
-success is now with in your reach with the new clothing and accessories of Ultra-Cleanse!
-men today demand 1st rate view into your unique personality talents and character by your wearing tight clothing like everyone else! Show who you really are inside! Nothing says more about your truly unique self and special personality than extra cleavage, extra short shorts, extra tight clothing all around, and sporting the name brands clothing that everyone else is wearing! You just can’t afford to go without!
-don’t worry about caring to the needs of the poor, someone else always takes care of them! You need to put yourself first or you’ll lose everything!
-And for you BYU students whom I’ve seen wearing the “Ball is Life” shirts, boy have you found the right place, we ENTIRLY agree with you! Sports make the world, your scholarships, and your opportunity to play and never have to work, go around! Let us celebrate sports all the more!
-Come here to find the latest innovations to help you survive in this hip-hop world, we have everything you need in the following departments: the bravery of tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon;
The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers;
The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings;
The rings, and nose jewels;
The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins;
The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poverty Perspective from Elder Richard J. Maynes

 

 

 

 

April 2017
by Elder Richard J. Maynes, April 2017 at a Stake Conference in Utah which I attended

 

1/100 people in the world have a college education; 12/100 people have more than 1 pair of shoes; ½ people have clean drinking water; these numbers are even smaller when you look back further in history. So, you see, we think we are in the middle of the ladder, and focus on those ahead of us, but really, we in America today are second from the top, and we only focus on the rung above us. Many don’t worry about international travel, but about whether they have enough to get on the bus to go in to town. Yet those people find happiness despite their lack of possessions. They can wear the same shirt every day of their lives and still be happy.

 

 

Notes on Richistan by Robert Frank

about the new rich and how they affect the world.
Published about 2008.

 

Note: This is but one point of view to be considered.

 

Here are some main points:

– “Richistanian” is the name he uses to refer to this new type of people

-Has a good deal to say about how some treat wealth differently and

– the shift from national elitists to global elitists.

-Speaks of the 500-foot boats.

-Speaks of how often 18 cents of every dollar given to major charity groups goes to the charities, as well as some wealthy people trying to correct that.

-The other part goes toward the private schools of the children of the people who run the charities.

-Speaks of mentalities of the children who grow up in homes with wealth, and how some parents choose to have their children work for everything.

-Speaks of the wealthy being same made now as compared to inheritance of the old rich.

-Speaks of the economic boom we’ve been seeing where it’s not about being a millionaire anymore but about billionaire.

-Speaks of how they give to charity balls then throw their own charity balls and expect everyone to give to those, and how it’s more about finance than charity.

-Speaks of people who work 16-hour days, consuming their entire lives with seeking and finding material wealth.

-Speaks of ignoring natural disasters while people shop for boats.

-Speaks of how the wealthy are republicans, but the super wealthy are democrats.

-Speaks of the extensive training butlers receive to perform the ballet of service. Speaks of how the wealthy all feel like to be financially secure, they need double of what they have.

-Speaks of 4 levels of wealth: 1-10 million, then 10-100 million, then 100 million-1 billion, then multibillionaires. Speaks of their envy of each other.

-speaks of people who always work while on vacation and send emails through the night and during watching films.

-speaks of support groups for rich people where they speak about their problems

-speaks of a wealthy man seeking to reclaim his family and having good success by having Saturday morning breakfasts with his daughter.

-speaks of how even the wealthy often live beyond their means

-speaks of how it’s fast to get rich today, but also fast to lose it all

-speaks of how they don’t consider themselves rich usually

-speaks of how they live in fear of poverty

-speaks of one wealthy family who spends its summers in 3rd world countries to help the people there and see what their real needs are.

-speaks of applying business skills to charity groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prophets Teach Us Not to Overly Focus on Finance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– “If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.

Let us never forget that we have a marvelous heritage received from great and courageous people who endured unimaginable suffering and demonstrated unbelievable courage for the cause they loved. You and I know what we should do. God help us to do it when it needs to be done, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/10/our-mission-of-saving?lang=eng President Hinckley, Conf. Report Oct. 1991 Our Mission of Saving)

-The focus is honest focus on the gospel and all that entails.

-study as guided by the Lord (even if he tells you to be a finance major etc.)

-continuing education in the highest form may be outside of the official school’s; this is not to discourage those with opportunity for these degrees, but we live in a special day when the boy who pushes the plow may know more from books than the doctors and scholars.

-be willing to live a humble life.

-Zion can’t be until we leave selfishness President Hinckley says.

-people need to be helped spiritually as much as temporally

-Zion is (very) often referred to as the poor. We can, at least, be poor in heart, not having our heart on riches, regardless of how much riches we have.

-people get to where they are struggling to provide for family and hence not in politics (and other important social or religious or family issues) much, but the worst is when we are working for recreational vehicles etc. and using that as the reason why we aren’t involved. Heaven forbid!

-Dan E Christensen, in his book “The birth of the Kingdom of God The destruction of America” he speaks of how we are obsessed with planning our retirement etc. and use Sabbaths to worship the God of NFL and other sporting leagues.

-we should work 6 days a week like God’s commanded (“six days shalt thou labor”) and not worry about getting out of it!

-Joseph Smith is one of the greatest men who ever lived (D&C 135:3). Jewish texts suggest that the 7 heads of dispensations are the 7 archangels, and the 7 angels whom will pour out the plagues of God upon the earth at the last days. That great archangel dispensation head Joseph Smith worked only enough to eke out a meager living, then spent the rest of his time studying languages ancient texts re-discovering history etc. to help his people and find his way to God. We can be like him and not be afraid but trust in God.

-by and large, those who serve God are delivered from the trials of the last days, not necessarily those with the most money. “The summer is past, and my soul is not saved” they will may say.

-President Monson our prophet has on several occasions quoted Shakespeare in King Henry the VIII,

“O Cromwell, Cromwell!

Had I but served my God with half the zeal

I served my king, he would not in mine age

Have left me naked to mine enemies. “

-while retirement may be alright from our occupations, we must continue to work for God. “Now, a word to us seasoned brethren: retirement is not part of the Lord’s plan of happiness. There is no sabbatical or retirement program from priesthood responsibilities—regardless of age or physical capacity. While the phrase “been there, done that” may work as an excuse to avoid skateboarding, decline the invitation for a motorbike ride, or bypass the spicy curry at the buffet, it is not an acceptable excuse for avoiding covenant responsibilities to consecrate our time, talents, and resources in the work of the kingdom of God.” (President Uchtdorf, “Two Principals for any Economy” Gen Conf. Oct. 2009 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/two-principles-for-any-economy?lang=eng).

