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For Where Your Treasure Is,
There Will Your Heart Be Also

John Henry was a rich man. He prided himself on his earthly wealth and accomplishments. He had everything a mortal could want; a high paying job, an exquisite house on a hill that overlooked the ocean, with stylish cars, fine furniture, and the very best things money could buy. He traveled to exotic places, dined in famous restaurants, and truly "lived life." Indeed, he had everything. His earthly wealth exceeded that of most men.

John was also a upright man! He strongly believed the good he did on earth would surely be rewarded in heaven. He frequently declared his love of God, and had a fervent testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He did not indulge in evil or wicked behaviors, and he avoided for the more part, the wicked and enticing ways of the world. John served in church callings, and believed in honoring his priesthood. He believed his days of probation were well spent and felt great pride about the time he spent on earth and what he had attained.

One day John passed on from this mortal estate. He found himself in an interview room before the "Council of Life." John demanded an explanation. He was upset and angry! "Why had he been pre-assigned to a Terrestrial World?" This was not what he expected: "It was unfair!" He was convinced that he was worthy of a glory greater than that of the moon.

John wanted to be with the Savior. He was shocked, for this is not what he had planned, nor what he worked so very hard on earth to achieve. He thought; "God knew his works and they were good; and, there were many good works! Then why? Why not the Celestial Kingdom and the glory of the sun?" John needed to know. He was hoping for an appeal of this unanticipated decision.

After he calmed down, he realized some things. He was actually satisfied that he would not be in the Telestial World; the glory of the stars. But, he still could not get over the fact that on earth he had "always been the best, and had the best." After all, "the Celestial Kingdom was the best!" A conversation ensued which would shed further light on John's plight, and his ultimate reward and judgment.

John:

"I am upset! This is not fair! I worked hard and always chose the right!

Counselor:

"Well then! (a slight pause) Tell me, why is it unfair?"

John:

"I did everything right! I was baptized. I served a mission. Do you know how hard it was for a young man of 20 years old to give up cars, girls, skiing, and everything he loved just to go on a mission. I always went to church on Sunday, even when I did not feel like it!

Counselor:

"Oh?"

John:

"I did these things because I loved the Lord, not because I wanted to. I desired to do the right thing. It was a great sacrifice."

Counselor:

"I suppose it was."

John:

"I worked hard and was one of the best missionaries ever to serve in Europe. And that is a fact!"

Counselor:

"I am sure that the Lord was pleased with your efforts on the mission . What happened after your mission?"

John:

"I went to Brigham Young University, dated beautiful woman, snow skied, worked out, had fun, and got an education."

Counselor:

"Is that all you did?"

John:

"Well. ( a pause) When I had time, I did go to the Provo Temple to do temple work. I tried to go every few months when I wasn't busy."

Counselor:

"Did you love it?"

John:

"Love what?"

Counselor:

"The Provo Temple."

John:

"Of course!"

Counselor:

"What did you do after Brigham Young University?"

John:

"I learned to work harder and smarter."

Counselor:

"What do you mean?"

John:

"I did not want to be poor like most people. I found you could make a lot of money selling investments.

Counselor:

"You like money?"

John:

"Oh, yes! Not only can you do a lot of good with money, but you can live the finer life! (scripture reference) Man is that he might have joy!"

Counselor:

"Finer life?"

John:

"You know! (pause). You can have anything you want if you have enough money!" When I go back to earth after the resurrection, my trust funds will be there. I will be able to maintain my previous standard of living. I could not live like most people."

Counselor:

"Standard of living? What do you mean?"

John:

"In the Millennium, I will have anything I want. Just like when I lived on earth in my probationary period!"

Counselor:

"Wow! (pause). What is it that you want?"

John:

"Everything money can buy. You know! Only the best!"

Counselor:

"What about the things that money cannot buy?"

John:

"What do you mean?"

Counselor:

"Never mind. (pause) Tell me about your successes."

