General Conference with King Benjamin Teaching Financial Peace
A well-known financial success story, Dave Ramsey, teaches financial peace to his listeners and viewers on his radio and television shows respectively.
He suggests three major divisions to achieve financial peace, specifically to budget, save, and give.
Certain steps in each of the three divisions, which pertain to individual families, must be followed to ensure potential success in arriving at the goal of being debt free and thriving. There is an organization to the system. Giving, charity is a large part of the system.
Having substance to give without the organization to give it due to poor financial management is not an excuse to avoid giving, however.
King Benjamin, an ancient American king, and prophet, taught financial peace hundreds of years before it was packaged by Dave Ramsey.
In one of his series of last addresses to his people upon the tower at the temple in the city Bountiful, before he was to relinquish his crown to his Son, Mosiah, he counseled,
...see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. (Mosiah 4:27)
God does not want His children to do more than they have the ability to do or make plans that do not reflect within reason of their substance. The Lord does expect time, thought, and planning to go into each service rendered in His name.
King Benjamin instructed, that "all things must be done in order (Mosiah 7:27)." Order in and of itself requires planning for success.
Budget can be an action word or a noun. It can be the process by which a person saves money or the function of a proposed method from which to spend. If within the budget it is determined that giving would not allow the family needs to be met, Benjamin instructs,
...I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give... (Mosiah 4:24)
Benjamin implies to give if there are means above the care of family. Exceptions exist to this principle (tithing for one), but those are given directly from God and by revelation. Family always comes first.
Set aside money for unexpected circumstances, or save.
Preparing for the family means to prepare for those times when things are not so favorable or to have a surplus in general.
Surplus means to have more than what is needed to sustain life in the present. This money set aside is not an offering or additional funds for purchasing wants. It is a reservoir for needful things: cars, houses, college, retirement, religious missions, etc...
As the Scripture in Mosiah 4:24 teaches, give not if there is nothing to give, but wish to have it. God does not expect His children to give all that is prepared for one family so that both families are without. He does not expect one family to give away its store of wheat until there is nothing left.
Give one-tenth of Income
Within that budget and above all else, give ten percent of all income to God or charity. It needs to be a part of the budget and not something that comes afterwards.
The key to a winning budget is to plan within that budget to give. If there is already the expectation to give within the budget, then it is likely there will be no reason to "say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not... (Mosiah 4:24)" so to speak. God will bless those who are willing to return what they have worked for this way.
How? The "How?” differs for each person and family.
One family may work for extra income just to give! God blesses each willing giver with success in some form.
King Benjamin exhorts his listeners as he preaches at the generosity of the Lord towards them. Says he,
...he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever... (Mosiah 2:24)"
The grandest reward King Benjamin mentions is the reward of forgiveness. Among modern readers, he is known for his teaching that serving each other means service to God. In the above verse he then informs that the doer of such service is rewarded immediately. He then instructs that one part of that service is to succor the poor and the needy.
Benjamin tells of the type of attitudes to have in order to receive the full benefit of the blessing of heaven, a willing heart. The frequency of doing this service is often and indefinite.
For those under covenant to give 10% of their income as a tenet of faith, going above and beyond that act of faith helps to cultivate faith and frugality. Offerings to religious organizations, charities and philanthropic pursuits help to enrich the lives of others in addition to the giver--especially the anonymous giver.
Benjamin implicitly teaches Budgeting, Giving and Saving.
Benjamin Explains Why Do These Things;
[F]or the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God...(v. 26)"
In the scriptures there is nothing recorded that indicates King Benjamin taught explicitly to his subjects to save and budget; however, the implication is there. In order to provide for a family these people had and understanding that planning had a place in providing properly.
King Benjamin instructed further,
...I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath.... (v. 26)
The king understood that a person could not provide things that he or she does not have; so, he clarified for his audience that it must provide things that it has to the poor and needy for a remission of its sins as a part of its covenant—speaking of the individual covenants within the audience between a person and God both modern and ancient.
He even lists the things each covenant person needed to do:
- feeding the hungry
- clothing the naked,
- visiting the sick
He was clear what constituted sick and what needed to be done when visiting them by explaining that the faith should administer "to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants (v. 26)."
Again his budgetary warning to all:
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. (Mosiah 4:26-27)
Benjamin instructed his subjects to remember that they are beggars before God, Who works tirelessly to give them what they want and need that is right. Benjamin testifies God will help his people; and He expects His people to help others in unity.
Do God care about your finances?
© 2014 Rodric Anthony Johnson