State of Mankind

A New Way Of Thinking

In Mine Own Way

Sometimes there is reason to worry that we just don’t get it.  In saying this, there is no reference to anyone in particular, but just to our society as a whole.  Do we really care about those who are less fortunate or have we accomplished mass apathy to our destruction?  This question is to be answered by the individual conscience.

My apologies to those not of my faith, but we’ll look at this question in the light of the Doctrine and Convenants (Section 104).  Whether you agree with my faith or not, I do believe there are some important things to consider.  Starting with verse 13:

13. For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.

14. I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.

15. And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.

The quick summary:  The Lord owns everything.  We own nothing, but he gives us stewardship to see whether we will be wise or foolish, to see whether we will seek his will or our will with what he gives us.

16. But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.

Another pause for understanding.  Marion G. Romney explained how the poor are exalted and the rich are made low:

The United Order exalts the poor and humbles the rich.  In the process both are sanctified.  The poor, released from the bondage and humiliating limitations of poverty are enabled as free men to rise to their full potential, both temporally and spiritually.  The rich, by consecration and by imparting of their surplus for the benefit of the poor, not by constraint but willingly as an act of free will, evidence that charity for their fellowmen characterized by Mormon as “the pure love of Christ.”

Brother Romney also explains how the United Order works in our day:

Furthermore to use again the words of President Clark:

“In lieu of residues and surpluses which were accumulated and built up under the united order, we, today, have our fast offerings, our welfare donations, and our tithing all of which may be devoted to the care of the poor, as well as for the carrying on of the activities and business of the church.”

What prohibits us from giving as much in fast offerings as we would have given in surpluses under the United Order?  Nothing but our own limitations.

Continuing with D&C 104:

17. For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

Translation:  The Club of Rome is wrong.  We don’t need a world government to take our agency to protect our “dwindling” resources.  We don’t need the Federal government running our charity.  It is to be personal choice.  We are to be agents unto ourselves.  But, if we are to use our agency to be servants of the Lord and run our stewardships as he would, what does he desire?

18. Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.

Strong words.  They aren’t mine, they come from a higher source.  To give my opinion straight up, I would say that we, as members of what we profess to be the Lord’s church, have his commandments and make covenants to live accordingly.  However, too often the pursuit of material things or entertainment seem to take priority in our lives.  As I watch some people pay for trips or stuff on a credit card, I have to wonder if they realize the decision they are making.  Instead of being wise stewards, remembering the poor, and making sure there is a surplus for them, we seem to spend all of our surplus and go into debt just to provide for our wants.  Do we understand verse 18?

I understand that King Benjamin (Mosiah 4:24-25) suggests that those who have no extra are not required to give.  But what is the application here?  He says that our hearts must be for giving to the poor or we will be condemned.  When the good people of the west side of Salt Lake (among whom I reside) pretend they can’t give, but somehow are buying new cars or going on multiple vacations every year, or buying houses twice as big as their parents, it raises red flags in my mind.  By the standards of King Benjamin’s day, even we are generally rich.  Do we give likewise or do we try and justify our pride because others have more?

In conclusion, I simply hope we see the great opportunity that we have to fully live the laws of the Lord.  The Church welfare program, as well as other good charities, or helping others directly, give us the tools we need to live fully according to the law of consecration (United Order), if we will so choose.  Those of other faiths have many charities which they can support.  By so doing, we can have the peace and assurance that comes from knowing that the Lord is pleased with our efforts.  By choosing another path, we can spend our lives in pursuit of that which will not satisfy.  I hope we can sit down and seriously analyze our stewardships and decide if we are really following the Lord’s plan, or if we need to re-read verse 18.

 

PS-There will be no new posting for a day or two, as I believe this is a really important point that needs contemplation.

 

 

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