See also: 1 Timothy 3:3
There is nothing inherently evil about money. The Good Samaritan used the same coinage to serve his fellowman that Judas used to betray the master. It is “the love of money [which] is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) the critical difference is the degree of spirituality we exercise in viewing, evaluating, and managing the things of this world. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, November 1985, p. 63
1 Timothy 3:3: “Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;”
Now, all money is not lucre – all money is not filthy. There is clean money – clean money with which to buy food, clothes, shelter, and other necessities and with which to make contributions toward the building of the kingdom of God.
Clean money is that compensation received for a full day’s honest work. It is that reasonable pay for faithful service. It is that fair profit from the sale of goods, commodities, or service. It is that income received from transactions where all parties profit.
Filthy lucre is blood money; that which is obtained through theft and robbery. It is that obtained through gambling or the operation of gambling establishments. Filthy lucre is that had through sin or sinful operations and that which comes from the handling of liquor, beer, narcotics and those other many things which are displeasing in the sight of the Lord. Filthy lucre is that money which comes from bribery, and from exploitation.
Compromise money is filthy, graft money is unclean, profits and commissions derived from the sale of worthless stocks are contaminated as is the money derived from other deceptions, excessive charges, oppression to the poor and compensation which is not fully earned. I feel strongly that men who accept wages or salary and do not give commensurate time, energy, devotion, and service are receiving money that is not clean. Certainly those who deal in the forbidden are recipients of filthy lucre. — President Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, October 1953
Wealth is a jealous master who will not be served half-heartedly and will suffer no rival – not even God. . . . The more important wealth is, the less important it is how one gets it. — Hugh Nibley, Since Cumorah, p. 393
Cash is not food, it is not clothing, it is not coal, it is not shelter; and we have got to the place where no matter how much cash we have, we cannot secure those things in the quantities which we may need. . . . All that you can be certain you will have is that which you produce. — President Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, April 1978
I commend to you the virtues of thrift and industry. In doing so, I do not wish you to be a “tightwad,” if you will pardon that expression, or to be a freeloader, or anything of the kind. But it is the labor and the thrift of people that make a nation strong. It is work and thrift that make the family independent. Debt can be a terrible thing. It is so easy to incur and so difficult to repay. Borrowed money is had only at a price, and that price can be burdensome. Bankruptcy generally is the bitter fruit of debt. It is a tragic fulfillment of a simple process of borrowing more than one can repay. Back in 1938, I heard President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., speaking from the Tabernacle pulpit, talk about interest. He said:
“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours; it never has short crops nor droughts; it never pays taxes; it buys no food; it wears no clothes; it is unhoused and without home and so has no repairs, no replacements, no shingling, plumbing, painting, or whitewashing; it has neither wife, children, father, mother, nor kinfolk to watch over and care for; it has no expense of living; it has neither weddings nor births nor deaths; it has no love, no sympathy; it is as hard and soulless as a granite cliff. 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.” (In Conference Report, April 1938, p. 103.)
I wish every family in the Church would copy down those words and read them occasionally as a reminder of the price we pay when we borrow. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, February 1990
Modern-day prophets have pled in plainness for us to avoid “get-rich-quick” schemes if we would avoid the heartaches of financial bondage. Perhaps we have not said enough about the fact that too many of us, in our moments of dreaming of grandeur, plant the seeds of economic disaster. Then at a later date when much is lost, we blame those who participated with us. It is difficult to be of good cheer when self-deceit is our companion. When we willingly expose ourselves to the winds and storms of fraud and scam, we should not be surprised when we come down with deficit disease. Over the years of listening to those who have suffered heavy money losses, I have heard many in desperation declare, “I was taken.” Often my heart, mind, and the Spirit have prompted me to share, “Yes, you were taken by yourself.” We all need to be encouraged to lift up our heads and see where our thoughts and undeclared priorities are taking us. Self-deceit permits us to blame others for our failures. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign, May 1986, p. 66
Can we see how critical self-reliance becomes when looked upon as the prerequisite to service, when we all know service is what Godhood is all about? Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these inane desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, July 1984
If there is one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet. — President Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham , p. 111