Is it better to have more?

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Should I feel bad that I have substantially more than others? Should I feel guilty if I have ten suits when a father in Mozambique makes 7$ a month and has to spend a month’s salary to provide malaria medication for his three-year-old daughter? Is it wrong to see design TV shows as being too extravagant when families in the Philippines have dirt floors or cooking shows as being too self-absorbed when families in Kenya get water from a dirty, disease-ridden puddle?

94 thoughts on “Is it better to have more?

  1. I think we all know there is a BIG disparity between the North American lifestyle and that of third world countries. Do I feel bad …YES but I don’t feel bad our family makes more money and has more things. We are in completely different situations. I know many leaders in our stake who have made a good living and live a better lifestyle than me. Should they give up all their “things” so they don’t feel guilty? The thing is whether getting material things/making money is all you think about and do. I do give to the education fund and such because I believe I should help but I am not going to feel guilty about it.

  2. Wow, George, not that it is any of your business, but:
    1. My husband is from the Philippines
    2. In the Philippines, a teacher is one of the highest paying professions, in which he worked several years there supporting his family.
    3. A teacher may be poor by American standards, but we are literally millionaires compared to his home. (Where he made about $80 every two weeks). We have food on our table, plenty for are needs (as compared to wants), and still have enough to send to his family.
    4. He got the scholarship on the condition he become a school teacher. Reason being: The Filipino American who paid for his education knows the best way to help his family was for him to come here. The professions that can get here easily are teaching and nursing. We have plenty of rich business men and others here in America, they will not recruite more to immigrate here.
    No, my in-laws will not be able to come and see the baby. We just applied again for a tourist visa for her, spent a couple hundred dollars, and were denied again.
    George, you make it sound like you have all the answers, so tell me, what more can my in-laws do? My husbands brothers go out EVERY DAY looking for work. However, in the Philippines, there is no law against ageism, so because they are not 25, they can’t get a job. The factory they did work at closed down. They do whatever work they can find, but some days that is nothing. My husbands sister just finished college, but there are no jobs for her this year in the school system. She can’t “just move” because most 1st world countries that do recruite people from the Philippines insist they have experience before they come.
    My husbands sister had polio as a child. There were no vaccines given there at that time. As a result, she can not walk. Therefore she could not go to school (disabled cannot go to public school in the philippines, and private school is too expensive.) So she can do nothing to support the family. If she went out to try and find work, people would laugh at her. She cleans and cooks at home, because that is all that she can do.
    Please, George, if you have so much wisdom, tell me how to help them more, or how they can help themselves more.
    As for a rich American paying for your child’s education, anyone who teaches there child to work hard, can find somewhere a scholarship, grant, program, etc. Currently I am working on a Masters Degree with no money coming from my own pocket. If you fall under a certain income level, there are grants all over. There are scholarships from companies, academic scholarships, talent scholarships, etc. I refuse to believe that there is no way for you to find a “rich american” to pay for your child’s schooling.

  3. George, let me clarify two more things:
    my husbands brothers are older (in their 30’s and 40’s) and that is why no one wants to hire them.
    My husband fell in love with me, an American. We did not plan to have it happen. We stay here because we can earn more money here to help his family, rather than going there. Although, we have talked of going back there after we have worked awhile and saved enough. We have lived in small, cheap apartments our entire married life in order to save more for his family. We do not live a life of luxury. We also bought a cheap car from the mission home, and my husband walks or rides the bus to work. We are expecting a baby, and everything, including the crib, has been a hand-me-down. I don’t have fancy jewelry (not even my wedding ring is fancy) we don’t have cable, we don’t have internet at home (which is why I do not comment on the weekends) I could go on and on. And guess what! We are happy! We do not starve. We have more than enough to eat. I have shoes and clothes that fit. We have blankets, pillows, beds. My husband did not have a bed until he bought himself one after he started teaching. We can occasionally go to movies, we have so many luxuries. So don’t give me any high and mighty thoughts about the difficulties faced here. You have no idea, George.

  4. I think my husband did something like that. He is the king of talking people down. He talked the mission home down almost $2000 on the car we bought. It was amazing. I would be surprised if I found out he spent over $100 on my ring. A far cry from others I know, who are still paying for their rings a year into the wedding.

  5. While I did pay more for my wife’s engagement ring than she did for my wedding ring (her wedding ring was a hand me down from her divorced aunt), I did pay cash for it on my gas jockey salary.

