There are several versions of the prosperity gospel, but this essay talks only about the “Mormon” one (using “Mormon” in a way President Nelson would approve of).
In the Mormon version people are foreordained (because we don’t believe in predestination) to great wealth and fame because of their virtue, generally from the pre/existence.
Those who have virtue, God rewards and pays very well. Those who do not have only sufficient for their needs.
Everything else can be obtained with money and the possession of money and fame is proof of virtue.
Anything that generates wealth is holy and virtuous. Anything that results in reduced wealth or the absence of wealth is a sign of a lack of virtue. This is especially true of those who turn down professional advancements to spend time with family.
The great hero of this group is King David. After all, no matter what he did, God rewarded him, or so the narrative goes.
Which narrative comes about from not actually reading the scriptures.
After all King David:
- Acknowledges in the Psalms his soul is headed for hell and he pleads with God not to leave him there.
- Lost his wives in the course of the civil wars.
- The same civil wars where his children who didn’t rape, murder or kill each other died.
- Had his sole remaining friend and supporter killed, slaughtered really, upon the mercy seat in the Temple while pleading for his life.
- Came to ruin in other ways as well.
Using David as a reference point for someone with fame and wealth who had God wink at their sins because of virtue requires just ignoring the real details of the scriptures and David’s life.
Which makes sense since embracing the prosperity gospel just requires ignorance of what the scriptures and the temple really have to say.
I’m curious how often our readers encounter versions of the prosperity gospel and their experiences and thoughts about it.