“The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10)…”It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25)…”But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God” (Jacob 2:18)…
The scriptures are full of warnings about putting the love of money ahead of our love of God. We aren’t ever told that money is evil, but we are certainly cautioned to keep our priorities straight between the riches of earth and the riches of heaven. History has often demonstrated that times of peace tend to encourage much understanding, progress and prosperity for a community – large or small.
As the caravans would journey through the deserts of the Old World, the nomads would glimpse the city from afar, and anticipate the end of their long, difficult journey. As they approached the city walls, the narrow gate seemed as if it were the eye of a needle, which did not appear to be wide enough for their camels to pass through. These beasts of burden would be heavily laden with saddle bags full of the earthly possessions of the members of the caravan. As they approached their final destination, the travelers concerned themselves with the problem ahead, which looked like a camel having to pass through the eye of a needle. Coming upon the gate, it was sometimes necessary to unladen the camels, dropping the earthly possessions from their backs, and allowing them to pass through the gate into the safety of the city walls. This same scenario will play out for us when we will have to drop our earthly possessions in order to pass through the gate into the safety of our heavenly city walls.
In counselling the Nephites, Jacob said, “But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.” (See Jacob 2:18-19.) Besides tending to the physical needs of our neighbors, we also have the opportunity to tend to their spiritual needs as well. Can we help clothe them with the armor of God? Can we help nourish them with the good word of Christ? Can we help them liberate themselves from the burden of their sins or shortcomings by drawing upon the powers of Christ’s Atonement? Can we administer to them through the power of the holy Priesthood? It doesn’t have to be all about sharing our earthly riches with them, because we have many, many spiritual riches which can be shared, too.
In our home…in our community…in our world…there are many who need our assistance – physical or spiritual. We have many opportunities to assist others attain their own times of peace and prosperity. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us all with gifts that can be shared with others; again, some are of a worldly nature and others are of a spiritual one. Whether we feed others with bread or with the Gospel, the opportunities are there. Peace and prosperity are quite enjoyable when others are at your side. This week, reach out and share your earthly riches, or your spiritual riches, with your neighbor. Make it through the eye of the needle together – that great city in the clouds is waiting for you to pass through its gate!