  6. Have all the answers – No. Have suggestions Yes.

    You need to quit expecting the world to provide a better life for you. If you want a better life, then go out and earn it.

    maren wrote “George, let me clarify two more things: my husbands brothers are older (in their 30’s and 40’s) and that is why no one wants to hire them”.

    I know all about jobs not being available for older people. I am in my 50’s and when the MUSLIMS attacked America the CANADIAN firm I worked for, closed their USA offices and ran for the hills. I went over a year and could not find anyone to interview me much less hire me for any amount of money.

    I finally find a job that paid 1/4 of what I was making and it was 300 miles away. I had to start life all over again and it was tough.

    To maren – I know a family from the Phillipines and he was a Bishop and even worked for the Church in a high level job. The only job the church will give him here is to clean Church buildings. His family is still there. You are not alone in your plight.

    One of the men that works for me, married a woman from Mexico and her parents could not come to the marriage. His wife is in the hospital and they cannot come and visit her even in the hospital.

    If your brothers work day jobs, they will make the wages of a day worker. They need to improve their skills so they earn more. Why do you live in poverty? Is this some kind of noble cause?

    I had a brother in law that used to live in the mountains with his children and it was beautiful there. He used to talk about the sacrifices he made to live there. I used to buy his children winter clothes, I would take food to them, send them money to buy food, etc. One day I was thinking about how nice it would be to live in the mountains if only I could find a job and then I realized he could lived there because I was paying the bills. I turned the money off and he moveed his family back home to live with his mommy. Your in-laws will never improve if you support them. Turn the money off or buy them a plane ticket to come here if that is what they really want. They may not want to change.

    To Kim – I am guessing here – Do you work at a college in the IT department? Professors make a whole lot more than school teachers do.

    By the way, who was that family in the Phillipines where the wife had over 700 pairs of shoes? I guess she was/is also poor. There is the poor in every country and there is the rich in every country.

    Which one does the Lord want you to be? Rich or Poor? What does the scriptures teach on this subject?

  7. I was referring to school teachers, George.

    “Why do you live in poverty?”

    She already said, to send money back to her in laws.

  8. Should I feel guilty if I have ten suits when a father in Mozambique makes 7$ a month and has to spend a month’s salary to provide malaria medication for his three-year-old daughter?

    Tug at the heart on this one. Are you talking about the $7 or the fact medicine cost so much. If the child was in America and the parents spent a month’s salary on medicine, would that not be the same?

    Is it wrong to see design TV shows as being too extravagant when families in the Philippines have dirt floors or cooking shows as being too self-absorbed when families in Kenya get water from a dirty, disease-ridden puddle?

    Have you ever been to the border of Texas and Mexico? There are entire villages of homes with dirt floors and no running water. The roads are all dirt. The poverty will make you realize you are in a third world country.

    In Eagle Pass, Texas there is a tribe of Indians who lived under the bridge between the US and Mexico until about 10 years ago before they were given land to live on and built a casino. The Indians still live in poverty even with all of the casino money. Lifestyle it is.

    In Arizona along I-10 right before you get to Phoneix from Tuscon, there is a town with poverty less than 10 miles from downtown Phoneix. You can see it from the Interstate Hwy.

    There is money and poverty everywhere.

  9. Imelda Marcos, who did have 700 or so shoes, was the wife of Ferdinand Marcos, who was the Dictator over the Philippines for 30 or so years, stole money from the government, took from the poor, and finally got exiled, leaving the country in financial and political ruin. Learn your history before you start to quote everything.
    Listen, my husband and I are currently supporting one brother on a mission, and put two sisters through college, to improve their skills. Unfortunately, we can’t do that for everyone. We are helping them improve their lives. The brothers are too old. Schools in the Philippines will not accept them. And as I have pointed out, we have tried to help them come here. No possible way.
    I never said I was alone. I know many people who have these same difficulties. But I will not listen to you claim that they canpull themselves out of poverty if they really wanted to. We are all working hard to support them. I myself am getting a Master’s degree, because I can, and it will up my earning potential. But yes, a lot of my money goes to savings and to my in-laws, so my husband and I do not live as well as others around us. However, as I said before, our needs are more than covered. I really think that you need to open your eyes. Learning skills, going to school, takes time and money. And even if a person in a third world country may have someone who can help them through the school, that takes away from the time they can earn money to feed their families. Which is why some of my husbands family have to work while others go to school. They are sacrificing their own learning and skills for the good of the whole family. I could go on and on. I am just completely surprised when I meet people who think that life is so simple, and if you just work harder, you can have whatever you want. I wish that you could go and try it for a year. Go to one of these countries, and have the same resources as they do, and show us all how it is done. I am very interested to see the outcome.