John:

"I was in the top one percent in the United States in selling investments. I was the best in whatever I did! It was part of my personal plan for perfection. During my free time, I traveled to exotic places, boarded in luxury hotels, and dined like royalty. It was a great life, I had so much fun! But, (pause) I deserved it. I spent thousands of hours building my business. No one knows the sacrifices I made to build my wealth. I worked hard and earned every penny. As you know, (scripture reference) we reap what we sow!"

Counselor:

"It sounds like you were very learned and skilled. It appears that you had a very full life."

John:

"Oh! It was! And I was the best in whatever I chose to do!"

Counselor:

"It sounds like it. Tell us about your family life."

John:

"Well, I was married more than once. I had a son and a daughter, whom I love with all of my heart. And my parents, I love them equally as much.

Counselor:

"It sounds like you would do anything for them."

John:

"Oh! I would! Now that I have died, my posterity will never have any financial worries. They will inherit my fortune, and they will be richly blessed for generations because of me!"

Counselor:

"It is good that you love them so much. What about your wives?"

John:

"It did not work out with them. I gave them the best things that money could buy... They would not do what I told them. You know! (pause) He who makes the gold, makes the rules! They could not live the rules. And, they wanted more and more. It seems everybody wanted my money. It was my rule to never give money! Except for paying my tithing."

Counselor:

"What do you mean, your wives wanted more and more?"

John:

"They wanted my money! I gave them everything money could buy. But it was never enough. They wanted my money too! (pause) I think me being rich, and giving them so much, changed them. Before we were married, when they had nothing, they were appreciative. Money seems to change people. (pause) You know! Money has been a curse to me."

Counselor:

"It appears you have given a lot of insightful thought to this."

John:

"My whole life!"

Counselor:

"If money was a curse, then why did you not give it up?"

John:

"Maybe it was not that big of a curse. Anyway, I could never give up all of my wealth. You see, the money makes me who I am. The Lord wanted me to be a multimillionaire. It was my purpose on earth to make money."

Counselor:

"Really?"

John:

"Yep. That's my talent. I have a gift! Making money!"

Counselor:

"Did you have an extended family?"

John:

"Yes."

Counselor:

"What happened there?"

John:

"They were jealous of my success and wanted my money too. It is hard for people not to covet.

Counselor:

"How do you know they were coveting?"

John:

"They always cried poverty."

Counselor:

"What do you mean?"

John:

"They never would come to my house and do the things that I liked to do."

Counselor:

"Didn't they live far away? Do you think that maybe they could not afford to do the things you did?" (pause) Why did you not just go and see them?"

John:

"Too boring, and just not fun. I needed to be doing something exciting, not just sitting around talking. If they really wanted to get to know me, they would have come, visited me, and did what I wanted to do."

Counselor:

"I see."

John:

"Anyway, they would have just come because I am the rich uncle. I wish they really knew me. I did care about them, even if they did always want something from me."

Counselor:

"Did you ever help family members?"

John:

"Yes, I helped a sibling, once or twice."

Counselor:

"Never more? What happened?"

John:

"Never more! Their financial problems were their own. I tried to help once and I got my feelings hurt. So that was the end of that. I never helped them again. They were so unappreciative. From then on, I decided that I would only help my posterity."

Counselor:

"What do you mean?"

John:

"With my trust funds, I could cover my posterity's missions, education, etc.

Counselor:

"So, your children and grandchildren are active in the LDS Church and going on missions?"

John:

"Actually, my children never married and I have no grandchildren yet. I believe I will have a posterity in the Millennium!"

Counselor:

"But you still helped your nephews and nieces and grand nephews and nieces with their missions and education? Right?"

John:

"No, the money was only for my posterity. Besides, I told you none of them wanted to know me. ( pause) Anyway, a principle in the gospel is self-reliance. They would not have appreciated the help anyway. You know how they only wanted my money!"

Counselor:

"Brother Henry, our records show they did not want your money. And, they very much wanted to know you. You were just too busy. I am sure you will get another chance to know them later. What was your church life like?"

