Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Voice of the People


We’ve reached a milestone in American history. Emotions are running high. Liberals are elated; conservatives are disheartened.
This past election was a watershed moment in time. Everyone, on both sides of the political spectrum, is in agreement about that, but for very different reasons. Everything has changed.

Until recent decades, the majority of Americans stood steadfastly for certain core values, whether liberal or conservative. A back-and-forth tug-of-war dominated politics and ensured that neither philosophy could dominate for long. But now, that’s over.

Curiously, the Book of Mormon prophet, Mosiah, had something to say on this subject.

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people. (Mosiah 29: 26)

For over 200 years, the self correcting nature of our political system worked just as Mosiah explained. Mosiah referenced what we have called “the moral majority” in our time, those who possess the innate goodness manifest by a free people. This “voice of the people,” according to Mosiah, could be counted on to steady the ship of state with the ballast of common sense and tiller of personal responsibility.

But that may be lost to us now. What most Americans do not comprehend is that the creeping secularism on the left has infiltrated and infected every aspect of our lives, altering and eroding traditional American values. Like a metastatic cancer, it has overwhelmed the body politic, leaving us morally and culturally bankrupt.

Once a marginal movement in American culture, progressive secularism has grown greatly in the last three or four decades, in both political and social influence. With the outcome of this election, the door was thrown open wide to further and radically revise traditional American values. That trend may now be irreversible.

Secularism has won the day. Conservatism is in decline. The so called “moral majority” in America is no longer the guiding hand in American politics. Radical, politically correct and progressive notions and institutions are now dominant, the order of the day.

Those living on the public dole, whatever form that takes, represent nearly half the population, giving rise to a dominant entitlement culture in America, displacing the self sufficient, individualist attitude that has characterized the majority of Americans for generations. These who are dependent upon on one form of public assistance or another will invariably elect a leader who will promise to give them more benefits, more perks.

The reelection of Barak Obama confirms this. It is a sure indication, an overt manifestation of the topsy-turvy state of affairs in America today.

Mosiah also cited what will happen to any nation occupying “this land” when the majority loses its bearings.

And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. (Mosiah 29: 27)

In the simple and straightforward manner typical of Book of Mormon prophets, Mosiah calls poor judgment “iniquity.” With this past election, it’s clear that the voice of the people, the majority, has chosen poorly.

If, in your opinion, that is an overstatement, if you disagree, just give it a little time to see how this all plays out. We will all be made to suffer for this debacle.

 Further, Mosiah emphatically declares that “the judgments of God” will come upon us for acquiescing to such perfidy. Clearly, if we haven’t sensed it before, we will soon be forced to acknowledge that we are all on board a fateful Titanic.

What is also clear is that the righteous will not be exempt from these chastisements. They seldom are, given the historical record. In fact, if there is a truism that can be distilled from the Nephite record, it is that. So those of us living out the “Nephite nightmare” in our day and time cannot expect our righteousness to exempt us from what Mosiah promised.

The message for us in this crucial moment in American history is, What form will these “judgments of God” and “great destruction” take? To answer that question, we must turn again to events in Nephite history, since that would have been Mosiah’s perspective when he cited judgments and destruction.

While there were many wars, contentions, a drought and predations by Gadianton robbers in Nephite history that could be called judgments, there was one destruction that far exceeds the rest, which immediately leaps to mind. You can read about it for yourself in 3 Nephi. I strongly suggest you do, because like all Nephite ills, this woe awaits us who occupy “this land.”

15 comments:

Jim said...

Decades ago I felt what you said in you post today.

Derek said...

It is also interesting to me to see other prophecies come true, such as the Elders of Israel coming together to save the Constitution, liberty and freedom. While the "liberal" movement grows and the "conservative" movement shrinks, the liberty movement grows rapidly. Many may see this as a rise of liberalism, with libertarianism being ok with gay marriage...etc, but I as a Mormon libertarian just want government out of the marriage picture and other issues, and don't favor state-defined marriage for hetero or homosexual marriage. I think there will be a balance to the wickedness of this generation, and it will be with those who fight for that which 1/3 of the host of heaven got wrong in the first estate. Agency.

Anthony E. Larson said...

Thanks for your comments, Jim and Derek. I know that there are many Saints who share these points of view. But there are many who do not, which puzzles and perplexes me. There is so much in the Restored Gospel that goes unnoticed and ignored. I wish I could reach all church members with these vital messages.

