In this column, we have been exploring pride-based social institutions that make up a Babylon society, and, their humility-based counterparts in a Zion society. Let’s now consider pride-based economic systems.
In President Benson’s landmark talk, “Beware of Pride” he says it is pride that motivates us to do our own will and not the will of the Father. This is the mistake Lucifer made in the premortal world, he proudly thought He knew better than God and presented his own plan in competition to God’s.
According to Doctrine and Covenants 104, the Father has an economic plan for his children’s welfare while they are here in mortality. If God’s children on Earth put forth their own economic plans in competition with God’s are they not just as guilty of pride as Lucifer was? If so, then we ought to seek to understand God’s plan so that we might implement it within our respective stewardships.
We call God’s economic plan, as outlined in D&C 104:11-18, the Law of Consecration, or, Consecration and Stewardship. Reading those verses we realize that it is an economic system which God intended to be managed by the Church in a voluntary manner, not by compulsion through the state. In fact, Alma 1:26-31 shows us that in the Nephite economy, under the newly-established Reign of Judges, the Church was the coordinating economic body for its members, not the state.
The same was true in Utah from 1847 to the late 1880s, as reported in Leonard J. Arrington’s book, The Great Basin Kingdom. The Saints were anxiously engaged in what I call “Cooperative Free Enterprise” until the US Government destroyed their cooperative system through the enforcement of the Edmunds [anti-polygamy] Act.
“Yes, but aren’t we taught that competition is the magic behind the Free Enterprise system?” It is true that Competitive Free Enterprise generates great wealth, but it also generates poverty [and crime], which is contrary to God’s plan outlined in D&C 104. President Benson, quoting C.S. Lewis, said, “Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” The converse would also be true: “Where the element of competition exists, pride exists”. So, we conclude that Competitive Free Enterprise is rooted in pride, and therefore, is not of God.
If we are to truly build Zion, we should seek to understand and work towards God’s economic plan instead of blindly participating in America’s Competitive Free Enterprise system.
© 2014 by Jesse Fisher, BuildingZion.org