A couple of months ago, I decided to change how I read the scriptures. For years, I have plowed through the standard works chapter by chapter. After reading some talks and a missionary book, I decided to start looking at topics. Abraham was awesome, but now I’m on abundance.
There is a beautiful article from one of the 1971 Ensign magazine issues called “A Hundred – Hundred Marriage.” This was my first paradigm shift about abundance. The first two-thirds of the article focus on the idea of abundance in mortality. The author uses the idea of an ear of corn, which can produce hundreds of plants and new ears of corn of itself — if planted and properly cultivated. He then turns to the idea of human muscle, which is also built for abundance if a person is willing to put in the extra work to build it beyond what normal life would do. Finally, he moves to the idea that our spirits are also built the same way, but they require trials to build strength.
I had already encountered the idea that the covenant of consecration includes the word “everything.” Everything is more than just time and money. The Holy Spirit whispered to me that I am a steward of my attitude, as well.
When the Law of Consecration and the Law of Abundance are placed side-by-side, an interesting picture emerges.
First, the Lord desires to bless us, and he blesses us abundantly in the way that will be most eternally beneficial to us for each and every little obedient act and thought we offer him.
Then, we are to take of that abundance, cultivate it to create more (remember the parable of the servants and the talents?), and share all of the surpluses beyond a modest living in ways that will build the kingdom of God on the earth.
This is easy to see financially. The Lord blesses us with the strength and intellect to find gainful employment. We work and receive payment. We use that money first to provide modestly for ourselves and our families. We may also save and invest modestly for the future. The rest is to be given in tithes and offerings and maybe also to good, solid charities. We can then trust that we will receive blessings from the Lord, whether financial or spiritual, for having been faithful stewards over what we have received from his hand.
The trick is when we take these two laws and consider knowledge, wisdom, forgiveness, goodwill, etc.
Let’s look at two:
- Knowledge: While the Doctrine and Covenants tell us that gaining wisdom is to our advantage in the world to come, it is also part of the “everything” with which the Lord can bless us. Therefore, we are to use the wisdom and knowledge we have to gain more, and then be ready and willing to share what we know appropriately with those who do not know.
- Forgiveness: I will boldly state that no one who has been baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and truly repented of his or her sins can say that he or she has been shorted in being blessed with forgiveness. The Lord always stands ready to forgive the humble and sincerely repentant! Having received forgiveness, and tasted of its goodness, we are then to find ways to cultivate a forgiving spirit in ourselves and freely share it with all of God’s children.
Recognizing Personal Abundance
As I have been willing to humble myself and overcome my pride, I have been abundantly blessed with insights into spiritual things that have strengthened me against (hopefully) returning to a smaller, much more fallen state. I hope that you have been blessed as I have shared my abundance with you!