Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

David Bokovoy

The Sermon on the Mount and the LofC

Recommended Posts

"The only righteous purpose for producing, accumulating, and gathering wealth is to bring souls unto Christ and eradicate poverty."

Mmmmm .....

Mmmmmm...... Indeed!!

Share this post


Link to post

The only righteous purpose for producing, accumulating, and gathering wealth is to bring souls unto Christ and eradicate poverty.

Humm,

Ok, I will start with eradicating poverty in my own house. Thanks.

Oh, and I will let you know when I am done.

Edited to add scripture,

1 Tim. 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Share this post


Link to post

Was reading an old Ensign article and it referred to these verses in teaching the proper use of earthly treasures. What do you all think?

3 Nephi 13:19-21

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

They reminded me of Christ's prophecy of the degradation of the Nephite Zion due to the desire for wealth and material possessions.

3 Nephi 27:32

But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

* The reference to Cain's temptation is explained in Moses 5:38 where it says "And Cain said unto the Lord: Satan tempted me because of my brother

Share this post


Link to post

Was reading an old Ensign article and it referred to these verses in teaching the proper use of earthly treasures. What do you all think?

3 Nephi 13:19-21

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

They reminded me of Christ's prophecy of the degradation of the Nephite Zion due to the desire for wealth and material possessions.

3 Nephi 27:32

But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

I agree with these. ARe you saying that there are those of us that will "sell me for silver and for gold" in this thread?

You guys act as if we are for capitialism we are selfish.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm afraid I am rather convinced that your interpretation of the passage (D&C 82:22) is rather tortured, and woefully out of context with the remainder of the revelation. In the context of this passage, the "friendship" to which the Lord refers is something substantially different than inviting your wealthy non-member neighbor to a block-party barbecue. You see, when it comes to the wealthy and powerful of the world, "friendship" is a commodity; an element and expression of power; and therefore an incentive to alliance and common cause.

22 And now, verily I say unto you, and this is wisdom, make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you.

We are told to make friends with the worldly wealthy, greedy and selfish after which they will not destroy us. Phew.

23 Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. Peace be with you; my blessings continue with you.

Since we are being friendly and forgiving, as previously mentioned in this section, the Lord now says that he will give judgment to them and repay accordingly, so we need not worry about exacting repayment or being at odds with them.

I see no call to now serve mammon, thus contradicting the old proclamation that man cannot serve God and mammon, or to work in alliance or common cause with the mammon of unrighteousness. You see, when it comes to the Lord , "friendship" is not a commodity; an element or expression of power; and therefore not an incentive to alliance and common cause. The call for friend-making came from the Lord and not the worldly wealthy so we should use His definition of "friendship".

Share this post


Link to post

Was reading an old Ensign article and it referred to these verses in teaching the proper use of earthly treasures. What do you all think?

3 Nephi 13:19-21

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

They reminded me of Christ's prophecy of the degradation of the Nephite Zion due to the desire for wealth and material possessions.

3 Nephi 27:32

But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

I'm confused by your interpretation of these passages. Perhaps you could elaborate on how you believe they teach "the proper use of earthly treasures."

And while you're thinking about that, perhaps you could comment on this metaphor for the kingdom of heaven that was given by the Savior immediately prior to his crucifixion:

Matthew 25

14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord

Share this post


Link to post

I agree with these. ARe you saying that there are those of us that will "sell me for silver and for gold" in this thread?

That's a silly question, Mola. If you've paid attention to anything I've written, you already know I wouldn't sell you for anything but would take you in, feed and clothe you, visit you when sick or imprisoned, and do everything I could to help you.

PS Where have I said anyone was selfish. To my recollection, I've only used the word once in reference to the telestial law.

Share this post


Link to post
I certainly agree with you that there are some individuals to whom simply handing over money is not the best way to assist the beggar. In such cases, no doubt offering to purchase food, shelter, clothing, etc. would be the best way to address their needs. I cannot, however, imagine one trying to follow the teachings of Christ simply refusing to offer assistance to the beggar if the "disciple" had the means to give.

This reminds me of a personal experience I had a number of years ago. On my way to work I noticed a young, disheveled man on the side of the street with a cardboard sign begging for money for food. This tugged the strings on my heart, but my mind also express concern about the gift of money being miss-used for things like drugs or booze. So, I figuratively held a conference between my heart and mind to see if they could work out a mutually acceptable alternative--which they did. I determined to purchase a couple of burgers from the nearby McDonalds. After making the purchase and circling the several blocks, I returned to where the young man was standing, but found his back turned to the street, and he seemed to be engaged in unwrapping something. I thought that maybe someone had delivered on the same idea I had, and that the young man was removing the wrapper from a sandwish or something.

