The Lord told Adam that he “shalt” eat by the sweat of his brow all his days (KJV). Since then, there have been many who, rather than rely on the Lord for their bounty (the Lord multiplies crops, orchards, gardens, fruits, vegetables and grains, rebuking the devourer for the sake of the righteous), they rely on the arm of their own flesh; on their own industry. The more I ponder Amulek, the more I see just how much I was like Amulek. He was industrious and a man of means and of money and of reputation. He was the CEO of his own company.
2 I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was that same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God.
3 And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren.
4 And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry.
5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.
I’ve been a business owner since I was a teenager. When you are a business owner, you rely on yourself and your cunning and intellect and and planning and organizing. You rely on people for your business as they are your potential customers and clients. You influence their agency. Where is the Lord in all this? It cannot be right to ask God to bless people so that they will buy from you, patronize your business and make you rich and prosperous. And I used to pray such things as a business owner for many years.
I don’t know how many times I did not fulfill callings such as home teaching, because I was too busy managing, organizing, making contacts, etc. I shudder to think how I will look back on my life and seeing how often I passed someone in need of my substance or succor. How often did I not come to someone in need because I was too busy getting gain (as described in the Book of Mormon)?
My life is in a much different place now. I have simplified my life considerably and am trying to simplify it further–in fact as far as I can. The more I cast off the world, the less I need money to subsist or even to be entertained. You can buy anything in this world with money. But you can also get by well enough without it, or at least, in a modern world without much at all. If you have no debt, you don’t need money. It is irrelevant. And then you can focus so much more time on helping and serving others. My heart is in a much better place today. Truly a rich man is not fit for Zion. He ignores its call. Those who labor in Zion labor for Zion.