A reporter at the local Provo Daily Herald likes to use me as an expert on Mormonism to quote in occasional articles. Following are some quotes from me he recently published in two related articles on LDS finances:
Among members of the church today, said Chris Bigelow, co-author of the reference book Mormonism for Dummies, "Avoiding debt is far and away the most emphasized financial counsel from church leaders."
"If a future anthropologist went back through general conference addresses given during our generation," Bigelow said, "it would likely appear that the two great vices tempting present-day Mormons are debt and pornography."
"The main reason that the church has been so financially successful," said Bigelow, "is because the members have been so faithful in paying tithing."
When addressing financial matters, Bigelow said, only the admonition from church leaders to avoid debt is repeated more frequently than the admonition to save money. "Just like storing food," he said, "saving money is part of our gospel of preparedness."
"To me, the Perpetual Education Fund is like a little taste of the Law of Consecration" said Christopher Bigelow, co-author of the reference book Mormonism for Dummies. "Those with more resources share with those with fewer resources, and people keep paying it forward. It's amazing that something like this could work on a worldwide scale."
As a financial clerk in his LDS ward in Provo, Bigelow has seen evidence of that firsthand. "I see some generous PEF donations come through every month," he said.
If, for some reason, you want to read the articles, they are here and here.