Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's a matter of .....Personal Finance

Bryan Sudweeks

This post is a continuation of the information Bryan Sudweeks presented at Education Week at BYU Campus in Provo 2009. Today's topic is "Myths of Family Finance" (Information for this post comes from http://ce.byu.edu/cw/family/pdf/Bryan%20Sudweeks-Myths.pdf).

Myth 1: Everything I Have Is Mine: C. S. Lewis, in his Screwtape Letters, had the
devil Screwtape say: “The sense of ownership in general is always to be encouraged. The humans are always putting up claims to ownership which sound equally funny in Heaven and in Hell and we must keep them doing so…. we teach this sense of ownership not only by pride but by confusion. We teach them not to notice the differences . . . that run from ‘my boot’ through ‘my dog,’. . . to ‘my God’ ” (Screwtape Letters, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 2000, pp. 113-114).

But the reality is different! Nothing we have is our own—it’s all God’s. As such, there should be no feeling of pride for the things we have, are, or will become. These things do not belong to us, but are on loan.

Myth 2: Money Matters Are Temporal Matters: Many think money matters are only temporal matters. They feel that how they manage their money has nothing to do with their spirituality. But the reality is different! Money matters are spiritual matters because:

1. All things are spiritual. In D&C 29:34 the Lord says, “All things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal.”

2. Money is a medium of exchange The same currency that we go into debt with builds our temples

3. Money is a tool to teach gospel principles. Money is a tool to teach us many hings, including sacrifice, discipline, and work.sacrifice, discipline, and work.

4. There is no true freedom without financial freedom. President Ezra Taft Benson said: “The Lord desires his Saints to be free and independent in the critical days ahead. But no man is truly free who is in financial bondage” (“Prepare Ye,” Ensign, January 1974, p. 69).

5. The Lord wants and will help us to be wiser financial stewards. The Lord said:"Behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts. And it is my will that you shall humble yourselves before me, and obtain this blessing by your diligence and humility and the prayer of faith. And inasmuch as you are diligent and humble, and exercise the prayer of faith, behold, I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, until I shall send means unto you for your deliverance”

Myth 3: Credit Card and Consumer Debt Are Okay: It is okay for me to go into debt for things, especially things I really want. But the reality is different!

President James E. Faust stated: “Over the years the wise counsel of our leaders has been to avoid debt except for the purchase of a home or to pay for an education. I have not heard any of the prophets change this counsel” (“Doing the Best Things in the Worst Times,” Ensign, August 1984, p. 41). Sadly, consumer and credit card debt are not
included in that short list of acceptable debt. Credit cards are fine if we pay them off each month. Reality: Debt Is Dumb.

Myth 4: I Pay My Tithing, I Have Nothing to Worry About Financially: But the reality is different!

The prophet Malachi promised that God will open the windows of heaven. However, there is no promise that the windows of heaven will be financial blessings or that paying tithing will eliminate all our financial problems.
• We still are stewards over what we have and are.
• We still must learn to live in this increasingly challenging and technical financial world.
• There are more commandments which relate to finances than just paying your tithing, i.e., live within your means, build a reserve; prepare for retirement, missions, and education.

Myth 5: There Are No Good Sources of Personal Finance Information: But the reality is different!

There are many sources of good information. It just takes time to sort them out. The BYU Marriott School of Management’s Personal Finance Web site at http://personalfinance.byu.net/. It has a host of lessons, manuals, and great

As families, talk with your spouse and children about these fundamental Myths and Principals. Use the website above to find wonderful information to help you weather the economic storms and become financially independent.

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