Warren F. said...

I really appreciate all of your hard work bringing this to the attention of the members.

Anthony E. Larson said...

Glad to do so, Warren. Pass the word along.

Jon said...

We can probably trace back our woes to Abraham Lincoln when he pretty much made it so we are all living on one big reservation, not being able to choose our own leaders and how our borders are defined.

I think it really got bad when Americans chose to meddle in the affairs of those abroad and overthrowing democracies/dictatorships in the name of making them American friendly. In my mind killing innocents abroad (what results when you bring war to other shores) is the same as killing fetuses. This has been going on since WWI (and probably before) and really stepped up during the cold war.

So, the liberal Romney - who showed he doesn't care about the principles of freedom found in the constitution - was never the answer. The answer is what the scriptures have told us to do. Not to put our trust in the arm of flesh, but rather in God. How do we do this? By preaching the liberty of Christ. Start with ourselves, then family, then friends, then community, etc. It starts with the individual, forcing freedom on others will never work.

Anthony E. Larson said...

There is no doubt, Jon, that our present condition has been a long time in the making. But I think we're passing a vital tipping point that will take us down the primrose path much more quickly than before. As with any object rolling downhill, the descent seems to gather speed over time. But I think the slippery slope just got significantly steeper.

Pete said...

The "choosing iniquity over good" issue was brought up in my Gospel Principles class recently. Unfortunately the context was the recent election and the implication was that Obama (evil) was chosen over Romney (good). I found it to be a rather shallow analysis, had little to do with the topic of the class, and was frustrated that it was put forth by our once-a-month guest instructor.

If anything is to be done about these problems, it starts in the home. I don't have much faith that things will turn around at the federal government level.

Anthony E. Larson said...

In my mind, Pete, that would be a shallow analysis. It's the principles that the two men represent that are at issue. But one is not right and the other wrong, one is not evil and the other good. As I see it, the leaders we choose are a reflection of our own mindset. And it is that mindset that allows nefarious conditions to persist and escalate. The majority of Americans have lost their moral and civic compass. As I said in my monograph, when that happens, the culture and the government deteriorate, taking all of us along with it.

Dave said...

Anthony,

I wholeheartedly agree with the first three quarters of your post. Excellent job putting into words what I have been thinking these past couple of weeks. I may differ somewhat on the ramifications of this moral decline for the righteous. Unlike times past, God will not allow his Church to be lost in an apostasy. The wicked will destroy themselves. While it is true that righteous people will suffer from the calamities that will soon come as a result of this nation turning its back on God, He will sustain and protect Zion.
Like you, I see this election as a turning point when the majority of Americans voiced their approval of the moral decline. My goodness; over 65% of Americans said Romney would do better on the economy - so why did they vote for Obama?! Because this was an election about social issues.
Anyway, while the world falls apart around us, Zion shall prosper. Thank goodness for the gospel.

Anthony E. Larson said...

I'm pleased to know that we agree, mostly. I did not infer, Dave, that the church would be lost to apostacy. 3 Nephi is not about apostacy. It is about the near destruction of a people or nation. Only a "remnant" of those living will survive the judgments. That's how it was in the past; so it will be in the future. As with the Nephites, so with the Americans.

Annalea said...

Hello there, Brother Larson. I came over from

I'm excited to have learned about your books, and hope to be able to read them someday. Have you thought about publishing them electronically? If you ever need a hand formatting for electronic publication, I'd be happy to help.

Have a wonderful evening . . .

Anthony E. Larson said...

Thanks for your offer, Annalea. It's most thoughtful. As it turns out, the books are ready to be published online. I'm hoping to exhaust my hardcopy inventory first since it's a tremendous investment. I very much hope you will read them, and I hope you will attend my online classes as well.

Joseph Muhammad said...

It is hard for me to give you credibility to read your writings when in the first thing by you I read I find the claim that poor people elected Obama to the White House and not the middle class. Poor people don't vote. So already I know you are not well-educated (though like many, you think you are), do not investigate matters like you should, and do not give things proper analysis. So why should I read you interpretations on the propehcies?

Reader said...

The term, poor, is a relative term. I know many people personally, who were receiving govt assistance on one or more forms, who did indeed vote for Obama.