Considering the different degrees of glory, and the accumulation of knowledge, practice, and mastery, …theres something more to say about The Poor Among You. Perhaps The Poor Among You is defined based on the degree of glory you have acquired. All of God’s knowledge is accumulative and complimentary, but not destructive or contradictory. Consider my point.
If there is knowledge, practice, and mastery in the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial, …then the absence of knowledge would describe The Poor Among You. Yes, …that’s right, …”ignorance” is poverty. The Priesthood was given to reverse the effects of “ignorance,” by increasing “light.”
“Although there are two priesthoods, yet the Melchizedek Priesthood comprehends the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood and is the grand head, and holds the highest authority which pertains to the Priesthood- the keys of the Kingdom of God in all ages of the world to the latest posterity on the earth- and is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation and every important truth is revealed from heaven.” (Joseph Smith dictated to his scribe R.B. Thompson, RE Section 48, pg. 130).
Joseph Smith taught that you can be saved no faster than you gain knowledge, and if a man gain more intelligence than another, it will be to his advantage in the life to come (D&C 130:18-19), …then our first step is clearly to acquire knowledge! So, …if we read between the lines, …if “knowledge” comes through priesthood, …then, there is a priesthood in each degree of glory. Priesthood was intended to elevate one another, to eliminate poverty, so that there are no poor among you. If you consider priesthood an association, then in the telestial, it is an association with producers, who like to work, like among our family, and the project we have been working on for almost a year now. In the terrestrial, it is an association with ministering angels (D&C 84:26-27), who bring further light and knowledge from the presence of the Lord. And in the celestial, it is an association with the mysteries of God, in the presence of Christ and God the Father, in the flesh (D&C 84:19-22).
Since all of God’s knowledge is accumulative and complimentary, but not destructive or contradictory, as we increase in glory, we are added upon, and added upon, until we are filled with light. Those who seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness are promised that all these things- clothes, food, and shelter- will be added unto you (3 Nephi 13:33). We are also taught that if your eye be single to the glory of God, your whole body will be filled with light (3 Nephi 13:22). If you harden your heart, you’ll be given a lesser portion of the word, until you know nothing of the mysteries of God, but if you soften your heart, you’ll receive the mysteries of God, until you know them in full (Alma 12:10-11). It’s all additive and complementary.
When the philosophies of men get mingled with scripture, the truth of the laws get eroded, corrupted, and withers away. For instance, telestial law naturally generates: producers, industrious people, that are anxiously engaged in a good cause. Their efforts lessen the burdens of life in the world, providing: better transportation, communication, building materials, etc. And people will pay the price tag, if it is mutually beneficial to them. Naturally, the byproduct is “financial rewards.” And financial gain equals “free time” to pursue a higher law, to study the words of Christ, and acquire a terrestrial law and glory. …However, crooks, thieves, and bullies, rob, steal, and force people to pay them, producing the same counterfeit financial result. Their purpose is to hoard, not considering the higher laws or glories. They prefer winning in the telestial over eternal progression. They sacrifice the power of creating worlds without number, for worldly aspirations and the glory of men. In ignorance they have sacrificed the greater for the lesser law and glory. When philosophies of men are mingled with scripture, men are fooled into selling their birthright of godliness, for a mess of pottage.
The work needing to be done with The Poor Among Us is very real. It begins with the correct knowledge, continues in a path unique to each of us, and progresses to higher laws and glories. That is our work and our glory.
Conclusion: The Poor Among Us must awake and arise to the awful situation by which we are held captive. The bondage we are all in (debt and sin) requires our combined effort to escape. We cannot skip steps, working in the terrestrial when we have failed to unite in the telestial. I consider us lucky that our parents have written upon our hearts the value of work. Lets finish this project as one, freeing up some time, to invest in the knowledge of a higher law and glory, by the study and discussions upon the words of Christ.