Each evening before “count” and lights out, I read a little from one of my favorite books, like “The Triumph of Zion,” by John Pontius, or “Eighteen Verses,” by Denver Snuffer, or from a Conference issue of the Ensign.
Last night after it became apparent from what was being said on TV, that Barack Obama had been reelected as President for a second term, I was, of course, very disappointed, to say the least. But as is my practice, I decided to read before going to bed. I pulled out the November, 2010, issue of the Ensign to re-focus on what’s important.
I chose to read the talk given by Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, entitled: “Let There Be Light!” It seemed appropriate “in light” of what I’ve been telling you recently about lights being turned on and off in our housing unit here (pun intended). You may want to re-read this talk yourself, but let me give you a few paragraphs quoted from this talk.
After talking about the British vocalist, Vera Lynn, age 93, who sang such popular songs as “The White Cliffs of Dover,” and “When the Lights Go On Again (all over the world),” he said:
“It is by the light of Christ that all mankind ‘may know good from evil.’
“Freedom and light have never been easy to attain or maintain. Since the War in Heaven, the forces of evil have used every means possible to destroy agency and extinguish light. The assault on moral principles and religious freedom has never been stronger.
“As Latter-day Saints, we need to do our best to preserve light and protect our families and communities from this assault on morality and religious freedom. . . .
“. . . evil forces remove light and hope from the world. The level of decadence is accelerating. . . . do not be surprised if devastating moral explosions shatter the peace which is the reward for righteous living.
“My personal experience of living and interacting with people all over the world has caused me to be optimistic. I believe that light and truth will be preserved in our time. . . .
“But make no mistake: there are also people who are determined to both destroy faith and reject any religious influence in society. Other evil people exploit, manipulate, and tear down society with drugs, pornography, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, robbery and dishonest business [and legal] practices. . . .
“In a commencement address last year, Clayton Christensen, a Harvard professor and Church leader, shared the true account of a professional colleague from another country who had studied democracy. This friend was surprised at how critically important religion is to democracy. He pointed out that in societies where the citizens are taught from a young age to feel accountable to God for honesty and integrity, they will abide by rules and practices that, while unenforceable, promote democratic ideals. In societies where this is not true, there cannot be enough policemen to enforce honest behavior.
“Clearly, moral values with respect to honesty can play a significant role in establishing light and truth and improving society and should be valued by those who do not have faith. . . .
“He believed that education and government had to be morally based . . . .
“We should both participate ourselves and support people of character and integrity to help reestablish moral values that will bless the entire community.” (“Let There Be Light!”, Elder Quentin L. Cook, Ensign, November, 2010, pages 27-30).
Remember, this talk was given more than 2 years ago. Before our Presidential electioneering.
It was then time for “lights out” in our dorm. I slept. When I awoke, this morning, I went for a walk. As I walked, I ruminated on the events of yesterday–the election.
Then in my morning scripture study, I read Ether chapters 1-8. These chapters are full of wisdom. Here’s some:
“And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but that they should come forth even unto the Land of Promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people. And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them. And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and that whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity. For behold this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off . . . .
“Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve THE GOD OF THIS LAND WHO IS JESUS CHRIST. . .” (Ether 2:7-10, 12, emphasis added).
My personal footnotes to those verses refer me to Helaman 13:14, which says: “But behold, it is for the righteous’ sake that it (Zarahemla) is spared. But behold, the time cometh, sayeth the Lord, that when ye shall cast out the righteous from among you, then shall ye be ripe for destruction; . . .”
And 3 Nephi 6:18: “Now they did not sin in ignorance, for they know the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God.” (They had the scriptures, they had the commandments.)
In his talk previously cited, Elder Cook refers to Mosiah 29:26-27: “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 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. 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.”
In my lifetime I have never seen an election with such a clear choice between good and evil. We have the scriptures, we have the prophets, we have the commandments of God. Our choice this election was between two Presidential candidates with diametrically opposed positions or stands on so many issues. For example, the payment for and killing of unborn children; changing the centuries long standing definition of marriage from between one man and one woman, to include same sex couples [see the Proclamation on the Family]; burdening our children and grandchildren (not to mention us) with horrendous debt to keep ourselves in the lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to [everyone should have a home, whether they can afford it or not!]; defending the Defense of Marriage Act ( discontinued by our current President); apologizing for America–a land which is choice above all other lands (or not); and on and on– including most importantly recognizing that Jesus Christ is the God of this land.
The voice of the people has sounded. It seems that the people appear to be close to the time when we will be visited with great destruction.
I believe my living conditions here at camp are just a striking microcosm (Websters: noun, an individual or community thought of as a miniature world or universe) of our current United States of America. When left with a choice, the “voice” of the residents here would prefer to have the lights turned off. They want to chose darkness rather than light. Then others can’t see what they are hiding in the way of contraband or actions. They they are less ‘uncomfortable’. After all– “it is by the light of Christ that all mankind may know good from evil.”
Has the time come in our United States of America, a land which is choice above all other lands, that “the voice of the people doth choose iniquity?” Are we now more comfortable in darkness rather than light. Who is the servant of darkness?
However, I still have hope. We do get all the light on here in our housing unit once in a while. I know that for the righteous’ sake we have not yet been destroyed. Just the same, have you seen some warning signs–such as with the recent storm “Sandy?”