Nibley quotes from “Faith of an Observer”

But this is “the root of all evil,” which I say is a very–well the word is philarguria.  And philarguria does not mean “love of money.”  We say that “well I don’t actually love money; I like to have it; I want it, and so forth,” but philarguria is simply “the desire to be rich.”  Philarguria is the desire for money in the bank which we all have, and that’s the root of evil.  “Do you have any money?  Yes we have sufficient for our needs.”  There’s no nothing wrong with having sufficient, but, he says, “it’s wanting more, that’s the thing.”  Because more than enough is more than enough.  If you don’t need it, you don’t need it.  I mean how it could be more clear I don’t know.

I mean people want things, they’ll start wanting things, you start wanting things and there’s no end.  And you’re tempted first, you must own this, and you must that, and then of course the Book of Mormon puts this beautifully, then the rivalries, the bitterness, and ending finally in murders, and so forth, it builds up there.  But the temptation, and then the snare, you’re caught in the rapids, and into many foolish desires for things, well lust, eithumia, is desire to possess something, lust after.  That’s a good strong word to use.  We associate it with “sex,” you see; that doesn’t mean that.  It means you’ve…I got to have that, I’ve set my heart on that, I’ve got to have a new Mercdes or something like that.  Those are foolish and they’re hurtful.  “And I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  This is a parable and it…I mean it was an expression for impossibility–it’s a Sprichwort–for the impossible.  A camel through the eye of a needle is absolutely impossible, you see.  The apostles are amazed at that.  You see, they didn’t know of any postern gate through which you went and so forth.  The idea a rich man must shed his riches to go through the eye of the needle, and this, that  and the other.  You see, it can’t be done except by a special miracle from God; special dispensation.  Notice, and when his disciples heard it, they were, notice, absolutely knocked over.  They were astounded; they didn’t know, as I say, of any other possible explanation.  They really took it literaly.  It says here–it’s a weak translation–but is says they were “exceedingly amazed.”  They were absolutely astounded and bewildered that he would say it’s impossible for a rich man to get into heaven, saying “who then can be saved?”  But you’re not going to get into the kingdom of heaven, or Zion on this earth if you’re encumbered with riches; it can’t be done.


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