The practice of hiding up treasures unto the Lord

Samuel the Lamanite Prophesies of a Curse

and behold | a curse shall come upon the land |

saith the lord of hosts |

because of the peoples’ sake | who are upon the land | yea | because of their wickedness and their abominations |

and it shall come to pass |

saith the lord of hosts | yea | our great and true god |

that whoso shall hide up treasures in the earth shall find them again no more | because of the great curse of the land |

save he be a righteous man | and shall hide it up unto the lord |

for i will |

saith the lord |

that they shall hide up their treasures unto me |

and cursed be they | who hide not up their treasures unto me |

for none hideth up their treasures unto me | save it be the righteous |

and he that hideth not up his treasures unto me | cursed is he |

and also the treasure | and none shall redeem it | because of the curse of the land |

and the day shall come | that they shall hide up their treasures | because they have set their hearts upon riches |

and because they have set their hearts upon their riches | and will hide up their treasures | when they shall flee before their enemies | because they will not hide them up unto me | cursed be they and also their treasures | and in that day shall they be smitten |

saith the lord |

behold ye | the people of this great city | and hearken unto my words | yea | hearken unto the words | which the lord saith |

for behold | he saith | that ye are cursed | because of your riches | and also are your riches cursed | because ye have set your hearts upon them | and have not hearkened unto the words of him | who gave them unto you |

ye do not remember the lord | your god | in the things with which he hath blessed you | but ye do always remember your riches | not to thank the lord | your god | for them | yea | your hearts are not drawn out unto the lord | but they do swell with great pride| unto boasting | and unto great swelling | envyings | strifes | malice | persecutions | and murders | and all manner of iniquities |

for this cause hath the lord god caused | that a curse should come upon the land | and also upon your riches | and this because of your iniquities |  (Helaman 13: 17-23)

Surplus and the Law of Consecration

Under the law of consecration, after the first consecration of properties to the church, any surplus afterward obtained (called residue in the scriptures) was also to be consecrated.  In this way, the poor would be taken care of on a continual basis.

Poor and Rich Defined

The scriptural definition of “poor” is “having sufficient for one’s needs without any surplus,” whereas the scriptural definition of “rich” is “having more than is necessary for one’s needs.”  Keep this in mind.  (There is also a third class of individuals who do not even have sufficient for their needs.  These are known as the “needy”.)

Surplus, Rich and Riches

A surplus, then, makes one rich, according to the scriptures.  Riches, then, as described in the scriptures, is anything in surplus.

Result of Obedience to the Law of Consecration

When a people begin to live the law of consecration and continue to live it, they become blessed of the Lord in all things.  Initially, as the poor and needy are provided for by the consecrations of the rich, there is an evening out of the properties.  However, as time goes by, the former needy (who now have sufficient for their needs) start to generate a surplus, too, like the former rich (who are continually consecrating their riches, which are surpluses, to the poor and needy.)  All, then, start to generate surpluses.

As an entire society is converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and lives the law of consecration (such as what occurred with the Nephites when Jesus visited them), very quickly the poor and needy disappear to be replaced only by people having surpluses.  The question then must be asked, “What is to be done with these surplus properties?”  They cannot be given to the poor, as there is no more poor.

Hiding up treasures unto the Lord, a gospel law

When a people reaches this point, where they can no longer give surpluses to the poor because there are no more poor people (and this is Zion), they begin to live the law of hiding up treasures unto the Lord.  The ancient saints, then, took of their surplus wealth (precious metals, jewels, etc.) and buried them in the earth, consecrating them unto the Lord, to be used as He sees fit for a future day, a future need, a future generation, in which there would again be poor people in the earth in need of these treasures.

This was a standard practice, a law of the Lord.  Hoarding riches was contrary to the gospel.  Riches were always to go to the poor and needy.  Yet, as riches could not be given to the poor (as there were none), riches had to be donated to future people.  A hill was selected, a hole was dug, treasures were laid and a rock was placed.  The treasure was dedicated or consecrated to the Lord and then it was blotted from the mind.  It was no more thought of, whatsoever, nor any record of its location recorded.

