Is money temporal or spiritual?
D&C 29: 34-35 “Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
- Behold, I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself; and I gave unto him commandment, but no temporal commandment gave I unto him, for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural or temporal, neither carnal nor sensual.”
President Uchtdorf has told us “Like two sides of a coin, the temporal and spiritual are inseparable….The temporal is intertwined with the spiritual. God has given us this mortal experience and the temporal challenges that attend it as a laboratory where we can grow into the beings Heavenly Father wants us to become.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/providing-in-the-lords-way?lang=eng)
This is one reason why I feel it is so important to be educated in the matters of personal finance. The money that is provided to us, for us to use to care for our families and serve others is not a temporal-only law. It is a spiritual law of stewardship. Money simply represents the ability to develop self-control, wisdom, obedience, sacrifice, hard work and love and charity. We know that money is not evil in and of itself. It is, rather, the love of money that is the root of the evil. (see 1 Timothy 6:10)
1 Nephi 14:7 “ For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.”
When I think of the devil bringing us down to destruction I think of it in a spiritual sense – that we will be bound by sin, and not be able to live with our Father in Heaven. However, this verse describes the destruction as both temporal and spiritual. What would temporal destruction look like?
Here is the definition of temporal, according to Dictionary.com:
-Of, or relating to time
-Pertaining to or concerned with the present life or this world; worldly:
-Secular, lay, or civil, as opposed to ecclesiastical.
Temporal matters are things of this world. What would it mean to be destroyed temporally? I am sure it means lots of things, but I can’t help to also relate it to our possessions and wealth. What, besides our mortal bodies, could be more ‘worldly’ than these things? When I think of temporal destruction I think of idol worship – worshipping our possessions, coveting bigger and better and more, becoming enslaved in the chains of debt that we can’t seem to break free of.
I often get into conversations with other LDS women about how tough it is to make ends meet sometimes (or all the time!). The conversation usually turns to the conflict of employment – whether we should be working, and providing income, which usually requires finding child care for our children. Sometimes it seems almost impossible, these days, to get by on only one income. I personally see it as one of the ‘signs of the times’ that we are required now to have a dual-income home where both the mother and father and work, just to be able to provide necessities and some niceties for our families. Our culture and even economy has become such that having only one income-earner in the home is increasingly insufficient. (Please understand that I am not saying that women should not be working, and that mothers should not have jobs. This is such a personal, and individual choice and I don’t begin to claim that one choice is right for everyone. My point is that the option is becoming rare, should a man or woman WANT to stay home, while the other spouse works and that the decision is often a forced decision that both HAVE to work, regardless of their preference). Could this be a form of temporal bondage and destruction, taking away the ability to choose to have a one-income family and have one parent home with the children?
Becoming more knowledgeable about personal finance (how to budget, living frugally, simplifying, paying tithing, having correct insurance, paying off and avoiding debt, etc.) will help us avoid the destruction that can happen so quickly when we are not good stewards of our resources. This also adds a new level understanding to our Heavenly Father’s law of tithing. (Future post on tithing, up and coming!)
By separating the seemingly temporal from the spiritual we can easily justify our actions and make choices that may not align with our beliefs. By understanding the spiritual connection to our temporal abundance, we will be better able to act with integrity with the things we have been given, and be better stewards over our blessings and resources.