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.