It has been a while since I’ve updated my blog. There has been so much on my mind and it’s not for lack of material, but rather for lack of organizing everything in my mind into bite-sized digestible posts. This year has almost come to a close and I have learned so much and so much has happened to me in this time and in the last few years and I struggle to share everything that I desire to share, but will do so as the Spirit dictates. Perhaps I can save others the heartaches that I endured.
I began chasing wealth at a young age. I thought that wealth was a good litmus test for being blessed and favored of the Lord. I think many Christians think this is true: If I am gainfully employed, providing all the necessities and comforts in life for my family and myself, etc, then it is because I am blessed. To a certain degree, perhaps it is true. I’ve built businesses. I’ve expanded into many cities. I’ve lived in a big house on a hill with a manicured lawn and garden. I’ve spent more money on things that I don’t need than I care to remember. But I was sorely lacking in what mattered most–a personal, real, tangible relationship with the Lord.
It wasn’t until several years ago that I began to feel an inexplicably strong sense of urgency, but for what, I couldn’t tell. But it gnawed at me ceaselessly. I learned through foolish pride that I was paying a price for grand things where moth and rust corrupt–worldly riches. I ignored that still small voice for so long and leaned on my own wisdom. It cost me almost everything.
I no longer chase success. I don’t care for wealth or money. I no longer live in my big, six bedroom home on a hill with a view. I had forgotten to put it all on the alter and as a result, I lost it the hard way. Today after a hard lesson in humility, I realize that God had been answering a prayer I offered over twenty years ago. Let he that hath ears hear. Today I have put everything on the altar. I have sold much of what I own and given away just as much, if not more. I have no need for extra sofas, televisions, bed sets, furniture, etc. I am still in the process of donating more things that I don’t need or use, that I know will help others. I have developed a genuine love for everyone around me. My heart breaks to see someone in pain, someone ignored, someone passed by, someone hungry or naked.
I live in a small home now, just perfect for my needs. I am employed in a very strong company with excellent benefits, I own a small business that earns more than I spend with it and I spend most of my free time volunteering, serving in various capacities and/or studying the scriptures and gospel doctrine. I have learned to let go of the world and all that glitters. I am more wealthy than I ever have been in my life. There are yet unfulfilled promises waiting to be kept. The greatest treasure that man can achieve, if he is willing to put all that he has on the altar of sacrifice and that is eternal life.
To the reader, I ask this: What do you spend your free time doing? Watching football? Offroading? Boating? Playing the latest video games? What are your most prized possessions? Four wheelers? Trophies? That shiny new car on your driveway? Now the real question: Would you give it all away for greater treasures?
One man did. A king:
Alma 22:15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.
Indeed the Lamanite king received his greatest desire. And before he died, he did truly give his kingdom away. I realize today that I was compelled to be humble. I was bitter for a small while and I foolishly thought that I was being punished, but in reality, the Lord spent twenty years teaching me a lesson that did not need to take so long to learn at a great cost. But He gives us our freedom to choose. And I chose the world. But He did not forget a sincere desire that I had long forgotten. I won’t spell it out here, but i will leave you with one more scripture from my favorite prophet who walked the path that we all sooner or later follow, if our hearts are true:
2 Nephi 32:4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
5. For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
6. Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
I am still learning…
Meili T. Tark said:
Upon returning to the U.S. after living in Korea for four years, I am much more aware of the love Americans have for “stuff.” They put their stuff before people a lot of the time, and that is sad. It’s all going to be burned in the last day. If we haven’t taken time to build up treasures that cannot be burned, we will lose everything.
Tara Buck said:
I’ve often wondered why Tim and I have been “blessed” with chronic poverty through underemployment. And although I’ve learned some amazing money management and self-suficiency skills (it’s absolutely amazing how far I can make a dollar go…), I’ve wondered WHY we keep finding ourselves in these financial straits. I’ve learned wonderful lessons about doing without the STUFF and I find our life much simpler and much happier… but have I really learned to put the Lord very first? It is something I will think on. Thanks.
Hi Tara! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have so much more to write about regarding putting the Lord first. It has everything to do with the law of sacrifice, the law of consecration, a call to build Zion, etc. 2012 has been one of the most pivotal years in my life. Stay tuned for many more blog entries along these lines in 2013.