Care of the poor needs to be in the hands of individuals, not government

Socialist government purports to be about big government taking care of the people. But that puts a lot of power in the hands of the government. And one thing that defines our constitution is the recurring theme of taming and controlling the power of government, rather than enhancing it. And what do we see big government doing now? It is no longer even pretending that it isn’t planning to provide free wealth in exchange for votes. It is almost brazen about the fact that voting for liberals means that poorer people will be provided for yet even more generously by the government. I staunchly believe in the individual need to care for the poor. I believe care for the poor isn’t a temporal principle, it is a fundamental saving principle. The scripture that states that we cannot be made equal in heavenly things if we are not equal in earthly things means that we cannot be made joint heirs with Christ if we are not equal in earthly things. But I believe this equalization is a sacred matter both for the rich and the poor, and that it loses its sanctifying effect on both the rich and the poor when it is done by the government by force. It is no different than if the government was to start forcing citizens to pay their tithing. Sure, tithing would be paid. No problems there. But the blessings of paying tithing would largely be lost. The purpose of tithing isn’t to give the Lord money. He could provide it without our help. The purpose of tithing is to prepare the hearts and minds of the people for consecration. If tithing is not given as a free offering, the spiritual benefits and blessings of tithing are gone and it serves no purpose. When the government takes over the care of the poor by force, then we have lost both sides of the battle. The poor are cared for, but there is nothing sanctifying about it. The rich care for the poor by paying taxes, but the affect on the heart and soul is gone. When the government enforces it, the rich lose even more interest in the poor than they might have had and a perverse reversal takes place where the rich hold more tightly to their money, and the poor grab after it all the more greedily and often all the more slovenly, which is exactly what we are seeing today. This reversal takes place because there is no sanctification happening in the exchange – there can be no sanctification if it is not given as a free offering. The Lord who notes the sparrow’s fall could care for the poor as easily as he could care for his church. He could fill their pockets with diamonds and gold. But he does not, because he gives us rich and poor to serve a fundamental purpose. The purpose is not financial. The purpose is to sanctify willing individuals through sacrifice and personal gratitude that can be brought about in no other way. “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never had the power to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” (Joseph Smith) Yes, absolutely, the rich are the answer to poverty. The answer is not for the rich to give much, but to still have much. It is for the rich to give so that there are no poor among us. It is for the poor to be exalted in that the rich are made low. And choosing that is critical to building Zion, because in Zion there are “no poor among them”. But it is critical to Zion not as a Zion by-law, but because of its power to sanctify and build Zion in the individuals who submit to it. We must recognize that the right to care for the poor must be restored to the individuals, so that the rich can learn not only to give, but to care. It is in that caring that Lord can change hearts. When we enforce it, we lose the blessings as surely as if the government was taking our tithing and giving it to the church in our behalf. No faith is developed. No charity is developed. No connection to God and one’s fellow man is developed. Instead evil men incite greed to rise to power on the backs of the poor who will put them in office no matter their politics all in exchange for another man’s bread. The statement that being equal in earthly things is necessary to be equal in heavenly things is a statement about a condition of the souls that must be reached by the rich giving to the poor so that both are edified by the exchange. When the rich give generously, not like the Phariesees in the temple, who gave much but still had much, but rather when they truly give generously enough that the poor are exalted in that the rich are made low, and there are no longer any poor among them, then the sanctifying effects on both rich and poor are brough to pass, they have become equal in earthly things, and if they will keep the other commandments they can be made equal in heavenly things, they can be joint heirs with Christ..
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