“We are carrying a message of self-reliance throughout the Church. Self-reliance cannot obtain when there is serious debt hanging over a household. One has neither independence nor freedom from bondage when he is obligated to others.
“In managing the affairs of the Church, we have tried to set an example. We have, as a matter of policy, stringently followed the practice of setting aside each year a percentage of the income of the Church against a possible day of need.
“I am grateful to be able to say that the Church in all its operations, in all its undertakings, in all of its departments, is able to function without borrowed money. If we cannot get along, we will curtail our programs. We will shrink expenditures to fit the income. We will not borrow.
“One of the happiest days in the life of President Joseph F. Smith was the day the Church paid off its long-standing indebtedness.
“What a wonderful feeling it is to be free of debt, to have a little money against a day of emergency put away where it can be retrieved when necessary...
“I urge you... to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.
“This is a part of the temporal gospel in which we believe. May the Lord bless you... to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your [families] and peace in your hearts. That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) “To the Boys and to the Men,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 53–54.
Prophetic words. So many people and even countries are in terrible state as they have borrowed too much money.