-Don’t be obsessed about having a house of your own. “And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20).

-when it comes to finances, we should not put our lusts in higher priority than what the Holy Ghost tells us what to do. What’s right for one person financially could be wrong for another. Some things are more solid like avoiding debt, but other things are more flexible like what a person does for their career (though they must provide for their family or they are worse than infidels and deny the faith (1 Tim. 5:8)

-prophets have taught that if we don’t find time for 30-60 minutes of scripture study a day, we have our priorities wrong and need to humble ourselves and re-prioritize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prophets Teach us to Tithe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– “Obedience to God’s commandments is the foundation for a happy life. Surely, we will be blessed with the gifts of heaven for our obedience. Failure to pay tithing by those who know the principle can lead to heartache in this life and perhaps sorrow in the next.” (Joseph B. Worthlin; Conf. Report 2004 “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/04/earthly-debts-heavenly-debts?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “…tithing is a debt which everyone owes to the Lord for his use of the things that the Lord has made and given to him to use. It is a debt just as literally as the grocery bill, or a light bill, or any other duly incurred obligation. As a matter of fact, the Lord, to whom one owes tithing, is in a position of a preferred creditor. If there is not enough to pay all creditors, he should be paid first.” (Marion G. Romney: Conf. Report Jan. 1982 “The Blessings of an Honest Tithe” https://www.lds.org/new-era/1982/01/the-blessings-of-an-honest-tithe?lang=eng)

– “The payment of tithing is a commandment, a commandment with a promise. If we obey this commandment, we are promised that we will ‘prosper in the land.’ This prosperity consists of more than material goods—it may include enjoying good health and vigor of mind. It includes family solidarity and spiritual increase. I hope those of you presently paying your full tithe
will seek the faith and strength to do so. As you discharge this obligation to your Maker, you will find great, great happiness, the like of which is known only by those who are faithful to this commandment.” (N. Eldon Tanner; The Gospel and the Productive Life Teacher Manual Religion 150, (2004), 15–20; https://www.lds.org/manual/the-gospel-and-the-productive-life-teacher-manual-religion-150/managing-financial-resources-wisely?lang=eng)

– “One of the greatest lessons I have learned, …is that people who pay their tithing in both difficult times and good times get along better. They simply have fewer problems; there are fewer family problems and fewer financial problems. Their outlook is more positive, their ability to do and function is increased, and they prosper spiritually as well as temporally.” (James E Faust; Aug. 1984 Doing the best things in the Worst Times; https://www.lds.org/ensign/1984/08/doing-the-best-things-in-the-worst-times?lang=eng)

– “One of life’s paradoxes is that a person who approaches everything with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude may acquire money, property, and land, but in the end will lose the fulfillment and the happiness that a person enjoys who shares his talents and gifts generously with others.” (James E Faust; Conf. Report Oct. 2002 What’s in It for Me? https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/10/whats-in-it-for-me?lang=eng)

– “With all my heart…I plead with the Latter-day Saints to live honestly with the Lord in the payment of tithes and offerings…There has been laid upon the Church a tremendous responsibility. Tithing is the source of income for the Church to carry forward its mandated activities.” (Gordon B. Hinckley; Conf. Report April 1982 Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/04/tithing-an-opportunity-to-prove-our-faithfulness?lang=eng)

-Elder Gerald Lund wrote in his book Divine Signatures: God is so good to us: we don’t pay tithing for the songs of the birds, or for the sunshine. God created the earth, (“The earth is the Lords, and the fullness thereof.” (1 Cor. 10:26; Ps. 89:11)) We pay tithing for something, just 10%, and the Lord returns to us great dividends. It’s a sure investment. For instance, if we eat healthy foods like the word of wisdom says, that is like a tithe which gives us health throughout the rest of the day. Scientists say exercising 45 minutes a day for 5-6 days a week is all that is needed to maintain our health. That is a small tithe, a small investment, with great reward.

-President Heber J Grant used to speak of a story of a man asked to give a ham to a church function. He heard a voice say, “pick the small ham, they’ll never know the difference”. He said, “shut up Mr. Devil, or I’ll give 2 hams!” (cited in Truman G Madsen “Presidents of The Church” lectures)

-we live the law of tithing as a preparatory law. We are getting ready for the full law: The law of consecration.

-Mary Fielding Smith? went to pay her tithing, the receiver of it said she should not pay, as she is so poor. She said that he should be ashamed of himself, that

-Joseph Smith said that a religion which does not require us to give our all can’t qualify us for salvation.

-A man had ten apples, and wanted to tithe, but not too much. He said “I’ll throw one apple up, and if you like, you can take a bite out of it”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prophets Teach Righteous Finance Principles

These quotes show how to use money wisely.

For a set of quotes and arguments showing we place too much emphasis on finance, see my document “Finance: It’s not the focus” by clicking here or using this URL: http://richardsonstudies.com/2018/01/22/finance-not-focus/

– “…a religion which has not the power to save people temporally and make them prosperous and happy here, cannot be depended upon to save them spiritually, to exalt them in the life to come.” (Joseph F. Smith; “The Truth about Mormonism,” Out West magazine, Sept. 1905, 242.; also quoted by Joseph B Worthlin in April 1999 Conf. Report “Inspired Church Welfare” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1999/04/inspired-church-welfare?lang=eng)

– “When this people are prepared to properly use the riches of this world for the building up of the Kingdom of God, He is ready and willing to bestow them upon us. I like to see men get rich by their industry, prudence, management and economy, and then devote it to the building up of the Kingdom of God upon the earth.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 2, 114-115; also quoted by Franklin D. Richards “The Law of Abundance” in Conf. Report April 1971:https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1971/04/the-law-of-abundance?lang=eng)

– “What are riches for, then? To be used in doing good. Therefore, let us dedicate our means to the building of the kingdom of God.” (Franklin D. Richards “The Law of Abundance” in Conf. Report April 1971:https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1971/04/the-law-of-abundance?lang=eng)

