Sunday, August 23, 2009

I own nothing

Several months ago I was sitting in a church meeting with a member of our stake presidency and heard him make the following statement: "I own nothing." He proceeded to talk about the reality of this statement as it relates to the world in which we now live, a world focused almost universally on what one "owns" and on getting more. His point was that everything we have is a stewardship from God, meaning we are in a testing period to determine what we will do with what we have been given. As I reflect on this truth in my own life, I see how important it is to treat everything I have as a stewardship, whether it is my wife, my children, my membership in the church, my talents, the earth, life itself, etc etc.

The idea of stewardship is on my mind lately as I evaluate my use of time, especially when I am tired. There never seems to be enough time or energy available to do all the things that I need or want to do. How to choose?

There is a famous story told about David O McKay speaking to Church employees and telling them how they would be judged. Here is what he said (he was speaking to men, so adapt as needed):

"Let me assure you, brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.

First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?

Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child.

Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence.

Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments.

Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.

Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world."

For me, this is both sobering and helpful. Sobering because, well, it's called "Judgement Day" for a reason. But it's helpful because I now know exactly how I should spend my time. Now to repent...


  1. i need to try harder, i know that i can. thanks scott, good post.

  2. Thanks for that great post! I'm now going to print that out and refer to it often!

  3. The art work is amazing and I consider myself among many of those whom I can find the strength and example to follow right here in my extended family as well as in my own family. Thanks to amazing prophets like David O. Mckay who always spoke of family it is a daily striving of mine to be more christlike in my stewardship with them and an uphill climb. Thank you for the post. I have much to do and hope the good Lord will wait another twinkle till he comes.

  4. I really enjoyed this. Thanks. I am excitedely waiting for your updated site. Hope it is going well.

  5. So way behind in expressing my love for your thoughts. So lucky I get to live with the real-thing and hear many of them first-hand.