  10. The difference between your story of your brother and my in-laws is that everyone in my husbands family does some kind of work or school, even if it is just day to day labor. They all contribute to the family if they are physically able. Even the five year old nephew walks around the neighborhood, selling produce from their garden that he loads up in his wagon. We are not just giving hand outs. Sometimes his brothers work 12 hours a day. When my husband was in school back in the Philippines, he also worked, and studied, and hardly ever slept. I worked while I went to college, too, but I know if I had lost my job, or called out sick, I could always ask my dad for a few bucks for food. Or get a loan, or a million other things. These things are not possible in the Philippines.
    Do you know anything about the immigration process? Have you been through it? Do you have any idea how much it costs? And even after you pay everything, you may still get denied, or put on a ten year waiting list. It is not a simple matter of buying a plane ticket. We are constantly looking for ways that they can “improve their situation”. A brother-in-law got the opportunity to go to Italy, and work as a housekeeper, where he earns money to send home to his wife. He has not seen his wife in over four years. This is common. The Filipino government just release a report that without the money that families receive from workers oversees, the economy in the Philippines would probably fail.

  11. and I do not expect the world to hand me things. I have never asked for anything. I work hard for the life I have. Heavenly Father has blessed me enough to be able to help others, and so I do. Sure, I could take the attitude that, well, I worked hard, so they can do it, too. Or I can recognize that Heavenly Father blesses some of us so that we in turn can bless others.

  12. I suppose you do not remember it was the filipino government that kick the US Air Force out and lost the income all those soliders spent and all the jobs that were lost. Sounds like filipinos are crying because the gravy train stopped and so did the money. gee. Life is tough without handouts. Is that what you are saying?

    I am surprised you have not mentioned how the Muslims are kiling Filipinos in the Phillipines and your family needs to get out now.

    The Phillipines is a rich nation with lots of natural resources. If the people there choose not to exploit them, that is their decision.

    I expect there are lots of millionaires in the Phillipines. Why are they rich and your family is not? Social injustice?

    Hug a tree.

  13. Enough with the sock puppets, Bill. And while you’re at it, if you’re not going to say anything remotely intelligent or constructive, please don’t say anything at all.

  14. George,
    Please learn your facts before you quote them. Muslims only currently have terrorist activities on one of the 87 Filipino islands. That is not the island my husband’s family live on. However, my husband did live there for two years as a missionary. The muslims in general were loving, and wonderful people. It was the terrorists they feared, but life in general was happy for my husband in Mindinao. He did not fear for his life and need to get out.
    Second, during Marcos reign, you remember, the rich dictator, the contract on the Air Force and military bases was shortened to 25 years. When the contract expired, the US left. But the Philippines had fallen into poverty well before the military bases left.
    Third, I have worked for Medicaid here in the good old USA. I will tell you I found way more people here thinking that the government should just give them a hand out, so they can continue to sit at home, then anywhere else in the world. My husbands family know that the only way to get money is to work, and they never try and get out of work. There is nothing wrong with wishing the work paid more. Everyone does that. There is something wrong with not even being willing to work.
    I have some questions for you. Are you a millionaire? If not, why not? You mentioned you wished you could find a rich American to pay for your childs education. Why aren’t you that rich American? According to your own logic, you make your own wealth and can pull yourself out of any situation, so why aren’t you a millionaire? Why do you need a rich man? Maybe you just do not work hard enough. Or use your intelligence properly. Or perhaps your living in middle class or where ever you stand is some kind of noble cause.
    Oh, and by the way, American’s are the ones who did logging and other exploits of the “natural resources” of the Philippines while they were in power, leaving dangerous forests prone to mudslides and worse during the rainy season, usually knocking out entire villages. Perhaps exploiting resources is not intelligent in the long run. Or do you believe that as long as you have money now, consequences do not matter?
    Mary, Kim, I am impressed with you and your blog. I welcome the opportunity to share thoughts with you. I am just sorry all of my thoughts have been twisted and tainted. Sorry to have taken this thread someplace you may not have wanted to go.