If the Lord, in a future day, had a righteous servant or servants in need, even if it turned out to be the very servant who hid up the treasure, He could utilize that consecration for that servant, his family, household, tribe, etc.  As the Lord alone knew where it was—it could only be located through revelation and righteousness on the part of the receiver—the Lord alone would decide of its need and whether someone would be given it.  In other words, the Lord alone would serve as the bishop in charge of its dispersal.  We see by this that in time, under the law of consecration, the role of (mortal) bishops in receiving consecrations was to be phased out, to be replaced by the Immortal Bishop receiving consecrations.

For I will, saith the Lord, that they shall hide up their treasures unto me; (Helaman 13: 19)

Hiding up treasures unto the Lord was not optional; it was an actual commandment, a law of God, that when all needs were taken care of, surpluses were to be hidden up unto the Lord and forgotten about.  This was, in essence, the Lord’s banking provision. The earth itself was to serve as a bank, the Lord would be the banker, and there would be no further withdrawals on the account from the depositor.  It was a consecration, a gift, not a place to hoard one’s wealth.

For none hideth up their treasures unto me save it be the righteous; (Helaman 13: 19)

The wicked can only view this practice as absurd.  Why create wealth, riches and treasures (surpluses), only to bury them in the earth and forget about them?  In their eyes this is the absolute height of folly and no wicked person would ever participate in such a practice.  Only the righteous live this law.  It follows then, that as this was a practice that distinguished between the righteous and the wicked, under the more excellent law of Christ, righteous saints in the future will again perform this rite.

Consequences of Disobedience

Those ancients living under the law of consecration who did not hide up their treasures unto the Lord were accursed:

Cursed be they who hide not up their treasures unto me; (Helaman 13: 19)

There were two ways that this commandment could be broken.  1) A man could keep the surplus to himself (hoarding) and attempt to use it in excessive or riotous living.  2) A man could hide the treasure in the earth and make note of where it was, so that he could come back later and obtain it (using the earth as a safekeeping, a bank.)  Men who hid their treasures in this way would still be accounted as righteous by those who viewed them (as they appeared to be fulfilling the commandment of hiding treasures unto the Lord), but as their intent was selfish, they were accounted hypocrites and sinners by the Lord.

A Modern Parallel

The modern banking practice does not in the least resemble what these ancient saints did.  We open a bank account, deposit some money (often our surplus money) and expect to both receive interest and to be able to withdraw our money at any moment.  We know exactly were our money is and our chief concern is that our money grows and/or is protected from thieves and robbers.

So, as we face the prospect of losing every last penny we have by Summer of 2009, should we consider Samuel’s a double-fulfilling prophecy, first fulfilled upon the ancient inhabitants of this land and secondly to be fulfilled upon the modern inhabitants?

And he that hideth not up his treasures unto me, cursed is he, and also the treasure, and none shall redeem it because of the curse of the land. (Helaman 13: 19)

Our money is no longer redeemable in gold or silver, but at least we can still purchase goods with it.  Soon, however, we won’t be able to do even that.  Is this the reappearance of the ancient curse because we’ve been given the law of consecration and a sneak peek into the law of hiding treasures unto the Lord but have failed to do either?

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to encourage everyone to go out and seek buried Nephite treasure.  Nevertheless, that IS an option for the righteous poor who can obtain revelation from the Lord to that end.  One of the purposes of those consecrated treasures, is, after all, for the needy. Also, in case questions come up regarding the Relief Mine, although I make no claim of its authenticity, there is at least scriptural precedent in the burying of treasure for future, holy purposes.  So, the existence of such a mine is not outside of the gospel framework.

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  1. I enjoyed that post immensely. Very thought provoking. There is possibly a parallel concept and/or doctrine pertaining to treasures of knowledge.

    It is interesting how the Church voted to consider the revelations Joseph Smith received to be worth the riches of the “whole earth”:

    “After deliberate consideration in the consequences of the Book of Revelations now to be printed being the foundation of the Church and the salvation of the world and the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom and the riches of Eternity to the Church. Voted that they be prized by this conference to be worth to the church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally….”

    I love the term “hidden treasures of knowledge”.

