Why keeping the commandments will lead to prospering in the land

October 23, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 3:45 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices,Personal Revelation,Theology

A while back I posted on the oft repeated promise in the Book of Mormon “Inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land”. I have always taken this to be a self-evident truth in Mormonism but it turns out that lots of people in the church just don’t believe it. Well, they may sorta believe it but apparently many want to water it down and make it only applicable to societies and not to individuals. Or perhaps they misread the word “prosper” and think the only thing it could possibly be referring to is worldly riches (ignoring other ways we can prosper in the land like by having good physical and mental health, true friends, loving relationships, etc.) I think the promise is very literal and applies to individuals today. In this post I’ll explain the two ways I think the promise plays out. (more…)

On brother Nibley and taking potshots at “the rich”

October 3, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 2:08 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices,Scriptures

One of the popular sports among many Mormons is taking potshots at “the rich”. Hugh Nibley seems to have really gotten the ball rolling on this sport (perhaps unintentionally?) with some of his excellent essays found in the book Approaching Zion. Using many of Nibley’s arguments, some Mormons seem to immensely enjoy lobbing theological grenades at the ever-nebulous and faceless group, the rich. We have been discussing this very topic in the comments over at my recent post about the camel and the eye of the needle teachings in the New Testament.

The problem is that nobody seems to be willing to define the term rich. What makes one officially rich? Is it net worth? Is it annual income?

Are you among those who actually believe that being poor (please define poor too, btw) is morally and spiritually superior to being rich?

I have mentioned elsewhere that I have a Nibley hangover lately and it is things like this that have given it to me. It was fun to ride a high horse and look down on “the rich” for a while after reading his stuff but falling off that high horse seems to have given me a Nibley headache or something…

[Associated radio.blog song: ABC – How To Be A Millionaire]

The camel and needle thing — I do not think that means what you think it means either

September 20, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 11:22 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Scriptures,Theology

Before the parable of the laborers in Matthew 20 there is the tale of the rich young man who approaches Jesus in Matthew 19:

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.


My Beef with a Year Supply of Food

August 4, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 12:03 am   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices

For the most part I am a huge fan of the Church’s counsel regarding finances, preparedness, and self-reliance. I love the counsel to stay out of debt and live within our means, and I need a steady diet of it. (From what I can tell you do too.) However, I find myself somewhat at odds with the counsel to keep a year’s supply of food. (more…)

The Devil’s GPA and how it whacked David

June 25, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:28 am   Category: Devil's GPA,Money and getting gain,Scriptures,Sunday School Lessons

The Devil’s GPA whacked David. We are discussing this episode today in Sunday School in lesson 24 covering 2 Samuel 11-12. For those of you not familiar with the Devil’s GPA, it is my codename for the three major categories of temptations we find in scripture (and in life). I’ve posted on it a couple of times before. Here is a synopsis: (more…)

Sheep Food (Part 1)

May 1, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 11:53 pm   Category: Feed My Sheep,Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices,Scriptures

And you thought the Feed My Sheep series here at the Thang was dead… Oh, how wrong you were. So far we have discussed the relationship between sheep and shepherds in scripture and who the scriptures define as Christ’s sheep (and who they say aren’t His sheep). In the next couple of posts I will discuss what it is we are supposed to feed these sheep; or in other words, what is the sheep food? (more…)

Katrina Funds vs. Fast Offerings

September 6, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 9:15 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices

We are commanded to give to the poor and needy. Ancient and modern scriptures are clear on that. But are there clear priorities when choosing how to distribute our offerings? Let me give you a hypothetical situation to see what you think. (more…)

Money. Big Money.

May 14, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 8:24 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices

Most of us are concerned about just making enough money to pay our bills. By contrast, there are some people in this world that are really, really rich. I have seen stats in the past that show that almost 40% of all wealth in the US is in the hands of the top 1% of wealthy people. So here is my question to you: What would you do if you were rich? I don’t mean kinda rich, I mean 8-to-9-figures rich. How would you (as a righteous citizen of Zion) handle or distribute your fabulous wealth? What could you do with that resource to actually make the world a better place? (more…)

Two dollars, I want my Two Dollaaarrrs!

April 17, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 12:03 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices,Scriptures

The law of consecration worries me. It nags me. It harasses me. It won’t leave me alone. It’s like that paper boy in the 80’s teen flick Better Off Dead that kept showing up out of nowhere demanding his “twoooo dollllaaarss!” — It just won’t go away. (more…)

How’s Your GPA? (Satan Wants to Know…) — Part II

February 15, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 3:10 pm   Category: Devil's GPA,Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices,Scriptures

Tonight for family scriptures I broke out the parable of the sower from Matthew 13 for my little children. It was slightly over their heads (I got questions like ?what is God?s special word?? ? as in singular) but as I read the parable and succeeding explanation out loud it dawned on me that this parable was further support for my theory on the Devil?s GPA!

The Devil?s GPA is the code name I use for what I think is the fundamental content of Satan?s playbook as explained in the scriptures. I introduced the concept in an earlier post, but here is the list temptations we?ll face in mortality from greatest to least:

G: Greed and Getting Gain (Plus the power wealth brings)
P: Popularity, Prominence, Praise of Men, Pride, Power (at least the influence part)
A: Appetites and Addictions

I have loved this idea since I read somewhere that President Mckay taught similar things. I hadn?t seen it in this parable until tonight. Here goes:

The seeds by the wayside = Appetites and Addictions


Riches Part II — God might make you rich… but beware

February 11, 2005    By: Geoff J @ 4:42 pm   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices

The comments for my previous post on the tenuous relationship between worldly riches and righteousness really got me thinking. A rich (but apparently righteous) anonymous saint made some very insightful comments that brought new ideas to my mind. I’m now starting to wonder if the Lord really does “bless” us with riches sometimes in this life. Not so we can live it up, but to see if we’ll actually keep our covenants and let go of it. (more…)

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