  15. and just because someone will jump on it, I am not saying there aren’t justified reasons for being on medicaid, and certainly everyone on medicaid, SSI, SSDI, etc, are not asking for handouts. These government programs have their place, and many people benefit for a time, and are able to pull themselves into a better place. All I am saying is that don’t think that people in a 3rd world country who work from sun up to sun down are expecting the same handout as those who have never worked an honest day and figure the government owes them a living.

  16. Maren asked – Are you a millionaire? If not, why not?

    I was one of the unlucky few who made the mistake of investing my financial future with a Canadian company before 9-11 happened. Those brave Canadians shut things down and ran across the border faster than a French Man can retreat. I basically ended up lossing everything and had to start life all over again 4 years ago in a new city at 1/4 wages. No one would hire a 50 year old man.

    Since then I have worked very hard and many long hours trying to make a living. I went from not making enough to live on to now I am the highest paid employee in the company.

    My family now lives in a house that exceeds 3,000 sq feet, I have no debt, my son attends a private college ($33,000 per year) and life is looking up. Four years ago I seriously thought about standing on the street corner begging for money, we were so broke. I went to the Bishop so we could eat. Storehouse food week after week is not enjoyable. It was very bad for us.

    I decided then that I was not going to let life win and I have worked hard and smart since then. Am I a millionaire, no, but I should be in a couple of more years.

    Will I ever have debt again. NEVER!

    I do the same type of work I have done since I return from my mission many years ago. The difference is my attitude. I used to think the government needed to help us with health insurance for example. Now, I want them out of my life.

    I used to be very liberal on social issues and now I found them very distasteful. Social programs tend to keep you in poverty instead of rasing you out of them.

    Your liberal friends on this blog, may find it fun to dismiss those they do not agree with but I guess they need to make themselves feel superior and that is all they do it.

    A man who works for me is married to a Mexican and they send money to her family and when they go to visit, he gets upset because her family does not use the money he sends to improve their lives.

    What I trying to get across to you is not to get into the liberal way of thinking and let it mess up the lives of your family. If you want to live in a mud hut and have a dirt floor that is fine, but do not assume you need to live that way.

  17. My husband and I have no debt either, just so you know. And I have, and continue to work hard for what I have. I do not live in a mud hut, and neither do my in-laws. However, even if they did, at least they work hard for that mud hut. Congratulations that you were in a country that had enough in the Bishop’s store house for your family. I was RS president for awhile in Brooklyn, and I know my ward had to turn people down because there was not enough fast offerings to cover it. So it may have been “bad for you” but at least it was there. My husband told me that there was no such thing as the store house in his home town, people just helped each other. If there was leftovers, you brought it to someone who had no food for a few days. Later, they would do that for you. Everyone needed a store house, but the church could not provide like that. So the members provided for each other.
    The thing that consistantly bothers me about what you say is that MY FAMILY WORKS!!!! They work hard!! They are not stupid. They do not stand around thinking someone needs to hand them something. Even if they can do nothing but clean rich people’s houses, they do it. If they all could go to school, they would. When my husbands sisters finish school, they will be able to contribute more. How dare you think that they are not making the best of their situation? You talk about how the pioneers had so little, and look at what we have now. 100 years later. It did not happen over night.
    I am glad you have to brag about your home. 3000 sq feet sounds like an awful lot to me. Excessive, if you will. My parents have a rather large house, in my opinion, and it is only 2000. My husband and I have finally saved enough to buy our own house, and it won’t even hit the 2000 mark. However, it will be sufficient. The pioneers (most of them anyway) certainly didn’t have or need 3000sq feet homes. I imagine if someone had that kind of means, they would have used it to help someone else.
    My husband and I could say forget it to his family, stop paying for school, etc, and live better ourselves. However, I could not sleep at night, no matter how nice the bed, knowing that the woman who gave birth to and raised my husband may not have dinner. You may call that liberal, I just call that being me.

  18. Your Ward turned people down because it did not have enough fast offerings. Did your Bishop read his hand book? Did he inquire as to what he was supposed to do?

    Are you aware that many of the Bishop Storehouses give food to other churchs each week because members do not take all that they have available? My Parents manage a Bishop Storehouse.

    Did you know that if the FO of a ward are not large enough, the checks the Bishop writes will not bounce? The Lord and the Prophet do not want members to go without. It is a real shame your bishop in NY did not take the time to understand his calling.

