The most important things in life aren’t things.
We control the disposition of our means and resources, but we account to God for this stewardship over earthly things. It is gratifying to witness your generosity as you contribute to fast offerings and humanitarian projects. Over the years, the suffering of millions has been alleviated, and countless others have been enabled to help themselves through the generosity of the Saints. Nevertheless, as we pursue the cause of Zion, each of us should prayerfully consider whether we are doing what we should and all that we should in the Lord's eyes with respect to the poor and the needy.
We might ask ourselves, living as many of us do in societies that worship possessions and pleasures, whether we are remaining aloof from covetousness and the lust to acquire more and more of this world's goods. Materialism is just one more manifestation of the idolatry and pride that characterize Babylon. Perhaps we can learn to be content with what is sufficient for our needs.
People were horrified when General Barrows, at the time president of the University of California at Berkeley, bluntly proclaimed at a commencement exercise, "The only reason anyone goes to college is to increase his earning power." I was petrified by the statement, little realizing that the time would come that it would be treated by everyone as a universally accepted truism and even an idealistic proclamation.
We can have His Spirit by keeping that covenant. First, we promise to take His name upon us. That means we must see ourselves as His. We will put Him first in our lives. We will want what He wants rather than what we want or what the world teaches us to want. As long as we love the things of the world first, there will be no peace in us. Holding an ideal for a family or a nation of comfort through material goods will, at last, divide them. The ideal of doing for each other what the Lord would have us do, which follows naturally from taking His name upon us, can take us to a spiritual level which is a touch of heaven on earth.
I am afraid that many of us have been surfeited with flocks and herds and acres and barns and wealth and have begun to worship them as false gods, and they have power over us. Do we have more of these good things than our faith can stand?
STAY ON THE PATH - 1 Nephi 8:20
1 - Study the scriptures each day and read each month's Ensign, seeking to develop spiritual strength & wisdom
2-Pray vocally with sincerity and faith each morning and night, and always have a prayer in your heart.
3-Keep the entire Sabbath day holy, attend all church meetings, and renew your spiritual covenants.
4-Magnify your church callings, fully sustain all others in their callings, and help build the Kingdom of God.
5- Pay tithes and offerings, manage money wisely, avoid materalism and needless debt, and be self-reliant.
6- Attend the temple frequently, keep all temple covenants, and work to unite an seal all members of your family.
7- Earnestly seek to find and love a righteous companion, and worthily prepare to create a strong eternal family.
8- Keep your mind clean and virtuous, and avoid all media that offends and drives away the Spirit.
9- Treat your body as the temple of your spirit, dress modestly, avoid immoral behavior, and maintain good health.
10 - Organize yourself, establish proper priorities, and find way to do good and serve others.
As we make these choices, we might consider that the glitter and excitement of festive, fun-filled projects are interesting, but the shut-ins, the lonely, the handicapped, the homeless, the latchkey kids, and the abandoned aged are important.
Worldly magazines, tabloids, and much of the multi-mass media mess of fast-track information we are receiving is interesting and enticing, but the scriptures are important.
The RVs and the TVs and retirement ease make it interesting to wander and play, but people’s needs for selfless deeds are important. There is concern that “wander and play” have replaced “ponder and pray.”
A focus on fashion and getting and spending and the accumulation of things for our enjoyment and comfort is interesting and enticing, but a focus on devoting one’s means and time and one’s very self to the cause of proclaiming the gospel is important.
The meetings and materials and planning are all interesting, but the doing is important.
With the constant exhortation to come unto Christ is the promise that we can be perfected in him. If we do all that we can do by loving and serving God with all of our might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for us. By his grace, after all that we can do, we may become perfect in Christ. Shall we not then strive for the recognition of that Almighty God who is our Father, through our selfless service?
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
“Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:34–37).