Scripture Chain: Seeking the Kingdom of God
19¶Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
“From the emphasis given to this subject in the scriptures, it appears that materialism has been one of the greatest challenges to the children of God in all ages of time. Greed, the ugly face of materialism in action, has been one of Satan’s most effective weapons in corrupting men and turning their hearts from God.
“When we place our trust in our property, we have ‘carnal security.’ In that state of mind we are inclined to say that all must be well with us and with Zion because we are prospering, thus relying on worldly success as a mark of divine favor. He who does this is an easy mark for being led ‘carefully down to hell.'” (Dallin H Oakes, Pure in Heart.)
Why does the Lord not want us to focus on laying up treasures on earth? Because we wants our undivided, attention, loyalty and hearts.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
“Seek … first to build up the kingdom of God” means to assign first priority to God and to His work. The work of God is to bring to pass the eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39), and all that this entails in the birth, nurturing, teaching, and sealing of our Heavenly Father’s children. Everything else is lower in priority. Think about that reality as we consider some teachings and some examples on priorities. As someone has said, if we do not choose the kingdom of God first, it will make little difference in the long run what we have chosen instead of it.” (Dallin H Oakes, General Conference, April 2001)
Here the Saviour is saying that his disciples have more important business to think about than what to eat, drink or wear. ‘Seek ye first’ implies that our the thing that should have the greatest priority in our lives is the kingdom of God.
28 ¶Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
“Now I ask my brethren and sisters—are you prepared for whatever comes on this question? Did you when you entered into the waters of baptism make up a reckoning what the Gospel of Jesus Christ was worth? Have we considered that it was worth fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and our own lives also? If we did not we figured up wrong, for he that is not willing to forsake all things and make them secondary to a whole-souled belief in and faithful obedience to the Gospel, is not worthy of it.” (Franklin D Richards, October 1879)
Jesus seems to be saying here that whatever we sacrifice for the gospel, the blessings we receive ‘in this time’ ie in this world will be worth a hundred times more than what we have sacrificed. However, in this life, those blessings will also be mixed with trials and tribulations. However, we can be assured that as well as the blessings ‘in this time’ we will also receive the greatest of all the gifts of God, eternal life, in the world to come.
18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
“So often it is the order of things that is fundamental in the Lord’s instructions to us. The Lord is not telling us that we should not be prosperous. This would be inconsistent with the many records we have of Him blessing His people with prosperity. But He is telling us that we should seek prosperity only after we have sought and found Him. Then, because our hearts are right, because we love Him first and foremost, we will choose to invest the riches we obtain in building His kingdom.” (L Tom Perry, General Conference, April 1987)
“The Lord expects us when he blesses us with the good things of this earth to remember those who are not so fortunate. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, comfort those who mourn, and minister unto those who are poor and needy, and thus become of that class to whom the Lord, when he shall come, shall say: ‘Come, ye blessed of the Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'” (George F Richards, Conference Reports, Oct. 1939, p. 109)
6 Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion;
7 Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.
“The Lord has counseled us to “seek not for riches but for wisdom.” (D&C 6:7.) In this general conference, pearls of wisdom have come from those who have spoken under the inspiration of the Spirit. We would all do well to study and apply the truths that have been declared.” (Derek Cuthbert, General Conference, October 1982)
“Now, we have before us, on the one hand, the riches of eternity, and, on the other hand, the riches of the earth. Which will you choose? If you choose the riches of eternity, then all other things will be added unto you. If you choose the riches of the earth, you may lose all else, yea, even the riches of the earth. There are many, very many among the Latter-day Saints who are rich today, and others who are growing rich; but they do not derive their happiness from riches. There are five sources from which the Saints derive inestimable happiness, and in which the principle and power of wealth has no influence whatever: The first is the possession of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the second is the contemplation of spiritual things in that Gospel; the third is the blessings of the house of God, in which the endowments are given, and the principle of marriage for eternity is revealed; the fourth is the preaching of the Gospel to a fallen world, thus bringing to pass the redemption of mankind; and the fifth is administering the necessities of life to the worthy poor. This is what brings happiness, pure and unsullied happiness, to the Latter-day Saints. Let us seek after these things.” (Rudger Clawson, Conference Report, April 1910, Second Day-Morning Session 67 – 68.)