Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mosiah 18:26-28 -- On Wealth and Community

"And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God.
And again Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, every one according to that which he had; if he have more abundantly he should impart more abundantly; and of him that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given.
And thus they should impart of their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God, and to those priests that stood in need, yea, and to every needy, naked soul."
Mosiah 18:26-28

I like the way these verses de-emphasize wealth.  We focus so much on who has what individually, and in the church that Alma organized with God's authority, it wasn't about individual wealth.  Priests didn't get paid for what they did... they got spiritual blessings instead, which helped them help others.  And everyone was asked to share, so that no one was in need and the community could be enriched.

I like the last verse as well.  Everyone imparted their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God.  They were doing it out of love, not being forced by Alma, the church, or the government.  God's goals, as always, emphasize free agency.  If we want to create an ideal community... a Zion people, we have to get there without forcing others to share or give, because if we are forced, we aren't learning the principle. :)

Today, let's remember that wealth isn't the most important thing.  It's only useful if it helps us and others move closer to God.  Let's be willing to give back to God, and to his children.  Let's love the people around us, and be willing to be an active part of God's community.

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