The advent of false doctrines like the prosperity Gospel have had the unfortunate tendency to make us discount true doctrine taught consistently by the Lord. In particular, as a culture we have developed an aversion to teach the truth that many blessings are predicated on righteousness.
At the start of the April 1977 conference, President Spencer W. Kimball delivered a very old school sermon about the importance of keeping the commandments in order to be able to call down blessings from heaven.
He began by speaking of then recent efforts in the Church to fast and pray for rain in the face of a drought.
Early this year when drouth conditions seemed to be developing in the West, the cold and hardships in the East, with varying weather situations all over the world, we felt to ask the members of the Church to join in fasting and prayer, asking the Lord for moisture where it was so vital and for a cessation of the difficult conditions elsewhere.
Perhaps we may have been unworthy in asking for these greatest blessings, but we do not wish to frantically approach the matter but merely call it to the attention of our Lord and then spend our energy to put our lives in harmony.
I love President Kimball’s focus on calling on the Lord and then working to put our lives in harmony.
President Kimball reported on the miraculous results: “With the great worry and suffering in the East and threats of drouth here in the West and elsewhere, we asked the people to join in a solemn prayer circle for moisture where needed. Quite immediately our prayers were answered, and we were grateful beyond expression. We are still in need and hope that the Lord may see fit to answer our continued prayers in this matter.”
He then spoke about how the scriptures link things such as peace, and moisture from heaven to keeping the commandments and in particular to sabbath day worship.
His invitation to self examination rang true with me:
Perhaps the day has come when we should take stock of ourselves and see if we are worthy to ask or if we have been breaking the commandments, making ourselves unworthy of receiving the blessings.
The truths of the Gospel have not changed. God still promises us blessings if we repent and have faith in him. We are not, however, guaranteed a life free of sorrow or trials.
We cannot use material wealth as a proxy to judge spiritual righteousness. That is a dangerous perversion of the truths being taught. But equally perverse would be to detach the scripturally mandated link between righteousness and blessings. We must not over correct and lose sight of eternal truth.