Articles/Essays – Volume 25, No. 4


My humble plan for the financial salvation and exaltation of every soul who has the sense to sign up 

I have seen a vision. I have become a new man. And boy, am I excited! Not that I was asking for any great blessings, but when your number’s called—hey!—you’ve got to go with the flow. 

It all began one foggy night on the freeway. I was pondering the difficulties of my stake missionary calling and took a wrong exit. Suddenly I found myself in a dark and dreary suburb. I spotted an iron railing by the sidewalk and followed it right up to a new LDS (Mormon) meetinghouse. On the wall was a sign that read, “WardAmerica—Prosper in the land today!” 

Inside, the chapel was jammed with people and a meeting was in progress. In fact, the only seats available were on the front row. I surveyed the back for folded chairs, but they were all in use. I was about to bail out altogether when the speaker paused, smiled at me, and gestured to the front. All heads turned in unison. I was trapped. I flashed an obedient smile and marched down the long, long aisle to the front pew, lengthening my stride with each step. 

No sooner had I plunked myself down than the man resumed his discourse and asked, “Is there anyone here against prospering in the land?” The only sound was the crunch of Cheerios beneath my feet. (Probably left there from a previous meeting.) 

“Everyone knows tithing is 10 percent,” he said. “Well, with Ward America you pay 15 percent. Let’s look at what happens to that extra 5 percent. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s very special.” I slumped in my seat and yawned. If only I had a child with me, I could take it out to the foyer. Then, as two elders rolled in a whiteboard, the man stepped down from the stand, popped the top off a grease pen, and began to write as he continued his presentation right in front of me. I sat up. 

“Of that extra 5 percent tithing, 20 percent goes to your sponsor, 20 percent goes to your sponsor’s sponsor, and so on unto four generations, just like in the Bible. Then the last 20 percent goes to your ward to supplement fast offerings and reinstate programs that were discontinued after the recent changes in the budget. Yes, brothers and sisters, you can send your scouts to Disneyland after all.” 

That may help keep the youth active, I thought, but who can afford the extra 5 percent tithing? Then, as if discerning my thoughts, the brother touched me on the shoulder and said, “Be not dismayed, for this plan utilizes the noble principles of American free enterprise to benefit your ward. That’s why it’s called Ward America.” I shifted in my seat. I had held those principles dear since first selling pizzas to ward members as a Primary child. 

“There are great blessings connected with this,” he stated firmly, and then he winked at me with a grin. I eyed him suspiciously but secretly wondered if this talk was meant personally for me. I leaned forward to find out. 

“Every time you bring in a new member, you earn a portion of that new member’s tithing .. . for life! Not only that, but suppose the new member brings in another new member? You will also earn a percentage on that person, and so on unto four generations.” 

“Just like in the Bible,” I chimed in under my breath. I glanced behind me and marveled that virtually everyone was nodding their heads in agreement. A sister nearby whispered to her friend, “See, and we were the very first ward to know about it.” I froze. Could this be a pilot program? A shiver shot up my missionary spine. 

“According to the Doctrine and Covenants, if you convert just one soul, great shall be your joy. But let’s assume you convert five souls, and that each of them signs up five more and so on. That would give you a total downline of 780 souls. Do you see how the kingdom could roll forth?” 

“Like a stone down the mountain of prosperity,” I responded involuntarily, obviously under the influence of the spirit. “And great shall be the blessings upon our heads.” 

“It won’t hurt your money market fund either,” quipped the good brother. “For behold, if you sign up a member who makes just $20,000 a year, the tithing would amount to $2,000 plus an extra 5 percent into the WardAmerica escrow account of $1,000. Your portion of that would be $200. That may not sound like a lot, but with a downline of 780 souls, your annual income for life would be $156,000!”

“Windows of Heaven!” I declared to myself. Why, with my good works, I could buy a house on the hill and drive a German car. I could prosper in the land just like the Nephites, just as the Lord intended. If I love anything, I thought, it’s correct principles. 

And suddenly my eyes were opened. I saw all my friends in my own ward, and all the nonmembers in my neighborhood, and all my co-workers from the beginning of time until the present day. And I sighed: Boy, WardAmerica sure beats the H-E-Double-Toothpicks out of the stake mission I’m on. 

And then it occurred to me that my mind was benefitting from the first intimation of intelligence flowing through it, and I comprehended that with the additional incentive of prospering in the land, members everywhere would lovingly escort their neighbors and friends to WardAmerica meetings. Any reluctance to share the gospel would melt away like the hoarfrost before the morning sun. The Church would soon fill the whole earth, and a good portion of those new members could be in my downline! 

I was brought out of my reverie by the grease pen squeaking across the whiteboard. “There’s more,” the great and inspired brother said. More? What more could there be? Already, it was clear that through WardAmerica we could be more effective at not only proclaiming the gospel, but also at perfecting the Saints. We could redeem the dead as well if we could figure out a way to collect their tithing. 

“Everyone who signs up today will be a telestial dealer,” he announced solemnly. I frowned at the title. “Be of good cheer,” he counseled, “For once you have a total downline of one thousand souls, you then become a terrestrial distributor.” He stalked the aisle, while silent rapture filled the bosoms of the entire congregation; for we all perceived what level we would advance to next. 

“Now to reach the top, you’ll need a total downline of three thousand souls. Once you accomplish that, your feet will be beautiful upon the mountains, for you will not only become a celestial executive, but your annual earnings will be close to seven figures plus a bonus of $100,000, plus you’ll be exempt from ever having to be on the cleanup committee of any ward function.” 

At last! A program where you could be exalted on earth as well as in heaven. Needless to say, I was seriously considering signing up; but before I could make a determination, this marvelous and wonderful leader turned the time over to those who had brought friends. 

First, a housewife shuffled up to the pulpit, wrenched the microphone, and meekly said, “You know, I’m the skeptical one in the family, but I said, Ok, Ward America, I’ll give you a chance; and it has sure changed my life.” She paused to dry her eyes with a handkerchief. “So far we’ve brought in ten souls, and our downline is multiplying exceedingly. Next month my husband and I will be terrestrial distributors, and we’ll be going to Hawaii. Now that’s eternal progression.” She sat down to the hugs of her husband and kids. 

Then a young returned missionary arose and spoke with even more conviction. “When I first attended WardAmerica, I felt real good about it. And we know what that means when we feel good about something.” Everyone nodded in unison. 

“Well, last month my blessings amounted to $8,157.20. So I made a goal to be a celestial executive in six months and a millionaire by next year so I can help those in need.” He looked down and became as serious as soap. “And I just want the people I brought here tonight to know I love ’em and that WardAmerica is an inspired program!” 

By this time I was at the very edge of my seat. Then, with a certitude as firm as the mountains around us, I promised then and there to join before that returned missionary got too far ahead of me. And in the ecstatic joy of that transcendent moment, I slipped off the edge of my pew to the carpet and joyously threw Cheerios fragments into the air until the hand of that beloved and faithful brother lifted me up. “I am your sponsor,” was all he said, and he handed me a Member Distributor Agreement Form. 

With a sob in my throat and a mighty change in my heart, I felt the old me being sloughed off and the new me signing on the dotted line. It was clear that this was the best way for me to help build the kingdom. And that’s my goal, to build the kingdom. Everything else will be added unto me. Since next Sunday is fast and testimony meeting, I figure that’s as good a time as any to introduce WardAmerica to my ward. 

And if you, dear reader, would like to order your very own WardAmerica Gospel Dealer Kit and get off to a fast start before this pilot program sweeps through your ward, then please write me today. Soon, you too will be prospering in the land.