- Another Perspective on Wealth
- Understand the Importance of Perspective
- Understand the Key Principles for Understanding and Using Wealth Wisely
- Principle 1: Ownership - Everything We Have or Will Have is the Lord's
- Principle 2: Stewardship - We are Stewards Over All the Lord has Shared with Us
- Principle 3: Agency - The Gift of "Choice" is One of the Greatest Gifts of God
- Principle 4: Accountability - We Shall Be Held Accountable for Every Choice We Make
- Understand Other Basic Principles on Wealth
- Setting Personal Goals
- Understanding and Managing Credit
- Conclusions 1: Learning to Give
- Conclusions 2: Decide to Decide
Principle 4: Accountability - We Shall Be Held Accountable for Every Choice We Make
We have been blessed with the gift of choice, but we shall be held accountable for its use. Matthew writes, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).
But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:10-12).
The Lord counseled the prophet Joseph Smith:
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward (D&C 58: 27–28).
For it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity (D&C 72:3).
The blessing of agency is an unconditional gift of God and how we use that gift shows how much we love Him and His Son Jesus Christ. The first three principles outlined are God’s gift to us. The fourth principle is our gift to God. We can, through our wise choices, show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him by obeying His commandments and striving to become more like His Son.
On the subject of what’s really ours, Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated:
The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give! (Neal A. Maxwell, “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 22).
These four principles establish a spiritual foundation for understanding wealth that is based on our dependence on God and our need for financial self-reliance to fulfill His purposes. Everything we have is God’s, and the things we receive are all blessings from Him. They are not ours, but they have been given to us as a stewardship for which we can make choices. We should choose well, as we shall be held responsible for what we do by a loving Father in Heaven.