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Carborendum

The Law of Consecration and Stewardship

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On 9/24/2020 at 1:18 PM, Vort said:

Is it unwise to live a united order as an expression of the law of consecration without the express command of God?

I came across this quote and thought it relevant to your question. This is Brigham Young JD16:8

"I will say, first, that the Lord Almighty has not the least objection in the world to our entering into the Order of Enoch. D&C 76:57 D&C 82:1-4 I will stand between the people and all harm in this. He has not the least objection to any man, every man, all mankind on the face of the earth turning from evil and loving and serving him with all their hearts. With regard to all those orders that the Lord has revealed, it depends upon the will and doings of the people, and we are at liberty, from this Conference, to go and build up a settlement, or we can join ourselves together in this city, do it legally—according to the laws of the land—and enter into covenant with each other by a firm agreement that we will live as a family, that we will put our property into the hands of a committee of trustees, who shall dictate the affairs of this society. If any man can bring up anything to prove to the contrary I am willing to hear it. But no man can do it."


This would seem to imply that we have God's permission but I don't know that it answers your question about it being wise. You would need a leader and unless it is directed by the church it would not be a priesthood position which would make it more difficult. Also, you would need to be very very picky about who can join it. Lots of potential problems.

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On 9/24/2020 at 2:18 PM, Vort said:

Is it unwise to live a united order as an expression of the law of consecration without the express command of God?

Other than our own selfishness, is there any reason why we shouldn't all be living it?

I have been under the impression that the only reason we aren't living it is because we aren't ready.

Am I ready to live it?   If I am honest with myself, I can't say that I am.  

I can't think of any reason why we aren't living it other than the Church members aren't ready.   

Are there any other reasons why we aren't living it and why it isn't required at this time?  

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2 hours ago, Scott said:

Other than our own selfishness, is there any reason why we shouldn't all be living it?

I have been under the impression that the only reason we aren't living it is because we aren't ready.

Am I ready to live it?   If I am honest with myself, I can't say that I am.  

I can't think of any reason why we aren't living it other than the Church members aren't ready.   

Are there any other reasons why we aren't living it and why it isn't required at this time?  

With the welfare system currently in place and our agency to be as generous as we want with fast offerings it seems that needs are being met and our ability to consecrate ourselves is available to us.  Though it's not officially the united order it sounds like a pretty good system. The united orders in Utah were very different than Missouri and actually varied quite a bit depending on the circumstances: urban, rural, big city, small town. Things have changed so much that I don't know that a modern united order would look much like the early ones did. Maybe we are closer than we think.

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21 hours ago, laronius said:

With the welfare system currently in place and our agency to be as generous as we want with fast offerings it seems that needs are being met and our ability to consecrate ourselves is available to us.  Though it's not officially the united order it sounds like a pretty good system. The united orders in Utah were very different than Missouri and actually varied quite a bit depending on the circumstances: urban, rural, big city, small town. Things have changed so much that I don't know that a modern united order would look much like the early ones did. Maybe we are closer than we think.

I would only change - that we (as a family) are as close as we want or determine to be.  And it is not just about money - it is also about time and talents which can also be expressed as service.

 

The Traveler

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8 hours ago, Traveler said:

I would only change - that we (as a family) are as close as we want or determine to be.  And it is not just about money - it is also about time and talents which can also be expressed as service.

 

The Traveler

You make a great point. It's easy to focus on the economical part of the law of consecration but there is much more to it. I know personally I probably covet my time more than my money. Perhaps the focus in ministering is intended to help us become more consecrated personally.

Would you care to elaborate on your comment about the family in relation to the united order?

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2 hours ago, laronius said:

You make a great point. It's easy to focus on the economical part of the law of consecration but there is much more to it. I know personally I probably covet my time more than my money. Perhaps the focus in ministering is intended to help us become more consecrated personally.

Would you care to elaborate on your comment about the family in relation to the united order?

As I understand the United Order was a process to an end and not really an end.  In other words the United Order was intended to assist in the understanding of the Law and Covenant of Consecration and Stewardship.   Also, I believe that Isaiah gives good insight into understanding divine laws and covenants with the notion of "line upon line upon line and precept upon precept upon precept - here a little and there a little".

It appears to me that the method of G-d is to take an individual (or in this case - a family) as they are and to bring them to greater understanding step by step.  So a family can begin - lets say with fasting on a fast Sunday and then making a "Fast Offering" as a family - which is in essence a sacrifice for others, specifically for the poor and needy.  And so a family learns to fast.  Not just parents but even small children.