– “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

– “But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.” (Jacob 2:19)

– “Money in the lives of Latter-day Saints should be used as a means of achieving eternal happiness. Careless and selfish uses cause us to live in financial bondage. We can’t afford to neglect personal and family involvement in our money management. God will open the windows of heaven to us in these matters if we will but live close to Him and keep His commandments.” (One for the Money: Sep. 2007 Ensign; Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/one-for-the-money?lang=eng)

– “Seek not for riches, but for wisdom; and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.” (Doctrine & Covenants 11:7)

– “So often it is the order of things that is fundamental in the Lord’s instructions to us. The Lord is not telling us that we should not be prosperous. This would be inconsistent with the many records we have of Him blessing His people with prosperity. But He is telling us that we should seek prosperity only after we have sought and found Him. Then, because our hearts are right, because we love Him first and foremost, we will choose to invest the riches we obtain in building His kingdom.” (L. Tom Perry “United in Building the Kingdom of God” Conf. Report April 1987 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1987/04/united-in-building-the-kingdom-of-god?lang=eng)

– “Are we our brothers’ keepers? In other words, are we responsible to look after the well-being of our neighbors as we seek to earn our daily bread? The Savior’s Golden Rule says we are. Satan says we are not.” (Dallin H. Oaks; Conf. Report 1986 “Brother’s Keeper” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/10/brothers-keeper?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor…” (Doctrine & Covenants 82:19)

– “Followers of Christ have the moral responsibility of earning their livings and conducting their financial transactions in ways that are consistent with the principles of the gospel and the teachings of the Savior.” (Dallin H. Oaks; Conf. Report 1986 “Brother’s Keeper” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/10/brothers-keeper?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Think of our brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.” (Jacob 2:17)

– “And remember in all things the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted, for he that doeth not these things, the same is not my disciple.” (Doctrine & Covenants 52:40)

– “The Lord has told us that if we are prepared, we shall not fear…personal and family preparedness is vital to our eternal welfare and happiness, and it is important to be strong financially, as well as spiritually, mentally, and physically.”

(Elder Franklin D. Richards; Conf. Report April 1979; “Personal and Family Preparedness” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1979/04/personal-and-family-financial-preparedness?lang=eng)

– “Too often, people assume that they probably never will be injured, get sick, lose their jobs, or see their investments evaporate. To make matters worse, often people make purchases today based upon optimistic predictions of what they hope will happen tomorrow. The wise understand the importance of saving today for a rainy day tomorrow…” (Joseph B. Worthlin; Conf. Report 2004 “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/04/earthly-debts-heavenly-debts?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “There are many very good people who keep most of the Lord’s commandments with respect to the virtuous side of life, but who overlook His commandments in temporal things. They do not heed His warning to prepare for a possible future emergency, apparently feeling that in the midst of all this trouble ‘it won’t happen to us.’ To prepare for the future is part of God’s eternal plan, both spiritually and temporally. To protect ourselves against reversals and hardships is only good sense.” (Mark E. Peterson; Conf. Report 1981 “Blessings in Self-Reliance” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1981/04/blessings-in-self-reliance?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “It is most important to have sufficient medical, automobile, and homeowner’s insurance and an adequate life insurance program. Costs associated with illness, accident, and death may be so large that uninsured families can be financially burdened for many years.” (Marvin J. Ashton; Liahona Magazine April 2000 “Guide to Family Finance” https://www.lds.org/liahona/2000/04/guide-to-family-finance?lang=eng)

– “One final concern of reserve deficiency is the need to insure against our greatest potential loss. I think we all would agree that our ability to earn is our greatest asset. When the provider insures his life, he is insuring his future income for his family. As husbands, let us not force our wives into the marketplace to be both the provider and homemaker should our lives be cut short by premature death. We can increase their options by proper insurance planning. We would also urge each family to carry adequate health insurance. Medical costs are soaring, and trying to self-insure from personal savings is very risky. During inflation, medical costs increase faster than our savings accumulate.” (J. Richard Clarke Conf. Report 1980 “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “God gave a natural instinct to the animals he created to preserve their surplus against a time of need. But man has developed the tendency to squander all that he harvests and to leave to chance or to others his satisfaction of future needs. This is contrary to divine law. Frugality is a principle of righteousness. In addition to our reserve of food, we should build a cash reserve.” (J. Richard Clarke Conf. Report 1980 “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Accumulate your basic food storage and emergency supplies in a systematic and orderly way. Avoid going into debt for these purposes. Beware of unwise food storage promotional schemes. Planting and harvesting a garden annually is helpful to the family in many ways, including the food budget. Eat nutritious foods and exercise appropriately to improve health, thus avoiding many medical costs.” (Marvin J. Ashton; Liahona Magazine April 2000 “Guide to Family Finance” https://www.lds.org/liahona/2000/04/guide-to-family-finance?lang=eng; also cited in Eternal Marriage Student Manual: Finances: 203; 115-23; https://www.lds.org/manual/eternal-marriage-student-manual/finances?lang=eng)

– “As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need.” (President Gordon B Hinckley: Conf. Report, “The Times in Which we Live” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2001/10/the-times-in-which-we-live?lang=eng&clang=ase)

– “I have corresponded with several Church members who
sought to use something President Ezra Taft Benson was quoted
as saying as a basis for refusing to file an income tax return or to
pay income taxes. I have tried to persuade these persons that
their interpretation cannot be what President Benson intended,
because all who have held that sacred office, and all of the
General Authorities, have faithfully filed their income tax returns
and paid the taxes required by law.” (Dallin H. Oaks, Conf. Report: “Our Strengths can become our Weaknesses” Oct. 1994; https://www.lds.org/ensign/1994/10/our-strengths-can-become-our-downfall?lang=eng)

– “Save and invest a specific percentage of your income. Liquid savings available for emergencies should be sufficient to cover at least three months of all essential family obligations. Every LDS family should file honest and timely tax returns.” (Marvin J. Ashton; Liahona Magazine April 2000 “Guide to Family Finance” https://www.lds.org/liahona/2000/04/guide-to-family-finance?lang=eng)

