Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sermon: Managing Our Wealth

There many references in the scriptures regarding riches, money, and wealth.  And today as well as in the past the rich often look down on the poor. In turn the poor will frequently covet the wealth of the rich. We need to answer some questions, which will not go away until we have an accurate perspective, and attitude towards wealth, and riches. Does a righteous life bring wealth? Does wealth bring about dangers, as well as poverty? How should we work towards obtaining wealth? In order to answer these questions looking into, and searching the  scriptures will give us great insight to understanding what our attitudes  should be.
As we study we will learn that great men of God have been both rich, and poor. The scriptures inform us that wealth can be a blessing or a cursing. In the Book of Mormon Helaman
18  Behold ye, the people of this great city, and hearken unto my words; yea, hearken unto the words which the Lord saith; for behold, he saith that ye are cursed because of your riches.
19  And also are your riches cursed because ye have set your hearts upon them, and have not hearkened unto the words of him who gave them unto you. Ye do not remember the Lord your God in the things with which he hath blessed you, but ye do always remember your riches, not to thank the Lord your God for them.
20  Yea, your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swelling, envyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities. For this cause hath the Lord God caused that a curse should come upon the land, and also upon your riches, and this because of your iniquities.
21 Yea, wo unto this people, because of this time which has arrived, that ye do cast out the prophets, and do mock them, and cast stones at them, and do slay them, and do all manner of iniquity unto them, even as they did of old time. And now when ye talk, ye say: If our days had been in the days of our fathers of old, we would not have slain the prophets; we would not have stoned them, and cast them out.
22  Behold ye are worse than they; for as the Lord liveth, if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil.
(Book of Mormon: Helaman 5:18 - 22
In contrast to the negative effects of wealth Alma informs us why the
Nephites prosper
28  And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need.
29  An abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.
30  And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished.
31  And they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need. And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church.
(Book of Mormon: Alma 1:28 - 32)

In closing Jacob tells us that it is our intent, and purpose to obtain
wealth that will ultimately determine whether our quest will be a blessing or a cursing. As we read in the Book of Jacob.
13  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.
(Book of Mormon: Jacob 2:13)
In the name of  Jesus Christ amen
3rd Elder Peter C. Barber

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