John:

"I did everything that I was asked!"

Counselor:

"By who?"

John:

"The Bishop, of course. I even tried to follow his counsel when he was wrong. You know the leaders are only men. They make mistakes just like you and me."

Counselor:

"What did he ask you to do?"

John:

"He asked me to teach. And I was a great Sunday School teacher. I always taught by the Holy Spirit."

Counselor:

"I am sure you were, and did."

John:

"My most important calling I fulfilled! Like I said, God wanted me to become a millionaire. That was my calling in life!"

Counselor:

"God called you to become a millionaire? Why would God call you, to be a millionaire?"

John:

"Because I could pay more tithing than anyone else in the ward. In fact, for many, many years, I paid more in tithing than the bishop's annual income. He told me that! I always paid my tithing because I am so blessed. I have a testimony of paying tithes. I am so blessed that the windows of heaven opened for me."

Counselor:

"And you believe God foreordained you to be a millionaire so that you could pay tithes?"

John:

"Oh yes! That is my talent! I know how to make money. And it takes money to run His kingdom. You've heard about the Parable of the Talents. I have increased my net worth more than hundred fold!"

Counselor:

"Interesting. That must make you feel good. What other service did you give?

John:

"Like I said, whatever I could when I had time."

Counselor:

"Since you enjoyed your mission so much, did you want to serve another one?"

John:

"Only if I could be a mission president. Any other mission call would be a waste of my talents, skills, and abilities."

Counselor:

"I see. How did you feel about your temple covenants?"

John:

"I love the Lord, and I know everything I have accumulated is because of him. In fact, I would gladly give to Heavenly Father all of my money, if he would only ask for it. But, only Heavenly Father could ask for it!"

Counselor:

"He did ask for some of it."

John:

"When?"

Counselor:

"Every time you saw a family member in need! Every time a member of your extended family went on a mission! Every time you learned of a ward member in need! Every time you saw a friend or stranger who was in need!"

John:

"But I did help many, and I always gave inspired advice. I would and did help many. I just could not break my rule of giving money."

Counselor:

"Yes you did!. As long as it did not interfere with your busy life or require an extra large donation of cash, you did help others."

John:

"I don't understand. I always made phone calls of counsel and support to help. If the ones I advised would have done what I told them, they would have been fine, and their lives would have been better. I even offered my home on occasion with conditions. But, never money!"

Counselor:

"Yes you did."

John:

"I led a good life. I did a lot of good."

Counselor:

"Yes, you did many, many good things! And for this you will be rewarded! The Council has heard your petition. Please wait and your appeal will be considered. We will be back shortly."

A few hours later, the Council of Life returned with their decision."Dear Brother Henry... "We love you! You have been a good man with many good intentions! Even valiant in many things! The focus of your life and your crowning achievements were reviewed. You have described them well. Your pre-assigned judgment was based upon eternal principles that have existed since the foundations of time. All the choices you have made in life that have been considered. Your free agency played a major role in your reward. We assure you that the decision was made with love, compassion, and mercy. It has been decided by inspiration, that you will be blessed richly according to the desires of your heart. You will be allowed to keep all of your earthly treasures and wealth forever. The money that was of so much importance to you on earth, has no value in the Celestial Kingdom. However, you do indeed get to keep it. You will be the envy of all in the Telestial Kingdom. Your reward upon final review, will be to enjoy the fullness of the Terrestrial Kingdom and all things within it. Because Heavenly Father knows your heart. He also knows where you will be the happiest. For as you know, He has taught us:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21)

John Henry humbly bowed his head and had nothing more to say. He slowly walked away down the heavenly path to return to the earthly riches which represented the desires of his heart.

SHORT STORIES

For Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also

Gold At St. Peter's Gate

Heavenly Trek and Handcarts

Master Mahan's Plan

Picture Yourself In That Day

Sacred Moments Hard To Endure

The Parable of Perception

Three Sisters and The Resurrection

Real True Grit

What It Means To Know Christ