Sunday, August 23, 2009

Education Week in review...Personal Finance by Bryan Sudweeks

(Image courtesy of

As noted in the previous post, I attended Education Week at BYU Provo. I am sharing some of the wonderful things that I had the opportunity to learn. This post deals with information from Bryan Sudweek's class entitled "Provident Living: Another Perspective on Wealth". The information below is taken from:

The purpose of this section is to articulate “another” perspective on wealth, this eternal perspective. This perspective is critical for us to understand and it has a major influence on how we make choices.

Because of our eternal perspective, we understand things differently, view events differently, and, hopefully, act differently in respect to our families, our friends, and our personal finances. This perspective will make a major difference in how we live our lives.

Principle 1: Ownership: Everything we have or will have is the Lord’s.
Nothing we have is our own—it is all God’s. As such, there should be no feeling of pride for the
things we have or are. These things do not belong to us, but are on loan from a loving Heavenly Father and Son. The things we have now or ever will have are really not ours. There should be no feeling of pride for the things we have, who we are, or who we will become. Rather, these blessings should encourage us to greater obedience to God’s commandments as we realize that all we have and are are gifts from a generous Father and Son.

Principle 2: Stewardship: We are stewards over all the Lord has shared with us.
Being blessed with material things in life should not be seen just as a blessing, but as a responsibility. In the future, we will all have to give an account of our stewardship to the Father and Son. As wise stewards, it is our responsibility to learn everything we can about our stewardship so that we can manage our stewardship to the best of our abilities. The purpose of this Web site is to help you understand and manage your stewardship better as it relates to personal finance.

Principle 3: Agency: The gift of “choice” is one of the greatest gifts of God

The gift of agency was such an important subject that a war was fought in heaven because Satan sought “to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). We should do everything in our power to thank a loving Father and Son for this wonderful right to choose—and then use that agency as
wisely as we can.

Principle 4: Accountability: We shall be held accountable for every choice we make.
On the subject of what’s really ours, Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated:

The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give! (Neal A. Maxwell, “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 22)

These four principles establish a spiritual foundation for understanding wealth that is based on
our dependence on God and our need for financial self-reliance to fulfill His purposes. Everything we have is God’s, and the things we receive are all blessings from Him. They are not ours, but they have been given to us as a stewardship for which we can make choices. We should choose well, as we shall be held responsible for what we do by our Father in Heaven.

There is more to learn from Brother Sudweeks in future posts. Isn't it interesting that human nature spurs many on to feel as if they have ownership, but no stewardship to the Lord. Brother Sudweeks shared his personal belief that he feels that we will have to account for every dollar we have been blessed with to the everything is ultimately His. This gave me great pause. More to come!

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