Anyway, as I pulled up and stopped beside him, he turned somewhat to face me, and I happened to notice that what he was unraveling was a remarkably large roll of money.

The young man could tell that I had seen the large wad, and he gave the expression that seem to me to say: "well...you cuaght me..what now"?

I asked him if he still wanted the burgers I had bought for him, and he replied, "yes", and he sheepishly took them from me.

Later that year, as I was volunteering at the homeless shelter, I happened to mention this experience to one of the directors. She informed me that it wasn't unusual for panhandlers to make around $45k a year, tax free--which was considerably more than I was making at the time. In discussing with her the problem of people getting rich (by my standard back then) by pretending to be poor, she advised that instead of given money or even food to pan-handlers, that I donate to services like the homeless shelter and the food banks, and then she handed me a stack of broshures that gave addresses and tel. numbers for services for the poor and needy, and she suggested that I hand those to the pan-handlers instead of money or food. That made sense to me.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Share this post


Link to post

This is sort of tangential to this discussion, but given that the meaning of the expression 'they had all things in common' is not that they had all things in common and that the meaning of the expression 'endless punishment' is not that punishment is endless, I'm beginning to suspect that God and/or his prophets fell asleep during their semantics lessons on quantifiers.

The meaning of "they had all things in common" is not "they all had the same things". The idea that it does is a rather pathetic and long discredited - by the Brethren and by the scriptures themselves - human intrusion into the principles and order of the government of God by those who have their own agenda to which the gospel does not speak. Those who wish to sweep a great leveling scythe across the membership of the Church as to economic (and hence, most other) matters had perhaps better check both their understanding of the doctrines of the Kingdom as well as the source the authority they have taken upon themselves to bind the Saints to principles and standards the modern oracles have not approached.

These kinds of dilutions and impositions upon gospel principles are very much how the "great" apostasy occurred. That will not be allowed to happen again, but a significant "weeding out" among the Saints is under way.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm confused by your interpretation of these passages. Perhaps you could elaborate on how you believe they teach "the proper use of earthly treasures."

Sorry my preface was confusing. I was describing the article and the passage was cited in the article (which article was discussing the proper use of wealth). Not sure that is clearer. I was just curious about everyone's interpretation of the verses.

And while you're thinking about that, perhaps you could comment on this metaphor for the kingdom of heaven that was given by the Savior immediately prior to his crucifixion:

Does or does not this passage seem to imply gradations of talents, ability, and (for that matter) wealth in the "kingdom of heaven?" Or, in other words, how can we reconcile this passage with other passages that speak of being "equal in earthly things?"

I think the key to understanding the parable of the talents is in another account from Luke 22.

24

Share this post


Link to post

22 And now, verily I say unto you, and this is wisdom, make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you.

We are told to make friends with the worldly wealthy, greedy and selfish after which they will not destroy us. Phew.

23 Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. Peace be with you; my blessings continue with you.

Since we are being friendly and forgiving, as previously mentioned in this section, the Lord now says that he will give judgment to them and repay accordingly, so we need not worry about exacting repayment or being at odds with them.

I see no call to now serve mammon, thus contradicting the old proclamation that man cannot serve God and mammon, or to work in alliance or common cause with the mammon of unrighteousness. You see, when it comes to the Lord , "friendship" is not a commodity; an element or expression of power; and therefore not an incentive to alliance and common cause. The call for friend-making came from the Lord and not the worldly wealthy so we should use His definition of "friendship".

No one has suggested a "call to now serve mammon." There is certainly nothing in my comment above that suggests such a thing. Even so, your conception of "mammon" in the context of this passage is eccentric at best and naive at worst. Perhaps your lack of experience with the gentile world is proving an impediment to your understanding?

As I cited earlier, "the redemption of Zion must needs come by power." In another place, the Lord defines, in one sense, the power by which that redemption will be achieved:

(D&C 82) Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed.

Nevertheless, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, let not your gathering be in haste, nor by flight; but let all things be prepared before you.

And in order that all things be prepared before you, observe the commandment which I have given concerning these things

Share this post


Link to post

<SNIP>

I have heard of panhandlers in DC making double that.

Share this post


Link to post

Our talents are only good and useful insofar as they glorify God whose work and glory is the immortality and eternal life of man. The more talents we have, the more we are required to labor and the more that is expected of us.

