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5. Wealth can be a great blessing or a curse depending on our priorities. Wealth is neither inherently good nor bad: it is, in reality, neutral. What makes wealth either a blessing or a curse is how we prioritize what we do with that wealth. The key to organizing our priorities is to put the kingdom of God first. President N. Eldon Tanner said, "The Lord gave the greatest success formula that I know of [when he said]: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you’" (Matt. 6:33) (N. Eldon Tanner, “Constancy Amid Change,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 80).

On the subject of the potential danger of wealth, President Brigham Young stated, "The worst fear . . . 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. . . . My greatest fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth" (“This Is The Place,” Tambuli, July 1977, 25).

Some of us may know someone who has lost their testimony of Jesus Christ because he or she sought riches for the wrong reason. Because of situations like these, many will ask: If wealth is so bad, should we ever seek riches? Jacob, a Book of Mormon prophet, counseled the Nephites on the matter of seeking riches in Jacob 2:18–19:

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

The key then is to first obtain a hope in Christ, or in other words, a testimony of His perfect life, atonement, resurrection, and mission of salvation. Once we have done this, we can seek riches, but we must seek them for the right reasons: to do good—to help raise our families, to serve our fellowmen, and to build the kingdom of God.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

The Lord will love us, I think, to the degree to which we lift and bless those in distress. I believe that with all my heart, mind, and soul. The accumulation of means is not a bad endeavor when those means are used to bless the needy of the earth (Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Volume 2, Intellectual Reserve, 2005, p. 593).

6. Love of money is the root of all evil. Some have incorrectly stated that “money is the root of all evil.” Elder Theodore M. Burton corrected this view when he said:

Paul did not say that money itself was evil, but that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). Love of money, status, possessions, or position more than righteousness begets a kind of false pride that must be avoided. That is why the Lord also told us that “if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity . . . but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old (D&C 38:39) (Theodore M. Burton, “A Disease Called Pride,” Ensign, Mar. 1971, 26).


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