Jesus Tells the Parable of the Foolish Rich Man

Luke 12:15–21

15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

President James E. Faust said:

“I recently spoke with one of the most generous people I have ever known. I asked him to describe the feelings of fulfillment that have come because of his generosity. He spoke about the feeling of joy and happiness in one’s heart from sharing with others less fortunate. He stated that nothing is really his—it all comes from the Lord—we are only the custodians of what He has given us. As the Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith, ‘All these things are mine, and ye are my stewards’ [D&C 104:86].

“Sometimes it is easy for us to forget that ‘the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof’ [Psalm 24:1]. The Savior warned us, as recorded in the book of Luke: ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

“‘And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

“‘And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

“And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

“‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

“‘But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

“‘So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’ [Luke 12:15–21].”

(“What’s in It for Me?” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 20.)

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