Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The rich, the poor, and consecration of earthly goods

This isn't close to done yet, but I am temporarily publishing its current form which is mostly just everything Christ said during his mortality about riches and the poor. I think we have learned to water down his statements one way or another, as a matter of tradition. But here is what he stated.

The parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Mark 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

The Rich Young Man - Easier for camel to go through the eye of a needle
The JST changes are in verse 26:
JST Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 But Jesus beheld their thoughts, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but if they will forsake all things for my sake, with God whatsoever things I speak are possible.

The JST here is on verse 27
JST Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
 23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
 26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men that trust in riches, it is impossible; but not impossible with men who trust in God and leave all for my sake, for with such all these things are possible.

The JST is verse 27 of Luke 18
JST Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
 19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
 21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
 26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
 27 And he said unto them, It is impossible for them who trust in riches, to enter into the kingdom of God; but he who forsaketh the things which are of this world, it is possible with God, that he should enter in.
 28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
 29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,
 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

When Christ says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle we rush to correct him. This has nothing to do with difficult to navigate passages in Jerusalem. It is about a camel and the eye of a needle. It is no different in meaning than 2 Nephi 9:42. And why should it be?

2 Nephi 9:42 And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.

Joseph of Arimathea
Matthew 27: 57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:
 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

While I think this man was rich, I think taking him as demonstrating that the other scriptures are not true is not correct any more than assuming that since some of the members of the early church in this dispensation were rich then the scriptures on consecration aren't true. Their riches were a huge stumbling block and oh what they lost because they would not really live consecration. Think of Joseph Smith's casual expectation that the rich would give up their monies to free the church from its debts, which expectations I don't think ever came to fruition, e.g.:

"There are many causes of embarrassment, of a pecuniary nature now pressing upon the heads of the Church. They began poor; were needy, destitute, and were truly afflicted by their enemies; yet the Lord commanded them to go forth and preach the Gospel, to sacrifice their time, their talents, their good name, and jeopardize their lives; and in addition to this, they were to build a house for the Lord, and prepare for the gathering of the Saints. Thus it is easy to see this must [have] involved them [in financial difficulties]. They had no temporal means in the beginning commensurate with such an undertaking; but this work must be done; this place [Kirtland] had to be built up. Large contracts have been entered into for lands on all sides, where our enemies have signed away their rights. We are indebted to them, but our brethren from abroad have only to come with their money, take these contracts, relieve their brethren from the pecuniary embarrassments under which they now labor, and procure for themselves a peaceable place of rest among us. This place must and will be built up, and every brother that will take hold and help secure and discharge those contracts that have been made, shall be rich." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith)

Widow woman gives her two mites
Mark 12: 41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
 43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Luke 21: 1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Mary the Mother of Christ:
Luke 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

Expansion on the beattitudes
Luke 6: 24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
 25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

The rich man and Lazarus
Luke 16: 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

Zaccheas who gives half to the poor
Luke 19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
 6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
 7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
 8 And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Luke 12: 16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Luke 14: 12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
 13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Luke 16: 10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
 13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

Other scriptures to fill in.
2 Nephi 9:28-30, 42-43 Rich and the Learned
2 Nephi 28:14-15
Jacob 2:13-19
Mosiah 2:12
Mosiah 4:19,23
Mosiah 12:29

Mosiah 3 natural man is an enemy to God
Alma 1:29-30
Alma 4:6,8
Alma 5:53-54
Alma 7:6
Alma 9:22-23
Alma 39:14
Alma 45:24
Alma 50:18
Alma 62:48-49
Helaman 3:36
Helaman 4:12
Helaman 6:9-17
Helaman 7:21,26
Helaman 13:20-23,30-33
3 Nephi 6:10-15
4 Nephi 1:3,23-24,43
Ether 9:16-20
D&C 6:7
D&C 11:7
D&C 38 16-18,39 and additionally the parable
D&C 42:39
D&C 43:25,64
D&C 56:15-16
D&C 58:10,47,
D&C 67:2
D&C 68:31
D&C 78:18
D&C 84:112
D&C 90:22
D&C 104:16
D&C 133:30

Wealth is a nothing more than a test to see whether we will give to the poor. The Lord gives some wealth and some poverty because one is the answer to the other.  

There is a wonderful parable about the rich and the poor in doctrine and covenants 38.

D&C 38:26 For what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one: Be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other: Be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there—and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just?
 27 Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.

Certainly as the Lord said “the poor always ye have with you”. 

D&C 78:5 That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.
 6 For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;
 7 For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you.

which sounds like it means equal with each other, but another verse elsewhere he notes that he wants to make us equal with Him

D&C 76:94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
 95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.

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