Tag: warning to the Nephites

Weep for Zion for Zion has fled

It may as well be a dream.  It involves our collective slumber.  We get pictures in our head when we are taught some truth and presume that the picture is accurate.  Then after we have repeated the “truth” often enough, we go on to believe the picture must be all-inclusive.

Once we’ve arrived at that point, the truth no longer matters. Our minds are made up. We’ve decided the answers, and no further evidence will be considered.

This certainty is reinforced when more people reach the same conclusion because they share the same picture in their head. You get together with others and testify that you are all in possession of the truth; not only the truth, but ALL of the truth. Before long every one of the group can pass a lie-detector test about the truth as they explain it.

As a result, this herd is incapable of ever seeing the picture differently. They cannot open their minds to the idea that their picture is skewed or off. It is most certainly incomplete.  It is, in fact, so far short of the whole story that when any part of the remaining, missing information is shown to them they are certain it is a lie.

It is painful to part with our suppositions and the traditions we hold dear.  It is painful to admit there may be much more of the picture we have not yet considered, much less seen.  It causes anxiety and fear. So much fear in fact, that when it comes to “eternal truth,” people literally put their lives in jeopardy if they denounce the falsehoods of the herd and proclaim the truth to those whose peace of mind and self-identity is tied to the incomplete and misleading picture they believe holds all truth.

Latter-day Saints are not immune from this process. We have wanted a complete, well defined statement of our faith since the time of Joseph Smith. We crave an “orthodox” faith so we, like the Historic Christians, can proclaim what is true and right and what is error and heresy. It gives us security. It is false security, purchased at the price of closed minds. It gives us hope. It is false hope, based on the foolishness of the deluded.

As we water down even further the true principles of what our faith contains by requiring Relief Society and High Priests to labor over a Gospel Essentials Manual as the sole fodder for our spiritual fare, we strain every particle of solid food out of the diet. The remaining gruel is so thin, lacking in substance, that we become universally malnourished. Yet in that emaciated state, as our bellies distend from the bloating of starvation, we all proclaim how well fed we are. Our bellies are swollen!  We have enough of the word of God!  We need no more of the word of God!  All is well!  Better than well, we prosper in the land of promise!

When you surrender your superstitions and arrogance and read the scriptures for the first time with an open mind, they will astonish you. They will condemn you. They will demand you repent, open your heart, and receive more. They will offer you the bread of life, a living fountain of revelation from which, if you draw, you will find not only sustenance, but also the capacity to recognize that there are those who are starving.

We still weep for Zion; for Zion has fled.

Try reading Alma Chapter 13 and take LITERALLY every word there. Don’t bring any pictures in your head and read them into the text. Forget every popular and correlated notion ever spoken about the priesthood for a moment and just look at the words. You will be shocked.  If you can bring yourself to do that, then read the Book of Mormon again. It was written for our day, testifying against us. A former group of inhabitants who failed and were destroyed wrote their best advice and sent it to us.  We are the ones being warned. We are in a great deal of peril. Our church, if the Book of Mormon is true, is filled with corruption and priestcraft.

Or, on the other hand, just chant that “you know (insert the subject of choice here) is true” and throw about the “name of Jesus Christ” as you do.  It is a tried and true mantra, which when repeated often enough, can dull the senses and reinstate the slumber we are so often wrapped.  So relax.  Hum to yourself a hymn and you will soon be back asleep.

O that I had repented

National debt is nearly the entire annual gross domestic product.
The banking crisis in Europe is threatening to spread, and the US has committed billions to help prop up the imbalanced European socialist-democracies.
The money supply is shrinking at a rate comparable only to the years leading into the Great Depression.
I am reminded of the Nephites when they were denounced with these words: 
“O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?  Yea, behold, the anger of the Lord is already kindled against you; behold, he hath cursed the land because of your iniquity. And behold, the time cometh that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them; and in the days of your poverty ye cannot retain them.”  (Hel. 13: 29-31.)
As our own riches become “slippery” so that we cannot hold onto them, I think we get a taste of what the Nephites were allowed to experience because they could not distinguish between those who taught the truth and those who merely led them about while blind.
The prophecy continued with these additional words of wise, and still relevant counsel:
“And in the days of your poverty ye shall cry unto the Lord; and in vain shall ye cry, for your desolation is already come upon you, and your destruction is made sure; and then shall ye weep and howl in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts. And then shall ye lament, and say: O that I had repented, and had not killed the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out. Yea, in that day ye shall say: O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose them; for behold, our riches are gone from us.  Behold, we lay a tool here and on the morrow it is gone; and behold, our swords are taken from us in the day we have sought them for battle. Yea, we have hid up our treasures and they have slipped away from us, because of the curse of the land.  O that we had repented in the day that the word of the Lord came unto us; for behold the land is cursed, and all things are become slippery, and we cannot hold them.  Behold, we are surrounded by demons, yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls. Behold, our iniquities are great. O Lord, canst thou not turn away thine anger from us? And this shall be your language in those days. But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head. O ye people of the land, that ye would hear my words!”  (Hel. 13: 32-39.)
As always, the Book of Mormon remains the keystone of our religion.  A person can get closer to God by abiding its precepts than through any other book.
I don’t think Joseph Smith wrote it.  I think he translated it.  I think it contains wisdom from an earlier, failed civilization that once inhabited this land.  I think their lessons should not be forgotten by us.  Because when we fail to learn them by precept, then we get to learn them by experience.  And some of their experiences were quite difficult.