What did the City of Enoch and the 1st century AD Central Americans have in common?  They were a righteous people of one heart and one mind who had no poor among them (Moses 7:18 & 4th Nephi 1:3).  What removed all poverty in these societies was the law of consecration.  The law of consecration or United Order as it is sometimes called, is a higher law wherein people give all of their possessions to the Lord, and then receive back what is needed for their sustenance.  The consecrated possessions are used to provide for the poor and needy.  This is a higher law which we all must be willing to live if we hope to receive exaltation.

The law of consecration should not be confused with political socialism.  They are very different things.  The former involves giving.  The latter involves taking.

The current US administration under the leadership of President Obama has commented that it plans on “spreading the wealth.”  This means that it will raise taxes on the “rich” and redistribute that money by expanding social programs that assist the lower classes.  Moreover, recent studies suggest that more and more Americans are favoring socialism over capitalism. 

What could possibly be wrong with socialism; is it not noble to assist the poor and needy?  The answer is that it is wrong to forcibly take resources from the “haves” and giving them to the “have nots.”  Forcible redistribution of wealth is contrary to the laws of God and the Constitution of the United States (Elder Marion G. Romney, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1966).

Few understand the perils of socialism better than Ezra Taft Benson did.  While working for the US Department of Agriculture and traveling abroad, he saw first hand the ugliness of socialism.  Here is one quote among many that express his distaste for socialism.

“I fear for the future when . . . governments have used and are using American tax money to pay for socialism” (Elder Ezra Taft Benson, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1963).  President Benson, your worst fears may be coming true.

He also said that things will go from bad to worse when “an affluent but complacent citizenry pay[s] little or no attention to these and many other socialistic trends in America.”  With the current rise of socialistic leanings in this country, the day that Pres. Benson feared may have arrived.

So why is it so hard for our current federal government to see that the way to help the poor and needy is through giving with a willing heart?  The answer is simple.  They are crappy givers themselves, and crappy givers see just one way of providing for the poor – by taking from others.

How much of your money did you give to charity last year?  Did you at least pay an honest tithe and a generous fast offering?  If so, then you gave over 10 percent of your income to charity last year – perhaps 11, 12, or 13% of your income went to charitable donations. 

What percentage of Vice President Joe “Slick” Biden’s income went to charity last year?

If you guessed 12% you’re wrong.

If wasn’t 10% either.

It wasn’t even 5%

And not even 2%

According to a USA Today report, “Slick” gave a whopping 0.3% of his taxable income to charity in 2008, or $995 of the total $319,853 that he earned.  If you are like me, you earned A LOT less than “Slick”, yet you gave A LOT more than "Slick" in actual dollar amounts.

We find the same sort of story with Obama.  According to a NY Times report, Obama gave very little to charity before running for the senate and White House.  In fact, his charitable donations were usually about 1% of his taxable income.  For example, in 2004 Obama gave 1.2% of his taxable income to charity.  His charitable donations rose a few percentage points when it became politically expedient for him to give more.

The bottom line: Why do Biden and Obama want to provide for the poor by “spreading the wealth” with socialist programs?  The answer is that because they don't give generously themselves, they can’t imagine others giving generously of their own free will and choice. 

Perhaps only a stingy giver would think that the only way to provide for the poor is through an expanded, socialist welfare state. 

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