Monday, April 27, 2009

The first and second laws of elders-quorum-dynamics

1. Any lesson peace will devolve into justifications of violence.

2. Any lesson on the law of consecration will devolve into justifications of wealth.

Let me also add that I really dislike the oft-used attempt to justify wealth with the claim that the accumulation of wealth is good because certain mission presidents were only able to serve because of the mass wealth they had stored away in their mansions. This assumes that only rich businessmen and lawyers can be mission presidents (which may in fact be the case), and it ignores the simple response that if these rich Mormons had been living their covenants, their donations could have enabled a spiritually strong, but monetarily weak school teacher, electrician, store manager, or farmer to serve as mission presidents.


  1. This assumes that only rich businessmen and lawyers can be mission presidents. . . or apostles.

    I have no doubts about the apostles' fitness for office, but I also find it odd that the majority of general authorities are seemingly drawn from only three lines of work: (1) businessman; (2) attorney; and (3) CES teacher.

    In our culture, it seems that while wealth is not a prerequisite for high office, it certainly increases one's chances of being called.

  2. While I believe the Lord will qualify whomever he calls, I do believe that past performance in any occupation is a visible indicator of organization and leadership skills.

    One of the gifts of the spirit (which are actually infinite in number) is the gift of administration. I would venture to guess that this is an important gift for nearly all apostles to possess. While other gifts are probably more predominant, such as the gift of testimony of the Savior, we know that all gifts are equally important when making up the perfect body of Christ. Read D&C 46 and Corinthians 4 together (I think) for an interesting perspective and deeper understanding of the gifts that qualify a member of the Church for certain positions.

    Sometimes (but certainly not always) one's success in life is a reflection of their diligence in pursuing their gifts and talents with the purpose of blessing the lives of others. It's interesting the analogy Paul draws in Corinthians between the gifts of the Spirit and the offices of the Church. The calling isn't nearly as important as the diligence and spirit with which it is executed.

    Jim Ericson

  3. Loyd,

    One more thought here from a talk I gave in church yesterday that also applies here . . .

    I had never really thought of self-reliance as a prerequisite for some areas of church service, but I think the following quote puts things in perspective. I personally don't know how some people justify how they manage their stewardships when it comes to their possessions (which are not actually theirs at all), but it makes sense that improving one's stewardship and multiplying one's talents allows him to be in a position to better serve others . . .

    President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) taught:

    “Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak.”

    Jim Ericson

  4. JKEricson's point is well taken that past performance in an occupation is an indicator of leadership and organizational skills. The only problem is that performance =/= wealth in most occupations that our members are engaged in. The most common example is the public school teacher of course. One can be a great teacher, even an inspiring and transformational teacher, and you will never be rich.

    Again, also correct is the idea that success in life is often the result of pursuing God-given talents and gifts. But why do these talents and gifts always have to turn into money? Example- a nurse. The gifts of healing, counseling, and compassion all obviously apply here. However, a successful and caring nurse will likely never make much money.

  5. I love how off the preface to Section 119 is:

    "Because of failure on the part of many to abide by this covenant, the Lord withdrew it for a time, and gave instead the law of tithing to the whole Church. The Prophet asked the Lord how much of their property he required for sacred purposes. The answer was this revelation."

    Where in the revelation does the Lord withdraw the law of consecration? Verse 1: "I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop..." Yes, same thing here, all surplus given over to the bishop. "And this [surplus property] shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, [surplus property] those who have been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually..." Verse 5 goes on to explain this same dynamic: tithed of surplus property once (new converts), then the ten percent of annual interest thereafter.

    I don't see how the law of consecration was withdrawn here. And, if this really is the case, then somebody forgot to tell the temple.

    Not only is the accumulation of wealth used to explain away the law of consecration, but tithing. And, apparently, the correlation committee doesn't know how to read simple and clear verses of scripture.

  6. My issues is the inability of people to differentiate between the law of consecration and the united order, but that is another story.

    So, where is the line? Which side of that line would you say was the neighborhood we grew up in?

  7. The second half of my comment probably doesn't make much sense. I meant to ask, where is the line between spending too much money on yourself and not spending too much? The problem obviously isn't having the money, it is what you do with it. So, where is the line?

  8. Loyd, your observations are dead on. I've never been to elder's quorum, but I can vividly recall multiple Sunday school lessons where your first and second laws of elders quorum dynamics hold true. What's with that? Can't we just take the lessons at face value... accept that we need to try to be more peaceful & better at consecration? Why sit and justify the way we are now, when we know none of us are perfect?

  9. loyd is a blowhard he brings this topic up from time to time and when asked to point to ONE single source in any of scripture and/or church material that says having wealth is a sin he can't. He keeps bringing up pointless references that when one actually reads they see it's more about the love of money than the actual possession there of. It's even been pointed out to Loyd MANY times that the Lord himself blesses his people with wealth - so now the Lord is blessing his followers with sin - Loyd is a dumbass that likes to feel smart and important so allow him to pontificate about it I'm sure he'll stroke off thinking he's the next Plato.

  10. Alot,

    If you have really been following my blog like you act like you have, you will also know that your accusations are simply ignorant and false and clubbing up against a straw man. I've always defined wealth as being that above another. Wealth is a relative term and is senseless if there are no poor to compare it to. I have never said that riches in themselves are sinful as there would be no sin if all shared riches equally.

    Here is one verse for you. If you want to dig through my blog for dozens of others I have provided, go ahead.

    D&C 49:20 "But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin."

    Now Marshall, or whoever you are, please don't comment my blog again, especially if you are just going to throw out baseless accusations and names.

  11. Alot,

    You should know, what with your experience trolling blogs, that tossing around insults and ad hominems only discredit you. Anyone who knows Loyd knows that not only is disagreement acceptable, it's welcome. But not disagreement that has no intention of engaging in intelligent conversation or debate, or disagreement that has little or no sound reasoning to back it up. I, for one, would be interested in a counter-argument to what Loyd has suggested, because of potentially creative and instructive insights it could bring, but I have no interest in a high school popularity contest. Do save that for your own personal blog(s).


Please provide a name or consistent pseudonym with your comments and avoid insults or personal attacks against anyone or any group. All anonymous comments will be immediately deleted. Other comments are subject to deletion at my discretion.