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Material prosperity is fragile, can be 'one of the greatest tests'

"Ihave made the earth rich, and behold it is my footstool, wherefore, again I will stand upon it.

"And I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh;"And I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts.

"And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away." (D&C 38:17-20.)

At the October 1992 general conference, Elder Dean L. Larsen, then of the Presidency of the Seventy, cited this passage of scripture and said that the Lord has demonstrated throughout the generations that when the inhabitants of the earth remember Him and are obedient to His direction, He will bless them not only with spiritual blessings but with material abundance as well.

"The scriptures contain many evidences of the Lord's willingness to prosper His people with the riches of the earth when they demonstrate that they will use this abundance prudently, with humility and charity, always acknowledging the source of their blessings," Elder Larsen said.

"When the people of Lehi arrived in the Americas from the Old World, they felt a great dependence upon the Lord as they established their homes and worked to provide for themselves. Nephi makes this entry in his record:

" `And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things. . . .

" `And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind. . . .

" `And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land.' " (2 Ne. 5:10-11, 13.)

Elder Larsen said: "This kind of material prosperity has always been a fragile thing. It has proved to be one of the greatest tests with which a people can be confronted. The essential human qualities and other factors that generate abundance have always been difficult to sustain."

Elder Larsen referred to the first chapter in the book of Alma, which concerns the material successes of the people when they kept the Lord's commandments, and then said: "When the lives of the people are in harmony with the Lord's will, all of the essential factors that produce the blessings God deigns to give to His children seem to come into line. Love and harmony prevail. Even the weather, the climate, and the elements seem to respond. Peace and tranquillity endure. Industry and progress mark the lives of the people."

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