Saturday, December 1, 2012


President Thomas S. Monson spoke at General Conference April 2006 about a Tongan Octopus Lure or Maka-feke.

Excessive Debt if one of the maka-feke's of life that he warned us about.

President Thomas S Monson - General Conference 2006 - Maka-feke

The final maka-feke I wish to mention today is one which can crush our self-esteem, ruin relationships, and leave us in desperate circumstances. It is the maka-feke of excessive debt. It is a human tendency to want the things which will give us prominence and prestige. We live in a time when borrowing is easy. We can purchase almost anything we could ever want just by using a credit card or obtaining a loan. Extremely popular are home equity loans, where one can borrow an amount of money equal to the equity he has in his home. What we may not realize is that a home equity loan is equivalent to a second mortgage. The day of reckoning will come if we have continually lived beyond our means.
My brothers and sisters, avoid the philosophy that yesterday’s luxuries have become today’s necessities. They aren’t necessities unless we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur: people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us.
I urge you to live within your means. One cannot spend more than one earns and remain solvent. I promise you that you will then be happier than you would be if you were constantly worrying about how to make the next payment on nonessential debt. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read: 
Pay the debt thou hast contracted. … Release thyself from bondage.

The American Bar Association has indicated that 89 percent of all divorces can be traced to quarrels and accusations over money.

When children come along and reach the age of accountability, they too should be involved in money concerns on a limited partnership basis.

Church Flyer - The quotes below on one side and 7 Baby-steps on the other.

"Too many of our youth get into financial difficulty because they never learned proper principles of financial common sense at home. Teach your children while they are young. Teach them that they cannot have something merely because they want itTeach them the principles of hard work, frugality, and saving. If you don't consider yourself informed well enough to teach them, all the more reason for you to begin learning. Abundant resources are available--from classes, to books, to other resources.”
-Joseph B. Wirthlin

"The number of marriages that have been shattered over money issues is staggering. The amount of heartbreak is great. The stress that comes from worry over money has burdened families, caused sickness, depression, and even premature death." 
-Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt... Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage." 
-Gordon B. Hinckley

"When we make purchases on credit, they give us only an illusion of prosperity.  We think we own things, but the reality is, our things own us." -Joseph B. Wirthlin

"It is so easy to allow consumer debt to get out of hand.  If you do not have the discipline to control the use of credit cards, it is better not to have them.  A well-managed family does not pay interest- it earns it."  
-L. Tom Perry

"You have to act for yourself and be a participant before the welfare program is active in your household.  Moving out from there, then, to quorums, to united teamwork... tremendous results can come." 
-Harold B. Lee

“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.” -J. Reuben Clark

 “The prepared person should establish financial goals, pay tithes and offerings, avoid debt, wisely use and preserve economic resources, and save during times of production for times of nonproduction.” -Marion G. Romney

“Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.”          
-Benjamin Franklin

Motivation Factor

Everyone knows how to lose weight: 
    Eat Less/Exercise more.

Everyone knows how to become debt free:
    Spend Less/Save more.

Why isn't it that easy? 
We must find what will motivate us to go through the pain to get the prize.

God wants us to follow his commandments.
He wants us to be like Him and be free.

Motivation Ideas:
  • Add up the Interest you are paying every month.
  • Think about what you could be doing with this money instead of paying the Interest.
  • How old will you be when the debt is paid off?
  • Own your home, retire, feel at peace.
  • Read a book.
  • Listen to testimonials below.

Testimonial from a Teenager.

We asked our Nephew to read the book "The Total Money Makeover
At first he and his mother said that he simply doesn't have the time.  Too busy.

Then he asked us if we would give him some money for scouts.
We said we would do a deal with him that would actually give him more than he was asking.

If he read the book and gave us:
  1. A one page report on what he learned.
  2. A spreadsheet of what one year of college is going to cost.
  3. Find three jobs that interest you and would pay $50,000 or more a year after he finishes college.
All of a sudden, he wasn't too busy.
He agreed and we signed a contract with a time frame of 3 months. 
It was a great experience for all of us. 
So great that we extended the offer to all of our nieces and nephews (age 16+).  Some took advantage of it, other's were too busy or not interested.  A teenager not interested in money....weird. (You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.)

Here is part of his report.

After reading the Dave Ramsey book I have to look back and think about all I have learned.
It is amazing at what can be inhaled through just reading a book. It is definitely life changing and I know that I will be a better person because of it.
It has taught me so much about finance but also about setting your mind on making a goal and doing it.

In a way I look at debt the same way as sins in the aspect that once you have committed a sin you can always repent of it.Yes, it will be harder to repent of it, than if you just didn't sin in the first place, but the point is that there is always a way back and if you are determined and refuse to give up for anyone or anything in the world then you will succeed.

Thank you so much for requesting me to read it!  The knowledge I have learned will serve me good for the rest of my life and I am very grateful for the opportunity you have given me to not only read the book but to do research on college expenses and possible career opportunities.