I read a great scripture in my Book of Mormon class at BYU. It is found in the Book of Mormon (a book revered as scripture by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”), Jacob 2:18-19. In verse 18 it says that “before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.” Then in verse 19 it says that “after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall receive riches…” When I think of riches my first thoughts think of money and treasures of gold and diamonds and all luxurious material things, but when I read it in this context I think of our Savior and how being able to live with Him in the Celestial Kingdom, or heaven, and to be able to become like Him are the true riches.
In the world that we live in, we are bombarded with material things and it’s so easy for them to become our obsessions. I finally got an iPhone at the beginning of this year, and now the iPhone 5 has just come out. It’s so easy for me to want the new version but the same thing goes with every other gadget out there, and with cars and clothes and all the new trends that come out every season. What do I do? Do I buy all new ‘everything I own’ just because what I have is out of season? Well, of course not, but sometimes with what’s in the media, on TV, in the magazines, on the internet, and so on, I can feel like I have to keep up with what’s new because that is what’s cool, but what I have to remind myself and ask myself is, what is cool to the Lord? What does the Lord want me to do? He wants me to serve my fellow men. In verse 19 it also says that if ye seek for riches for the intent to do good like clothe the naked, feed the hungry, administer to the sick and so forth then ye shall obtain riches. One word that sticks out to me in this verse is “intent.” Here I am, a student at BYU, and basically my main intention of going to school is to be able to get a good job where I can receive a good income. The next question I ask myself is why do I want a good income? Is it because I want to be rich and to be able to buy nice expensive things? Well, this is where I can apply my intentions, and my intentions are so that I can be independent and I can be able to help provide for my family and give back to society. Our intentions are so important, and although it’s great for all of us to want to be successful, we should also remember that the Lord wants us to be successful too, but in accordance with His plan. An important part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us is service. By losing ourselves in His work we will be able to save our souls. I know that no matter what our financial circumstances may be, if we always put the Lord first we will obtain riches, and even if they’re not physical, the spiritual riches will be blessings that no money can buy.
This article was written by Maliana T, a student studying mathematics at Brigham Young University and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Maliana is from Minnesota and enjoys spending time with her husband and her four-year-old daughter.