Elder Dallin H. Oaks and the Propersity Gospel

In an article published in the March 2012 Ensign, LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks takes the Prosperity Gospel to new levels:

Tithing is a commandment with a promise.  The words of Malachi, reaffirmed by the Savior, promise those who bring their tithes into the storehouse that the Lord will ” open . . . the windows of heaven, and pour [them] out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to received it.”  The promised blessings are temporal and spiritual (Malachi 3:10-12).”

Not content to promise “temporal” blessings to the tithe payer, Elder Oaks goes on to promise temporal blessings to the entire country where the tithe payer lives:

I believe these promises apply to nations in which we reside.  When the people of God withheld their tithes and offerings, God condemned the “whole nation” (Malachi 3:9).  Similarly, I believe that when many citizens of a nation are faithful in the payment of tithes, they summons the blessings of heaven upon their entire nation. . . .”

For me, this escalation is difficult in several ways:

  • I have a rough time believing that God is up in heaven “stirring the pot.”  If he is, I don’t understand His actions and reactions.
  • This all sounds very much like the Prosperity Gospel, God rewards (financially and otherwise) those he deems worthy.
  • Bad things happen to “good” people.  Bad things happen to “good” countries.  Do famines strike countries because LDS church members don’t pay their tithing?
  • Along the same lines, what happens when someone has bad things happen, and they feel they are good (full-tithe payer, temple recommend, etc.)?  There isn’t much of a safety net.

For me, mixing temporal prosperity (including financial) and religion is not a good idea.  And doesn’t seem very Christian.

An article in one national publication alleged that Mormonism is the Prosperity Gospel on steroids.  Elder Oaks has validated this ascertion.

This entry was posted in mormonism, Religion, Social Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Elder Dallin H. Oaks and the Propersity Gospel

  1. Kim Shimer says:

    Interesting post. You might want to check out the new book “Exploring Prosperity Preaching: Biblical Health, Wealth, and Wisdom” by Debra Mumford.

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