It has always been my dream to become a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur when I get older. My question is, if the Millenium begins during my lifetime, will there be an active economy on the earth? Or will all the work I would have done in business be for nothing or go to waste?
I’m afraid you’ve asked a question that has had so much written about it that not much is understood about it. What will the Millennium be like?
Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and …the Earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. (10th Article of Faith)
Yes, all the volumes of writings of very knowledgeable apostles, prophets, and scholars of LDS doctrine boils down to this. That’s about all we know.
However, your question seemed to ask a couple of other things.
Is the Millennium nigh upon us? The signs of the times are sure present. But the fact is that,
..of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Matthew 24:36
When making any decision about the future, we always want to hedge our bets. If the Millennium is coming soon, then we need to practice Provident Living. This includes Emergency preparedness, Financial preparedness, and Spiritual preparedness. These three legs of the stool are what will prepare us for the Millennium as well as the calamity preceding Christ’s return. If the Millennium is far enough away that we’re not going to see it in our lifetimes, then we need to make allowance for living a full life and taking care of our families.
Unfortunately, the question you implied was such that I suspect you may be putting a premium on financial gain rather than financial preparedness. You indicated that if you didn’t have the wealth for an extended period, it may not be worth the effort. For that, you need to have a better understanding of why you should go into business for yourself or not. I’d like to tell you a parable. I’ll update it somewhat to speak to the current generation.
The Philadelphia Temple was recently completed and had an open house. During its construction a reporter was given permission to walk the grounds and interview some personnel.
As he went to the concrete worker there he saw one man who was laying things rather sloppily. He barely met what a non-expert such as a journalist would have considered acceptable. He asked him,”What are you doing there?”
“Pouring concrete. Can you get out of my way? I’m trying to work here.”
Another area he noticed another concrete worker floating and trowelling. His work was very professional. He made sure everything was as square and flat as possible. Any boss would have been happy to have had this man completing the work. “What are you doing there?”
“I’m earning $50/hr. Please stay away from the concrete. This is my work. And I’ve got a reputation to uphold.”
Then a third man was working the concrete. He not only had the same level of expertise as the second man, but he had a smile on his face, an energy to his movement, and his labor was artwork. “What are you doing there?”
“I’m building a Temple of the Lord. It is for His glory I do this.”
The first man had an “occupation.” He was simply doing it because he had to. The second had a “profession.” He did it because he got paid. The better he did, the better he got paid. The third had a “vocation.” The root meaning of vocation is that it is our calling in life.
You may think this parable is only applicable to building temples. But the fact is that each of us was put on this earth for some special purposes. For many, the purpose is in business or our chosen career fields. It’s what we were born to do. If you have a career that is just an occupation or profession, then that’s fine. Your vocation may be in your non-work related life.
But if you hope to place all your hopes and dreams on building a great business just to make a lot of money or leave an earthly legacy, please hearken to the words of scripture.
But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. (Jacob 2:18-19)
The devil has his ways of getting gain. The world has its ways of getting gain. But the Lord will only bless you with wealth if you are performing a service to society. Are you going to provide high quality goods for the common man to purchase at lower prices? Are you going to invent something that will make life easier for the masses? Are you doing this to serve others or are you doing it to line your pockets. Or are you simply providing a common service that many need, and you’re going to make sure they get the best they can for the money? This isn’t to say you can’t earn a profit. A business can’t survive without one. But if profit is all you’re in business for, then that is not the Lord’s way.
If you feel this business is accepting your calling in life and that business will in some way improve the lives of others even if it is something very common, and you’re just going to do it better, then that is the reason to do it. It is not a matter of whether it is worth the effort. Put forth the effort because the business itself is worthy of your time that the Lord has given you. With this philosophy in mind, the money will come if the money is there. But the Lord will always make sure you have sufficient for your needs.