Driving to work today I saw a license plate holder that said the following:
I see it, I want it, I throw a fit, and I get it
While obviously intended to be funny, the sentiment struck me as a glorification of selfishness and childishness and that one would not consider putting such a sentiment on one’s license plate holder unless there was an underlying current of truth behind it. Contrast the sentiment on the vehichle with that expressed by Paul in 1st Corinthians:
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things 1 Corinthians 13:11.
There is also a commercial playing on the local radio lately that encourages people to go out and buy things, anything, if they can afford it. It states that by buying things you’re helping your neighbors. Again, contrast that sentiment of consumerism and instant gratification with this counsel on provident living from Elder Hales in the latest General Conference:
When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!” or “We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!”
Obviously, all economic activity is based on mutual exchange between parties (i.e., buying/selling/trading) and there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t “buy” something (heat for our homes, water, energy, etc.). Thus, the counsel to focus on needs and not on wants, even if one can afford it, need not be construed as “go be a hermit, spin your own yarn, and never purchasing anything from anyone”. That being said, the contrasts between sentiments produced by the philosophies of men and sentiments produced by scripture and modern prophets are still stark.