I will give a little example from within my own family (thought my children are all adults now).  From time to time our children would refuse to eat what had been provided for their meal.  I have never felt it to be necessary to "force" children to eat.  That the primary reason they refuse to eat something is because in our society - food is so abundant.  So as parents we would tell our kids - if they did not want to eat what was provided the did not have to - they would go without.  If they were willing to go without rather than eat - that would be their choice.  But there was a caveat - at the next meal they would be presented with what they refused to eat in the previous meal (not what the rest of the family would have).  If they refused to eat a second time - again that was their choice but then at the 3 meal they would have the same meal as the rest of the family.

What we discovered is that quite often a child would refuse to eat one meal - seldom would they refuse it twice.  But once they had refused a meal twice we knew they were able and ready to fast two meals on fast Sunday and from then on they would be expected to fast with the family.  All 5 of our children were participating in fasting two meals by the time they reached 8 years of age.  In addition they would fast on fast Sunday at least one meal as soon as they rejected a meal on their own.

What is interesting to me is that all my children have great faith in fasting - even a couple of children that no longer attend Church will still fast and contribute a "Fast Offering".

Now that I am officially retired (within the last year) - I make a greater effort to provide service.  Whenever there is a call for service, I make a point of being there.  I have come to believe service has more to do with the law of consecration than money does.

 

The Traveler 

Edited by Traveler

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On 10/4/2020 at 11:26 PM, Scott said:

Other than our own selfishness, is there any reason why we shouldn't all be living it?

I have been under the impression that the only reason we aren't living it is because we aren't ready.

I interpret this to mean that we all "should" be living it.  But we simply aren't righteous enough.  And I agree with that assessment.  It is kind of like: we all "should" be worthy to carry a temple recommend.  But many are not ready

What we can do as individuals to reach that objective is different than what we could do as a people.  We  can do things like contribute a generous fast offering as individuals.  But without a complete system in place, we as a people, will not be able to do much of anything (other than the Bishop's Storehouse).

Quote

Are there any other reasons why we aren't living it and why it isn't required at this time?  

Because the Lord said to discontinue it (the system) for now.

Edited by Carborendum

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58 minutes ago, Carborendum said:
On 10/4/2020 at 9:26 PM, Scott said:

Other than our own selfishness, is there any reason why we shouldn't all be living it?

I have been under the impression that the only reason we aren't living it is because we aren't ready.

I interpret this to mean that we all "should" be living it.  But we simply aren't righteous enough.  And I agree with that assessment.  It is kind of like: we all "should" be worthy to carry a temple recommend.  But many are not ready

What we can do as individuals to reach that objective is different than what we could do as a people.  We  can do things like contribute a generous fast offering as individuals.  But without a complete system in place, we as a people, will not be able to do much of anything (other than the Bishop's Storehouse).

Quote

Are there any other reasons why we aren't living it and why it isn't required at this time?  

Because the Lord said to discontinue it (the system) for now.

I'm not sure I agree that we should be living in a united order. I do believe that a united order is the celestial system, but that doesn't mean we should be living it today.

I most certainly believe that we each should be living the law of consecration. We are under covenant to do so. But as has been noted many times in the past, one does not have to live a united order to live the law of consecration. Eternal laws and principles can (indeed, must) always be obeyed by the Saints of God, even if a fuller expression of them is unavailable to us at the moment.

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12 hours ago, Vort said:

I'm not sure I agree that we should be living in a united order. I do believe that a united order is the celestial system, but that doesn't mean we should be living it today.

I most certainly believe that we each should be living the law of consecration. We are under covenant to do so. But as has been noted many times in the past, one does not have to live a united order to live the law of consecration. Eternal laws and principles can (indeed, must) always be obeyed by the Saints of God, even if a fuller expression of them is unavailable to us at the moment.

I"m going to disagree with you, Vort -- at least partially/semantically.  It depends on what your definition of Law of Consecration is.  I believe we can live the principle to a certain extent.  But we can't live the system without, well, the system being there.  And any attempt outside the priesthood (with Christ as the head) to create a new system is not only faulty, but could be considered apostate.

I used to think that the Law of Consecration was a "principle" and the United Order was a "system".  After reading more about it, I'm coming to find out that the Law of Consecration (and Stewardship) was, indeed, a system.  And the United Order was a slightly altered variant of the Law of Consecration.  The principle behind it was as Brigham Young said.

