I've been taking a bit of slack from family and friends for my recent airport post. Some (and I won't mention names for Kathy's sake) actually called me a smart-alick, although that is the PG version. Anyway, to redeem myself I thought I would post our Ward Newsletter. I was in charge of writing the letter for March and our theme was Provident Living. Anyway, if you need a good sleeper enjoy...
Reportedly, Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “if you want to know what people value, check their checkbooks.” If Eleanor Roosevelt were still living today, she might say “if you want to know what people value, check their monthly credit card statement.”
Monthly debit and credit card statements tell and interesting story. They truly tell where one is placing their value and spending hard earned resources. What might Mrs. Roosevelt demise from a quick glance at our monthly financial statements? Would she see wise, sound, spending habits? Perhaps. She may also wonder about transactions referring to cable, satellite, internet, cell phones, DVD’s, electronics, multiple car payments, frivolous beauty supplies, excessive clothing, and various fast food and restaurant bills. During this time of economic struggles, determining value and what exactly is of value is essential for many families to stay afloat.
Determining family essentials is truly one of the more challenging and eye-opening tasks of our day. The advertising industry is very effective in changing our wants into needs. The temptations are often overwhelming to acquire more than we can afford. Monthly financial statements can be filled with wants compared to actual needs. Unlike our forbearers who found challenge in affording their needs, we often find challenge in affording our wants.
Since the early days of the restored Church, Latter-day Saints have been counseled to live within their means, to avoid debt, and to get out of debt. Nonetheless, we may be struggling or we may know of family and friends that are struggling. Rest assured that rough economic times affect all of Heavenly Father’s children and faithful members are just as vulnerable to losing jobs or experiencing a reduced income. Therefore, the blessings to faithful members come from following the counsel of our Prophets and Apostles as we continually seek to live within our means.
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reiterated this counsel “live within your means. Get out of debt. Keep out of debt. Lay by for a rainy day which has always come and will come again. Practice and increase your habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality” (“If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36).
We are living in an economic cycle right now that many of us have never experienced before. During these financial struggles, families are encouraged to communicate, counsel together, and determine what is truly of value and then go to the Lord with a financial plan in place. Regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves, if we first pay our obligation to the Lord and then use wisdom and good judgment in determining true needs, the Lord will help us manage the resources He has given us.
J.D. Griffith, Second Counselor
4 years ago