– “A saint is an honorable citizen, knowing that the very country which provides opportunity and protection deserves support, including prompt payment of taxes and personal participation in its legal political process.” ((See D&C 134:5.); Russell M. Nelson; Conf. Report April 1990; “Thus Shall My Church Be Called”; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/04/thus-shall-my-church-be-called?lang=eng)

– “Preserve and utilize your assets through appropriate tax and estate planning.” (Elder Franklin D. Richards; Conf. Report April 1979; “Personal and Family Preparedness” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1979/04/personal-and-family-financial-preparedness?lang=eng)

– “Money management should take precedence over money productivity.” (One for the Money: Sep. 2007 Ensign; Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/one-for-the-money?lang=eng)

– “I am convinced that it is not the amount of money an individual earns that brings peace of mind as much as it is having control of his money. Money can be an obedient servant, but a harsh taskmaster.” (N. Eldon Tanner; First Presidency Message; https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/06/constancy-amid-change?lang=eng; June 1982; from Conf. Report of Oct. 1979)

– “With all my heart…I plead with the Latter-day Saints to live honestly with the Lord in the payment of tithes and offerings…There has been laid upon the Church a tremendous responsibility. Tithing is the source of income for the Church to carry forward its mandated activities.” (Gordon B. Hinckley; Conf. Report April 1982 Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/04/tithing-an-opportunity-to-prove-our-faithfulness?lang=eng)

– “…tithing is a debt which everyone owes to the Lord for his use of the things that the Lord has made and given to him to use. It is a debt just as literally as the grocery bill, or a light bill, or any other duly incurred obligation. As a matter of fact, the Lord, to whom one owes tithing, is in a position of a preferred creditor. If there is not enough to pay all creditors, he should be paid first.” (Marion G. Romney: Conf. Report Jan. 1982 “The Blessings of an Honest Tithe” https://www.lds.org/new-era/1982/01/the-blessings-of-an-honest-tithe?lang=eng)

– “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet.” (Heber J Grant, Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham (1941), 111.; also cited in LDS Manual “Teachings of The Presidents of the Church: Heber J Grant Ch. 13 Principles of Financial Security”; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-13?lang=eng#4-35970_000_017)

– “The key to spending less than we earn is simple—it is called discipline. Whether early in life or late, we must all eventually learn to discipline ourselves, our appetites, and our economic desires. How blessed is he who learns to spend less than he earns and puts something away for a rainy day.” (N Eldon Tanner, Conf. Report Oct. 1979 “Constancy Amid Change” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1979/10/constancy-amid-change?lang=eng&_r=1)

– “Every family must have a predetermined understanding of how much money will be available each month and the amount to be spent in each category of the family budget. Checkbooks facilitate family cash management and record keeping. Carefully record each check when written, and balance the checkbook with the monthly bank statement.” (Marvin J. Ashton; Liahona Magazine April 2000 “Guide to Family Finance” https://www.lds.org/liahona/2000/04/guide-to-family-finance?lang=eng)

–Marvin J. Ashton taught that, “Home ownership qualifies as an investment, not consumption. Buy the type of home your income will support. Improve the home and beautify the landscape throughout the period you occupy the premises so if you do sell it, you can use the accumulated equity and potential capital gain to acquire a home more suitable to family needs.” (Marvin J. Ashton; Liahona Magazine April 2000 “Guide to Family Finance” https://www.lds.org/liahona/2000/04/guide-to-family-finance?lang=eng)

– “…Latter-day Saints who ignore or avoid their creditors,” warned Marvin J. Ashton, “are entitled to feel the inner frustrations that such conduct merits, and they are not living as Latter-day Saints should! Bankruptcy should be avoided, except only under the most unique and irreversible circumstances, and then utilized only after prayerful thought and thorough legal and financial consultation.” (Marvin J. Ashton; Liahona Magazine April 2000 “Guide to Family Finance” https://www.lds.org/liahona/2000/04/guide-to-family-finance?lang=eng)

– “Keep your possessions free from debt. Get out of debt as fast as you can, and keep out of debt, for that is the way in which the promise of God will be fulfilled to the people of his Church, that they will become the richest of all people in the world.” (Joseph F. Smith; Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, (2011), 163–72; Ch19 Thrift, the Foundation of Prosperity; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-f-smith/chapter-19?lang=eng)

-Heber J. Grant “From my earliest recollections, from the days of Brigham Young until now, I have listened to men standing in the pulpit…urging the people not to run into debt; and I believe that the great majority of all our troubles today is caused through the failure to carry out that counsel.” (Heber J Grant: Conference Report, Oct. 1921, 3; Also cited in Joseph B. Worthlin Conf. Report 2004 “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/04/earthly-debts-heavenly-debts?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Borrow only what you must, at the lowest rate available, for the shortest time possible.” (J. Richard Clarke Conf. Report 1980 “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

–Buy consumer durables with cash (One for the Money: Sep. 2007 Ensign; Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/one-for-the-money?lang=eng)

-Marvin J. Ashton said, “Debt in itself is neither good nor bad. It is a financial tool with the potential of being either. Debt in business
may be used to increase productivity or aid in expansion. However, most individuals in debt are usually average people, but they are temporarily out of financial control. They are the victims of poor monetary habits and often have no
idea of the importance of proper money management. They misuse credit, especially credit cards, and don’t live within budgets or wise operational guidelines.” (Marvin J Ashton, Conf. Report Oct. 1981 “Give with Wisdom That They May Receive with Dignity” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1981/10/give-with-wisdom-that-they-may-receive-with-dignity?lang=eng)

– N. Eldon Tanner said, “After…basics are met, we should by frugal management regularly save to create funds for investment. It has been my observation that few people have been successful with investments who have not first developed the habit of saving regularly. This requires discipline and discriminating judgment. There are many ways to invest. My only advice is to choose wisely your investment counselors. Be sure they merit your confidence by maintaining a successful investment.” (N Eldon Tanner, Conf. Report Oct. 1979 “Constancy Amid Change” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1979/10/constancy-amid-change?lang=eng&_r=1)

– “Every principle of the gospel, when lived, has a positive influence over your choice of an occupation and on what you will achieve…Living the gospel will give you a perspective and an inspiration that will see you successful however ordinary your work may be or however ordinary your life may seem to others. God bless the members of this Church, that you can be happy with who you are and where you are, that you can improve yourselves.” (Boyd K Packer; Conf. Report April 1982 “The Gospel- the Foundation of Our Career; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/04/the-gospel-the-foundation-for-our-career?lang=eng)

