One of the ways in which the Almighty prospers his people is through blessing them with an abundance of this world’s goods, with flocks and herds and land and fruits of the field. But this is only one way. The Saints need not be confused or disappointed on this matter.
When a people pay their tithing with faithfulness, God may choose to prosper them with money or property, but he may instead open the windows of heaven and pour down revelation, knowledge from on high (see Malachi 3:10). In the days of Nephi and Lehi, sons of Helaman, the Lord prospered the people of his fold through Church growth:
“And it came to pass that in this same year there was exceedingly great prosperity in the church, insomuch that there were thousands who did join themselves unto the church and were baptized unto repentance. And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure.” (Helaman 3:24-25.)
The perennial promise in the Book of Mormon is that if the people keep the commandments of God they shall prosper in the land; if they do not keep the commandments, they shall be cut off from his presence (see 1 Nephi 2:20; 2 Nephi 1:20; Alma 36:30; Alma 37:13). The latter expression, the warning, may well define more than any other statement what the Lord means in regard to prosperity: we are prospered when we enjoy his Spirit and feel his presence.