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Tempering your respect for wealth

The great Hugh Nibley wrote here about issues of wealth and what our attitude toward money should be according to the scriptures. This is what I mean when I say we should temper our respect for wealth. Perhaps the best summary of his speech is in these words which he used in describing King Benjamin's sermon: "If one who has more than he really needs (without which, in fact, he would be one of the "truly needy") and withholds it from those who do not have enough, he is stealing, holding on to that "which doth not belong to you, but to God" (Mosiah 4:22), who wants to see it distributed equally." [...]

This one kind of hits the spot too: "Let us refer back for the moment to Satan's promise of independence. When, following Satan's instructions, Cain murdered "his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain" (Moses 5:50), he declared his independence: "And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands!" (Moses 5:33). Recently this gospel was proclaimed by one of the richest Americans addressing the student body of Ohio State University (on TV): "There is nothing that gives freedom," he said, "like bucks in the bank." This seems to be the policy we are following today, and there is no doubt whose policy it is."

Oh, and this one is precious: ""But seek ye first (proton) the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added" (Matthew 6:33). It has become customary to interpret this as meaning that one should first go on a mission or get a testimony some other way, and then turn to the business of getting ahead in the world. But the word for first, proton, means first in every sense–first and foremost, before all else, in preference to all else, etc. It usually refers to time, but not in this passage. We are not told to seek first the kingdom and then seek "all these things"; nothing whatever is said about seeking them except the explicit command not to seek them. There is no idea of a time sequence here: Does one ever stop seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness in this life, or was there ever a time before, during, or after a mission when one did not need food and clothing? We are not to seek them ever, for God supplies them ever."

And then there's this: "How do we distribute it then? "I have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves" (D&C 104:17). You are perfectly free to make all the money you can; just as you are perfectly free to break any one of the Ten Commandments, as millions do every day, though God has forbidden it, as he has forbidden seeking for riches. But your behavior once you have entered a covenant with God will be judged by the standards which he sets: "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 104:18). A clear reference to the rich man who fed Lazarus the beggar with crumbs (Luke 16:23)."

Then he ends with: "We are being asked even at this moment to choose between the peculiar economy which God has prescribed for us and what we have always considered the more realistic, convenient, and expedient economy by which the world lives and in which at the moment it is convulsively gasping and struggling to survive. The difference between the two orders is never more apparent than at lunchtime, in the homely perennial ordinance that was meant to unite us all for a happy hour but which instead divides God's children with the awful authority and finality of the last judgment–in which, by the way, the Lord assures us that the seating order is going to be completely reversed."

Please read the whole article. See where your respect for wealth goes after your done. Enjoy.

First Thoughts

I need to get into the office and continue my pursuit of wealth. But I wanted to get off a couple of quick thoughts before I did:

  1. The play on Cain and Able was an interesting tie in, but it has little relevance to the point that the rich person made on OSU TV. Unless that man got wealthy off of murdering his competition it is faulty argument. It is an argument that sounds like "money is the root of all evil" claim when in fact, when rendered correctly, "the love of money is the root of all evil."
  2. Nibley makes the claim that seeking riches is forbidden. Seeking wealth for wealth's sake alone might fall into that category, but what about the people who go about their lives creating value for other people and in the process earn large sums of money? Why does the school run by the Church, which many people refer to as the Lord's University, focus so heavily on the development of business? If we read Nibley very literally, the pursuit of business itself is forbidden. Seeking employment to recieve renumeration is a sin.

I'll read the article in its entirety, but at this point I have a pretty low opinion of the material presented so far. So far I have seen nothing that addresses what I presented in my earlier post. But with what you've posted here, I've seen nothing that Nibley has said to alter one bit my position.

Nibley was a naked emperor.

Nibley was a naked emperor. In his prime, Nibley probably looked good as a church apologist because the antis were/are so pathetically lame. I had a class from him circa 1980. The guy was an incoherent babbling idiot. Never understood all the Nibley groupies after that. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if what that kid of his says is true. Anyway, take what he said with the proverbial grain of salt.

Of course I could not well

Of course I could not well represent his ideas in the above summary, but I hope you will read his comments carefully since they are very well grounded in the scriptures and the words of the prophets.
Perhaps we should forget about reading Nibley literally and instead, read the scriptures which back him up literally.

Your recollection of Nibley

Your recollection of Nibley fortunately is in direct opposition to multitudes of other peoples recollection of Nibley. I've read most of his works and have found them to be brilliant and inspirational. Have you tried reading his works? I'd recommend, "Approaching Zion" first off, from which the article linked above was taken. If you call that the work of a babbling idiot then you'd find disagreement among most people I think.
In fact, your calling him a babbling idiot either makes him a babbling idiot, or it makes the things he says to be way over your head, putting you into an equally unenviable category.

HA HA HA

curtis, calling someone ELSE a "babbling idiot"...HA HA H AH AH HA
it's just too good to be true