In the previous post, I discussed how people can sometimes rise through class structure by obeying universal laws governing the use of wealth. Many of those who find themselves in the Upper Class, have been wise stewards of the resources given them. Likewise, people who find themselves in the Lower Class could sometimes be described as those who do not follow the universal laws of prosperity which would help them rise to Middle or Upper classes. They may hold self-defeating attitudes or patterns of behavior that continually keep them from getting ahead.
This is an unfair generalization of course. On a case by case basis, there are many exceptions. Many people are born into wealth, but are wasteful and unfruitful themselves. The poor are often not given educational and monetary opportunities. But as a general rule, one can see that universal laws governing prosperity often work effectively in today’s capitalist class structure. Lehi’s promise to Nephi, “If you keep my commandments, you shall prosper in the land,” has a correlation to the class structure. We see that many people are blessed monetarily because they followed universal laws or commandments. While there are individual exceptions, Lehi’s promise is true in general. The Upper Class may not obey all the commandments, like going to church or praying, but they often do obey the universal commandments governing the use of wealth and resources which the Savior gave in the parable of the talents.
The Lower Class Virtue: Charity
However, there is one particular quality of the Lower Class that has come out in research. They are by far the most generous of any class, the most charitable. It is common to see an extraordinary amount of charitable service and giving among the homeless, who often give the shirt off their back to help out a brother in need. This particular quality was highlighted by Jesus in the story of the Widow’s Mite.
Paul extols three great virtues: faith, hope, and charity. The virtues of faith and hope are essential for the effective management of money and resources. Anyone who invests wisely is using a combination of faith, hope, and works in order to create a profit. The Lower Class are often too hopeless and faithless. They have been disappointed too many times. They are poor in spirit and faith. They often grew up as victims and perpetuate that culture among themselves. But they still have charity. And charity is the greatest of all the virtues.
Jesus’ Celebration of the Lower Class
The irony of Jesus’ teachings, is that they extol upper-class mentalities as positive metaphors for the faithful, while at the same time condemning the rich to hell, and the poor to heaven in general. This is illustrated in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, and the teaching that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” suggests that those who hold self-defeating attitudes are actually those who inherit the kingdom of heaven. In Mary’s prayer in Luke 1:46 she focuses almost entirely on the Messiah’s mission to redeem the poor and send the rich away empty handed. In the parable of wedding feast, the bridegroom first invites the Upper Class. When they reject him, he invites the Lower Class beggars from the streets.
Satan’s Condemnation of the Lower Class
Just as we condemn those in the Telestial kingdom as wicked, Satan condemns the Lower Class as worthless and stupid. In the capitalist system, which allows for progression between Satan’s three kingdoms, the Lower Class are seen as having brought their woes upon themselves, and any kind of charity to them is seen as entitlement and “throwing your money away” as they will just go waste it, like the man who buried his talent in the earth.
However the scriptures suggest that Satan’s class structure itself is not God’s ideal. D&C 49:20 says “But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lithe in sin.” While in mortal life, “the poor ye will always have among you,” Jesus reminds us that the class structure itself is corrupt and sinful. We should remember that we live in a compromised world, and that as inspired and successful as the capitalist-three-class structure seems to be, it is not a true reflection of the kingdom of heaven with it’s three degrees. The treasures of the three kingdoms will we rewarded along entirely different lines than the capitalist system. The laws that govern prosperity and power on earth are different than the laws governing the three kingdoms.