    Yes, I live in a large house. It is huge. Excess – maybe. It is over 3,200 sq feet. About 1 mile from me are homes in the 10,000 sq foot range. A Temple President lives there. Wonder what that makes him? RICH.

    Having money means that you can really help others. My efforts to make money has created the opportunity for 10 Head of Households to have jobs servicing the business I created. That translates into $500,000 per year. I offer the same opportunities I had to others and very few people are willing to do what it takes. They mostly want a paycheck with no risk and no rewards.

    Working hard is not the answer. A mule pulling a plow works hard. A tractor plows more ground and the farmer does not work as hard. You have to work smart.

    YES, living in the USA is a great blessing. YES it is wonderful that my parents generation had the foresight to build Interstate Highways which bless our lives. YES it is wonderful the pioneers built irrigation canals that we still use. YES it is wonderful that America produces a product called money that people world wide want to have.

    YES it is sad that other countries do not follow our lead in these things.

    Instead of working hard, think about working smart. Be the tractor instead of the donkey. Be the owner of many tractors.

    The world teaches you to work hard and you will get ahead. The truth is that you need to work smart to get ahead. Working hard just wears you out.

    The job I do, people also do it in the Philipines. There is money in the Philipines.

    Sorry to hear your mother-in-law may not have dinner. Is she LDS? Has she spoken to her Bishop about her needs?

    Liberal is expecting someone else to do your job for you.

  19. I can’t comment to you anymore. You don’t want to understand. My Bishop was a good man, who did what he could do. He was told by the stake president not to help everyone. I explained about the LDS store house situation in the Philippines, and how basically everyone in the ward needs help. Bishops are counseled to have members turn to family before the church. We provide for his mother. She does have dinner. I just said I could not sleep if I did not help her.
    I know there are plenty of members who are rich. That is fine for them. I am speaking of myself. I could not sleep in a big house, knowing others suffer so much. The reason I asked if you did is because of your outright condemnation of myself and my family.
    Other countries are trying to follow America’s lead. It does not happen over night. You are just blessed to have been born in the first world. You have no compassion. You would think that your years of unemployment would teach you to look at others with a compassionate heart.
    The pioneers did not have tractors. Guess they were stupid.
    President Benson and President Hunter spoke in their biographies of working hard while going to school, which is what my family does. They are not expecting someone else to do their job for them. Or someone to go out and buy a tractor for them, so they can plow the land better.
    I know someone who is an accountant in the Philippines. She has what is considered a good job. She makes about $300 a month. At least $100 goes to transportation costs, which are outrageous in the Philippines. That leaves $200 a month. Yes, the cost of living is less there than her, but not that much less. She struggles even on that budget. But she survives. That is working smarter. She always applies to go somewhere else where there is more money, but as I have said, that takes time.
    There may be your job in the Philippines, but people will not get the kind of money you do.
    You are so naive to what the world is like. I really wish you would go and try and live like they do. I would like to see you pull yourself out of poverty. Build that dam with no materials or money to buy them. Buy that tractor with no money and no way to get a loan. Go to school with no money nor a way to get a loan or a scholarship. Sure, you pulled yourself out of a tough spot here. So did I. When I was unemployed, I had family and friends with the capability to help me until I got on my feet again. I did not expect them to, but they did because they loved me. I am grateful. I see nothing wrong with helping others help themselves. I do not think the Lord will condemn me for that. To each his own. We have to answer to the Lord individually for what we have done. If you feel comfortable telling God that people could have saved themselves by “working smarter”, well that is great. As for me, I think we are on this earth to bless each other. If I give with a pure heart, and someone does not use it wisely, that is their agency. My choice is my choice, and I choose to give. Your choices are yours. The temple president’s choices are his. Forgive me for my “liberal” view, but I know that the Savior already did the hardest job for me, suffering for my sins. Why shouldn’t I do something for others in return?
    This conversation has been interesting, but I will not comment again. It is going nowhere, and is not constructive. You will not change my mind, or get me to look down on my family. You do not need to try and teach me the value of education or the good life. I work every day and do not expect anything from anyone. But I do feel blessed when others give to me.

  20. Lots of assumptions and they are all wrong. I have lived outside the USA. I do have great compassion for those whose lives are tough. I grew up very poor. No money for college, no money for clothes. I have worked since I was 14.

    If you SP told the Bishop to turn people away then I do not blame your Bishop but the SP was wrong.