    It is interesting to note that just a few days before the death of Joseph Smith, he put many of his prized possessions… books, records, papers etc. into a copper kettle and directed a few people to bury it in the ground undoubtedly to come forth at a future time:

    “William Huntington, Major Hunt, and another man, a few days before the Prophet Joseph Smith death, took a copper kettle filled with books, records, papers [etc.] at his request, which Joseph had packed saying they were his records and desired them to take the kettle and bury it with its contents in Theodore Turley’s lot near a large Elm Stump, and to bury them deep enough so that a cultivator could not reach them. They did as directed, dug a hole. lowered the kettle and covered it with a plank or boards, the kettle was sealed over and tied around with a rope” (Historical Dev of the D&C pg 12)

    In 74 the RLDS Church tried to find where the pot was buried and dig it up… I guess the earth was too slippery for them to find it.

  2. Hmm, Why keep working when all the needs are met? If everyone has all the gold/food/housing that the need why should one continue to toil in the mine/fields/forests? Why not turn to education (or “wholesome” entertainment)? Why not spend this free time in scientific discovery?

  3. The LOC is still in effect if you doubt me attend the temple. We are simply not asked to give all that we have at this time. Modern day prophet seers and revelators have counciled us to be wise about our money and stay out of debt, if the world would have taken note we would not be in this mess. You cannot lay this issue at the feet of a law that is neither lived nor demanded to be lived. Just my .02

  4. “And your mind in times past have been darkened because of belief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them,

    [which includes the law of consecration in section 42]



    Section 84:57

  5. So your saying we’ve been under comdemnation since that was recieved (which I agree with) yet we are only now feeling the effects of the condemnation? Sorry i’m not fully in line with that. I think if we were suppose to be living the law of consecration the prophet today would be preaching that and not tithing like he has been. We simply do not need that at current time, and until the Lord gives direction that the law of consecration should be lived in its full context again. I think living it would be something akin to what the fundementalists do with polagamy, we cannot and do not have stewardship to recieve revelation or direction for the “whole” church which the scriptures you quoted obviously apply to. We must wait until that revalation comes through the proper channels. Correct me if i’m wrong. As I think we all will admit we are all still students of this gospel.

  6. If I understood your following declaration:

    “The LOC is still in effect if you doubt me attend the temple. We are simply not asked to give all that we have at this time.”

    You informed us in your post that if we go to the temple and agree with the principle of consecration by saying something and raising our hand in agreement, that we are living it. In other words, we can now give “lip service” to the law of consecration without actually living it and that is just as acceptable to the Lord.

    If you are correct, it is too bad the Saints in Kirtland and Jackson County didn’t understand the principle you are talking about… life would have been much easier for them… and Zion would probably be redeemed.

    I am suggesting that-

    1- God told us to do something and we didn’t do it.

    2- He then told us we were under condemnation for not doing it

    3- He told us we would be under condemnation until we repent and started doing it

    4- As a result of his infinite foreknowledge, he knew what our next strategy would be and he decided to leave us without excuse by warning us to not only SAY we were willing to do it but to actually DO IT.

    I respect your belief that you are living Consecration… I just don’t happen to agree with you.

    The wonderful thing about this forum is that everyone gets to have their own opinion.

    I realize I am in the minority on this issue and I am fine with that. Whenever I start agreeing with the masses, that’s when I start to get worried.

    The fundamental difference between you and most of our brethren vs me is that my primary standard of truth is the Word of God in the Standard Works. When modern Presidents of the Church are in harmony with Gods Word I accept their teachings, when they are out of harmony with Gods word, I reject their teachings.

    You, and most of our brethren, on the other hand, have set the modern Presidents of the Church up as your primary standard. Whenever the Word of God is in harmony with what they are currently teaching, you accept the word of God, when the Word of God differs from what they are teaching, you reject the word of God and accept their teachings.

    I believe section 84 is as valid and true today as it was the day it was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. If there is a revelation where the Lord changes his mind and says we can give lip service to the principle instead of living it, I am not aware of it.

