Monday, September 21, 2009


I suppose one silver lining to my inability to sleep is I get to catch up on my scripture reading. My recent postings have all come from The Book of Mormon, because I am reading Psalms and they go on and on and on and on. (I am very behind in the Bible. Not quite sure how I will catch up. Perhaps I need to abandon my goal to read the whole standard works in one year. To catch up I would need 10+ pages a day. We'll see.)

Reading 3 Nephi it always amazes me how similar to our day that book is. It describes society's condition just prior to the Lord's first visit. Perhaps it also describes what the world will be like just before the Lord's second coming? "For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers. And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning." I work in a group that places much value in not only what you studied in college, but where you studied. "yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and other did receive great learning because of their riches." Anyone know what 4 years at Yale goes for these days? "Some were lifted up in pride and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing," Fox News, CNN, Rush Limbaugh anyone? What stood out to me while reading this particular passage this last week however, was the next part: "while others would receive railings and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God" (3 Nephi 6.11-13). Willingness to receive railings and persecutions and all manner of afflictions is not something we teach our children. How do we teach our children to not turn and revile again?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gadianton Robbers and Money

On this, the eve of September 11th, I am reminded of lessons impressed upon me 8 years ago shortly after the Trade Center's fall. With two weeks of not being able to work and then when I returned to work having a lengthened commute, I had extra time to study and ponder the scriptures. I remember one day late that September, riding the train into the city, reading The Book of Mormon and realizing that just before the coming of the Lord, terrorists known as Gadianton Robbers roamed the land. A passage I read tonight brought this to mind. "There were a certain number of dissenters from the people of Nephi... and also a certain number who were real descendents of the Lamanites, being stirred up to anger by them, or by those dissenters, therefore the commenced a war with their brethren. And they did commit murder and plunder; and then they would retreat back into the mountains, and into the wilderness and secret places, hiding themselves that they could not be discovered, receiving daily an addition to their numbers. Now behold, these robbers did make great havoc, yea, even great destruction among the people of Nephi" (Helaman 11.24-25,27).

This leads to another warning given by Samuel the Lamanite only a few years before the birth of Christ. He cautioned, "And it shall come to pass, saith the Lord of Hosts, yea, our great and ture God, that whoso shall hide up treasures in the earth shall find them again no more, because of the great curse of the land, save he be a righteous man and shall hide it up unto the Lord" (Helaman 13.18). Not that I hid a treasure chest full of gold doubloons in my backyard and can no longer find them, but no treasure map will bring my 401K back from the red.

I take these two things, the rise of terrorists and the humbling of a wealthy nation, as signs that we are in the latter-days.