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Friday, February 4, 2011

Mormons & Materialism: Part 8 Summer Cottages in Babylon

Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s phrase, let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon (see Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light [1990], 47) in D. Todd Christofferson, "Come to Zion", Ensign, Nov. 2008, 37–40.
Elder Larry W. Gibbons of the Seventy remarked in Conference once
My fear is that too many of us are not fully committed to living all the commandments. These Saints are not willing to leave the world completely behind. They are holding back.

In the priesthood leadership session of a regional conference, we sang the hymn “Ye Elders of Israel.” The chorus contains a line “O Babylon, O Babylon, we bid thee farewell.” Following the singing, Elder Neal A. Maxwell spoke and expressed the thought that bidding Babylon farewell is actually one of our challenges, that too many of us like to keep a summer cottage there.

We cannot keep one foot in the Church and one foot in the world. One reason is the world and the Church are rapidly diverging. We will lose our balance.

We know that “no man can serve two masters.” Some, I fear, are attempting to do what President Marion G. Romney described as trying to “serve the Lord without offending the devil.” 
Materialism seems to be the foot we keep in Babylon. The truly important things in life can't be purchased. Why are we trying? We talk the talk but we don't walk the walk. We've got to stop pointing our fingers at other people's materialism and recognize our own.

Most of us are familiar with Brigham Young's quotation about the pioneers being tried with poverty and future generations being tried with affluence. But, how many of us are aware of what President Hinckley said further on the subject in 1974 and again in 1994?

Brigham Young went on to say on that occasion:
It is our duty to preach the gospel, gather Israel, pay our tithing, and build temples. The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty and all manner of persecution, and be true. It my greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches, for they will become the richest people on this earth. [Nibley, Brigham Young, p. 128]
To which I can hear many of you say, "Hasten the day."
I believe that day, spoken of by Brigham Young with a voice of prophecy that rose above the voices of defeat and criticism, has come.
That day has come . . . 


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. I love this--I have struggled with materialism for a long time. Although I have improved considerably, I have a long way to go. I've noticed that as I give up materialistic things, my testimony grows and I am better able to hear the Lord when he calls me for a special assignment.

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