“Wo unto the Rich Who Will Not Help the Poor, and Wo unto the Poor Whose Hearts Are Not Broken”

Doctrine and Covenants 56:14–20

14 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto my people—you have many things to do and to repent of; for behold, your sins have come up unto me, and are not pardoned, because you seek to counsel in your own ways.
15 And your hearts are not satisfied. And ye obey not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.
16 Wo unto you rich men, that will not give your substance to the poor, for your riches will canker your souls; and this shall be your lamentation in the day of visitation, and of judgment, and of indignation: The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved!
17 Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men’s goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!
18 But blessed are the poor who are pure in heart, whose hearts are broken, and whose spirits are contrite, for they shall see the kingdom of God coming in power and great glory unto their deliverance; for the fatness of the earth shall be theirs.
19 For behold, the Lord shall come, and his recompense shall be with him, and he shall reward every man, and the poor shall rejoice;
20 And their generations shall inherit the earth from generation to generation, forever and ever. And now I make an end of speaking unto you. Even so. Amen.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“It became necessary for the Lord to administer a rebuke to some members of the Church who had means [see D&C 56:16], but who let their selfishness canker their souls, and at the same time He also rebuked the poor who were greedy and whose hearts were not contrite, but who felt that those who had means should impart to them without any equivalent in labor or otherwise in return [see D&C 56:17–18]. The United Order, or law of consecration, does not contemplate that the idler shall eat the bread of the laborer. While all shall share in common and none shall possess above another, yet all must give service and labor for the benefit of all. It was because of this greed, selfishness, and desire on the part of some to ‘lay hold upon other men’s goods’ that trouble was brought upon this little colony in Ohio.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:205.)

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