Tag Archives: consecration

Parable of the Talents in terms of Money


Once in a while I hear someone point out that talents, as used in New Testament times, meant money not “playing the piano” or whatever example they pick on. 🙂 I see the point; point granted. Obviously it’s a parable; we can think of any thing God may have given us, which includes what we tend to call “talents” today.

But on Sunday I was listening to a talk on using our talents because they are gifts from God (it was a nice talk in and of itself) and it made me think again about talents as money, though. What if we actually read the parable in terms of money? What’s going on there?

I was thinking about how when I “feel” poor (whether or not I am by statistical standards is another story) what do I want to do? Hide up my money, don’t use it, look to others in hopes they will fulfill my fantasies, feel upset with kids if they leave lights on or whatever, because it’s up to me to “not fail” and lose what I have been given, which at the time feels very small. I think that these feelings can be felt at almost any income level; this isn’t a commentary on my own personal situation as much as a commentary on an attitude towards money.

So back to the parable for a moment. When I am in that sort of state of mind, it’s funny how I don’t actually see that what I have is a gift from God. It feels more like a trick, a trap, a test, or even chains. It feels like I’d better not lose a penny or I’ve done something wrong! Rather, as the parable suggests, money is given to be used. This doesn’t mean squandered or spent on frivolities just for the sake of spending – but actually producing something with the money. I am going to step aside of the parable here, since in the parable what is produced is more talents, but I think the idea of producing something is important. God gives me money as a stewardship, and he wants me to do something with it. To create, bless, prosper, enjoy. In all wisdom, and in a spirit of joy, I can counsel with Him and with my husband as to how to bless others with what we have. A simple trip to get ice cream with the kids could be a frivolous use of money, or, it could create a space of conversation and community that blesses our family for the entire week. There’s no list of “perfect uses” of our money; it depends on what we want to accomplish – for God’s work – in that particular moment.

We have collected over a thousand – maybe even two thousand – books over the 10 years of our marriage. At times I have wondered how much we have spent, collectively, on those books and whether or not I should feel guilty about the money that is in them and not sitting in the bank. That’s when I realize I am trying to hide that talent of money in the ground, in fear of failing God and losing it. I think it is a beautiful thing that we have a library in our home. Even if every book is not picked up every day or every year, they are there. Their presence says something, teaches something. And they are available. I love especially our kids’ library. Fun and interesting pictures books. Books for those beginning to read. Chapter books. My childhood favorites like The Mouse and the Motorcycle and The BFG. Books our kids have taught us about, like Percy Jackson, and some we discovered together, like A Series of Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter. I love our collection of “learning books”: the Childcraft series has been wonderful, and picked up often, books on science, art, the body, castles, Egypt, history, maps, stars, and animals. Even the pictures teach something. I am grateful that as my children’s curiosity is so strong right now there are books they can explore and give that curiosity something to work on. So, a good use of money over the years? If I hear it in terms of “money” I almost can’t answer the question. This isn’t something that fits into the terms of investments and nest eggs; this is a work of creating and producing something besides money. And something has been produced here that I absolutely love!

So whether I am “rich” or “poor” (or likely somewhere in between), I have been given a great gift from God: an opportunity, a command, even, to use whatever money He gives me (since it really is all from Him) to do great things. And that also involves a trust that as I do that, my daily, constant needs of tomorrow and then next day will be met. Wisdom in all things of course; but also joy and trust and work. I suppose that’s my understanding of what we call “consecration.”

(More thinking coming, I assume…)

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Bodies as gifts: Thoughts on YW Lesson 38 Manual 3: Good Health Habits


These notes were also posted at Beginnings New on October 10, 2011

We had this lesson yesterday and it was one of the two-lessons-a-year I get to teach since I’m just the secretary. 🙂 We looked at page 14 of the For Strength of Youth booklet (which is actually about modesty, but I liked the wording about bodies: they are God’s creation, they are a gift, and how we treat them reflects what is on the inside.) Then we looked at King Benjamin’s speech (Mosiah 2:21-24). He says that our bodies were a gift, and he even keeps lending us our breath so we can even use this gift! But, interestingly, he gives us this gift so that we can “live and move and do according to your own will.” We talked about the things we can do with a body. We looked at how when we do good, he blesses us again with more gifts, and so on.