– “Nothing destroys the individuality of a man, a woman, or a child as much as the failure to be self-reliant.” (Heber J Grant, Relief Society Magazine, Oct. 1937, 627; also cited in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, (2011), 109–18 Ch12 Work and Self-Reliance; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-12?lang=eng#16-35970_000_016)

– “The practice of coveting and receiving unearned benefits has now become so fixed in our society that even men of wealth, possessing the means to produce more wealth, are expecting the government to guarantee them a profit. Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens. We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even if we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice of self-respect and in political, temporal, and spiritual independence…We should strive to become self- reliant and not depend on others for our existence.” (The Celestial Nature of Self-reliance; Marion G. Romney; Conf. Report 1982; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/10/the-celestial-nature-of-self-reliance?lang=eng)

-J. Richard Clarke, “Let me repeat what has been taught from the beginning. Adam learned, as part of his first lesson by the Lord on economics, that the earth was to be subdued and dominion gained by sweat, by brain and brawn. The divine law of work shall never be repealed—for God established it. He has cursed idleness and commanded parents in Zion to teach their children to work. There is a high price for excellence, but the compensation and soul satisfaction are truly worth it. To work below our capabilities creates a deep hunger in ourselves and enormous waste in society. Our doctrine of eternal progression certainly encompasses our occupational progress. Each of us should be on a career path which will require us to stretch to our full potential.” (J Richard Clark; Conf. Report 1980; “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Our labor should be honest labor and quality labor. The only honorable way for each of us to share in the world’s wealth is to exchange our own goods and services for those produced by someone else. The Saints would be in demand everywhere and could command premium compensation if we would accept the challenge to set a Mormon standard of quality, unique because of its excellence. This is part of our religion.” (J Richard Clark; Conf. Report 1980; “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Complete as much formal, full-time education as possible. This includes the trade schools. This is money well invested. Use night school and correspondence classes to further prepare. Acquire some special skill or ability that could be used to avoid prolonged unemployment. In these days of worldwide heavy unemployment, we should not allow ourselves, when we are out of work, to sit back and wait for ‘our type of job’ if other honorable interim employment becomes available.” (One for the Money: Sep. 2007 Ensign; Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/one-for-the-money?lang=eng)

– “Followers of Christ have the moral responsibility of earning their livings and conducting their financial transactions in ways that are consistent with the principles of the gospel and the teachings of the Savior. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should not be involved in employment or other activities upon which they cannot conscientiously ask the blessings of the Lord.” (Dallin H. Oaks; Conf. Report 1986 “Brother’s Keeper” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/10/brothers-keeper?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Is it possible that our members are becoming part of a ‘conspiracy for mediocrity’ by being content with their present knowledge and skills?” (J. Richard Clarke Conf. Report 1980 “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “…one might properly say, ‘What I am worth is what I am doing for other people.’” (Franklin D. Richards “The Law of Abundance” in Conf. Report April 1971:https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1971/04/the-law-of-abundance?lang=eng)

-Marion G. Romney said, “Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made…How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak.” (The Celestial Nature of Self-reliance; Marion G. Romney; Conf. Report 1982; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/10/the-celestial-nature-of-self-reliance?lang=eng)

-J. Richard Clarke counseled, “In order to balance our personal income and expenditures, we obviously reduce expenses or increase our earnings. Too often, however, people find it easier to adjust to a tighter budget than to find ways to generate additional income.” (J. Richard Clarke Conf. Report 1980 “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Consumption should never exceed our production. Economic freedom comes from the surpluses we create.” (J. Richard Clarke Conf. Report 1980 “The Household of Faith” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/the-household-of-faith?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “Unemployment and inflation can quickly wipe away hard-earned savings.” (James E Faust: The Blessings we receive as we meet the challenges of economic stress; Conf. Report Oct. 1982 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/10/the-blessings-we-receive-as-we-meet-the-challenges-of-economic-stress?lang=eng)

– “Strive to understand and cope with existing inflation. Learn to see through the money illusion and recognize the real value of money. Most wage earners today have less purchasing power than they did [a few years ago]. To some degree inflation is probably going to be with us for a long time. Realize that you are living in a new era of higher prices and less abundant energy.” (One for the Money: Sep. 2007 Ensign; Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/one-for-the-money?lang=eng)

– “When the lives of the people are in harmony with the Lord’s will, all of the essential factors that produce the blessings God deigns to give to his children seem to come into line. Love and harmony prevail. Even the weather, the climate, and the elements seem to respond. Peace and tranquility endure. Industry and progress mark the lives of the people.” (Conf. Report Oct. 1992 “The Lord Will Prosper the Righteous” Dean L. Larsen https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1992/10/the-lord-will-prosper-the-righteous?lang=eng)

– “It has always been a cardinal teaching with the Latter-day Saints, that a religion which has not the power to save people temporally and make them prosperous and happy here, cannot be depended upon to save them spiritually, to exalt them in the life to come.” (Joseph F. Smith; Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, (2011), 163–72; Ch19 Thrift, the Foundation of Prosperity; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-f-smith/chapter-19?lang=eng)

– “We can’t afford to neglect personal and family involvement in our money management. God will open the windows of heaven to us in these matters if we will but live close to Him and keep His commandments.” (One for the Money: Sep. 2007 Ensign; Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/09/one-for-the-money?lang=eng)

– “The Lord has demonstrated throughout the generations that when the inhabitants of the earth remember him and are obedient to his direction, he will bless them not only with spiritual blessings, but with material abundance as well. The scriptures contain many evidences of the Lord’s willingness to prosper his people with the riches of the earth when they demonstrate that they will use this abundance prudently, with humility and charity, always acknowledging the source of their blessings.” (Conf. Report Oct. 1992 “The Lord Will Prosper the Righteous” Dean L. Larsen https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1992/10/the-lord-will-prosper-the-righteous?lang=eng) (*Another insight about this is that it could be a national blessing which our whole nation is overall wicked hence even many of the righteous are not getting blessed financially as much as they otherwise would be.)

