Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld. (D&C 70:14)
“To take the test we must stay alive, but we have made staying alive the test itself, as if we had come to earth to spend our days of probation grabbing more and more stuff or sweating to get enough lunch. Like medicine, the stuff of this earth is to preserve life; too much of it is unnecessary and dangerous and so is not enough.
Without the law of consecration men have set themselves up as judges of who is worthy to live and have joy on earth.” (Nibley “Approaching Zion” page 403)
That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things. For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things; For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you. (D&C 78: 5-7)
And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practice virtue and holiness before me. And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself. For what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one: Be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other: Be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there—and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just? (D&C 38: 24-26)
But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D&C 49:20)
Behold, here is wisdom also in me for your good. And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just—(D&C 82:16-17)
And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family… that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants. And if thou obtainest more than that which would be for thy support, thou shalt give it into my storehouse that all things may be done according to that which I have said. (D&C 42:32, 33, 55)
And the bishop, Newel K. Whitney, also should travel round about and among all the churches, searching after the poor to administer to their wants by humbling the rich and the proud. (D&C 84:112)
He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things; Yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit. (D&C 70:12-13)
And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. (Mosiah 4:13, 26)
Behold, thus saith the Lord unto my people—you have many things to do and to repent of; for behold, your sins have come up unto me, and are not pardoned, because you seek to counsel in your own ways. And your hearts are not satisfied. And ye obey not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness. Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved! Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands! But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs.(D&C 56:14-18)
For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance. But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D&C 49:19, 20)
Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world. (3 Nephi 6:15)
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. 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. (D&C 104:17, 18)
Trying to strip and withdraw from our bones, the years of a constant drum beat defining the world’s (thus the adversary’s) concept of a successful life, is something requiring a heavenly effort.
Even waking up to a knowledge of our awful situation is hardly the beginning of the journey to completely change our lifelong paradigm of self-reliance and accumulation; no matter what we thought the righteous end of accumulation could be in some future goal of, someday, once we have the money to “really” serve the Lord.
The Lord wants us serving Him now, where we presently are, in the current sphere of influence in which He has placed us. Not dreaming of service in some foreign land, in some distant future, while spending our strength seeking the accumulation of the things of this world with our present.
The Lord doesn’t need nor ask us to accumulate wealth for Him! He asks us to serve Him and His children, including giving to those in need our excess, here and now!
What a challenge it is for those of us steeped in the culture of a capitalist economy and self-reliant LDS teachings!
“And that is what the Lord asks us: to forget about lunch, and do His work, and the lunch will be taken care of.” (Nibley “Approaching Zion” page 212)
Every time I think about how far I have come, I see how far I have yet to go in developing “true faith” in the Lord for all things present and future, both temporal and spiritual!
Your brother in Christ
“Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just— But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.” (Mosiah 4:17, 18)