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Section 1: Introduction: A Gospel Perspective on Wealth.

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Presentation on theme: "Section 1: Introduction: A Gospel Perspective on Wealth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Section 1: Introduction: A Gospel Perspective on Wealth

2 Objectives A. Understand why to “Decide to Decide” B. Understand the Spiritual Foundation for Using Wealth Wisely C. Understand other Gospel Truths about Wealth

3 A. Why “Decide to Decide”? Your Future Starts Now You have many challenges ahead: Surviving this class and graduating Budgeting, spending, saving and investing Student loans, credit card debt, graduate school Marriage and children Missions Retirement How do you keep your (personal and financial) priorities in order?

4 Why “Decide to Decide”? Elder James E. Faust stated: In this life we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices. Making perfect choices all of the time is not possible. It just doesn’t happen. But it is possible to make good choices we can live with and grow from. (“Choices,” Ensign, May 2004, p. 51) How do you make good choices you can live with and grow from?

5 Why “Decide to Decide”? Elder Neal A. Maxwell commented: We see the world and the people in it differently, because, as C. S. Lewis observed, it is by the light and illumination of the gospel that we see everything else.. The gospel is like the lens of a cosmic kaleidoscope that, instead of showing life, man, and the universe as senseless, unconnected fragments, shows us pattern, beauty, and purpose! It is this vision that can give us a special sense of proportion about the things in life that matter most...This perspective can make so many differences in so many ways that, unintentionally, we may be unconscious of the implications of our difference in outlook. (Neal A. Maxwell, “Talk of the Month,” New Era, May 1971, 28.)

6 Why “Decide to Decide”? 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 make certain decisions only once. … 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 ours— without 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.)

7 Questions Do you have any questions on why you need to Decide to Decide?

8 Much has been written and said about the importance of wealth in our lives. Is wealth important? Is there a foundation that could help us manage our wealth better? What is the spiritual foundation? The spiritual foundation is the principles that hold everything else up. These pillars form the foundation, that if understood, will help us keep our priorities in order and to use our wealth as Jesus Christ would have us use it. B. Understand the Spiritual Foundation for Using Wealth Wisely

9 Pillar 1: Ownership 1. Everything we have is the Lord’s 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 abilities (Mosiah 2:21). Nothing we have is our own—its all God’s In D&C 104:14-15 it states: I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine. And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine. (italics added)

10 Ownership (continued) The things we have or ever will have, or are or ever will become, are really not ours They are on loan from a loving Father in Heaven There should be no feeling of pride for the things we have, we are, or will become. Rather, they should encourage greater obedience to God’s commandments as we realize they are gifts from a loving Father in Heaven

11 Pillar 2: Stewardship 2. We are stewards over all that the Lord has 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) “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)

12 Stewardship (continued) Being blessed with the material things in life should be seen not just as a blessing, but as a responsibility. We will all have to give an account of our stewardship in the future to a loving Father and Son. As wise stewards, it is our responsibility to learn everything we can about our stewardship That way we can manage our stewardship to the best of our abilities The purpose of this class is to help you understand and manage that stewardship better!

13 Pillar 3: Agency 3. We were given our agency by a loving Father in Heaven President Marion G. Romney said: “Agency means the freedom and power to choose and act. Next to life itself, it is man’s most precious inheritance.” (Ensign, May 1976, p. 120.) The Lord said to Enoch: “Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hand, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency.” (Moses 7:32)

14 Agency (continued) Being blessed with the gift of agency was such an important subject that a war was fought in heaven Satan sought “to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). Do we appreciate what was done to give us this gift? Instead of feeling pride for our things we have or are We should do everything in our power to thank a loving Father and Son for this wonderful right to choose—and then use that agency wisely!

15 Pillar 4: Choice and Accountability 4. We have been blessed with the gift of “choice,” but we will be held accountable for its use We have been counseled by the Lord: 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. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. (D&C 58: 27-28) We have been given the choice, but it is up to us to choose wisely to “bring to pass much righteousness.”