  7. tell me when did you recieve revelation to disoby the chosen prophet of God? When were you intitled to recieve revelation that surpasses that of the sustained prophet of the church. My friend I understand your point of view but it is a very very dangerous path you are on. Apostasy happens when one thinks they know better than their appointed leaders. I’d just hate to see such a knowledgeble individual like yourself fall into that trap that pride so often leads us into. We believe in continueing revelation, why not let it continue? and I never said I believe i’m living the law of consecration, i merely said the law of consecration is still there we are simply not asked to consecrate all that we have at current time. Although with the way things are looking that time may be coming sooner than I would like. I hope you do not take my issues with this as a personal matter I neither know you nor your character to make judgements upon, all I know is the words that are crafted onto this page. I hope you feel as i feel that we are all seeking further light and knowledge as we should be. I just am not ready and hopefully never will be ready to boldly state that i think the church is doing it wrong and that I know the way we should be doing it. That is not and hopefully will never be within my stewardship.

  8. Dear Friend

    I am not taking your comments personally. I hope you are not taking mine personally.

    This is the process by which we all learn.

    Here is a statement from President Joseph Fielding Smith that you may disagree with:

    “It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teaching of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine. You cannot accept the books written by the authorities of the Church as standards in doctrine, only in so far as they accord with the revealed word in the standard works. Every man who writes is responsible, not the Church, for what he writes. If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it. If he writes that which is in perfect harmony with the revealed word of the Lord, then it should be accepted” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:203-4)

    If you would like supporting data for what President Smith said above, you may visit the following post in which I have included numerous scriptural evidences that agree with the principle spoken of by President Smith.

    Beyond this fun little exchange, I think we can agree to disagree on this topic.

    May the Lord bless you in your search for truth.

  9. “tell me when did you recieve revelation to disoby the chosen prophet of God? When were you intitled to recieve revelation that surpasses that of the sustained prophet of the church.” – TheWizard

    Every minute of everyday I am ALLOWED revelation (FOR MYSELF) to disobey the prophet. What I am not allowed to do is proclaim this revelation as binding on the church.

    The prophets of God said “Thou shalt not kill”. Nephi received revelation (for himself) to violate these words of the prophet.

  10. I just am not ready and hopefully never will be ready to boldly state that i think the church is doing it wrong and that I know the way we should be doing it.

    Have no fear; you never will be ready if you do not wish to be.

  11. “Have no fear; you never will be ready if you do not wish to be.”

    Are you saying I should be? Just didn’t really know how to take that.

    “Every minute of everyday I am ALLOWED revelation (FOR MYSELF) to disobey the prophet. What I am not allowed to do is proclaim this revelation as binding on the church.”

    My point was not that we cannot recieve our own revelation but that we will not recieve revelation for the entire church.

  12. I agree with everything “onewhoiswatching” said. There are many members of the LDS church that are having their minds opened and are comming to a knowledge of the truth for themselves and it has nothing to do with apostasy. When people start going to the Lord for answers instead of man, they will learn many things from the Lord.

  13. I am not one to change the wording of my own posts after they have been published, but as I look over this post, I realize that I made a mistake in the Poor and Rich Defined section. The post reads:

    The scriptural definition of “poor” is “not having sufficient for one’s needs,” whereas the scriptural definition of “rich” is “having more than is necessary for one’s needs.” Keep this in mind.

    It should read something along the following lines:

    The scriptural definition of “poor” is “having sufficient for one’s needs without any surplus,” whereas the scriptural definition of “rich” is “having more than is necessary for one’s support.” Keep this in mind. (There is a third class of individuals who do not even have sufficient for their needs. These are known as the “needy”.)

    I think that when I wrote the original, erroneous paragraph, I must have been pressed for time, and didn’t double check it for accuracy, which is why the definitions got jumbled. It looks like I began one thought (the thought on “poor”), got distracted, came back to the article thinking that I was defining “needy” and then finished up with “rich.” I apologize for the error.

  14. If you CAN not question “your profet” by asking of the lord what is the truth, then you TRULY are blinded and enslaved by your beliefs

  15. Oh, heck, I just decided to edit the post and correct the erroneous paragraph. If you want to read what was originially written there, look two comments up the page.

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