Monday, December 9, 2013


 Many of you have probably heard the quote, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” Using that definition, how many of us are happy?

Too many people have more than they need, but yet still want more.. They don't want what they have.. they want more of what they don't have. Yet I know some that have actually less than they need, but yet are happy and actually want what they have (or even less) :) 

People are waking up and hoping for a better way of life. People are yearning for Zion, including weeping for it. Unfortunately, we have only a few chapters in scripture as a guide/record about an established Zion Society. We basically have 4th Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Since little has been written , I think we suffer from too many assumptions of what a Zion society is. We have lived in a culture that is completely Anti-Zion. We also suffer from slothfulness, and our self-importance. We are truly a diseased culture. The change that is required seems almost insurmountable and even unattainable. Despite all of our efforts and even after years of preaching, what the Lord can do in months and possibly with a few cataclysmic events, will create the groundwork. After his servants preach, He will do the preaching.

I received an email from friend that I want to share a few excerpts. I thought during this time of year it is especially important as we are bombarded with advertising and pressure to buy and purchase more.

The email subject line was entitled: Wanting More. 

“In 1 Kings 17, Elijah was commanded by the Lord to hide himself by the brook Cherith, where he was fed bread and flesh by the ravens morning and night, and drank from the brook daily. The Lord decided the meal plan and when it would be provided for Elijah. What was offered was enough. It sustained him, until the Lord wanted him elsewhere.

When the brook was dried up, he was instructed to go to Zarephath where a widow woman had been commanded to sustain him. When Elijah found her, she was gathering sticks to make the last meal for herself and her son “that we may eat it, and die.”

Elijah instructed her to make him a little cake first and then one for her and her son, “for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the ruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” I think about the faith it required for the woman to believe on the words that had been spoken to her. I wonder in what way she had been commanded by God to sustain Elijah. Was it a dream? Was it a voice? Was it a thought or an impression? Did she know who Elijah was? Did it matter? She, and her house, including Elijah subsisted for a period of time on oil and flour in the form of a cake……. And it was enough!

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, God brought forth an amazing miracle where manna from Heaven’s kitchen was provided to the entire group. All they had to do was go out and collect ONLY ENOUGH for that day. Anything more would spoil. The Israelites had a difficult time understanding the life-sustaining gift that was provided daily was in fact enough. They murmured and complained about the cucumbers and melons that were no longer items on the menu. They complained, and murmured……….always wanting more. There are profound lessons in these two stories, some of which are the power of gratitude, recognizing God’s hand in our lives, abundance and plenty in the idea of enough, and scarcity vs. abundance.

One of the great sins of our day is ingratitude, and always wanting more. We think we are entitled because we see ourselves as special or deserving, or it makes us feel better about ourselves to have more than the next guy.  

Years ago, I read a book called Wanting More. The author spoke of the fall of the Roman Empire being based on the greed selfishness of a society having more than enough, but always wanting more. The society went from building coliseums, to even bigger and better ones. And the games held within went to bigger and better ones, from authentic bullfights to bulls fighting slaves where one or the other had to die. And then to slaves fighting slaves. The people hungered and thirsted after blood and gore. It excited them for a while but eventually the wanted more. Prostitution rings were set up outside the arena, drugs, gambling, and violence all became part of the games. Their obsession with being titillated by violence and filth became more than the leaders could provide. An entire society was corrupted according to this author because of the greed, violence and unquenchable appetite of the people, never having enough, always wanting more.

I think of the simple, yet profound miracles the Lord displayed to the Israelites, and to the widow and Elijah in sustaining them with enough compared to the insatiable appetite of even our society and wonder when we will ever decide that what we have is enough and more to share. The point of the book was for us to see that happiness/joy/peace was really simple. It came down to wanting what you already have.

Abundance and happiness comes in the heart when we are willing to share the little we have. In fact, like the widow’s mite, the blessings that come from the sacrifice of sharing the little we have are far greater than the blessings that come from giving of our abundance.”


Anonymous said...

thank you--

I want Zion. My husband and children want Zion. A few of my extended family and very few friends want Zion. I think we are hanging out with the wrong people. LOL!
I know that it is important to build Zion where we are--

working on that--

Sally said...

Thanks a bunch, to you and the e-mail from your friend! Something I have been thinking alot about. I think of the Lord's prayer and about give us this day our DAILY bread. Then I thought of the examples you mention earlier. Also a few writings of Hugh Nibley came to my mind that can both be found in his book " Approaching Zion." One is-How to Get Rich, the other- Work We Must, but the Lunch Is Free. I have a total new outlook on taking care of the poor after studying what King Benjamin had to say in Mosiah chpt 4:16-to end of the chapter. I love posts like this where I find others that are Zion minded. It's a refuge for me. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Wonderfull post and so needed at this special time of year. Our Savior was born in a manger and His needs were meant. Today we rarely think of others less fortunate. How Zion can come about with this kind of thinking I do not know. I believe a cataclysmic event will happen that may cause many people to rethink what is most important to them. We live in a sick and wicked world and the word "repent" is rarely heard. I long for Zion and pray daily to have my eyes opened to the "things" I need to repent of to even be considered a candidate for the final Exodus. Thank you David, for your words of wisdom and encouragement.

dan said...

I always appreciate your kind heart and wisdom. "Abundance and happiness comes in the heart when we are willing to share the little we have." Those are words that will prove prophetic as the works moves on and men have to break down barriers of distrust in favor of loving God.

Thanks for lifting me a bit tonight.

James said...

Amen brother, thank you. True happiness can never come from possession or a focus on things, especially those of this world; it only comes from loving and serving others.

Doctrine & Covenants 117

4 Let them repent of all their sins, and of all their covetous desires, before me, saith the Lord; for what is property unto me? saith the Lord.
6 For have I not the fowls of heaven, and also the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the mountains? Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?
7 Therefore, will I not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth in abundance? saith the Lord.
8 Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?
9 Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion.

Anonymous said...

"I think we suffer from too many assumptions of what a Zion society is. We have lived in a culture that is completely Anti-Zion."

Isn't Zion the connection of Heaven and Earth (within and without)? Why do individuals believe that Zion will happen after, or as a result of the pending destruction? It seems that there is destruction around the globe, consistently. Yet, Zion is not to be found. Destruction, or removal of the addiction we call mortality is just half of the process. In all our addictive behaviors, our Zion-muscules have completely atrophied (deteriorated). I guess, in some ways, we really don't have to wait for destruction for us to connect with Heaven now, and begin the restoration of our Zion capacities :)

Greg said...

Seems kind of contradictory to me that in order to be a stake president or on the high council it seems like you need to be wealthy. Now you might argue that their wealth gives them the ability to concentrate more on spiritual things, but I am not sure I believe that. I love Benson's talk on pride called Beware of Pride. He gives us step by step instructions on how to be humble. It is possible but so so hard to be humble when you are extremely wealthy.