another perspective on wealth

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  • 1. Personal Finance: Another Perspective Another Perspective On Wealth

2. Objectives

  • A. Understand the Importance of Perspective
  • B. Understand the key principles of understanding and using wealth wisely
  • C. Understand other principles about wealth

3. The Importance of Perspective

  • Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote of those without this perspective.He wrote:
    • Living without God in the world brings a functional lack of consistent perspective. If there were no eternal truths, to what principles would mortals look for guidance? If not accountable to God, to whom are we ultimately accountable? Furthermore, if nothing is ever really wrong, then no one is ever really responsible. . . Why should we be surprised, then, at so many disturbing outcomes, including the lack of community, when every man does that which is right in his own eyes?( Take Especial Care of Your Family,Ensign,May 1994, 88.)

4. The Importance of Perspective(continued)

  • Benjamin Franklin knew about the importance of perspective and how it influenced choice.He wrote :
    • Those who believe there is one God who made all things and who governs the world by this providence will make many choices different from those who do not. Those who believe that mankind are all of a family and that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man will make many choices different from those who do not. . . Those who subscribe to the morals of Jesus will make many choices different from those who do not ( The Art of Virtue , 1986, 8890).

5. The Importance of Perspective(continued)

  • President Spencer W. Kimball said:
    • We hope we can help our young men and young women to realize, even sooner than they do now, that they need to makecertaindecisions onlyonce. We can push some things away from us once and have done with them! We can make a single decision about certain things that we will incorporate in our lives and then make them ourswithout having to brood and re-decide a hundred times what it is we will do and what we will not do. My young brothers [and sisters], if you have not done so yet,decide to decide ! ( Ensign,May 1976, p. 46; italics added.)

6. Questions

  • Any questions on the importance of perspective?


  • Elder Richard G. Scott commented:
    • Joseph Smiths inspired statement, I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves, still applies.The Lord uses that pattern with us. You will find correct principles in the teachings of the Savior, His prophets, and the scripturesespecially the Book of Mormon. . . Your consistent adherence to principle overcomes the alluring yet false life-styles that surround you. Your faithful compliance to correct principles will generate criticism and ridicule from others, yet the results are so eternally worthwhile that they warrant your every sacrifice (Richard G. Scott, The Power of Correct Principles,Ensign,May 1993, 32).

B. Key Principles of Understandingand Using Wealth Wisely 8. Principles of Personal Finance Principle 1: Ownership

  • 1. Ownership: Everything we have is the Lords
    • The Psalmist wrote:
      • The earth is the Lords, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Psalms 24:1)
    • The Lord is the creator of the earth (Mosiah 2:21), the supplier of our breath (2 Nephi 9:26), the giver of our knowledge (Moses 7:32) and our life (Mosiah 2:22), and all we have and are (Mosiah 2:21).
      • Nothing we have is our ownits all Gods

9. Principle 2: Stewardship

  • 2. Stewardship: We are stewards over all that the Lord has, is, or will share with us
    • The Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith stated:
      • 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. (D&C 104:13)

10. Principle 3:Agency

  • 3. Agency: The gift of choice is mans most precious inheritance
    • President Marion G. Romney said:
      • Agency means the freedom and power to choose and act. Next to life itself, it is mans most precious inheritance. ( Ensign,May 1976, p. 120.)
    • President David O. McKay:
      • Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is Gods greatest gift to man. Freedom of choice is more to be treasured than any possession earth can give.(Conference Report, Apr. 1950, p. 32; italics added).

11. Principle 4: Accountability

  • 4. Accountability: We are accountable for everychoice we make
    • The Lord through the prophet Joseph stated:
      • Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.(D&C 58: 27-28)
      • For it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. (D&C 72:3)


  • On this subject, Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated:
    • The submission of ones will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on Gods altar.The many other things we give, brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us.However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in Gods will, then we are really giving something to Him!It is the only possession which is truly ours to give! (italics added,Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father,Ensign,Nov. 1995, 22.)

What is Really Ours?(continued) 13. Important Observations

  • 1.Wealth is not a Sign of Righteousness
    • While financial blessings may be a result of righteousness, more often than not the blessings from righteousness are spiritual.
      • The best sign of righteousness is not wealth, but how well we follow the example of our Savior
  • 2. Since God gives us blessings freely, we should share them freely

14. Important Observations

  • 3. Wealth is not a necessary qualification for service in the Lord's kingdom
    • President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
      • If that is the perception, I am sorry, because it is a false perception.Out of the experience of nearly a quarter of a century in organizing and reorganizing scores of stakes, I can say that the financial worth of a man was the least of all considerations in selecting a stake president.Wealth and financial success are not criteria for Church service.( Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness,Ensign,May 1982, 40.)

15. Important Observations

  • 5. Wealth can be a Blessing or Curse
    • President N. Eldon Tanner said:
      • The Lord gave the greatest success formula that I know of : Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Constancy Amid Change,Ensign,Nov. 1979, 80.)
    • President Brigham Young stated:
      • "The worst fear ... I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church. ... My greatest fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth." (This Is The Place,Tambuli,July 1977, 25.)

16. Important Observations

  • President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
    • The Lord will love us, I think, to the degree to which we lift and bless those in distress.I believe that with all my heart, mind, and soul.The accumulation of means is not a bad endeavor when those means are used to bless the needy of the earth. ( Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Volume 2 , Intellectual Reserve, 2005, p. 593.)

17. Agency Principles(continued)

  • 6.Love of money is the root of all evil
    • Elder Theodore M. Burton commented:
    • Paul did not say that money itself was evil, but that theloveof money is therootof all evil.(1 Tim. 6:10.)Love of money, status, possessions, or position more than righteousness begets a kind of false pride that must be avoided. That is why the Lord also told us that if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity,. . .but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old. (D&C 38:39) (A Disease Called Pride,Ensign,Mar. 1971, 26.)

18. Accountability Principles

  • 7. Money will not Bring Happiness or Solve your Problems
    • Henrik Ibsen said:
      • Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel.It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintances, but not friends; servants, but not faithfulness; days of joy, but not peace or happiness. (in James E. Faust, Our Search for Happiness,Ensign,Oct. 2000, 2.)
      • If you cant be happy without money, you will never be happy with it.

19. Questions

  • Any questions about these perspectives of wealth?