Lesson 13 – Money and Marriage
“Ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked” (Mosiah 4:14).
“Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs. . . . Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” student manual, 83).
“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” (Jacob 2:18–19; see also D&C 19:34).
“You must continue to bear in mind that the temporal and the spiritual are blended. They are not separate. One cannot be carried on without the other, so long as we are here in mortality” (Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1900, 46; or student manual, 9; see D&C 29:34).
Applying correct principles related to money increases the likelihood of a happy marriage.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks
“The deceitfulness of riches can choke out the fruits of the gospel in many ways. A person who covets the wealth of another will suffer spiritually. A person who has wealth and then loses it and becomes embittered and hateful is also a victim of the deceitfulness of riches.
“Another victim is the person who becomes resentful of the wealth of the wicked. The prophet Jeremiah gave voice to the old question, ‘Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?’ (Jeremiah 12:1.) Those who brood over the prosperity or seeming happiness of the wicked put too much emphasis on material things. They can be deceived because their
priorities are too concentrated on worldly wealth.
“Another victim of the deceitfulness of riches is the person who consciously or unconsciously feels guilt at having failed to acquire the property or prominence the world credits as the indicia of success.
“Those who preach the gospel of success and the theology of prosperity are suffering from ‘the deceitfulness of riches’ and from supposing that ‘gain is godliness’ (1 Timothy 6:5). The possession of wealth or the acquisition of significant income is not a mark of heavenly favor, and their absence is not evidence of heavenly disfavor. Riches can be among the blessings that follow right behavior—such as the payment of tithing (Malachi 3:9–12)—but riches can also be acquired through the luck of a prospector or as the fruits of dishonesty” (Pure in Heart, 75–76).
“One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance,” by Elder Marvin J. Ashton, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (student manual, 115–19). Elder Ashton gave twelve suggestions that can help us manage our personal and family finances.
- Pay an honest tithing.
- Learn to manage money before it manages you.
- Learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters.
- Use a budget.
- Teach family members early the importance of working and earning.
- Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend.
- Teach each family member to contribute to the total family welfare.
- Make education a continuing process.
- Work toward home ownership.
- Appropriately involve yourself in an insurance program.
- Understand the influence of external forces on family finances and investments.
- Appropriately involve yourself in a food storage and emergency preparedness program.
Debt Elimination calendar:
A debt-elimination calendar can help you reduce or eliminate unnecessary debt. Mark off several columns on a piece of paper. In the first column on the left, write the names of the months, beginning with the upcoming month. At the top of the next column, write the name of the creditor you want to pay off first. It may be the debt with the highest interest rate, or the earliest pay-off date. List the monthly payment for that creditor until the loan is repaid as shown in the illustration above. At the top of the next column, record the name of the second creditor you want to repay, and list payments due each month. After you have repaid the first creditor, add the amount of that monthly payment to your payment to the second creditor. (In the example above, notice that the family finished making monthly payments on their credit card. They then added $110 to the department store’s $70 payment, creating a new monthly payment of $180.) Continue the process until all loans are repaid.
President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“What a wonderful feeling it is to be free of debt, to have a little money against a day of emergency put away where it can be retrieved when necessary.
“President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.
“I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.
“This is a part of the temporal gospel in which we believe. May the Lord bless you, my beloved brethren, to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 71–72; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 54; student manual, 62).
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Joe J. Christensen , “Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence” (student manual, 120–23).
Prosperity and materialism can threaten individuals and marriages as much as poverty. Here are four suggestions from Elder Christensen:
Let us each remember:
- First: Not to confuse wants with needs.
- Second: Avoid spoiling our children.
- Third: Live modestly and avoid debt.
- Fourth: Be generous in giving to others.
Money can bless us in our family lives or can hinder our spiritual progress. Whether money becomes a blessing or a hindrance depends on our attitude and actions. The scriptures help us see the value of money from an eternal perspective.
Doctrine and Covenants 38:39
1 Corinthians 2:12
1 Timothy 6:7–10;
2 Nephi 9:51.
If used with an eternal perspective, money can be a blessing to eternal marriages. If used with a worldly perspective, money issues can destroy marriages. The scriptures and prophets teach us principles that can help us use money in ways that will bless us and our families.
