My Brothers Keeper

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Members of the Church of Jesus Christ have a higher standard. President Harold B. We are commanded to live the Golden Rule. Despite that high standard, some who profess to be Christians seek to earn their living by systematically victimizing their neighbors. Some seize wealth by trafficking in illegal drugs or pornography. Traders in these products enrich themselves by transactions that ruin the bodies, minds, or morals of their customers.

Other criminals live by stealing. And not all stealing is at gunpoint or by dark of night. Some theft is by deception, where the thief manipulates the confidence of his victim. The white-collar cousin of stealing is fraud, which gets its gain by lying about an essential fact in a transaction. Scheming promoters with glib tongues and ingratiating manners deceive their neighbors into investments the promoters know to be more speculative than they dare reveal.

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Difficulties of proof make fraud a hard crime to enforce. But the inadequacies of the laws of man provide no license for transgression under the laws of God. Though their method of thievery may be immune from correction in this life, sophisticated thieves in white shirts and ties will ultimately be seen and punished for what they are. Most of us can be relatively comfortable when a message on the Golden Rule in the workplace uses examples like illegal drugs and theft by deception.

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  8. What follows is more challenging. And it should be. To follow in the footsteps of the only perfect person who ever lived, we must expect to stretch our souls. Followers of Christ have the moral responsibility of earning their livings and conducting their financial transactions in ways that are consistent with the principles of the gospel and the teachings of the Savior. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should not be involved in employment or other activities upon which they cannot conscientiously ask the blessings of the Lord. Persons who prosecute frivolous lawsuits do not measure up to this high standard.

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    Groundless litigation rewards some plaintiffs handsomely, but it injures everyone else by raising the price of products and services. An employee who receives the compensation agreed upon but does not perform the service agreed upon earns part of his living by injuring others. So does an employer who is unfair to his employees. An idealistic young professional wrote Church headquarters about the plight of migrant farm workers.

    He had observed treatment that was probably illegal and certainly unchristian. He did not require them to patronize a company store. He built his workers a building for recreation, worship, and schooling. Of course, we understand that what an employer can pay his employees is limited by what his business can obtain for its products or services in a competitive marketplace.

    Contracts also impose limits on legitimate economic expectations. Christian standards should also apply to those who earn a living by selling or advertising products in the marketplace. The marketplace for products and services has many potential buyers who are vulnerable because they are poorly informed or excessively trusting. Can a seller ever justify obtaining personal profit by persuading someone to assume a financial burden he cannot wisely bear in order to acquire something he does not really need?

    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that Latter-day Saints should deal justly with their neighbors and mercifully with the poor see History of the Church, To cite another kind of example, an owner who keeps his business open on Sunday prevents his employees from attending worship services and being with their families on the Sabbath. Modern-day prophets have encouraged us not to shop on Sunday see, for example, Spencer W. It is economy in us to take this course, and do better by our poor brethren and sisters than they have hitherto been done by. Let this be published in our newspapers.

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    Let it be sent forth to the people that on the first Thursday of each month, the fast day, all that would be eaten by husbands and wives and children and servants should be put in the hands of the Bishop for the sustenance of the poor. I am willing to do my share as well as the rest, and if there are no poor in my ward, I am willing to divide with those wards where there are poor.

    If the sisters will look out for rooms for those sisters who need to be taken care of, and see them provided for, you will find that we will possess more comfort and more peace in our hearts, and our spirits will be buoyant and light, full of joy and peace. The Bishops should, through their teachers, see that every family in their wards who is able, should donate what they would naturally consume on fast day to the poor. I encourage the bishops to hold this principle before their people today in order that we may more fully supply the essential bread and other needs of our brethren who are in unfortunate circumstances.

    Edwin Markham, you remember, said that our all-supplying Father would give us not only bread, but also beauty and brotherhood. Has the Lord supplied mankind with beauty?

    Anyone who doubts it need only to open his eyes to the sunrise and the sunset and his ears to the sound of rain and wind, to marvel at the colors of the flowers and the rainbow, to perceive the variety in the scenery of the desert and the forest, the fields of grain, the mountains, rivers, and oceans. At this time of year we are beginning to thrill with the new life of springtime, and as we loose ourselves in the teeming life about us, we become a part of it.

    All the earth, with no sterility in it, gladdens the heart. Let us take the time to see and to feel and to enjoy all that God has created for us. Margaret L. White brings this responsibility to our minds as we follow her words:. My heart was full of gratitude for the glad privilege. We walked slowly. I suited my steps to the short steps of the child. We spoke of the things the child noticed.

    We watched it build its nest. We saw the eggs that were laid. We wondered, elated at the care it gave its young.

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    Often we told stories of the Father. I told them to the child, and the child told them again to me. We told them, the child and I, over and over again. And then, in the twilight, we met the Father. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works — when it works, in those critical life-changing moments.

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