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Archive for the ‘President Spencer W. Kimball’ Category

He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (See Matthew 10:39)

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When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves!

Not only do we find ourselves in terms of acknowledging divine guidance in our lives, but the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. … We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!

– President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

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– Tom Irvine

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[17] Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Exodus 20

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[6] For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

[7] If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:

[8] But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.

Deuteronomy 15

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[31] He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

Proverbs 14

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[20] A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
[22] He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

Proverbs 28

“Haste to be rich” may apply to “get rich quick” schemes.

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[8] Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
[9] Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Proverbs 30

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[6] Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Psalms 122

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[10] And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday.

Isaiah 58

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[8] Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

[9] Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
[10] Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Malachi 8

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[19] Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

[20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Matthew 6

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[24] No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6

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Jesus teaches the parable of the sower:

[3] Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
[7] And some (seeds) fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
[18] And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
[19] And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Mark 4

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[41] And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
[42] And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
[43] And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
[44] For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Mark 12

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[38] Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6

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[15] And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
[27] Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
[28] If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
[29] And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
[31] But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
[32] Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
[33] Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
[34] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 12

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[1] AND he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
[2] And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

[3] And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
[4] For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Luke 21

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[19] But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4

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[6] But godliness with contentment is great gain.
[7] For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
[8] And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
[9] But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
[10] For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
[11] But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1 Timothy 6

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[5] Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Hebrews 13

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[30] 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.
[51] Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.

2 Nephi 9

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[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

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[14] Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.

Alma 39

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Interest

Finally, the fourth item, the bank. It is a symbol of our financial well-being. I learned a great lesson early in my business career. My boss called me into his office. I could tell he had something on his mind. He said, “Give me a definition of interest.” Of course, I reached back in my training and gave him a definition I had learned from a textbook. He said, “No, no, no, that’s not the one I want. You listen and remember this one: Thems that understands it, earns it; and thems that don’t, pays it.”

Now it doesn’t take a genius to understand that before you can collect interest, you must first have some savings. Having savings while continuing to increase one’s standard of living requires understanding of one simple practice and then religiously applying it. After paying your tithing of 10 percent to the Lord, you pay yourself a predetermined amount directly into savings. That leaves you a balance of your income to budget for taxes, food, clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. It is amazing to me that so many people work all of their lives for the grocer, the landlord, the power company, the automobile salesman, and the bank, and yet think so little of their own efforts that they pay themselves nothing.

L. Tom Perry, “Becoming Self-Reliant,” Ensign, Nov. 1991

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Interest, Debt

Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. Wisely we have been counseled to avoid debt as we would avoid the plague. President J. Reuben Clark fearlessly and repeatedly counseled members of the Church to take action.

“Live within your means. Get out of debt. Keep out of debt. Lay by for a rainy day which has always come and will come again. Practice and increase your habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1937, p. 107). We should have displayed in a prominent place President Clark’s description of interest:

“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies. … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1938, p. 103).

L. Tom Perry, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 1995

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Financial Preparedness

We must recognize that financial problems are the reason for much unhappiness and are certainly a major factor in family difficulties and divorce.

The Lord has told us that if we are prepared, we shall not fear (see D&C 38:30). What a blessing it is to be free from financial fear.

I would like to suggest a three-point formula to attain and maintain financial preparedness:

1. Pay your tithes and offerings.
2. Get out of debt and stay out of debt.
3. Use your surplus funds wisely.

This formula is equally applicable to young and old.

Franklin D. Richards, “Personal and Family Financial Preparedness,” Ensign, May 1979

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Spencer W. Kimball

“President Brigham Young expressed his fears that the riches of the world would canker the souls of his people in our own dispensation, when he said:

“Take courage, brethren … plow your land and sow wheat, plant your potatoes. It is our duty to preach the Gospel, gather Israel, pay our tithing and build temples. The worst fear I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution and be true. But my greatest fear is that they cannot stand wealth.

“Brigham Young also warned that Latter-day Saints who turn their full attention to money-making soon become cold in their feelings toward the ordinances of the house of God. They neglect their prayers, become unwilling to pay any donations; the law of tithing becomes too great a test for them; and they finally forsake their God. They fall under Jacob’s stricture: ‘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 Nephi 9:30)

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– Tom Irvine

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The Apostle Paul taught:

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (Romans 15:1)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)

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When one woman visited California’s Sequoia National Park, she was astonished to learn that the giant sequoia trees have no major taproots to hold them deep in the ground. She asked the guide how those top-heavy trees keep from falling when severe winds come. The guide responded that the trees grow close together. Their roots, although near the surface, intertwine with those of other trees nearby. If a tree were standing alone in a strong wind, it might fall. But the interconnected trees in a grove support each other well.

Ensign, Growing Strong Together, December 1991.

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God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom…. So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and small but deliberate deeds! – President Spencer W. Kimball

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– Tom Irvine

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I testify that by the Spirit of Christ and by the Holy Ghost, you may walk confidently in whatever difficulties will come. Because you are so valuable, some of your trials may be severe. You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith.

– President Henry B. Eyring, Walk in the Light, April 2008

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All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.

– President Brigham Young

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As you overcome adversity in your life, you will become stronger. Then you will be better able to help others -those who are working, in their turn, to find a safe harbor from the storms that rage about them.

– Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Finding a Safe Harbor”, Ensign, May 2000

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No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.

– Elder Orson F. Whitney

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“At the center of our agency is our freedom to form a healthy attitude toward whatever circumstances we are placed in!”
– Elder Neal A. Maxwell

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“Trials and tribulations tend to squeeze the artificiality out of us, leaving the essence of what we really are and clarifying what we really yearn for.”

– Elder Neal A. Maxwell

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“Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery.”

President Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972, p. 98.

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Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19

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So be glad – yes, actually be glad that you have problems. Be grateful for them as implying that God has confidence in your ability to handle these problems with which He has entrusted you. Adopt this attitude toward problems and it will tend to siphon off the depression that you may have developed from a negative reaction toward them. And as you develop the habit of thinking in hopeful terms about your problems, you will find yourself doing much better with them.

– Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

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What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him? “No, thank you,” he will think. “Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these things are things that cannot inspire envy.

Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997)

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Look for God in your difficult place and discover what He’s doing in and through you there.

– Randy Kilgore

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– Tom Irvine

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