We are witnessing in society tremendous business failures to a degree and an extent we have not seen in a long while. Many of these are the fruits of imprudent borrowing, of debts so large they cannot be paid. In America, we have seen billions upon billions lost in the failure of savings and loan institutions that have been forced to the wall because borrowers did not meet their obligations. We have seen strong banks shaken and brought to their knees because those to whom they loaned money could not pay their debts.
Our pioneer forebears lived by the adage “Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
Reasonable debt for the purchase of an affordable home and perhaps for a few other necessary things is acceptable. But from where I sit, I see in a very vivid way the terrible tragedies of many who have unwisely borrowed for things they really do not need.
Monday, December 8, 2008
President Gordon B. Hinckley, “I Believe,” New Era, Sep 1996, 4 (Adapted from an address delivered at Brigham Young University in March 1992)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Elder L. Tom Perry, “The Joy of Honest Labor,”Ensign,Nov 1986,62
I wonder what kind of signals we are sending to our children when we purchase homes that are status symbols. We waste space and resources when we buy a larger home than is needed, a larger home than is practical for us to afford. We encumber ourselves with mortgages so large that they require the income of both husband and wife to make payments. Then we build consumer debt to the point of absorbing completely all of our disposable income, leaving no margin of safety for the rainy days that come into everyone’s life. Do not such signals from heads of households only feed the philosophy of “I want it now” in the lives of our children?
Some even have the mistaken belief that after turning their ears away from the counsel of the prophets to avoid unnecessary debt, they can then turn to their bishops to bail them out of their foolishness. About all the poor bishops can do is weep with them and help them move to more affordable housing and then counsel them on how they can cut their losses.