There is a lot to chew on in this talk by Elder McConkie. Its from the Welfare Session of the April 1979 General Conference, entitled Stand Independent above All Other Creatures. Not least the scripture from D&C from which the title is taken.

[H]e commands both the Church and its members “to prepare and organize” their temporal affairs according to the law of his gospel, “that through my providence,” saith the Lord, “notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world;

“That you may come up unto the crown prepared for you, and be made rulers over many kingdoms, saith the Lord God” (D&C 78:11, 14–15).

I don’t know what that means.

The rest of the talk is not about survivalism or total economic autarchy. Instead it is counsel to work hard and be prudent. But prudent the way we understand it, not the way the world does. Prudently being thrifty, not prudently aping your betters’ lies.

We are here on earth to work—to work long, hard, arduous hours, to work until our backs ache and our tired muscles knot, to work all our days. This mortal probation is one in which we are to eat our bread in the sweat of our faces until we return to the dust from whence we came.

Work is the law of life; it is the ruling principle in the lives of the Saints. We cannot, while physically able, voluntarily shift the burden of our own support to others. Doles abound in evils. Industry, thrift, and self-respect are essential to salvation.

We must maintain our own health, sow our own gardens, store our own food, educate and train ourselves to handle the daily affairs of life. No one else can work out our salvation for us, either temporally or spiritually.

We are here on earth to care for the needs of our family members. Wives have claim on their husbands for their support, children upon their parents, parents upon their children, brothers upon each other, and relatives upon their kin.

There is much more to life than this, but these things are also good.

By the way, did that phrase of Elder McConkie’s about a claim for support make it into the Proclamation?

Other Posts from the Welfare Session of the April 1979 General Conference.

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