By Heather O.
Per usual, I’m a little behind in the churchwide Book of Mormon read-a-thon. I just got through 2nd Nephi last night. I thought the Isaiah parts would do me in, like they always do, but I perservered (after, all, Christ is coming in January, didn’t you know?), and once I got into the rhythym of it all, it was ok. And there was a particular verse that struck me. It’s 2 Ne, 28:13, which reads: “They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart because in their pride, they are puffed up.”
Ok, so we just spent a lot of money re-doing some things in our house. Well, I guess money is all relative, but it was a lot of money to us. Some of the things really NEEDED re-doing, and well, some of them didn’t, not really. I mean, the linoleom is ugly and makes the house look cheap and never clean, but it wasn’t exactly worn out. We didn’t have to tile it. We could have sent that money to Hurricane Katrina Relief instead and just lived with ugly linoleom. So, did we ‘rob the poor’ because of our tile floor?
I don’t think that we live lavishly. Our house is not huge, our cars are not luxury cars, and our clothing mostly comes from Target. But this scripture makes me wonder if even that is too much a luxury, and that every time I spend money on things that I really don’t need if I am, indeed, like this scripture suggests, ‘robbing the poor’.
The holidays are coming up, a time when people spend money without abandon. Again, we try to limit our gift giving to a reasonable budget, but we invariably go over, and most of the time we are getting things for others that really, none of us need. When we engage in such activities, are we also robbing the poor?
I understand the spirit of this scripture, and I understand that not everything should be taken to an extreme. But I have to say, I’m feelng a little guilty about things right now, and hoping I don’t have to say to the Savior, “Well, I know that there were people who had no homes, and that the Red Cross really needed money, but I just really wanted a tile floor, instead. You should see it, it looks fantastic!” Somehow, I don’t think He will be all that impressed.
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