Quote

... the idea is to get the people into the same state of unity in all things temporal that we find ourselves in with regard to things spiritual. 

But as languages change and shift, today we may refer to the "principle" as the Law of Consecration.  And if that is all you meant, then I'd agree.  But by the meaning that I've been using since the beginning of the thread, it is not the principle, but the system.

There is no question (and here is where I'd certainly agree, if I'm hearing you correctly) that we ought to strive for adherence to the principle of the "state of unity" (if ye are not one, ye are not mine). And we can certainly strive for that as individuals.  But even then, we fall short without the system.

Since I began this thread, I've often found it amusing that the initialism is LoC - just like the Law of Chastity.

Should we strive for living together and raising children if the "system" that we call "marriage" were somehow taken away from us?  That's a tough question to answer.

We've been commanded to be fruitful and multiply.  And we've been taught to be one with other temporally as we are spiritually.  But with the former, we still have civil marriage and celestial marriage.  With the latter, we are given the principle as a guiding light.  But without the system, there are issues.  There is an incompleteness.

I remember the guy that used to be on the forums a while back (skalenfel or something like that).  He thought we should be living the system today when there is no system.  I think the Bishop who accepted his donation (with the full knowledge that he had) should have been removed for allowing it.  The system doesn't exist.  And trying to live the system without the guidance and direction of the Lord is a perversion of it.

We are commanded to strive for the principle while hoping for the system at a future date to be reinstated.

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On 10/6/2020 at 9:27 AM, Traveler said:

As I understand the United Order was a process to an end and not really an end.  In other words the United Order was intended to assist in the understanding of the Law and Covenant of Consecration and Stewardship.   Also, I believe that Isaiah gives good insight into understanding divine laws and covenants with the notion of "line upon line upon line and precept upon precept upon precept - here a little and there a little".

It appears to me that the method of G-d is to take an individual (or in this case - a family) as they are and to bring them to greater understanding step by step.  So a family can begin - lets say with fasting on a fast Sunday and then making a "Fast Offering" as a family - which is in essence a sacrifice for others, specifically for the poor and needy.  And so a family learns to fast.  Not just parents but even small children.

 

The Traveler 

I think you make an important point in involving our families in spiritual matters to a greater degree than perhaps we are in the habit of doing. One thing I really like about the new self reliance courses is that they encourage parents to involve their children in financial discussions and even decision making when possible. I remember a bishop telling how when he had to leave home to go council with a struggling couple and his children asked where he was going instead of just saying he had church work he actually stopped and told them someone in the ward needed his help or that someone couldn't afford to keep their electricity on and he was trying to help them. He spoke about how involving his children in these things (without breaking privacy protocols of course) helped his children better understand how the gospel blesses lives through us and that his time away from them was for an important purpose. I like how your transitioning your children to fasting was purposeful and not just a law laid down simply because that's what we are supposed to do. I agree that the principle on consecration can and should be taught very early in life. Not necessarily the details of the united order but the idea that everything is God's and he gives it to us to support ourselves and to help others. I think this needs to happen more.

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On 10/7/2020 at 5:51 AM, Carborendum said:

I remember the guy that used to be on the forums a while back (skalenfel or something like that).  He thought we should be living the system today when there is no system.  I think the Bishop who accepted his donation (with the full knowledge that he had) should have been removed for allowing it.  The system doesn't exist.  And trying to live the system without the guidance and direction of the Lord is a perversion of it.

We are commanded to strive for the principle while hoping for the system at a future date to be reinstated.

I would like to propose a question here: Is there "A" system for living the law of consecration? Or is it something the Lord will always modify according to circumstances? We don't have the largely agrarian economy like we use to. Most people can't just give their job to the bishop and have him give part of their job back to them. And when it comes to determining what a surplus is that's a very subjective thing and apparently left up to the individual. Part of the reason the law failed in Missouri was because very few felt they actually had a surplus. Is that something a system can fix? The scriptures talk about having all things in common but that seem to only happen when the people were already Zion-like meaning they naturally loved and cared for one another. In this instance is a system even necessary? During the millennium can people even get sick or die of starvation or freeze to death? What then of the system? Perhaps some how we will end up living the law of consecration exactly as it is spelled out in the D&C, I don't know. I also don't know that having a formal system in place is a higher form than me naturally doing all that I can for my neighbor and we are supposed to be moving towards a higher law, right? I guess there is a lot we don't know yet but I'm pretty sure the Lord knows how I should be living the law of consecration right now and maybe finding that out is the ultimate system. So perhaps there is "A" system after all. :)

