All Things in Common

It is easy to misinterpret the Law of Consecration into something it is not. The root of this confusion may stem from the oft-repeated phrase of having all things in common.

What does that really mean?

Are we all to be the same?

Does God really want us to live in the same type of house, drive the same type of car, and wear the same type of clothes?

Or can having all things in common allow for diversity?

Sadly, we have little evidence of the extent of the sameness experienced by those few groups who successfully implemented this law. We mainly hear there was no poor among those who were able to live the challenge of consecration.

Rather than looking at these brief, temporary Zions for clues, perhaps we can learn more about commonality by taking a look at what we know of our pre-mortal existence.

Before this earth was created, we all lived as a family with our Heavenly Parents. While there, we had all things in common.

For example, each of us were loved perfectly.

We all were taught the same gospel.

None of us were denied access to any blessing or promise.

But did this commonality result in sameness?

Or was there diversity in our pre-earthly life?

We can detect a clue about potential diversity when we read that in a vision of this pre-mortal realm, Abraham saw there were noble and great ones. I feel there could only be noble and great ones if, at the same time, there were those less noble and less great.

But if we lived in an atmosphere of having all things in common, how could such obvious difference arise?

Why were some great and some less great?

Questions about pre-mortal diversity may well be answered when we consider what happened in the Counsel in Heaven. After our Heavenly Parents presented their Great Plan of Happiness, we, their children, shouted for joy.

But not all.

Lucifer, who at one time may have been one of these noble and great ones, didn’t shout for joy. Instead, he sought to supplant our Heavenly Parents and place himself on their thrones.

The result of this attempted coup lead to lengthy debates, much pleading, and many tears. Even after all that, a substantial number of our Heavenly Parent’s children, whom they perfectly loved, openly and willingly rebelled. They freely accepted eternity away from their Heavenly Parents.

How could this tragic rebellion happen when we had all things in common?

To me, the obvious answer is agency.

Agency allows each of us to create from our opportunities a result unique to our abilities and tailored to desires.

Perhaps the true measure of having all things in common has less to do being the same and more with the access we each have to opportunities and how we use our agency.

I feel we come closer to establishing Zion when we strive to assure that all people have equal opportunity to exercise their agency.

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