But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also. (2 Ne 9:30)
It seems that Jacob is saying that because one is rich, one will despise the poor. Is this really automatic?
First, what does ‘rich’ mean? Is there an absolute measurement to determine when someone is rich? I am sure that because my salary is above the provincial average, Tent City residents would think I am rich. Yet at the same time there are many people who make six, seven and eight figure amounts of an annual salary, which I do not.
Second, why would be rich automatically make one despise the poor? wouldn’t that depend on the person’s disposition? If one was disposed to being selfish and boast in his/her higher status compared to others, wouldn’t that person despise the poor? Would others without those dispositions automatically despise the poor if they were rich?
Lastly, was this just a Nephite phenomenon? Does it not happen in our day?