Live the 10th Commandment
“There, there little luxury, don’t you cry, you’ll be a necessity by-and-by.” This, unfortunately, sums up the drift of our culture extremely well—we have a growing list of things that we can’t possibly live without! There are many in our world whose only goals seem to be to collect toys and keep up with the Joneses, but such pursuits can never bring lasting joy. All of Heavenly Father’s commandments are there to bring us a fullness of joy and His commandment not to covet is no exception. Nagging desires will spoil our peace, breed selfishness, sidetrack us from our Father’s plans for us and conflict with our impulses to help those in need.
This month, read Exodus 20:17 and prayerfully set a goal to more perfectly keep the 10th commandment by following some of the suggestions below or however the Spirit directs you.
- Start a gratitude journal or commit to saying prayers of thanks only on a regular basis.
- Forego a purchase and give the money to someone who needs a little help or donate to Humanitarian Aid, the General Missionary Fund, etc.
- Spend time serving those who are in need. Shelters and food banks can usually use help, nursing homes nearly always welcome visits, or talk to the Relief Society President about needs within our Ward.
- Read the stories of people who found contentment without much material wealth. Learning about the lives of pioneers, early American settlers and families during the Depression can be very eye-opening!
- Critically examine the media that is coming into your home and make necessary changes. If a TV show or magazine (or the advertisements that come with it) makes you feel discontent with your life, house, family, belongings, etc., it is probably more spiritual trouble than it’s worth. I recently read of a couple whose income was drastically cut and they had trimmed their budget as low as they thought they could go. They felt prompted to pack up their TV and cancel their existing magazine subscriptions, even though this wouldn’t actually save them any money. Almost immediately, they found they could easily live within their budget. Without the media voices and images telling them that what they had was inadequate they could finally see the abundance the Lord had blessed them with and be content.
- Regularly take “vacations” from spending money. My grandfather, a child of the Great Depression, generally never carried money with him when he went out. In his words, if he didn’t have it, he didn’t think about spending it. I also find that I notice very different things during a Sunday trip through town, a day when I don’t shop, than I do on the other days of the week.
- Eliminate the word “want” from your vocabulary. I did this with my kids a couple of Christmases ago. Hearing that they like things is much more pleasing to my parental ears. I imagine our Heavenly Father feels the same.
“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” D&C 64:33