I’ve gotten many questions lately why I seem to have abandoned my blog. Yes, it’s been too long since my last post.
I was suffering through my own personal malaise, looking at all the destruction of wealth and freedom our government is currently engaged in, thinking “what’s the point? We’re all doomed!” Melodramatic? Probably? Helpful train of thought? Not hardly.
Then, Glenn announced his “We Surround Them,” campaign, following it up with “The 9-12 Project,” which I’m getting really excited about and encourage all my readers to participate in.
So, I’m energized again for the first time in weeks.
A couple of nights ago, my sweet wife and I were reading in Alma, Chapter 11. The whole section starting in about Ch. 8 and going through about Ch. 15 chronicles Alma and Amulek’s missionary efforts in Ammonihah, a Nephite city plagued with pompous and self-righteous citizens.
Anyway, Mormon–the chronicler and historian who’s recording these events–gives us an aside for the first few verses of Chapter 11 to explain Nephite currency: “this is worth 2 of that and that’s worth 10 if this,” etc., etc. The names of the pieces of currency don’t really mean much to us but his point was to sort of demonstrate some of the peoples’ greed.
In verse 3 he writes, “And the judge received for his wages according to his time…” and then, skipping past the currency lesson, he says, in verse 20, ” Now, it was for the sole purpose to get gain, because they received their wages according to their employ, therefore, they did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them…”
The principle I’m learning here is that the lawyers and judges would stir the people up against each other to make money off the contentions they caused. After the same manner, Rush Limbaugh is fond of telling his listeners to “follow the money.” I speculate that the the Nephite judges–at least some of them–probably started out as lawyers who aspired to judgeships. The Nephites had instituted a system of government similar to the ancient Israelites under Moses (at his father-in-law Jethro’s insistence) in that they had judges at different levels administering the laws of the land. So, these judges would loosely correlate with our modern politicians.
So, our politicians stir the people up to all manner of disturbances and wickedness, pitting one interest group against another and seeking campaign contributions or special favors or even jobs after leaving public office because of the profit to be made in doing so. Don’t think for an instant that debacles such as these stimulus packages, bailouts and power grabs aren’t payoffs of one sort or another and won’t lead to lining the pockets of more than one politician in Washington.
We Mormons have heard from Primary on about the Pride Cycle, one of the overarching lessons taught in the Book of Mormon. As a people humble themselves before the Lord and serve Him, he blesses them with peace and prosperity. This prosperity leads to pride and arrogance and some force–foreign or domestic–plagues them until the people find themselves humbled once again and begin the cycle anew.
We, as a nation, have pretty successfully been turning our backs to God, trusting in our own wealth, power and accomplishments and have ripened for a fall leading us to humble ourselves anew. I hope that we like-minded individuals can either seize the opportunity to educate our neighbors and communities and avert the fall and arrest the cycle or–more likely–stand as leaders subsequent to our nation’s fall, whatever form it will take, and lead us in humility and gratitude to a new era of service to our fellow man and to our God, however we worship Him. In doing so, we will once again be blessed with peace and prosperity.