Rich Young Man


mikbone

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1 hour ago, mnn2501 said:

Prove yourself right.

Don't think I can.

But curiously during my Sunday School class with 14-15 year olds.  We discussed the importance of the question, "What lack I yet?'  

And it is powerful, but only if you follow through and make the changes.

This young man didn't even struggle with the possibility of following the advice.  He just became sad and grieved walking away.  

 

The Lord will not ask us to abandon our family and possessions.  But He may ask us to do much more simple things like work on humility.  Or pray and study the scriptures more fervently.  

It will only make a difference if we take the advice and promptings of the spirit.  

When people leave the church it is usually because they stop doing the simple things like prayer, scripture study, tithing, church service, etc...  

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 11:08 AM, LiterateParakeet said:

Good point.  We covenant to do that if asked, but if it were real....I imagine that would be challenging for all of us! 

You are probably correct. However, doesn't it depend upon how each of the covenant makers understand the word "consecrate?"

Thanks, -Wade Enlgund-

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Guest Mores
On 5/17/2019 at 10:03 AM, Scott said:

I wonder how many people in the Church today would sell everything they have and give it to the poor if they were asked?    

I'd daresay -- most of us.

On 5/17/2019 at 12:08 PM, LiterateParakeet said:

Good point.  We covenant to do that if asked, but if it were real....I imagine that would be challenging for all of us! 

Challenging, probably.  But if I can be afforded sufficient optimism (or pride if you wish) to believe that most of us have done challenging things because we knew it was the right thing to do.  I'd like to think that although most of us would have difficulty, we'd probably do it.  But like all things, the tougher the task, the greater the testimony we need to know it really was of God.

Look at @NightSG's history.  He had virtually no money.  But he sacrificed all he had and then some for his calling.  Wasn't he being asked to do give up all his riches -- what there was of it?  He's done it.

Are the rest of us so tied to our riches that we could not part with it if the Lord asked it of us?

I wonder if part of the problem was that this Rich Young Man did not have a testimony that Jesus was the Christ.  Perhaps he only heard that He was "a great teacher".  We don't know.  I can say that if some supposed guru told me to sell everything I owned and give it to the poor, and follow this guru, I think I'd tell him to take a flying leap.  But if it were the Prophet, I'd say a prayer of confirmation.  And if it were confirmed, I would do so.  I think we all would.

Am I being too optimistic?  Am I losing my reputation as a curmudgeon?

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33 minutes ago, Mores said:

I'd daresay -- most of us.

It is my understanding that fewer than 40% even pay tithing.  I think you are very optimistic.  

Quote

Challenging, probably.  But if I can be afforded sufficient optimism (or pride if you wish) to believe that most of us have done challenging things because we knew it was the right thing to do.  I'd like to think that although most of us would have difficulty, we'd probably do it.  But like all things, the tougher the task, the greater the testimony we need to know it really was of God.

Look at @NightSG's history.  He had virtually no money.  But he sacrificed all he had and then some for his calling.  Wasn't he being asked to do give up all his riches -- what there was of it?  He's done it.

Are the rest of us so tied to our riches that we could not part with it if the Lord asked it of us?

I wonder if part of the problem was that this Rich Young Man did not have a testimony that Jesus was the Christ.  Perhaps he only heard that He was "a great teacher".  We don't know.  I can say that if some supposed guru told me to sell everything I owned and give it to the poor, and follow this guru, I think I'd tell him to take a flying leap.  But if it were the Prophet, I'd say a prayer of confirmation.  And if it were confirmed, I would do so.  I think we all would.

Am I being too optimistic?  Am I losing my reputation as a curmudgeon?

I have a most difficult time accounting for anyone but myself.  I have learned that I can face a challenge when I believe I have an incentive.  For example I believe I will accept a call - even one I am not excited about.  But why do I have to have a calling to be engaged - why can't I do things (kind things) without being asked?  

It does seem to me that if someone has little or nothing to give up that they seem to be able to give up all the have with very little effort - but if they have a lot - even giving up a lot of what they has is exponentially more difficult.   One of my favorite personal sayings is: "I can resist anything but temptation."  Anyone can follow Christ when it is not difficult - and what is difficult is often different depending on the person and the circumstance.  I think I identify the most with the guy that said, "I believe - help me with my unbelief".  

In the business of asking what may be lacking.  I am amazed that anyone thinks that they are to the point that they need to ask.  Whenever I start to think I am close to running out of things I lack - it seems that I discover (or rediscover) a great many things.  Sometimes when I hear others (especially other I know well) to ask such a question - I wonder if I ought to help them out with a great many suggestions.  But experience has taught me that such answers seldom egnite happiness between us.

Remember Peter - we all like to think he would give his all for Jesus yet one time when he was suggesting he had it all together - Jesus prophesied that before sunrise he would deny Jesus 3 times.  And on the same night Jesus said that someone would betray him - I wonder why no one said, "I think it is Judas - he has been acting strange lately".   This all reminds me of something my mission pres said.  He said, "Just be the kind of missionary that you write home and impress your parents that you are."

 

The Traveler

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Guest Mores
6 minutes ago, Traveler said:

It is my understanding that fewer than 40% even pay tithing.  I think you are very optimistic.  

Well, since the activity rate of the Church is about 40%, that sounds like "most of us".

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Guest Mores
2 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Are you suggesting that it is 100% of those that attend?

 

The Traveler

You're the one who provided the statistic.  You tell me.

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Guest LiterateParakeet

@Mores I like your optimism, but I'm dubious.  As Traveler said, many struggle with tithing. And how many people do you know that have asked the Lord, "What lack I yet?"  There was a Conference talk about it, but I never hear anyone talk about it. I talk to people about it all the time, and not one person has said, "I did it too,"  or "I will try that."  I don't know the reasons, but there it is. 

