“There Was No Inequality Among Them”

Bryan Richards

When it comes to inequality, the latter-day saints could learn lessons from the Book of Mormon saints. As part of the dispensation of the fullness of times, the Lord restored every righteous principle, but not all of these principles are still practiced in the Church. One of these principles is the United Order. Through Joseph Smith, the Lord revealed, it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another (DC 49:20), That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things. For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things; For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you (DC 78:5-7).

Although the reasons for the temporary rescinding of the United Order are beyond the scope of this discussion, it is useful to note that the Book of Mormon saints had no inequality among them. Whether this means that Alma’s people had all things in common or not is debatable, but the point is that they were living the essence of celestial law of consecration. Apparently, they were less attached to their material possessions than we are today.

It is no coincidence that the Lord responded to their equanimity by pouring out his Spirit on all the face of the land. The Lord has revealed that the converse is also true—from those who are not equal in earthly things, the Spirit is withheld, In your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld (DC 70:14).