– “Get out of debt and keep out of debt, and then you will be financially as well as spiritually free.” (Joseph F. Smith; Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, (2011), 163–72; Ch19 Thrift, the Foundation of Prosperity; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-f-smith/chapter-19?lang=eng)

– “Let us remember that it is against the will of God that any one of us should be in bondage—in any way —neither to sin nor to addiction nor to debt. ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8:32), He declared—free from sin, free from addiction of all kinds, and free from the slavery of debt. His truth, which is His gospel, will make us free—if we obey Him!” (Mark E. Peterson; Conf. Report 1981 “Blessings in Self-Reliance” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1981/04/blessings-in-self-reliance?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “It is something to supply clothing to the scantily clad, to furnish ample food to those whose table is thinly spread, to give activity to those who are fighting desperately the despair that comes from enforced idleness, but after all is said and done, the greatest blessings that will accrue from the Church [welfare program] are spiritual. Outwardly, every act seems to be directed toward the physical: re-making of dresses and suits of clothes, canning fruits and vegetables, storing foodstuffs, choosing of fertile fields for settlement—all seem strictly temporal, but permeating all these acts, inspiring and sanctifying them, is the element of spirituality.” (David O. McKay Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 103; also cited in The Celestial Nature of Self-reliance; Marion G. Romney; Conf. Report 1982; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/10/the-celestial-nature-of-self-reliance?lang=eng )

-N. Eldon Tanner warned that, “Overindulgence and poor money management place a heavy strain on marriage relationships. Most marital problems, it seems, originate from economic roots—either insufficient income to sustain the family or mismanagement of the income as earned.” Financial obedience eliminates much of the stress of marriage and facilitates unity within marriages and families. (N Eldon Tanner, Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 119–20; or Ensign, Nov. 1979, 81; also cited in Marriage and Family Relations Instructor’s Manual, (2000), 35–40; LESSON 8: MANAGING FAMILY FINANCES; https://www.lds.org/manual/marriage-and-family-relations-instructors-manual/part-a-strengthening-marriages/lesson-8-managing-family-finances?lang=eng)

– “…we can tell whether or not we put the kingdom of God first by looking at how we treat our brothers and sisters in the Church. Is there a special bond uniting us? Is there an absence of envy and backbiting? Do we rejoice in the success of a brother or sister as much as in our own? Do we share our substance so that all may be rich like unto us? Ultimately, are we our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers? May each of us accept the challenge to seek the kingdom of God first, before and above all else, and by so doing draw closer together as a people, until we are all of one heart and one mind…” (L Tom Perry, United in Building the Kingdom of God; April 1987 Conf. Report https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1987/04/united-in-building-the-kingdom-of-god?lang=eng)

– “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23)

– “The payment of tithing is a commandment, a
commandment with a promise. If we obey this commandment, we are promised
that we will ‘prosper in the land.’ This prosperity consists of more than material
goods—it may include enjoying good health and vigor of mind. It includes family
solidarity and spiritual increase. I hope those of you presently paying your full tithe
will seek the faith and strength to do so. As you discharge this obligation to your Maker, you will find great, great happiness, the like of which is known only by those who are faithful to this commandment.” (N. Eldon Tanner; The Gospel and the Productive Life Teacher Manual Religion 150, (2004), 15–20; https://www.lds.org/manual/the-gospel-and-the-productive-life-teacher-manual-religion-150/managing-financial-resources-wisely?lang=eng)

– “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet.” (LDS Manual “Teachings of The Presidents of the Church: Heber J Grant Ch. 13 Principles of Financial Security”; https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-heber-j-grant/chapter-13?lang=eng#4-35970_000_017)

– “Obedience to God’s commandments is the foundation for a happy life. Surely, we will be blessed with the gifts of heaven for our obedience. Failure to pay tithing by those who know the principle can lead to heartache in this life and perhaps sorrow in the next.” (Joseph B. Worthlin; Conf. Report 2004 “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/04/earthly-debts-heavenly-debts?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “One of the greatest lessons I have learned, …is that people who pay their tithing in both difficult times and good times get along better. They simply have fewer problems; there are fewer family problems and fewer financial problems. Their outlook is more positive, their ability to do and function is increased, and they prosper spiritually as well as temporally.” (James E Faust; Aug. 1984 Doing the best things in the Worst Times; https://www.lds.org/ensign/1984/08/doing-the-best-things-in-the-worst-times?lang=eng)

– “One of life’s paradoxes is that a person who approaches everything with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude may acquire money, property, and land, but in the end will lose the fulfillment and the happiness that a person enjoys who shares his talents and gifts generously with others.” (James E Faust; Conf. Report Oct. 2002 What’s in It for Me? https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/10/whats-in-it-for-me?lang=eng)

– “There are many ways in which the Lord can bless us beyond the riches of the world. There is the great boon of health. The Lord has promised that he will rebuke the devourer for our sakes. Malachi speaks of the fruits of our ground. May not that rebuke of the devourer apply to various of our personal efforts and concerns? There is the great blessing of wisdom, of knowledge, even hidden treasures of knowledge. We are promised that ours shall be a delightsome land if we will walk in obedience to this law.” (Gordon B. Hinckley; Conf. Report April 1982 Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/04/tithing-an-opportunity-to-prove-our-faithfulness?lang=eng)

– “The purpose of estate planning is to permit us to enjoy our property during life and then pass the unused portion to whomever we choose, with the least possible shrinkage in value. With wise planning, we can accomplish the following desirable ends: satisfy our personal needs and desires and those of our family, ensure that our property is left to the intended beneficiaries, designate someone to care for minor children, reduce family contentions, reduce the cost of transferring property upon death, and minimize income, gift, estate, and inheritance taxes.” (Steven J. Dixon, Ensign 1983 “Planning Ahead: The Importance of Wills and Trusts” https://www.lds.org/ensign/1983/06/planning-ahead-the-importance-of-wills-and-trusts?lang=eng&clang=mya)

Some talks:

