I really wasn’t sure what to write about today. I have had a few ideas but couldn’t decide. Then as I read from the Book of Mormon during our family devotional time this evening, I knew what I had to write about. But before I offer my insights from the Book of Mormon, please take a moment to watch this video.
For some more information and insights into the video, check out Kathryn Skagg’s blog.
4 And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats—having usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men;
5 Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—
6 Now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many years;
As my wife was reading these verses I was struck with how well this describes today. Let’s look at it more closely.
And those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats—having usurped the power and authority of the land. I think it is very obvious that many of our leaders in this world are corrupt. We have judges who legislate from the bench. And many of our leaders feel they are above the law, because they are the law. One example might be Senator Craig who found himself in trouble for soliciting in a public bathroom.
Laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him. We currently have a system that believes that a moral basis for law is unethical. They no longer want to look to the Bible (or any other religious texts) for information on how we might govern should govern ourselves, because then we are imposing our will on others. They are forgetting that it isn’t my will. It is God’s will.
Doing no justice unto the children of men. There are so many ways that this is happening today. Starting with the stimulus package of President Obama which will place a terrible financial burden on our children and ending with abortion, our children are hurting sorely for justice.
Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness. Again there are countless examples of this today. In a very public way this is seen by those who are against gay marriage. They are publicly and viciously condemned. To a more individual front, where people proudly display a sticker in their truck window that says “SINNER.” Our society truly calls good evil and evil good.
Letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money. I don’t think you need to go much further than Hollywood or even Washington D.C. to find examples of evil getting off without punishment because they have a little money. I will site O. J. Simpson as one example, and leave you to come up with more.
Letting the guilty and the wicked . . . [hold] office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills. As I discussed this with my wife, she mentioned President Clinton. I thought of the recent acts of the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford. Theft is also rampant amongst many of our nations leaders.
And last, but certainly not least, actually probably quite the opposite. So, last and perhaps the most important point: Now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many years. Nephi wrote this in approximately 26 B.C. This was roughly 50 years after the height of the Nephite nation in Ancient America. After Mosiah had established a society ruled by judges and the voice of the people, instead the dictatorial rule of previous kings.
Let’s compare this to American history. Roughly 50 years ago, life was good in America. Freedom was strong, we had struggled through several battles, just like the Nephites, but everything seemed like Ozzie and Harriet.
Then the “60’s revolution” took place. The 60’s was a rebellion against the morality of their parents. It was a time of throwing of the shackles of religion and tradition. Now we see ourselves fighting for freedom from an oppressive government just like the ancient Nephites.
History has repeated itself in the past; the Nephite were like the time of Noah. History is repeating itself; we are like the Nephites. I don’t wish to be an apocolitic person. It really isn’t in my nature. But the signs of the times are now. We must do as the video above suggests; we must prepare. We must prepare both spiritually and temporally. I am more convinced of that today than I ever have been.