Mormon Quotes

Poverty

Brigham Young
When there was no whiskey to be had here, and we needed it for rational purposes, I built a house to make it in. When the distillery was almost completed and in good working order, an army was heard of in our vicinity and I shut up the works. I did not make a gallon of whiskey at my works, because it came here in great quantities, more than was needed. I could have made thousands of dollars from my still, which has ever since been as dead property. Have others followed my example in this? They have not, but there was a whiskey shop established here and another there. Some have even told me that they would starve if they did not make whiskey. I said to them, make it then, and be damned, for they will be damned anyhow. Am not I able to make whiskey? Yes; there stands the still and the still‑house this day, which I have never used and from which I might make thousands of dollars. Have I made whiskey and sold it in what some call Whiskey Street? No. Had I done so how many would have hailed me with, 'You are a good man, brother Brigham, and you are the right man to lead Israel; thank God for such a man: he keeps a whiskey shop, drinks liquor, trades with our enemies and hugs them to his heart as long as there is any money in their pockets, and takes them to his house and introduces them to his wives and daughters; what a blessed man brother Brigham is.'
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:206
David O. McKay
I cannot help but think that there is a direct relationship between the present evil trends which I have above indicated, and the very marked tendency of the people of our country to pass on to the state the responsibility for their moral and economic welfare. This trend to a welfare state in which people look to and worship government more than their God, is certain to sap the individual ambitions and moral fiber of our youth unless they are warned and rewarned of the consequences. History, of course, is replete with the downfall of nations who, instead of assuming their own responsibility for their religious and economic welfare, mistakenly attempted to shift their individual responsibility to the government.
David O. McKay, Letter from President David O. McKay to Ernest L. Wilkinson and the BYU Faculty
David O. McKay
No doubt there are some worldly people who honestly limit the number of children and the family to two or three because of insufficient means to clothe and educate a large family as the parents would desire to do, but in nearly all such cases, the two or three children are no better provided for than two or three times that number would be.
David O. McKay, Prophet David O. McKay, Relief Society Magazine, v. 3, no. 7, July 1916
Dallin H. Oaks
Another area in which strengths can become our downfall concerns finances. We are commanded to give to the poor. Could the fulfillment of that fundamental Christian obligation be carried to excess? I believe it can, and I believe I have seen examples of this.
Dallin H. Oaks, BYU Fireside, "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall", June 07, 1992
Lynn G. Robbins
Among those who do not sacrifice there are two extremes: one is the rich, gluttonous man who won't and the other is the poor, destitute man who believes he can't. But how can you ask someone who is starving to eat less? Is there a level of poverty so low that sacrifice should not be expected or a family so destitute that paying tithing should cease to be required?
Lynn G. Robbins, April 2005 General Conference, "Tithing ‑ A Commandment, Even for the Destitute"; Liahona: May 2005, pp34‑36
Lynn G. Robbins
One of the first things a bishop must do to help the needy is ask them to pay their tithing. Like the widow, if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing.
Lynn G. Robbins, April 2005 General Conference, "Tithing ‑ A Commandment, Even for the Destitute"; Liahona: May 2005, pp34‑36
Lynn G. Robbins
One reason the Lord illustrates doctrines with the most extreme circumstances is to eliminate excuses. If the Lord expects even the poorest widow to pay her mite, where does that leave all others who find that it is not convenient or easy to sacrifice?
Lynn G. Robbins, April 2005 General Conference, "Tithing ‑ A Commandment, Even for the Destitute"; Liahona: May 2005, pp34‑36
Lynn G. Robbins
If a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing.
Lynn G. Robbins, April 2005 General Conference, "Tithing ‑ A Commandment, Even for the Destitute"; Liahona: May 2005, pp34‑36
Lynn G. Robbins
No bishop, no missionary should ever hesitate or lack the faith to teach the law of tithing to the poor. The sentiment of "They can't afford to" needs to be replaced with "They can't afford not to."
Lynn G. Robbins, April 2005 General Conference, "Tithing ‑ A Commandment, Even for the Destitute"; Liahona: May 2005, pp34‑36
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