    Helping people is good, I am all for it. I also believe that you can do more good if you put your house in order first.

    Sorry to hear you are capable of expressing or listening to views that are different than yours. I jsut think it is a shame to live in poverty when that is not wha tthe Lord wants.

  21. George,

    I am almost in the position that Nikki is. I am a strong advocate of free speech, but I’m not sure about stupid and ignorant speech.
    You make lots of accusations, and broad statements about what the Lord wants, but it is clear that you do not read the scriptures to see what it is that the Lord wants.
    I am so grateful for people like Maren and her family who have the courage to do what is necessary to survive, but who also have the strength of character to be loving and kind.
    Don’t play the “oh I grew up poor’ card here, because in comparison to what Maren experienced, you grew up in comfort.
    I grew up in a single parent family with 5 children, no money for clothes, toys, or vacations and I don’t recall ever feeling poor.
    Like you said: “life is what you make it” and would I ever love to be in Maren’s mothers position … eternally speaking. She would be considered yeast to leaven the loaf.
    On the other hand there are those who flatten it …

  22. I agree with Nikki as well.

    Maren, George isn’t willing to listen to you, and he has his biased, erroneous views on this (and other matters) and there is no point in continuing the conversation with him will get you nowhere. I am sorry you have had to experience this from him. We are certainly not all like him, and after awhile, you learn there is no point in arguing with him (it’s like arguing with a brick wall).

  23. You must be assuming I do not read your comments, think about them and learn from them. Asking questions is not always a persons view point on a topoic.

    Your comments remind me of the person who does not know what to say when their views are questioned. Challenged might be a better word.

    Why would one glory in their poverty and claim righteousness from it when that is the exact opposite of what the Lord wants for you?

    Are you a 1 talent person or a 10? Who does the Lord bless the most, the 1 or the 10 talent servant?

  24. The most important thing to remember is what Samuel said:

    “The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich:…” (1 Samuel 2:7)

    If the Lord wanted the exact opposite of poor for everyone, then why was the Prophet Joseph poor, as well as so many of the early Saints, and Saints today?

    I think many of our prophets have not been in the rich category either.

    The point that you are missing, George, is that the Lord never intended for everyone to be rich. If people are not rich it does not mean that they are lazy, or unambitious.

    If you want to know what the Lord meant by the parable of the talents check out Talents in the topical Guide and find out what yours are.

    He did not mean money. The love of money is the “root of all evil” according to Paul.

    It is only after we “seek for the kingdom of God” that we should seek for riches and then only to use it to do good.

    George, I sense that you do have a soft and tender side.

    My suggestion to you is to gain an understanding as to why there are poor in this world. If this is the Lord’s plan, then surely the poor have a role to play in it. Otherwise we could look at our situations as a lousy trick being played on us, because He allows those who least adore Him to be the filthy rich of this world.

    On another scale if rich is what the Lord wanted us to be, then define rich.

    How does your personal situation stack up against those in the Forbes 500, or those above them who are not mentioned?

    The United Order will again be instituted on the earth, “But it must needs be done in my own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.” D&C 107:16

    This makes it amply clear that the Lord has poor in His Church, and there is a way that He has provided to make all Saints equal in it.

    It might also be interesting to see the results of missionary work with respect to those who are rich and those who are poor. Since humility is an integral part of conversion, where do you think the highest number of conversions occur?

    That is not to say that all Saints should be poor either. We have a wonderful mix in the Church of wealthy, middle class, and poor. The Church is doing very well on the financial side because of the tithes and offerings of those who have.

    If there were no poor among us at this point, what would be the role of the wealthy among us. The poor demonstrate strength of character by not envying the rich, nor blaming the Lord for their situation and remaining humble. The rich demonstrate strength of character and generosity by humbly submitting to the will of the Lord and sharing, while expressing gratitude for the blessings He has given them.

    Neither envies the other nor berates the other. At least that’s my perspective on it.

  25. – It might also be interesting to see the results of missionary work with respect to those who are rich and those who are poor. Since humility is an integral part of conversion, where do you think the highest number of conversions occur?

    The highest number of baptism is indeed among the poor but so is the highest number of inactive members.

    Where they converted?

  26. That’s a good question, George. I would suppose that if the poor constitute the largest number of converts, even though they would have the largest number of inactives, statistically they should also have the highest number of actives.
    That, however, could be argued if we talk percentages in each group. Anyone have the answer?

