FRIDAY | OCTOBER 5, 2018 | 7:30-9:30 pm
In our discussion, we will explore one or two topics from a book Alan wrote last year on poverty as referenced in scripture. This will allow us to dive more deeply into the topic(s) and have a lively and thoughtful discussion of what we each think about these issues. Alan’s hope is not to find simple answers but to open our minds and hearts to pondering these issues and seeking heavenly guidance for our life regarding them.
Home of Ed and Kristen Iversen
3582 Oak Rim Way Salt Lake City, UT 84109
If there is no parking to be found near the home you can also park in the “park & ride” lot on the NW corner of 3900 South and Wasatch Blvd. Oak Rim Way is just east of the intersection on the north side.
You’re invited to bring some finger food to share
While working with Bob Rees, Jay Griffith, and many others in the Liahona Children’s Foundation, we ran into resistance from portions of the church administration as we worked to nourish infants and nursing mothers in the developing world. I was puzzled by the reaction of some faithful Latter-day Saints who felt we were somehow impeding the self-reliance of these children and their families.
In the spirit of seeking a deeper understanding, I searched through the scriptures for all verses that address the issues surrounding the poor. I found 400 verses that speak to this topic. Without question these scriptures have stimulated discussion and debate among well-intentioned people with strongly held opinions and beliefs that nonetheless contradict each other. Sadly, it appears that poverty continues to thrive.
My scriptural research resulted in a book that I published last year. I simply gathered the verses, grouped them according to their various themes, and followed where they led. As with any great adventure, it is not clear where the journey will take us, and you may not arrive at the same destination I do. I invite you to join me on the journey, and pray that the God who created us and inspired these scriptures will gently nudge us toward a greater understanding of poverty, and more importantly, to action. What is God’s purpose in allowing poverty on the earth? What should those who pass through poverty take from the experience? Which actions are required of those not currently experiencing poverty toward their impoverished siblings? Is poverty a problem? Is it necessary? Is it a blessing? Is it a curse? Is it a test, and if a test who is being tested? Is poverty a reality or simply a state of mind?
Although we will bring our own experiences, beliefs, and understandings on this journey, I suggest we leave behind our baggage, cleanse our minds and hearts, and travel like a curious child—wide-eyed and eager to observe what is out there no matter what we find.
You are encouraged to bring your scriptures as this will be, as usual, a group conversation and exploration.
Alan Kealii Jones has a Masters of Business Administration Degree from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Astrophysics from UCLA. He currently teaches MBA students how to utilize data analysis to effectively manage a business. A lifelong active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Alan is centered in his family, married since 1988 to an extraordinary wife and together they are parents of three children. An avid explorer of ideas, Alan also enjoys skiing and hiking as a way to renew his soul.
Also by the author: “Science and Spirituality: An LDS Perspective”, and “The Eternal Nature of Man: Why the Unfairness of Life is Part of the Plan” (available on Amazon.com)
STUFF TO STUDY:
- Bring scriptures with you if you want to use them when we read some highlights that will guide our discussions. There are three wonderful general conference talks you can read or listen to as part of the preparation:
- The first sermon is entitled, “Are We Not All Beggars”. This talk was given in the October 2014 General Conference by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Click this link: https://www.lds.org/general-
- The second sermon is entitled, “Refuge from the Storm”. This talk was given in the April 2016 General Conference by Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy. Click this link: https://www.lds.org/general-
- The third sermon is entitled, “Songs Sung and Unsung”. This talk was given in the April 2017 General Conference by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Click this link: https://www.lds.org/general-
- Amazon.com: The Poor In The Scriptures, Alan Jones
ADDITIONAL RESOURCE ADDED BY JAY GRIFFITH:
Note: I recently finished the book below on recommendation by an individual who has been mentoring an African refugee family for some time. I have been working with African Refugee’s as a mentor in an LDS branch for two years and found a number of constructs and approaches in this book to be true to my experience and expect them to be helpful as I try to help the poor. I grew up lower middle class, mostly in a single wide trailer home in a rural community. We moved quite a bit but I had a lot of love and stability in my rearing. Our membership in the LDS church contributed to that love and stability. I do recommend reading this book even though it has some harsh critics that seem to often divide along the typical conservative and liberal lines. I’m always trying to cross such lines and seek helpful truths from whatever source they may be found.
- Book: Bridges Out of Poverty
- Free resources available related to the book
- A critical article about Dr Ruby Payne, a primary author of the book Bridges Out of Poverty
- Response to criticisms of A Framework for Understanding Poverty (Which part of the book Bridges Out of Poverty is built from)