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Saturday, March 17, 2012

We Have Been Warned

The LDS Church believes in living prophets, just as existed in biblical times. Our current prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and his predecessor President Gordon B. Hinckley, have both warned the members of the Church and anyone else who would listen of the dangers of debt since the late 1980s. Other church leaders and prophets have issued warning as well. Here is a collection of some of these prophetic and apostolic warnings, as found in the article Understanding Interest on Debt by Scott Nash, a public finance consultant, is a counselor in the bishopric of the Warm Springs Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Warm Springs Stake.
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). 
President Thomas S. Monson: “We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt” (“To Learn, To Do, To Be,” Ensign, May 1992, 47). 
President 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 … being free of personal debt and of the interest and carrying charges required by debt the world over” (“The Responsibility for Welfare Rests with Me and My Family,” Ensign, May 1986, 20, 21). 
President Ezra Taft Benson: “Our inspired leaders have always urged us to get out of debt, live within our means, and pay as we go” (“‘Pay Thy Debt, and Live,’” Ensign, June 1987, 3).

President Spencer W. Kimball: “All my life from childhood I have heard the Brethren saying, ‘Get out of debt and stay out of debt’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 166).

President J. Reuben Clark Jr.: “Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; … 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).

President Heber J. Grant: “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” (Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham [1941], 111).

Elder L. Tom Perry: “We should not heed the current cries … [that] tempt us to compete for ownership in the things of this world. … Often these items are purchased with borrowed money, without giving any thought to providing for our future needs. …
“… Wisely we have been counseled to avoid debt as we would avoid the plague. …
“… A well-managed family does not pay interest—it earns it” (“‘If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,’” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 35–36).

Those who heeded these warnings are grateful. The blessings that come from obeying prophets whether living or biblical stand available to any who obey their counsel. A parting quote from President Hinckley, as referenced in Climbing Out of Debt, found here
“I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order … ,” President Gordon B. Hinckley urged Church members during October 1998 general conference. “Self-reliance cannot obtain when there is serious debt hanging over a household. One has neither independence nor freedom from bondage when he is obligated to others.”
 I venture to say that the United States of America and other countries worldwide forfeit freedom with debt as well.

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