Lesson 14 – Managing Temporal Resources
President Heber J. Grant taught: “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding, and discouraging and disheartening it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” (Relief Society Magazine, May 1932, 302).
Sixty-six years later, President Gordon B. Hinckley told the priesthood in conference: “Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order. . . . “I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 70, 72; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 53–54; student manual, 61–62).
Happiness in marriage is more likely if couples prepare now for difficult economic times.
President Hinckley’s address, “To the Boys and to the Men” (student manual, 60–62).
To prepare for the future, we should :
- Understand interest and avoid paying it.
- Buy a home that we can afford.
- Prepare for emergencies.
- Live within our means.
- Become self-reliant..
- Be modest in expenditures.
- Discipline ourselves in our purchases to avoid debt.
- Pay off debt as quickly as we can.
- Keep a reserve of money, even if it is small
Selected Teachings from “Debt” (student manual, 59–60).
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “To satisfy our desires, we go into debt, dissipate our resources in the payment of high interest, and become as slaves working to pay it off. . . .“I commend to you the virtues of thrift and industry. . . . It is work and thrift that make the family independent” (“‘Thou Shalt Not Covet,’” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 4).
Elder James E. Faust: “It is important to learn to distinguish between wants and needs. It takes self-discipline to avoid the ‘buy now, pay later’ philosophy and to adopt the ‘save now and buy later’ practice. . . . “Owning a home free of debt is an important goal of provident living. . . . Homes that are free and clear of mortgages and liens cannot be foreclosed on. . . . “. . . Independence means many things. It means. . . being free of personal debt and of the interest and carrying charges required by debt the world over” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 24–25; or Ensign, May 1986, 20–21).
President J. Reuben Clark Jr.:
“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours; it never has short crops nor droughts; it never pays taxes; it buys no food; it wears no clothes; it is unhoused and without home and so has no repairs, no replacements, no shingling, plumbing, painting, or whitewashing; it has neither wife, children, father, mother, nor kinfolk to watch over and care for; it has no expense of living; it has neither weddings nor births nor deaths; it has no love, no sympathy; it is as hard and soulless as a granite cliff. Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1938, 103).
Have you ever had an experience in which preparation helped you perform with greater confidence (such as school, music, or athletics)?
D&C 38: 30 I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
*Why is preparation important in bringing about a good outcome?
Selected Teachings from “Temporal Preparedness” (student manual, 327–29).
- “I like the way the Relief Society teaches personal and family preparedness as ‘provident living.’ This implies the husbanding of our resources, the wise planning of financial matters, full provision for personal health, and adequate preparation for education and career development, giving appropriate attention to home production and storage as well as the development of emotional resiliency” (Spencer W. Kimball, 327).
- “We teach our people to live the laws of health…We hope that you are conscious of proper diet and health habits, that you may be fit physically and able to respond to the many challenges of life” (Spencer W. Kimball, 327).
- “Ideally, we need to seek that work to which we are suited by interest, by aptitude, and by training. A man’s work should do more than provide adequate income; it should provide him with a sense of self-worth and be a pleasure— something he looks forward to each day. . . .” (Howard W. Hunter, 328).
- “We want [our sisters] to obtain all the education and vocational training possible before marriage. If they become widowed or divorced and need to work, we want them to have dignified and rewarding employment” (Howard W. Hunter, 328).
- “What can we do to improve our family finances? May I suggest three important keys that will help us. They are attitude, planning, and self discipline” (M. Russell Ballard, 328).
- “The foundation of self-reliance is hard work. Parents should teach their children that work is the prerequisite to achievement and success in every worthwhile endeavor” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, 329).
- “We call upon Latter-day Saints everywhere to strengthen and beautify the home with renewed effort in these specific areas: food production, preservation, storage; the production and storage of nonfood items” (Spencer W. Kimball, 329).
- “I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel?” (Ezra Taft Benson, 329).
What should our attitude be about preparedness? What goals could we set to become prepared?