Hey Gramps team! I love your work. You’re the best.
I’m considering dabbling into investing. And I’m tempted to find a marijuana company to focus on. I think it’s only a matter of time before recreational marijuana will be tolerated in the nation and earn a spot in the stock exchange as federal laws loosen. It *could*be lucrative. I’ve heard of other members investing in alcohol as well. What do you think about this? Would I be going against church doctrine?
Thank you for your question.
Without fail, throughout our lives, we will repeatedly be presented with scenarios of, “Should I do X or should I do Y?” While it might be nice to always have a black and white, clearly defined answer to every possible question, that is simply not the design or pattern by which our Father in Heaven intends for us to grow.
For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. D&C 58:26
Rather he provides us with righteous principles so that we may judge for ourselves where the correct path lies .
I have always enjoyed the following experience of Joseph Smith as found in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith :
John Taylor, the third President of the Church, reported: “Some years ago, in Nauvoo, a gentleman in my hearing, a member of the Legislature, asked Joseph Smith how it was that he was enabled to govern so many people, and to preserve such perfect order; remarking at the same time that it was impossible for them to do it anywhere else. Mr. Smith remarked that it was very easy to do that. ‘How?’ responded the gentleman; ‘to us it is very difficult.’ Mr. Smith replied, ‘I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.’”
As members of the Church, we are given correct principles to live by. With these correct principles we should be able to decide for ourselves, with confirmation from the Holy Ghost, which path we should follow. Rather than simply give you a direct answer to your question, perhaps it is better to offer up a series of questions by which you can come to your own conclusion. For the moment, feel free to substitute any commodity or service you wish into your specific question, “Should I invest in ______________?”
Should I invest in pickles?
Should I invest in playground equipment?
Should I invest in pornography – since it is both legal and lucrative?
If I lived in a country where it was legal, would I invest in a butterfly farm, oil pipeline or perhaps organized voluntary prostitution?
Some of the questions that you may consider asking yourself, given that as members of Church we have been given the chance to learn correct principles:
1. Is what I hope to invest in going to draw me closer or further from the Lord?
2. Is what I hope to invest in bringing me peace or confusion/doubt/hesitation?
3. Do I feel like I’m being lead to this choice by the Spirit or tempted instead?
4. Does my choice in investment align with the 13th Article of Faith where it states:
If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
5. Would I feel uneasy trying to explain my choice in investment before the Lord?
6. Would I feel worthy to sign my own temple recommend?
7. Would I be proud to share my investment portfolio with my spouse/family/children/Bishop?
As you go through the questions above, I promise you that you will know which path to take, even if it is not the answer you may have been looking for. While there may be many things that are: legal, lucrative and done by others (even members of the Church), those are not the litmus test the Lord uses.
I leave with you one final thought found in the Book of Mormon. It comes from Mormon 3:20, where it states:
20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;
Good luck Christopher is figuring out for yourself what path you should take.