Control, Ownership, and Independence: a discussion

Richard Eyre, author of numerous parenting and self-management books, wrote this column in an LDS magazine. He invited comments and discussion on the topic. Here a copy of my email to him:


I really enjoyed your column. These are principles that I have tried to understand in the context of the gospel (and government) for some time now. You mention that control, ownership, and independence are valuable economic tools…and they may be in an economy that values money at its foundation (like capitalism does).
However, it seems that an economy should be built on more powerful and more important values like labor and beauty and wisdom instead of money. In that economy control, ownership, and independence have little value. On the contrary, freedom, stewardship, and interdependence (cooperation instead of competition) have the ability to create and develop true prosperity, instead of the false one that we find ourselves worshipping.

Many political writers talk of the inalienable rights of life, liberty and property as being God-given thereby the role of government is to protect these. I agree that Christ suffered to provide life and liberty, but His atonement deals in no way with property. I appreciate Jefferson changing it to “the pursuit of happiness” instead of property.

As you stated in the column, we don’t really own anything and as soon as we get the idea that we do, we become attached to something that will only drag us from the intimate relationship we need with Father and Christ.

Thanks for writing this. I look forward to further explorations on this topic.

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