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2 hours ago, laronius said:

I would like to propose a question here: Is there "A" system for living the law of consecration? Or is it something the Lord will always modify according to circumstances? We don't have the largely agrarian economy like we use to. Most people can't just give their job to the bishop and have him give part of their job back to them. And when it comes to determining what a surplus is that's a very subjective thing and apparently left up to the individual. Part of the reason the law failed in Missouri was because very few felt they actually had a surplus. Is that something a system can fix? The scriptures talk about having all things in common but that seem to only happen when the people were already Zion-like meaning they naturally loved and cared for one another. In this instance is a system even necessary? During the millennium can people even get sick or die of starvation or freeze to death? What then of the system? Perhaps some how we will end up living the law of consecration exactly as it is spelled out in the D&C, I don't know. I also don't know that having a formal system in place is a higher form than me naturally doing all that I can for my neighbor and we are supposed to be moving towards a higher law, right? I guess there is a lot we don't know yet but I'm pretty sure the Lord knows how I should be living the law of consecration right now and maybe finding that out is the ultimate system. So perhaps there is "A" system after all. :)

  • If I can liken this to the difference between the Constitution vs. Laws:  I believe the "Constitution" of the Law of Consecration and Stewardship has been given in the Doctrine and Covenants.  It is a skeleton.  Prophets may add flesh to it as needed for our times and circumstances.  These would be analogous to laws (in my example analogy).
  • If a new Constitution is to be laid, it must be laid by the Lord.  If man attempts this, he is out of place, and out of his stewardship to do so.
  • If new systems are to be instituted, it must be by Prophets based on the Constitution that the Lord has provided.  If someone without such mantle and authority propose to do so, they are out of place and out of their stewardship to do so.

There is, however, a back door approach that I think many are hoping for.  If we as individuals live the principles of the LoC in our hearts and in our daily lives, then such attitudes will spread.  And if enough people live it individually without a formal system in place, we will effectively be living the Law without any central leadership administering it.  And we would truly be a Zion people.

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A little story about the United Order.

While I was in college I made a friend with a fellow in one of my classes - we often would study together.  He was about a year and a half a head of me and just prior to his graduation we were talking and he produced the blue prints of the house he planed for him and his new bride.  I went over the plans and the house was what I thought was way beyond what a new grad could afford to build.  But he told me that the house would be built as soon as he graduated.   He said that it would be built by his family.  I was impressed and sought more information and his family story unfolded.

There were in history several places that were quite successful with the United Order.  I believe that it was near Snowflake Arizona that a successful United Order maintained a cattle ranch.  But the Church decided to sell off all the United Order and divest itself.  My friends great grandfather arranged to purchase the cattle ranch and decided to run the ranch within the family as it had previously been ran by the church.  Over the years the enterprise expanded and the family business moved into other enterprises.  They included a construction company, building supplies store, a bank, a grocery store, a doctor's office, a dentist and a few other enterprises.  After high school my friend met with the family board of directors and was offered a position within the organization as an engineer.  The business would pay for his education and he would work within the company upon his graduation.   His pay would not be very good but the benefits were amazing.  The company would provide all the building supplies for his house at cost and his the family would provide the labor free to build his home.  In addition the family bank would provide the mortgage at a very low rate (I believe it was 2% and  the stand rates at the time were between 12 and 18%.  Medical and dental care would be provided by the company's enterprises and he would purchase food ad cost from the family store. 

I lost track of my friend after his graduation but I found the story interesting.  There are a number of "family businesses" - some less successful but never the less still in operation.  I seriously considered starting a "family business" but none of my children were interested in my consulting business and as truth be known have gone through time of their lives when they were not interested in religious things.  But times have changed and now I have a son that is putting together a family business.  I have invested in his enterprises - we will see how things turn out.

 

The Traveler

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On 9/30/2020 at 12:14 AM, Still_Small_Voice said:

The spirit of capitalism:  I am going to take care of myself.

Came across this and thought it went along with your sentiment:

Quote

“The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof. No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able, will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else. So long as he can, under the inspiration of the Lord and with his own labors, he will supply himself and his family with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life. (See 1 Tim. 5:8)” (Ensign, Nov. 1977, pp. 77–78)

 

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