My patriarchal blessing tells me that I was born in a time of calamities and turbulence in the world and the older I get the more I see those calamities increase. Some may consider me paranoid or a conspiracy theorist but as I read the more I read the Book of Mormon the more I am thoroughly convinced that there are secret combinations all around us, they’re in gangs, they’re in the government they’re in politics they’re even in the white house. With the outright corruption and blatant lies we have seen from government officials and presidential candidates especially as of recent it’s impossible to be oblivious that there are not secret works of darkness going on all around us. We need The Book of Mormon now more than ever! Ezra Taft Benson taught “God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time” I have identified the three problems in society that I feel outweigh the rest and will show just how the book of Mormon combats them. First the need for righteous government leaders. Second the need for unity. Third the need for freedom of belief.
The need for righteous government leaders; The book of Mormon teaches us by example how important it is to have a righteous leader. “Now it was the custom among all the Nephites to appoint for their chief captains, (save it were in their times of wickedness) someone that had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy” This country was founded on Christian values by righteous inspired men, in fact many of the signers of the declaration of independence appeared to Wilford Woodruff and asked to have their temple work done. The Lord makes it clear in Ether chapter 2 verses 9 through 12 that this is a promised land and that whosoever will possess this land shall be free as long as they serve Jesus Christ or be swept off the land. I fear that many people in leadership positions in our government from a variety of political positions are a part of or supported by secret combinations and seek power and wealth rather than the best intrest of the citizens and true liberty, the Book of Mormon warns specifically warns us in Ether 8:22 that any nation that upholds secret combinations will be destroyed. This is why it is so important to have righteous leaders, unfortunately I don’t believe that either of this elections presidential candidates could even come close to being descried as righteous leaders.
The need for unity; “And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.” 4 Nephi 1:16-17 We learn from the book of Mormon that when people begin to distinguish themselves by their differences; wealth, color, location, language, rather than things that unify there begins to be contention and “A house divided against itself cannot stand” Lincoln (Another righteous American leader) used those very words quoted from Mark 3:25 in his great campaign speech against slavery in 1858. Now today there is too much well-meant emphasis on diversity which unfortunately tears us apart and not enough emphasis on patriotism which brings us together. We see so much racial/ cultural contention in the world, the most evident being the “Black Lives Matter” movement, caused by cultural flaws and driven by feelings of hate and entitlement, supported by lies and skewed statistics. Of such feeling the savior said “he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.” Yet today contention rather than charity is the driving force behind most political and social activism. Is it any doubt that we are going in the wrong direction?
Freedom of belief; Agency is our heavenly fathers first priority for his children, he so respected our agency that he was willing to lose a third part of his children to the adversary if they so chose. Today we extent that same freedom to our brothers and sisters whom we love though we may not agree with their life’s choices. The founding fathers valued this eternal principle and ratified it in the ninth amendment; “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” meaning that our rights end where we begin to infringe on the rights of others. Today the opposition is very one sided in its upholding of rights, the opposition will fiercely defend the right to freedom of speech until they don’t like what’s being said then all other are labeled as bigot’s because they believe differently and an attempt is made to disregard all others freedoms claiming that their beliefs are hateful. The Book of Mormon teaches this eternal truth in the way that the Nephite government was set up; “Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on to unequal grounds… But if he murdered he was punished unto death; and if he robbed he was also punished; and if he stole he was also punished; and if he committed adultery he was also punished; yea, for all this wickedness they were punished.”
In a world that is progressively more wicked and filled with false beliefs who’s author is the father of all lies it can be easy to become discouraged and think that there is no hope, The savior gave us words of comfort:”These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” We will have trials and challenges, we will be persecuted for our beliefs, we will be labeled as bigots but just as Jesus overcame the world we can overcome it through his grace if we will put our faith in him and hold fast to the Book of Mormon, his word specifically written for our generation. This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.