16 Choice and Accountability (continued) The first three pillars are God’s gift to us. The fourth pillar is our gift to God We can, through the wise use of “choice,” show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him by making correct choices, obeying his commandments, and striving to become more like His Son. An additional purpose of this class is to help and encourage you to make those choices wisely

17 On the subject of what’s really ours, Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated: The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s 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 God’s 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?

18 C.Understand Gospel Truths About Wealth Once you understand the foundation pillars, are there other gospel truths about wealth? Gospel truths about wealth are statements that are built on the pillars discussed earlier. They include: Ownership 1. Wealth is not a sign of righteousness 2. Because God shares freely with us, we should share freely with others Stewardship 3. We have not earned the things we enjoy 4. Wealth is not a necessary qualification for service in the Lord's Kingdom

19 Gospel Truths about Wealth (continued) Agency 5. Wealth can be either a blessing or curse 6. The love of money (not money) is the root of evil Choice and Motivation 7. Wealth will not bring happiness nor solve all your problems

20 Ownership Truths 1. Wealth is not a Sign of Righteousness While financial blessings may be a result of righteousness, more often than not the blessings are spiritual William Jennings Bryan wrote in The Prince of Peace: “The human measure of a human life is its income; the divine measure of a life is its outgo, its overflow its contribution to the welfare of all." The best sign of righteousness is not wealth, but how well we follow the example of our Savior Do we have His image in our countenances?

21 Ownership Truths (continued) 2. Since God gives us blessings freely, we should share them freely The prophet Jacob taught: “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.” (Jacob 2:17) God does not ask us to be rich to help him. God gives us riches so we can show the world and ourselves what we will do with them Since God gives us our blessings freely We should be willing to share them freely

22 Stewardship Truths 3. We have not earned the things we possess In D&C 130:20-21 it tells us: “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” Blessings are not earned; rather, they are given by a loving Heavenly Father. Instead of feeling pride for our blessings, we should feel humble. Then we should work hard to thank our Heavenly Father for all his wonderful blessings.

23 Stewardship Truths (continued) 4. Wealth is not a necessary qualification for service in the Lord's kingdom Of this 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.)

24 Agency Truths 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.)

25 Agency Truths (continued) If wealth is bad, should we ever seek riches? The Nephite Prophet Jacob counseled: "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.“ (Jacob 2:18-19) Our first goal should be the Kingdom Only then should we seek riches. And we will seek them for the right reasons, to do good, to serve God, to help others

26 Agency Truths (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 “the love of money is the root of 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.)

27 Choice and Motivation Truths 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.) Anne Sudweeks added: “If you can’t be happy without money, you will never be happy with it.”

28 Choice and Accountability Truths (continued) I believe there are two types of problems in life: 1. Those we bring on ourselves from disobedience to the commandments 2. Those that come as part of everyday living While money can solve some problems, there are many it cannot solve. In fact, it brings along a host of its own problems: pride, greed, selfishness, etc. Don’t seek for riches for its own sake. Seek riches for the good you can do, the people you can help, and the lives you can bless

29 Conclusion There is a Gospel Perspective on Wealth that is important for us to understand. It is based on a foundation for understanding wealth. It is: Ownership: Everything we have or are is a gift from God. Remember that it is all His Stewardship: We are stewards over the things the Lord has blessed us with. We must learn to be better stewards—this class will help Agency: The ability to choose is a God-given gift. Use it wisely Choice and Accountability: We are the final decision makers. We must learn to choose wisely—this class can help - 29 -

30 Conclusion (continued) It is critical to have a correct perspective on wealth. Remember these truths: Ownership 1. Wealth is not a sign of righteousness 2. Because God shares freely with us, we should share freely with others Stewardship 3. We have not earned the things we enjoy 4. Wealth is not a necessary qualification for service in the Lord's Kingdom

31 Gospel Truths about Wealth (continued) Agency 5. Wealth can be either a blessing or curse 6. The love of money (not money) is the root of evil Choice and Motivation 7. Wealth will not bring happiness nor solve all your problems

32 Review of Objectives A. Do you understand why you need to Decide to Decide? B. Do you understand the Spiritual Foundation for Using Wealth Wisely? C. Do you understand some of the Gospel Truths about Wealth?

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