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Guest Mores
11 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

@Mores I like your optimism, but I'm dubious.  As Traveler said, many struggle with tithing. And how many people do you know that have asked the Lord, "What lack I yet?"  There was a Conference talk about it, but I never hear anyone talk about it. I talk to people about it all the time, and not one person has said, "I did it too,"  or "I will try that."  I don't know the reasons, but there it is. 

Speaking for myself, I haven't asked that because I know several of my biggest weaknesses.  I'm working on them.  But I have to wonder just how many people have wealth as a primary weakness.

I don't think it is much of a weakness for me because I've been all up and down the wealth meter.  Up and down several times.  Losing it all isn't as terrible as one might imagine.  Don't get me wrong.  I still think being rich is better than being poor because of comfort an aesthetics.  But that is really all there is.  It isn't worth selling your soul for.

Maybe many people simply don't know how to be poor and still be ok.  I do.  It's not as desirable.  But I can do it.  I'm sure others can too.

But I guess the bottom line is that the Lord wouldn't have made the comment about the camel through the needle thing unless it really was a big problem.  So, maybe I'm being too optimistic.  Maybe I have a high opinion of mankind.  Maybe I'm not such a curmudgeon after all.  I gotta work on that. :)

At the same time, the tale of Zaccheus tells us that being wealthy is not such a death sentence.

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19 hours ago, Mores said:

Look at @NightSG's history.  He had virtually no money.  But he sacrificed all he had and then some for his calling.  Wasn't he being asked to do give up all his riches -- what there was of it?  He's done it.

Might not want to recommend others follow my lead. After going from roughly $3500 in savings to over $8000 in debt and a jail term because I couldn't afford to pay several tickets incurred as a result of being broke, I told the bishop precisely where he could stick that calling.

In fact, after I noticed him turning off his hearing aid, I might have set a record for least appropriate language used in his office. He got the general idea, though. 

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Guest Mores
24 minutes ago, NightSG said:

Might not want to recommend others follow my lead. After going from roughly $3500 in savings to over $8000 in debt and a jail term because I couldn't afford to pay several tickets incurred as a result of being broke, I told the bishop precisely where he could stick that calling.

The point is that you did it.  I never said it was without consequence.  That is never the point.

Abinadi was told to go preach to Noah and his priests.  He did so knowing he'd be killed for it.  Stephen of the New Testament, the same thing.  Paul.  Jeremiah was thrown in prison.  John the Baptist beheaded.  Jesus, himself, was crucified.

I was actually honoring you and your actions because you did what many others would not have the faith to do.  You did have such faith.  I would always welcome you into my ward if you had the inclination regardless of anything else.  I would be your friend and welcome you.

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17 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

@Mores I like your optimism, but I'm dubious.  As Traveler said, many struggle with tithing. And how many people do you know that have asked the Lord, "What lack I yet?"  There was a Conference talk about it, but I never hear anyone talk about it. I talk to people about it all the time, and not one person has said, "I did it too,"  or "I will try that."  I don't know the reasons, but there it is. 

Good post.  As I ponder more the principles and concepts in the epoch of the rich young man there are two prominent aspects of this parable.  One is being discussed a great deal – it is the concept of “what lack I yet?”.  I am convinced that this idea of trying to determine what an individual lacks is not what is important or relevant and generally a waste of time trying to decipher anything of lasting value.

The other operative notion has to do with riches and those that have them.  There is a great deal in scripture that deals with riches.  It appears to me that if we want to compartmentalize principles to live by – riches are more of a curse than a blessing.  That riches in and of themselves will do more to hamper a person seeking eternal life than it will help.

Generally it seems that those with riches were admired by Jesus as much as he seemed to admire the Pharisees and rulers of the Jews of his day – which really is not any kind of admiration.  I think the whole epoch of the rich young man is all about riches.

In reality there are two very distinct categories of riches.  One are the riches of the world.  I think we can conclude that the riches of the world are controlled by Satan and those that serve him.  I am not saying that everyone with riches serves Satan but I would suggest that in seeking the riches of the world – we are serving Satan – either directly or indirectly.

The other category of riches are the riches of heaven.  It is my understanding that in seeking the riches of heaven – we will be provided what we need of worldly riches.  And that like the lilies of the field we will be arrayed and beautiful. 

I am inclined to think that worldly riches are those things we seek for ourselves.  The riches of heaven are the things or acts of service we sacrifice for others.

 

The Traveler

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Guest LiterateParakeet

@Mores and @Traveler I enjoyed both of your posts. I don think we are very far apart on our ideas about this.  Okay, first Mores then Traveler.

Mores, I feel the same way about money, but we all have different weaknesses.  That's why I like the idea of asking the Lord the question about what we lack, because it can be different for each of us.  Like you, I thought I knew what my weaknesses were. On some level, I thought that asking the question might get me some help to overcome these weaknesses. However, when I asked, the answer completely surprised me. For certain, the Lord's ways are not our ways.  :)  Asking that question (I gave asked three times and I'm still working on the answers....) was absolutely life changing. That's why I try to encourage others to ask. 

Traveler, I loved your last two lines. I've never been rich...at least in my mind. I know truly wealthy people who don't think they are rich either. I want to ask them what bar they measure by, Bill Gates???   Anyway, in my ignorance, I think that the biggest spiritual hurdle would be the tendency to give yourself the credit for its acquisition. Pride.  Of course, pride is also a stumbling block for the poor.  That's why I like your last lines...perhaps that is the real issue. 

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