The scriptures clearly tell us that we need to be careful not to lay up for ourselves treasures upon earth (Matt 6:19). This may be particularly hard to do in a society which places so much importance on riches and the vain things of this world. The Lord’s 1831 warning still seems to apply, Now, I, the lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for…they also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness (DC 68:31). The parable of the rich man is instructive:
’…a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’ (Lu 12:15-21).
The rich man in the parable should have been as the preacher, spoken of in Ecclesiastes, who said, I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun…Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me (Eccl 2:11,18).
Dallin H. Oaks
“When we place our trust in our property, we have ’carnal security.’ In that state of mind we are inclined to say that all must be well with us and with Zion because we are prospering, thus relying on worldly success as a mark of divine favor. He who does this is an easy mark for being led ’carefully down to hell.’” (Pure in Heart, p. 79)