Hey, I’m Zoey and I blog over at Stand, where I join the ranks of the Digital Army as a marriage and family activist. Em’s “Something” is one of my daily favorites so I’m more than excited that she’s asked me to do a guest (re)post for her “I believe” series.
(Photo courtesy of a-penny-saved).
I’ve been thinking long and hard about the state of our nation and the notion that we can just spend ourselves to oblivion. It’s as if a wife said to her husband: “Don’t worry about our dire financial state! We’ll just spend our way out!” How does that make any sense, whatsoever? If there isn’t money to pay the bills you cut the fat and only spend on necessities. Obama and his cronies obviously have no interest in setting that standard. What, with the $252 billion for income-transfer payments, $600 mil for new fed cars, $1 bil for Amtrak (hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years), $400 mil for global warming research, $650 mil for TV conversions, $2 bil for child-care subsidies, and I could go on.
I adore my brilliant friend Journalista:
“I think we need to hold our government officials to the same financial standard that all responsible American citizens hold themselves to. Live within your means. Don’t spend money you don’t have, and prioritize how to best spend the money you do have, even if it’s just a little. That, my friends, is how to build a wealthy nation. All of the free social programs and hand outs in the world will not solve the problems in America if we don’t expect our citizens to buck up and quit relying on the government to take care of them”.
My dad has worked two full-time jobs since before I was born. He and my mother are the most honest, hard working people I know. I’m telling you- they are as honest as honest can be. My dad would have gotten a job at a mini-mart or McDonald’s to pay back any sort of debt if that’s what it took. If us kids didn’t have milk to drink or clothes to wear he would work the sweat of his brow (literally) to meet our needs. I can’t express my gratitude for what they taught me. I wish more Americans were taught the eternal principles of self-reliance and living within your means because I’ll tell you- we wouldn’t be in this sad state right now.
I am grateful to belong to a church that has long taught its members these principles. Here are my favorite quotes on the matter, given by some general authorities:
President Joseph F. Smith: “You must continue to bear in mind that the temporal and spiritual are blended. They are not separate. One cannot be carried on without the other, so long as we are here in mortality. … The Latter-day Saints believe not only in the gospel of spiritual salvation, but also in the gospel of temporal salvation… We do not feel that it is possible for men to be really good and faithful Christian people unless they can also be good, faithful, honest and industrious people. Therefore, we preach the gospel of industry, the gospel of economy, the gospel of sobriety.” (Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, p. 208; emphasis added.)
Marion G. Romney: “The most fundamental principles of temporal salvation include two concepts: providing for oneself—self reliance—and providing for one’s family—family reliance. The first principle, that of self-reliance, grows out of a fundamental doctrine of the Church—that of agency. The doctrine of agency is based on the truth that the basic essence of man is comprised of spirit matter, or intelligence, which by its very nature is independent ‘in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself. … Behold, here is the agencyof man.’ (See D&C 93:26–38; emphasis added.) As a result of this eternal condition, Elohim, in creating man and placing him on this earth, gave him his agency to act for himself. While this agency applies to all facets of life, with respect for temporal affairs the Lord makes this specific elaboration:
‘For 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.’
For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.’ (D&C 104:13, 17; emphasis added.)
Thus, we understand that all is in place so that man can, if he so chooses, work out his salvation—both temporal and spiritual—and can achieve the benefits promised in this, his second estate. The self-reliance we speak of in the Church, then, grows out of eternal truths connected with the doctrines of intelligence and agency. Consequently, self-reliance, as taught by the prophets, becomes a fundamental truth in the gospel plan.”
Spencer W. Kimball: “The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof. No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else. So long as he can, under the inspiration of the Lord and with his own labors, he will supply himself and his family with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life”.
The freedom and joy that come from using our God given agency to care for our own personal necessities is nearly indescribable. We are not bound to another; we are honest in our dealings with our fellow men; we have security. Most importantly though, our spiritual salvation is dependent upon our temporal actions and through the Savior we can be free.