  27. Maybe I am not in the loop, but what is the “right wing neocon” answer to this question?

  28. I would like to better understand your term “right wing neocon”? I don’t think it means what you think it means. “Princes Bride Quote”.

    Historically, neoconservatives supported a militant anticommunism, tolerated more social welfare spending than was sometimes acceptable to libertarians and mainstream conservatives, supported civil equality for blacks and other minorities, and sympathized with a non-traditional foreign policy agenda that was less deferential to traditional conceptions of diplomacy and international law and less inclined to compromise principles even if that meant unilateral action. “Wikipedia”

    Regarding Activity Levels – Percentages are interesting but there is a problem in some wards where high numbers of poor or illegal aliens reside and the strain they place on the limited resources of the members may not be that good for the individual ward. Missionaries find success with the poor and humble, baptise them and then leave. Baptism numbers look good but % of church attendance goes down. % of HT goes down, $ to the ward goes down, etc unless the poor continue to attend church and be active they become a drain on their ward. A baptism that does not result in a liflong member creates problems for a ward for many years after the missionary has left his successful mission. Combine this time and time again and the numbers and %’s can get bad.

    I have lived in wards with high % of activity and zero convert baptisms and wards that have a convert baptism every week. The wards with high baptisms tended to have low ht’ing %. Low recommend %, low tith paying %.

    Are people important – YES – Is baptism important YES – Is wealth important – You decide.

  29. I guess the three baptisms we had this year in our ward is considered high since we have low stats for the three areas you mentioned.

  30. George,

    Maybe you should decide. Clearly the Saviour had things all screwed up when He worked among the poor. Where are the Rothchilds when we need them?

    They obviously have the highest rewards hereafter since money is the determinant of all that is good.

    If you don’t believe in the ordinances and the power that is in them, then stop your whining about the burden that the poor place on the resources of the Church. You have learned nothing in all the discussions we have had.

    Money is your god, and clearly you worship it above all else.

    Why don’t you go and start a Church for the wealthy only… Oops, sorry, someone beat you to it, but he is always looking for converts.

  31. “A baptism that does not result in a liflong member creates problems for a ward for many years after the missionary has left his successful mission.”

    But then who are you to decide? Baptims are not for the benefit of the ward, but for the benefit of the individual. We aren’t in the business of creating numbers to look good, we are in the business of saving souls.

  32. Kim – nice to hear your ward has had 3 convert baptisms this year.

    Mary – It is a good thing SLC pays the bill to heat the water for the wards that get a lower budget allowance due to % of attendance. I do agree with you on saving souls. But then, why baptise if they are not going to be active? Are you really helping or hurting them in the hereafter?

    Larry wrote “Money is your god, and clearly you worship it above all else. Why don’t you go and start a Church for the wealthy only”

    I don’t recall reading about Abraham being poor. I recall about how the Lord blesses the righteous. I recall the story about the talents. I don’t recall where being poor is the prefered lifestyle. Humble yes, poor no. With all your wisdom, please explain how being poor is what God wants us to be.

    Why would I want to start my own church? Is that what you did?

    Just to set the record straight. I do not worship money, nor do I seek after it. I just do not believe you should live in poverty. I also do not believe God wants you to live in poverty.

  33. George,

    I repeat my comments from another post. You appear to neither read the scriptures nor understand the workings of the Lord.

    What you want to believe is entirely your business, but when you start equating blessings with money in any degree, you are treading in unchartered waters.

    For every Abraham I will give you a Joseph Smith.

    For every prosperous period in Nephite history, I will give you the consequences.

    The poor and impoverished in this world have a part to play, and to judge them based on how much money they make, or have, is IMHO a great travesty. This is the Lord’s plan. Let Him decide who should be rich and who should be poor. He has reasons for all of it.

    If you knew what the story of the talents was really about I think you would be surprised.

    Did you read the article by Boyd K. Packer that I recommended?

  34. “But then, why baptise if they are not going to be active?”

    Let’s leave that up to the Lord to decide. We aren’t the judges on why a person should or should not be baptised. I have 6 siblings, only one besides myself is active. The rest were baptised when they were 8 years old as were we. Do you think it was a waste of time for them to be born, raised and baptised, in the church? I don’t. Choices were made by then, they may turn back. Same with convert baptisms. Stop being judge and jury and just do the job you were asked to do.

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