So, by this, I take it that you acknowledge gradations of talents, both in this world and in the world to come (and, for that matter, in the world that preceded the current one). I concur. The concept is perhaps best illustrated in this passage from the Book of Abraham:

Abraham 3

19 And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.

There is a very good reason that the Lord granted unto one servant 5 talents, to another 2, and yet another 1. He was endowing them with stewardships adapted to their several abilities. This, I maintain, is an eternal principle, and it is entirely consistent with the principles embodied in the Law of Consecration.

Share this post


Link to post

"The only righteous purpose for producing, accumulating, and gathering wealth is to bring souls unto Christ and eradicate poverty."

Mmmmm .....

I have some suspicion that we are not viewing this scripture through the same lens. For example, I see no reference to the concept (in the cited verse) and I find myself wondering exactly how wealth can "bring souls unto Christ?"

But while I ponder that particular point...

Well, wonder no more! Wealth can bring souls to Christ, for it allows those with riches to become like him, preaching good news to the poor and liberating those held captive by poverty (see Luke 4:18-19). Wealth can create nice homes, buildings, and churches for the righteous to gather as families and communities to increase the bonds of love and fellowship.

We should all pursue wealth and we should do so just as the Book of Mormon defines, in order "to do good

Share this post


Link to post

This reminds me of a personal experience I had a number of years ago. On my way to work I noticed a young, disheveled man on the side of the street with a cardboard sign begging for money for food. This tugged the strings on my heart, but my mind also express concern about the gift of money being miss-used for things like drugs or booze. So, I figuratively held a conference between my heart and mind to see if they could work out a mutually acceptable alternative--which they did. I determined to purchase a couple of burgers from the nearby McDonalds. After making the purchase and circling the several blocks, I returned to where the young man was standing, but found his back turned to the street, and he seemed to be engaged in unwrapping something. I thought that maybe someone had delivered on the same idea I had, and that the young man was removing the wrapper from a sandwish or something.

Anyway, as I pulled up and stopped beside him, he turned somewhat to face me, and I happened to notice that what he was unraveling was a remarkably large roll of money.

The young man could tell that I had seen the large wad, and he gave the expression that seem to me to say: "well...you cuaght me..what now"?

I asked him if he still wanted the burgers I had bought for him, and he replied, "yes", and he sheepishly took them from me.

Later that year, as I was volunteering at the homeless shelter, I happened to mention this experience to one of the directors. She informed me that it wasn't unusual for panhandlers to make around $45k a year, tax free--which was considerably more than I was making at the time. In discussing with her the problem of people getting rich (by my standard back then) by pretending to be poor, she advised that instead of given money or even food to pan-handlers, that I donate to services like the homeless shelter and the food banks, and then she handed me a stack of broshures that gave addresses and tel. numbers for services for the poor and needy, and she suggested that I hand those to the pan-handlers instead of money or food. That made sense to me.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

You're a good man, Wade. No doubt about it. I've had similar experiences.

Best,

--DB

Share this post


Link to post

I have heard of panhandlers in DC making double that.

They're called "Senators", except they hold a gun (a very large one called the US Military) while they're panhandling.

Lehi

Share this post


Link to post

The meaning of "they had all things in common" is not "they all had the same things". The idea that it does is a rather pathetic and long discredited - by the Brethren and by the scriptures themselves - human intrusion into the principles and order of the government of God by those who have their own agenda to which the gospel does not speak. Those who wish to sweep a great leveling scythe across the membership of the Church as to economic (and hence, most other) matters had perhaps better check both their understanding of the doctrines of the Kingdom as well as the source the authority they have taken upon themselves to bind the Saints to principles and standards the modern oracles have not approached.

These kinds of dilutions and impositions upon gospel principles are very much how the "great" apostasy occurred. That will not be allowed to happen again, but a significant "weeding out" among the Saints is under way.

For what it's worth, I'm happy conceding that the views you've expressed in this thread reflect the official position of the Church.

Share this post


Link to post

There is a very good reason that the Lord granted unto one servant 5 talents, to another 2, and yet another 1. He was endowing them with stewardships adapted to their several abilities. This, I maintain, is an eternal principle, and it is entirely consistent with the principles embodied in the Law of Consecration.

There is no question we came to earth with different capacities. It's what we do with them that matters and the Savior set the example of willing abasement to exalt others.

And when he shall prove himself faithful in all things that shall be entrusted unto his care, yea, even a few things, he shall be made ruler over many;

Let him therefore abase himself that he may be exalted. Even so. Amen.