  1. Constancy Amid Change by N. Eldon Tanner
    2. Guide to Family Finance by Marvin J. Ashton
    3. The Use & Abuse of Blessings by Brigham Young
    4. Thrift: The Foundation of Prosperity by Joseph F. Smith 5. The Household of Faith by J. Richard Clarke
    6. Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts by Joseph Worthlin
    7. Personal and Family Financial Preparedness by Franklin D. Richards
    8. Providing for Our Needs by M. Russell Ballard
    9. It’s No Fun Being Poor by Marvin J. Ashton
    10. Blessings in Self-Reliance by Mark E. Peterson
    11. The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance by Marion G. Romney
    12. The Lord Will Prosper the Righteous by Dean L. Larsen 13. The Times in Which We Live by Gordon B. Hinckley
  2. Doing the Best Things in the Worst of Times by James E. Faust
    15. Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence by Joe Christensen
  3. Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness by Gordon B. Hinckley
    17. What’s in It for Me? by James E. Faust
    18. Brother’s Keeper by Dallin H. Oaks
  4. The Law of Abundance by Franklin D. Richards
    20. The Gospel: The Foundation of Our Career by Boyd K. Packer
    21. This is No Harm by Marvin J. Ashton
    22. The Father’s Duty to Foster the Welfare of His Family by H. Burke Peterson
    23. The Perfect Law of Liberty by Marion G. Romney
    24. But Be Ye Doers of the Word by L. Tom Perry
    25. Watch, That Ye May Be Ready by Harold B. Lee
  5. United in Building the Kingdom of God by L. Tom Perry 27. As a Man Soweth by L. Tom Perry
    28. The Tragic Cycle by Marion D. Romney
    29. “Beware Lest Thou Forget the Lord” by Dean L. Larsen 30. “For Whatsoever a Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap” by L. Tom Perry
  6. Becoming Self-Reliant by L. Tom Perry
  7. “Give with Wisdom That Ye May Receive with Dignity” by Marvin J. Ashton
    33. The Blessings We Receive as We Meet the Challenges of Economic Stress by James E. Faust
  8. Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare by Thomas S. Monson

-having a wife work as well as the man can make your taxes go up, and cost of daycare for the children, etc. go up

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vocation Appendix A: The False Gods We Worship by President Spencer W. Kimball

FIRST PRESIDENCY MESSAGE

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1976/06/the-false-gods-we-worship?lang=eng
Full text

I have heard that the sense most closely associated with memory is the sense of smell. If this is true, then perhaps it explains the many pleasing feelings that overtake me these mornings when I am able to step outdoors for a few moments and breathe in the warm and comfortable aromas that I have come to associate over the years with the soil and vegetation of this good earth.

Now and then, when the moment is right, some particular scent—perhaps only the green grass, or the smell of sage brought from a distance by a breeze—will take me back to the days of my youth in Arizona. It was an arid country, yet it was fruitful under the hands of determined laborers.

We worked with the land and the cattle in all kinds of weather, and when we traveled it was on horseback or in open wagons or carriages, mostly. I used to run like the wind with my brothers and sisters through the orchards, down the dusty lanes, past rows of corn, red tomatoes, onions, squash. Because of this, I suppose it is natural to think that in those days we were closer to elemental life.

Some time ago I chanced to walk outdoors when the dark and massive clouds of an early afternoon thunderstorm were gathering; and as the large raindrops began to drum the dusty soil with increasing rapidity, I recalled the occasional summer afternoons when I was a boy when the tremendous thunderheads would gather over the hills and bring welcome rain to the thirsty soil of the valley floor. We children would run for the shed, and while the lightning danced about we would sit and watch, transfixed, marveling at the ever-increasing power of the pounding rainfall. Afterward, the air would be clean and cool and filled with the sweet smells of the soil, the trees, and the plants of the garden.

There were evenings those many years ago, at about sunset, when I would walk in with the cows. Stopping by a tired old fence post, I would sometimes just stand silently in the mellow light and the fragrance of sunflowers and ask myself, “If you were going to create a world, what would it be like?” Now with a little thought the answer seems so natural: “Just like this one.”

So on this day while I stood watching the thunderstorm, I felt—and I feel now—that this is a marvelous earth on which we find ourselves: and when I thought of our preparations for the United States Bicentennial celebration I felt a deep gratitude to the Lord for the choice land and the people and institutions of America. There is much that is good in this land, and much to love.

Nevertheless, on this occasion of so many pleasant memories another impression assailed my thoughts. The dark and threatening clouds that hung so low over the valley seemed to force my mind back to a theme that the Brethren have concerned themselves with for many years now—indeed a theme that has often occupied the attention of the Lord’s chosen prophets since the world began. I am speaking of the general state of wickedness in which we seem to find the world in these perilous yet crucially momentous days; and thinking of this, I am reminded of the general principle that where much is given, much is expected. (See Luke 12:48.)

The Lord gave us a choice world and expects righteousness and obedience to his commandments in return. But when I review the performance of this people in comparison with what is expected, I am appalled and frightened. Iniquity seems to abound. The Destroyer seems to be taking full advantage of the time remaining to him in this, the great day of his power. Evil seems about to engulf us like a great wave, and we feel that truly we are living in conditions similar to those in the days of Noah before the Flood.

I have traveled much in various assignments over the years, and when I pass through the lovely countryside or fly over the vast and beautiful expanses of our globe, I compare these beauties with many of the dark and miserable practices of men, and I have the feeling that the good earth can hardly bear our presence upon it. I recall the occasion when Enoch heard the earth mourn, saying, “Wo, wo is me, the mother of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me?” (Moses 7:48.)

The Brethren constantly cry out against that which is intolerable in the sight of the Lord: against pollution of mind, body, and our surroundings; against vulgarity, stealing, lying, pride, and blasphemy; against fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and all other abuses of the sacred power to create; against murder and all that is like unto it; against all manner of desecration.

That such a cry should be necessary among a people so blessed is amazing to me. And that such things should be found even among the Saints to some degree is scarcely believable, for these are a people who are in possession of many gifts of the Spirit, who have knowledge that puts the eternities into perspective, who have been shown the way to eternal life.

Sadly, however, we find that to be shown the way is not necessarily to walk in it, and many have not been able to continue in faith. These have submitted themselves in one degree or another to the enticings of Satan and his servants and joined with those of “the world” in lives of ever-deepening idolatry.

I use the word idolatry intentionally. As I study ancient scripture, I am more and more convinced that there is significance in the fact that the commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is the first of the Ten Commandments.

