“All Things Common” – 4 Nephi 1:4

The people who interacted with the resurrected Savior on the American continent lived together in unity for the rest of their lives. Their children and grandchildren followed their examples and enjoyed the blessings of a harmonious society. “There were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.” This unity changed their perception of ownership: “They had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift” (4 Nephi 1:3-4).

Unfortunately, subsequent generations abandoned the attitudes and behaviors which had formed the basis for this prosperous and peaceful society:

There began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.

And they began to be divided into classes.

4 Nephi 1:24-26

People are more important than things. This is a fundamental principle. Unfortunately, we can become so distracted by our possessions that we lose sight of what really matters.

When a sense of ownership becomes competitive in nature, when our goal is to have more than other people, and when our sense of self-worth becomes attached to our earthly possessions, trouble looms.

And when that competitive desire overshadows our sense of compassion, it becomes ugly. “Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?” (Mormon 8:39).

Today, I will value people over things. I will pay attention to the needs of people around me and not allow myself to be distracted by worldly things.

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