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Dear Gramps,

President Kimball made the following statement in the Welfare Session of the October 1977 General Conference: “No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else. So long as he can, under the inspiration of the Lord and with his own labors, he will supply himself and his family with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life.” Does this mean that I will fall under condemnation from the Lord if I retire (while still physically capable of working) and begin drawing my Social Security?






It would be a mistake to classify labors as physical activities only. I am sure President Kimball would agree that part of one’s labor is to prepare and plan for the future. Thus one’s labor should also be building up the resources necessary for retirement, or other potential reversals of the ability to generate income.

Thus someone that planned for retirement, and then lived off what they had during retirement, is still supplying themselves with the necessities of life with their own labor. It’s just that the labor has already been done. This is also true for those who, for whatever reason, need to live off their savings or food storage for awhile.

When it comes to Social Security, most of us have paid into the system our entire working lives with the expectation that it will be there to help support us when we retire–a forced investment, if you will. Therefore I see no reason why it shouldn’t be counted as your labor, unless you are abusing or taking undue advantage of the Social Security system.






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