Personal Financial Sufficiency and Integrity

Personal Financial Sufficiency and Integrity

Additional Resource

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have long been counseled to manage their finances wisely. The Church created a pamphlet called All Is Safely Gathered In to provide suggestions to Church members in managing their finances. Additionally, on 27 February 2008 the First Presidency of the Church counseled Mormons to be wise in their investments in a letter that was read to Mormon congregations:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Reports of fraud schemes and unwise investments prompt us to again counsel members with respect to prudence in managing one’s financial affairs.

We are concerned that some Church members ignore the oft-repeated direction to prepare and live within a budget, avoid consumer debt, and to save against a time of need. Consideration should also be given to investing wisely with responsible and established financial institutions. We are also concerned that there are those who use relationships of trust to promote risky or even fraudulent investment and business schemes.

While all investments carry an element of risk, that risk can be managed by following sound and proven financial principles: first, avoid unnecessary debt, especially consumer debt; second, before investing, seek advice from a qualified and licensed financial advisor; and third, be wise.

We encourage leaders to regularly teach and reemphasize these principles.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

For decades, Church leaders have also counseled Church members to be wary of investment schemes that may be fraudulent. The following are excerpts from some of the addresses by Church leaders that have touched upon that topic in the past:

 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “‘Brother’s Keeper’”

“The white-collar cousin of stealing is fraud, which gets its gain by lying about an essential fact in a transaction. Scheming promoters with glib tongues and ingratiating manners deceive their neighbors into investments the promoters know to be more speculative than they dare reveal. Difficulties of proof make fraud a hard crime to enforce. But the inadequacies of the laws of man provide no license for transgression under the laws of God. Though their method of thievery may be immune from correction in this life, sophisticated thieves in white shirts and ties will ultimately be seen and punished for what they are. He who presides over that Eternal Tribunal knows our secret acts, and he is ‘a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.’”

 

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin: “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts

“From time to time, we hear stories of greed and selfishness that strike us with great sorrow. We hear of fraud, defaulting on loan commitments, financial deceptions, and bankruptcies. We hear of fathers who financially neglect their own families. We say to men and women everywhere, if you bring children into the world, it is your solemn obligation to do all within your power to provide for them. No man is fit to be called a man who gathers around himself cars, boats, and other possessions while neglecting the sacred financial obligations he has to his own wife and children. We are a people of integrity. We believe in honoring our debts and being honest in our dealings with our fellow men.”

 

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin: “Personal Integrity

“Having received the Spirit of Christ to know good from evil, we should always choose the good. We need not be misled, even though fraud, deception, deceit, and duplicity often seem to be acceptable in our world. Lying, stealing, and cheating are commonplace. Integrity, a firm adherence to the highest moral and ethical standards, is essential to the life of a true Latter-day Saint.”

 

Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “‘Be of Good Cheer’”

“Modern-day prophets have pled in plainness for us to avoid ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes if we would avoid the heartaches of financial bondage. Perhaps we have not said enough about the fact that too many of us, in our moments of dreaming of grandeur, plant the seeds of economic disaster. Then at a later date when much is lost, we blame those who participated with us. It is difficult to be of good cheer when self-deceit is our companion. When we willingly expose ourselves to the winds and storms of fraud and scam, we should not be surprised when we come down with deficit disease. Over the years of listening to those who have suffered heavy money losses, I have heard many in desperation declare, ‘I was taken. ’ Often my heart, mind, and the Spirit have prompted me to share, ‘Yes, you were taken by yourself. ’ We all need to be encouraged to lift up our heads and see where our thoughts and undeclared priorities are taking us. Self-deceit permits us to blame others for our failures.”

 

Elder James E. Faust, “The Responsibility for Welfare Rests With Me and My Family

“There are some investment counselors who urge speculative credit practices described as ‘leverage,’ ‘credit wealth,’ and ‘borrow yourself rich.’ Such practices may work successfully for some, but at best they succeed only for a time. An economic reversal always seems to come, and many who have followed such practices find themselves in financial ruin and their lives in shambles.”

 

Elder James E. Faust, “Integrity, the Mother of Many Virtues

“The fruits of industry and thrift may appropriately be put into sound investments. A good solid investment can equal years of toil, and there is some risk in all we do. But investments that are highly speculative and promoted with unsound, vague promises of inordinate return should be viewed very carefully. The leaders of the Church have long warned against speculation. Brigham Young said, ‘If the Lord ever revealed anything to me, he has shown me that the Elders of Israel must let speculation alone and attend to the duties of their calling.’”

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