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Friday, January 28, 2011

Mormons & Materialism: Part 1 We Can't Take it With Us or Even Use it Here

(This is a series on Mormons and Materialism. There are eleven parts.)

Go out in your garages and look over the unused bicycles, toy cars, athletic equipment, skis, roller blades, et cetera, and calculate what the return would have been had the cost of these items been invested in future needs. Remember, I emphasized unused articles. How many of you have seen garages so full of things that there is no longer room for the car? From: L. Tom Perry, "“If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear”", Ensign, Nov. 1995, 35:
Whenever we Mormons start talking about materialism we generally end up condemning the largely faceless, rich, minority we all know exist. However, we need to look at ourselves.

Every item we have required a conscious decision to acquire it and to keep it. So whether your property is filled with luxuries, or junk, it is still materialism.

Programs and news items on hoarding can be horrifying but many people have more stuff than these hoarders they just have more property on which to put it so it doesn't seem as cluttered.

No matter who you are or where you are you can only wear one suit of clothes, sleep in one bed, read one book, watch one television, eat on one plate, etc. There are limits as to how much a human being can actually make use of.

How far over the limit are you?

It isn't rational to keep acquiring additional property or organizational helps to store all of this stuff. How much can you actually USE.

Our society emphasizes continual consumption. But, with everyone out to acquire as much as they possibly can there are bound to be shortages. This is a recipe for economic disaster.

Stop contributing to the disaster and start assessing what you can actually use. Confine yourself to those limits you set up.

Maybe it is time to downsize instead of up-size. I'm not going to tell everyone to go out and get a tiny vehicle if they have a large one. People with large families and/or large needs can put a large vehicle to use. I can't. Some people need and use a large home. I don't and I can't.

What I do know is that I have more than I need and more than I can realistically use.

Most of my excess things were acquired at a time I fully intended to use them but never did. For example, there are books I want to read but haven't, projects I want to do but haven't. Well, maybe the time is past. It was a worthy project at some point in my life but now it needs to be discarded in favor of something else that is more important.

If I'm not using something that still has value, I have a moral responsibility to get it into the hands of someone who can use it.

You know you can't take it with you. If you can't use it here then you shouldn't have it anymore.

DO something about it.

Series: Mormons & Materialism Series
Part 1 We Can't Take it With Us or Even Use it Here
Part 2 Stuff & Nonsense
Part 3 Out of Purgatory or Into Heaven
Part 4 What We Consume Ends Up Consuming Us
Part 5 Affluence or the Appearance of It
Part 6 Titles, Labels and Lemon Juice
Part 7 Power and Other Addictions
Part 8 Summer Cottages in Babylon
Part 9 Valuing Based on Utility
Part 10 Get Rid of It!
Part 11: Consecration & Conclusion

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! This article reminds me of a time in my life when I was unemployed, resulting in keeping every jar, plastic container , cardboard--even pizza boxes. WHAT!! I almost filled an empty 8x8 room in the basement with all this junk. Why ? What was the purpose? To this day I don't understand why I kept all that stuff. All I know is it took me a long time to get rid of it little by little with our regular household refuse. Crazy!!!