I received this scripture and quote in my inbox today.
And let every man deal honestly, and be alike among this people, and receive alike, that ye may be one, even as I have commanded you. (D&C 51:9)
Brigham Young taught that honesty preceded Zion, and that when this was achieved by the Saints, there would be “no poor among [us]” (Moses 7:18).
“We need to learn, practice, study, know and understand how angels live with each other. When this community comes to the point to be perfectly honest and upright, you will never find a poor person; none will lack, all with have sufficient. Every man, woman, and child will have all they need just as soon as they all become honest. When the majority of the community are dishonest, it maketh the honest portion poor, for the dishonest serve and enrich themselves at their expense.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 232)
This reminds me of D&C 105:5, “And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.”
The Lord asks us to be honest in our dealings with our fellowmen, that we might build up Zion.
How much clearer can it be stated? The difficulty is in the fact that the dishonest do not see themselves as such. Using God-gifted resources to live in a manner well above our needs (and even a few wants) rather than sharing that excess with our brothers and sisters is dishonest. Landlords charging exorbitant rents because the “market” can handle it is another way to keep our brothers and sisters poor. When we finally choose to look out for others rather than scramble to get excessive gain for ourselves, we will be on our way to Zion.
It is true if there are to be no poor among the inhabitants of Zion then there likewise cannot be any rich among them either. Both are comparative words. One is poor compared to someone who is rich and vice a versa. When as a people we decide to no longer care for the things of this world and the values, attitudes, and standards of this telestial world then we will be ready to be part of Zion, inwardly first, then outwardly.