Then we looked at 1 Cor 6:19-20, where Paul reminds us that our bodies have been bought by Christ, that they are really his. He also calls our bodies temples (a familiar phrase) – but we looked more closely at what makes them a temple. It is because the Holy Ghost dwells there. We talked about temples, and what makes them different than a post office or a kindergarten room. They both have carpet, walls, etc., but one is used for sacred purposes. We talked about how they could also use their bodies for sacred purposes, and how the Holy Ghost could prompt them to do good things.

Finally, we ended up at the Word of Wisdom. I wanted to emphasize that our bodies are gifts, and that the Word of Wisdom was another gift that helps us take care of them. And then, when we do those things, he blesses us again! Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to think about the last 4 verses much (gifts of wisdom, health, etc).

As a side note… Unfortunately comparing our bodies to temples usually just leads to “don’t get tattoos.” I hear the same idea in the homemaking lessons – if the physical condition is right, then things are clean and the Spirit can be there. I tried to emphasize that though keeping temples or our bodies clean is a way to show respect, it is not actually the way to makethem temples. Or, in other words, if a person got a tattoo before they joined or became active, there is no reason why they can’t have a calling. I was up all night with my baby, but even though I didn’t get the amount of sleep the Word of Wisdom recommended, that didn’t mean I shouldn’t teach the lesson. A really great FHE lesson can still happen in a messy house. And if a temple wasn’t vacuumed last night the ordinances could still happen. 🙂 We talked about how it is theSpirit that makes a building a temple, or a body a temple. Once it is set apart, then how we take care of our bodies, in health and in dress, is an expression of gratitude and an acknowledgment of how sacred the Spirit is. And, as the For Strength of Youth booklet said, it communicates something to others about what is on the inside. (Anyway, just a few thoughts.)


Consecration


I did some work at BN thinking about consecration and its relationship to grace. Here’s the link if you’re interested:

http://beginningsnew.blogspot.com/2011/08/consecration-yw-manual-3-lesson-28.html

 

I mostly looked at Mosiah 2-4. I think there is something good in there though it probably needs to be reworked a bit.


Pieces put together


[WARNING: THIS IS MOSTLY OLD BLOG POSTS STUCK TOGETHER IN AN ATTEMPT TO GET AN OUTLINE OF MY NEW PAPER TOGETHER!] I’m editing it slowly 🙂 But I have a plan now! whoo-hoo! Continue reading


Was the Law of Consecration, in Zion, a practical experiment?


Listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” and knowing that two of (what I consider) the best blogs are doing well, and knowing a friend is coming over to help with a post on Personal Progress… it really feels like things are moving and exciting!

I have dropped off a bit on my posts on my D&C 42 paper. I am still reading Staker’s book on the Ohio revelations and getting a fantastic vision of what things were like at that time. Sometimes I stop and then read D&C 46 or D&C 42 and the words in those sections make so much more sense now. They weren’t just setting up a new way of doing things, those sections were responding to something. They were commenting on how to change what they were already doing.

It makes me wonder about the economic law of consecration that we talk about so much, too often assuming it is the “only” way to live the covenant of consecration.
Continue reading


Elder Christofferson & consecration


Elder Christofferson said this in the last conference:

“These statements express the reality that our life on earth is a stewardship of time and choices granted by our Creator. The wordstewardship calls to mind the Lord’s law of consecration (see, for example, D&C 42:32, 53), which has an economic role but, more than that, is an application of celestial law to life here and now (see D&C 105:5). To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes.”

I really, really like the way he connected consecration and D&C 42. The economic version was an application of the eternal law of consecration. Rather than reading D&C 42 and trying to apply it to our lives, we should see D&C 42 as an example of how to apply the celestial way of living here on earth. It isn’t the only way; it isn’t complete; but it was a genuine fulfilling of that law. A filling up. An application. One way in which that heavenly law found a place to appear here on earth.