Sunday, September 16, 2007

MoreThoughts on Consecration

Tonight, I was reading in an LDS site,, a series of quotes about the Law of Consecration. There were a lot that were cool, but a couple of them hit me the hardest.

One of the biggest misunderstandings of the Law of Consecration is that it’s another form of Communism. Take from the rich and give to the poor. From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs. This spells economic disaster, in the eyes of folks like Ayn Rand.

But recently, I read a forum posting where someone suggested that Consecration was just a religious version of Communism. I replied that I always thought that Communism was Satan’s failed attempt to mimic Consecration.

This first quote addresses the fears that in a Consecrated world, there would be too many slackers trying to live off the work and efforts of others. This is, of course, true of the current welfare state. It is also not true of Zion. If you have these kind of selfish people, then you don’t have Zion. And others that are critical and judgmental of the efforts of others are under equal condemnation. In Zion, you don’t have snarky backbiting. ALL must buy in and work, at whatever they are best suited for.

“The truths of the gospel, or things as they really are, confront not just the Korihors, but all of us. The lazy individual meets, head on, truths about the essentialness of work. The selfish and idle rich meet, head on, the truths about our need to share: they must also ponder the need to accept, one day, the law of consecration. The selfish and idle poor collide with the harsh truths about covetousness and envy.”

--Neal A. Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, p.8

A second quote also struck me:

“Consecration is a celestial law. This persecution and expulsion [from Missouri] never would have occurred had the people observed the law which the Lord required. That law was simply the law of consecration -- a law of the celestial kingdom. It was a law which, if observed, would have made the people the richest and wealthiest of any people in the world. There would not have been a poor Latter-day Saint in their midst. Every man would have had all he needed to make him happy and comfortable, so far as financial matters were concerned.”

--Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.163-164

I was fascinated by two aspects of this quote. One is that it was the disobedience of the saints which ultimately brought about the antagonism in Illinois. We frequently think that we were the innocent victims of Satan-induced hatred. Were we not willing to share? Were we too high and mighty?

I also find it very interesting that a prophet tells us that if we were to live in accordance with the Law, we would be the richest people in the world. I’m reminded of the time whe the Nephites had “everything in common”, and lived in total peace and harmony. Read the entire book of Fourth Nephi. In other words, the best way to get rich is to make sure that everyone else is rich, too. Or, in other other words, the best way to live is to make sure that others live well, too.

Mark Hansen


  1. Mark,

    May I turn this Sunday afternoon pondering into a Monday morning discussion with a question?

    What do your thoughts on consecration as it relates to the financial/medical needs of your son? Do you think you would receive aid from the government to help him in a celestial society where people were living the law of consecration?

    My outside perspective is that your situation is an example of how far we have to go to achieve a celestial society. What's you inside perspective?

  2. Hey mark, I had a blog like two years ago, then I went on a mission and now I'm back. Thought I'd let ya know.



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