The Prophetic Injunction
The repeated counsel of the brethren for well over a century has been to pay our debts and avoid further indebtedness.
Brigham Young said, “Pay your debts…do not run into debt any more.”
Joseph F. Smith gave this advice in 1911: "If there is anyone here who is in debt, I would advise that when he goes home, and when I go home, too, that we will begin with a determination that we will pay our debts and meet all of our obligations just as quickly as the Lord will enable us to do it."
Gordon B. Hinckley counseled, “I urge you as members of this Church to get free of debt.”
President Thomas S. Monson recently taught that debt can “crush our self-esteem, ruin relationships, and leave us in desperate circumstances.” He noted that “yesterday’s luxuries have become today’s necessities.” And then added that, like in Pharaoh’s dream, "changes occur: people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made.”
The Provident Living website at www.LDS.org states, “Honor your debts. We are a people of integrity. We believe in honoring our debts and being honest in our dealings with our fellow men.”
The First Presidency in "All is Safely Gathered In": "We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage. Save a little money regularly to gradually build a financial reserve. If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts.
In a letter to be read in sacrament meeting, issued in 2008, The First Presidency stated, "We are concerned that some Church members ignore the oft-repeated direction to ... avoid consumer debt."
The counsel of the Brethren has been simple, consistent, and in conformity with scriptural mandates. It is to pay our debts and avoid future debt.