According to Tracy M, writing at bycommonconsent.com, Elder Dallin Oaks “brought the hammer down on the Prosperity Gospel.” Maybe.
According to a talk given at the Elder Oaks:
Those who believe in what has been called the theology of prosperity are suffering from the deceitfulness of riches. The possession of wealth or significant income is not the mark of heavenly favor, and their absence is not evidence of heavenly disfavor.
While I applaud this statement, this is NOT what many LDS Church leaders and members believe. Some forms of the prosperity gospel are still very much alive in the Church. According to a talk given by Elder M. Russell Ballard in 2012:
Do some sectors of our society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous, or are they more educated and prosperous because they have values and a strong family? In this worldwide Church we know that it is the latter. When people make family and religious commitments to gospel principles, they begin to do better spiritually and often temporally as well.
This observation by Elder Ballard edges dangerously close to the prosperity gospel. And how many times have we heard that if we pay our tithing, blessing will befall us? And many assume these blessings involve some form of “prosperity,” including financial.
There has always been a strong tie in Mormonism between tithing and spiritual and temporal rewards. This point was driven home in the Mormon film “The Windows of Heaven” which is still being circulated by the Church. The point of the film: If you pay your tithing, the rains will come and the drought will be over.
Church members need to hear more talks with messages decrying the prosperity gospel.