In the Village: Grateful for hard times? Wealth is not the reward for righteousness

Published: Thursday, Nov. 17 2011 5:00 a.m. MST

Why, then, do I make so little money? Why are we still living in this too-small house? Why did our car pick this week to break down? Where is the reward of righteousness?

The reward of righteousness is not wealth; it is not high status in the eyes of a sinful world. Nor is poverty the penalty for sin.

The reward of righteousness is joy. The penalty for sin is misery.

I have seen joy in tiny houses, in families where there is hunger, where the children dress in hand-me-downs; I have seen misery in large, fine houses, among people with expensive clothes and cars.

In parlous times like these, when many breadwinners have to change careers from high-paying to low-paying ones, or have no work at all, when many people lose their fine houses and give up many or most or all of their luxuries, are we not also seeing in these events the blessings of God?

God does not measure his children by how much money the world has bestowed upon them. Neither should we judge each other that way.

Nor should we condemn ourselves for poverty, as if a lack of money meant that we had somehow failed.

Hard times can be a blessing, just as prosperity can be a curse, depending on what we make it mean in our lives.

Rich or poor, those who turn their hearts outward discover that joy comes from loving God and their neighbor, from sharing their "enough" with those who have less.

"He makes us a source for His poor to rely on;

Oh! shall we not brighten the eyes that are dim."

Orson Scott Card is a writer of nonfiction and fiction, from LDS works to popular fiction. Leave feedback for Card at www.nauvoo.com/contact_desnews.html.

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