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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Quote - Wealth as a Stumbling Block

"Wealth has always been a stumbling block for man in separating him from God. Worldly treasures become a substitute for God when allowed to become a focal point. Conversely, God seems to make allowances for, and provide special blessings to, the poor. During a sermon at the “grove” near the Nauvoo Temple this day, Joseph Smith remarks: “The rich can only get them in the temple, the poor may get them on the mountain top as did Moses. The rich cannot be saved without charity, giving to feed the poor when and how God requires, as well as building.”… In the future, as head of the Church, President Young will voice his concern that the Saints in latter times (meaning our day) will be tested much more by their wealth than the Saints ever were by their poverty."

When I read this quote I can't help but realize that we are all living lives of luxury compared to most of the people in history and most of the people in other parts of the world. I fear that we have the tendency to give ourselves credit for our comfort and success. We, as a society, think we have "earned" what we have been blessed with. We fail to be humble and instead we take pride in our accomplishments. Society seeks to collect material wealth, power, prestige, etc. to validate themselves. Pride is indeed a stumbling block and material quests will leave a feeling of emptiness.

I always strive to remember that everything I have is a gift from my Heavenly Father. My body, my mind, my health, my ability to learn, my ability to work, my education, my energy, my talents, my home, employment, my family, the gospel. So I recognize that without Him and what He has blessed us with, I would be nothing. I also recognize that no matter how well I use my time, talents and gifts, I will always fall short of repaying Him for all that He has given me and continues to give me. This is so humbling to me. But it is hard to always remember the necessity of humility and even the best people can be distracted. Luckily the Lord will usually allow us to have humbling experiences to help us grow stronger and closer to Him.

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