~ D&C 124:113-114

Back to the topic of the thread...

It's interesting to note that Alma's "Come to Jesus" discourse of Alma 5, given to members who had lost their way was motivated, among other things, specifically by the disregard of the poor by the church members. From Alma 4.

11 And it came to pass in the *commencement of the ninth year, Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people.

12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.

(now look how he describes the righteous) 13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ

Share this post


Link to post

No one has suggested a "call to now serve mammon." There is certainly nothing in my comment above that suggests such a thing.

And yet, we are faced with a seeming paradox, being that in one place the Lord has said:

Ye cannot serve God and mammon

Share this post


Link to post

Will,

I agree with every word in your post. I would simply add for clarification the following Book of Mormon mandate to the following statement:

"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

Share this post


Link to post
[...] she advised that instead of given money or even food to pan-handlers, that I donate to services like the homeless shelter and the food banks [...]

Excellent advice.

Even if you don

Share this post


Link to post

And the subtle evasions and misrepresentations continue apace. Let's begin with what every educated, informed Latter Day Saint comprehends as a fundamental point of departure: there is no commandment, counsel, mandate or maxim taught in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to "eradicate poverty". Such can be found precisely nowhere in the revelations, the scriptures, or the words of our modern oracles.

There are a number of very serious problems with this kind of analysis, which I will not go into at the moment, save for the particular point I wish to make here that David's near fetishization of poverty as virtually the sole focus of the gospel and of the UO as a sociopolitical order is itself a contorted, distended caricature of the real central concerns of the gospel, which is the very bringing of souls unto Christ that his totemic preoccupation with economic condition holds hostage.

Ezra Taft Bensen said it with directness and clarity, but David and those like him will not hear; their ears are stopped. Let's look at this statement and ask what, and especially what, coming from this man, this means to us if we take his statements here seriously.

The law of consecration is a celestial law, not an economic experiment.

Why was the great Dr. Nibley's hands over his ears when this was spoken? Why does David turn away, hands clapped tightly over ears and eyes wide shut? What aspect of this is so tortuously difficult to understand?

The portion of the address of which this statement is a part is worth quoting at length. Any emphasis will be mine:

The above text is loaded with implications for David's core thesis, the gist of which should be rather obvious to anyone who has a solid working grasp of the larger body of LDS theology and and understands that Benson's words here are part of a much larger body, or consensus, among the Brethren regarding these concepts.

These are not isolated statements, but propositions in fundamental harmony with the same concepts as taught by other modern special witnesses, and by the D&C itself, which rather clearly lays out the basic system and its purpose.

Eradication of poverty is not the purpose of either the gospel in mortality or the UO in practice. The elimination of poverty is an effect of living the LofC, but it is not its fundamental focus. Not being poor has never, from Adam to the present, been a precondition of being either righteous or of attaining one's exaltation, nor has the full implementation of the UO ever been a precondition of the presence of the gospel on earth or of the implementation of its core mission, which is to perfect the Saints, preach the gospel, and save our dead.

David is, regretfully, sacrificing the deeper, spiritual meaning and purpose of the gospel to fundamentally material economic/political concerns, the only outcome of which can be the dilution of the gospel from "the power of God unto salvation" to a "social gospel" concerned more with the structure of society itself than with the power the gospel provides us to "overcome the world" irregardless of that world's structural imperfections and weaknesses.

See Ibid.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm confused by your interpretation of these passages. Perhaps you could elaborate on how you believe they teach "the proper use of earthly treasures."

And while you're thinking about that, perhaps you could comment on this metaphor for the kingdom of heaven that was given by the Savior immediately prior to his crucifixion:

Does or does not this passage seem to imply gradations of talents, ability, and (for that matter) wealth in the "kingdom of heaven?" Or, in other words, how can we reconcile this passage with other passages that speak of being "equal in earthly things?"

You know, it never ceases to fascinate me the degree to which a certain type of mentality is exercised to the point of near obsession over what various people have, materially speaking, and the endless comparison and contrast between different levels of having.

The insistence - and David is particularly fond of this approach - on interpreting scriptures such that virtually any pretext will serve as a legitimate goad to reduce a passage to a economic or political analysis that can be lifted and, with a little grooming and tidying up, deployed as a weapon in a personal philosophical or ideological mission, is indicative, in my view, of a situation in which the human tail begins to wag the gospel dog.

I don't know where this will all lead, but, like Lord Acton says in my sig line, the pedigree of this idea does not bode well for the general approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...