Few men have ever knowingly and deliberately chosen to reject God and his blessings. Rather, we learn from the scriptures that because the exercise of faith has always appeared to be more difficult than relying on things more immediately at hand, carnal man has tended to transfer his trust in God to material things. Therefore, in all ages when men have fallen under the power of Satan and lost the faith, they have put in its place a hope in the “arm of flesh” and in “gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know” (Dan. 5:23)—that is, in idols. This I find to be a dominant theme in the Old Testament. Whatever thing a man sets his heart and his trust in most is his god; and if his god doesn’t also happen to be the true and living God of Israel, that man is laboring in idolatry.

It is my firm belief that when we read these scriptures and try to “liken them unto [our]selves,” as Nephi suggested (1 Ne. 19:24), we will see many parallels between the ancient worship of graven images and behavioral patterns in our very own experience.

The Lord has blessed us as a people with a prosperity unequaled in times past. The resources that have been placed in our power are good, and necessary to our work here on the earth. But I am afraid that many of us have been surfeited with flocks and herds and acres and barns and wealth and have begun to worship them as false gods, and they have power over us. Do we have more of these good things than our faith can stand? Many people spend most of their time working in the service of a self-image that includes sufficient money, stocks, bonds, investment portfolios, property, credit cards, furnishings, automobiles, and the like to guarantee carnal security throughout, it is hoped, a long and happy life. Forgotten is the fact that our assignment is to use these many resources in our families and quorums to build up the kingdom of God—to further the missionary effort and the genealogical and temple work; to raise our children up as fruitful servants unto the Lord; to bless others in every way, that they may also be fruitful. Instead, we expend these blessings on our own desires, and as Moroni said, “Ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not.” (Morm. 8:39.)

As the Lord himself said in our day, “They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.” (D&C 1:16; italics added.)

One man I know of was called to a position of service in the Church, but he felt that he couldn’t accept because his investments required more attention and more of his time than he could spare for the Lord’s work. He left the service of the Lord in search of Mammon, and he is a millionaire today.

But I recently learned an interesting fact: If a man owns a million dollars worth of gold at today’s prices, he possesses approximately one 27-billionth of all the gold that is present in the earth’s thin crust alone. This is an amount so small in proportion as to be inconceivable to the mind of man. But there is more to this: The Lord who created and has power over all the earth created many other earths as well, even “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33); and when this man received the oath and covenant of the priesthood (D&C 84:33–44), he received a promise from the Lord of “all that my Father hath” (D&C 84:38). To set aside all these great promises in favor of a chest of gold and a sense of carnal security is a mistake in perspective of colossal proportions. To think that he has settled for so little is a saddening and pitiful prospect indeed; the souls of men are far more precious than this.

One young man, when called on a mission, replied that he didn’t have much talent for that kind of thing. What he was good at was keeping his powerful new automobile in top condition. He enjoyed the sense of power and acceleration, and when he was driving, the continual motion gave him the illusion that he was really getting somewhere.

All along, his father had been content with saying, “He likes to do things with his hands. That’s good enough for him.”

Good enough for a son of God? This young man didn’t realize that the power of his automobile is infinitesimally small in comparison with the power of the sea, or of the sun; and there are many suns, all controlled by law and by priesthood, ultimately—a priesthood power that he could have been developing in the service of the Lord. He settled for a pitiful god, a composite of steel and rubber and shiny chrome.

An older couple retired from the world of work and also, in effect, from the Church. They purchased a pickup truck and camper and, separating themselves from all obligations, set out to see the world and simply enjoy what little they had accumulated the rest of their days. They had no time for the temple, were too busy for genealogical research and for missionary service. He lost contact with his high priests quorum and was not home enough to work on his personal history. Their experience and leadership were sorely needed in their branch, but, unable to “endure to the end,” they were not available.

I am reminded of an article I read some years ago about a group of men who had gone to the jungles to capture monkeys. They tried a number of different things to catch the monkeys, including nets. But finding that the nets could injure such small creatures, they finally came upon an ingenious solution. They built a large number of small boxes, and in the top of each they bored a hole just large enough for a monkey to get his hand into. They then set these boxes out under the trees and in each one they put a nut that the monkeys were particularly fond of.

When the men left, the monkeys began to come down from the trees and examine the boxes. Finding that there were nuts to be had, they reached into the boxes to get them. But when a monkey would try to withdraw his hand with the nut, he could not get his hand out of the box because his little fist, with the nut inside, was now too large.

At about this time, the men would come out of the underbrush and converge on the monkeys. And here is the curious thing: When the monkeys saw the men coming, they would shriek and scramble about with the thought of escaping; but as easy as it would have been, they would not let go of the nut so that they could withdraw their hands from the boxes and thus escape. The men captured them easily.

And so it often seems to be with people, having such a firm grasp on things of the world—that which is telestial—that no amount of urging and no degree of emergency can persuade them to let go in favor of that which is celestial. Satan gets them in his grip easily. If we insist on spending all our time and resources building up for ourselves a worldly kingdom, that is exactly what we will inherit.

In spite of our delight in defining ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had—in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people—a condition most repugnant to the Lord.

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:

“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44–45.)

We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us—and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Ne. 1:7)—or he will fight our battles for us (Ex. 14:14; D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53.) We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be. King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chr. 20), and when Elisha’s life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kgs. 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, “And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kgs. 6:17.)

Enoch, too, was a man of great faith who would not be distracted from his duties by the enemy: “And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch.” (Moses 7:13.)

What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is affirmative: to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.

We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the “arm of flesh,” for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, “I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.” (D&C 64:24.)

When Peter preached such a message as this to the people on the day of Pentecost, many of them “were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37.)

And Peter answered: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and … receive the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38.)

As we near the year 2,000, our message is the same as that which Peter gave. And further, that which the Lord himself gave “unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:

“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh.” (D&C 1:11–12.)

We believe that the way for each person and each family to prepare as the Lord has directed is to begin to exercise greater faith, to repent, and to enter into the work of his kingdom on earth, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It may seem a little difficult at first, but when a person begins to catch a vision of the true work, when he begins to see something of eternity in its true perspective, the blessings begin to far outweigh the cost of leaving “the world” behind.

Herein lies the only true happiness, and therefore we invite and welcome all men, everywhere, to join in this work. For those who are determined to serve the Lord at all costs, this is the way to eternal life. All else is but a means to that end.