In the Church, we hear the word SEEK often.
We can all name a scripture off the top of our head with this word in it. To seek means that we take action, we show faith and then do our part. Yes, we seek to do God’s will and if we will seek then we shall find.
There is another scripture given by a great prophet in the Book of Mormon. Jacob, the brother of Nephi says,
17 Think of your brethren like unto yourselves and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.
18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. (Jacob 2:17-19) He then speaks about pride and the ways we can fall into its snare.
On the other hand, we read in Alma 39:14- “Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.”
Is it wrong to seek for security in our temporal affairs? I would say that it isn’t wrong if the intent of our hearts is right before the Lord. When Alma gave this admonition, it was to a wayward son who was supposed to preaching the gospel but instead gave in to his physical desires. He sinned grievously before the people he was supposed to bring the gospel to. He had already gone after temporal enticings, so then Alma worked to help him understand the gravity of his personal situation before the Lord.
For those of us who sit at the feet of the prophets and apostles and desire to follow the commandments, seeking riches is certainly a blessing. While those of us who are honest in heart and desire to do good, to bring relief and help where it is needed, why is obtaining wealth so difficult? Why especially is it hard when so many people would like to relieve the suffering of others?
Wealth in the hands of many
Perhaps wealth in many hands would do so much good that the lessons of mortality would go unexperienced for those who need those lessons. Perhaps we aren’t as strong as we think we are. With money in our hands, perhaps we would give in to temptation more easily. I don’t have the answer to why some are able to attain great wealth, and some aren’t.
President Brigham Young spoke about wealth. He said, “There is any amount of property, and gold and silver in the earth and on the earth, and the Lord gives to this one and that one—the wicked as well as the righteous—to see what they will do with it, but it all belongs to him. He has handed over a goodly portion to this people, and, through our faith, patience and industry, we have made us good, comfortable homes here, and there are many who are tolerably well off. But it is not ours, and all we must do is to try and find out what the Lord wants us to do with what we have in our possession, and then go and do it.” 1
Work and toil
Are we willing to work and toil to build His kingdom? Will we make sacrifices by sharing our hard-earned funds to bless others? I believe those who work the hardest for the wealth that they receive are the most responsible with it. They use it to do good. For those whom wealth comes easily, the riches are wasted on the vain things of the world.
No matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in, may we always seek first the kingdom of God and store up for ourselves the riches of eternity!
- Discourses of Brigham Young, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., pg. 305