Friday, April 13, 2012

A Word (or two) from Brother Brigham

(A déjà vu of his cherished valley?)

Considering the ever increasing proliferation of billboards, mega-malls, and siren-calls to embrace escalating degrees of luxury, would Brother Brigham have anything different to say than 150 years ago? Or would it be full-bore fire and brimstone—hoping the symbolic F&B would circumvent the promised F&B?
I am sorry that this people are worldly-minded; that they are in their feelings and affections glued to the world so much as they are. … They love the world, and covet their fine horses; their affections are upon them, and upon their farms, upon their property, their houses and possessions, … (Journal of Discourses, 11:216).

I also appears to me that very many of the Latter-day Saints are as far from good wholesome ideas and principles, touching their heavenly privileges, as the east is from the west. They covet the riches of this world, craving to serve themselves—to satisfy the sordid disposition within them (JD, 7:173).

It is a fearful deception which all the world labors under, and many of this people too, who profess to be not of the world, that gold is wealth (JD, 10:271).

If we lust for gold, for the riches of the world, and spare no pains to obtain and retain them, and feel "these are mine," then the spirit of anti-Christ comes upon us. This is the danger the Latter-day Saints are in, consequently it is better for us to live in the absence of what is called the riches of this world, than to possess them and with them inherit the spirit of anti-Christ and be lost (JD, 10:300).

It behoves us, brethren and sisters, to live near to God and honor our profession, rather than to become insane after gold and paper money; (JD, 10:271).

Men are educated to promulgate and sustain false theories to make money, and to create and uphold powerful sects (JD, 11:215).

What are the people doing? They are merchandizing, trafficing and trading. … when they get a dime, a dollar, ten dollars, they carry it at once to the merchant for ribbons, artificials, etc., making him immensely rich (JD, 12:155).

Ask ourselves the question. Have we not brought Babylon with us? Are we not promoting Babylon here in our midst? Are we not fostering the spirit of Babylon that is now abroad on the face of the whole earth? (JD, 17:38).

The Latter-day Saints, in their conduct and acts with regard to financial matters, are like the rest of the world. The course pursued by men of business in the world has a tendency to make a few rich, and to sink the masses of the people in poverty and degradation. Too many of the Elders of Israel take this course. No matter what comes they are for gain—for gathering around them riches; and when they get rich how are those riches used? Spent on the lusts of the flesh, wasted as a thing of nought, … (JD, 11:349).

If we have possessions, it is because the Lord has given them to us, and it is our duty to see that everything we have is devoted to the advancement of truth, virtue, and holiness, to beauty and excellence; to redeem the earth, and adorn it with beautiful habitations, and orchards, and gardens, and farms, and cities, until it shall become like the garden of Eden. All that we possess belongs to the Lord, and we are the Lord's, and we should never lust after that over which he has made us stewards, but we should use it profitably to the upbuilding of the Zion of our God, to send the Gospel to all the world, and to gather and feed the poor (JD, 11:216).
So, like fish in water, we are so immersed in Brother Brigham’s despised Babylon, we just go on filtering it all through our artificial gills and call it life-sustaining, renewing, revitalizing. What’s the latter-day watch cry? “LET'S GO SHOPPING!” Didn’t we just hear that at a recent mega-mall opening[1] within earshot of our bronzed Brother?

Perhaps a daily dose of Approaching Zion by Hugh Nibley might help (especially chapter 2). And for those who wish to disparage the life, scholarship, and POV of Hugh Nibley because of the accusations of Martha Beck, I refer you to:

[1] (at 19 sec.)