Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Learning from the Book of Mormon: The Blessings that this Cycle of Pain Can Bring

The parallels between the Book of Mormon and our day are enormous. I find special meaning in Alma, Helaman, and Third Nephi, the three books dealing with the few decades before the coming of the Savior. They are ripe with stories of a free and noble nation falling into corruption, greed, numerous wars, and secret combinations in which a band of well-connected wealthy gangsters essentially took over a nation. The Nephites got through cycles of wickedness and pride followed by disaster, pain, humility, and a resurgence in the Gospel, only to prosper again and move back toward pride.

As we stare into the abyss of a painful recession and perhaps even sweeping economic chaos, I hope we are prepared for two things. First, may we be prepared to feed and care for our families and others in need when trouble strikes, whether it's a hurricane, economic panic, or even famine in the land. How wise our prophets have been for decades now to warn us to calmly and steadily prepare for the times we are approaching. How wise some of you have been to heed their prophetic counsel. Second, may we be prepared to spiritually feed others as the trials ahead turn people from the Mammon of Wall Street to ponder deeper things, such as God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The times may be troubling, but to the prepared, these can be a joyou opportunity to love, to share, to heal, and to bless the lives of newly prepared people who may be willing now, after all their heartache, to open their hearts to God and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, following Him into the waters of baptism, making sacred covenants to follow and serve Him.

It's harvest time, brothers and sisters. Did you hear the counsel of the prophet a few days ago, urging us to find joy now, to share and love and bless one another more than ever, and to reach out more than ever to share the Gospel with others? There are great blessings to come from what is ahead. A few will grow wealthy and powerful beyond all imagination, while earning pain and punishment beyond compare, while the humble among their many victims may receive the greatest gift of all - the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciated your post. I have been hoping/expecting that very result of the coming difficult times. I have developed friendships with very good people that have seemingly been distracted by prosperity. I expect that they will eventually begin this process of investigation and introspection. Indeed it will be the 'best of times', spiritually speaking.

Michael A. Cleverly said...

Amen.

D360 said...

A bit off topic so I hope you'll all forgive me, but I am in need of new reading material and since I cannot buy all the books at once that I want to read, I'm hoping for some opinions....

Has anyone read the autobiography of Parley P. Pratt? The March 2000 edition. I am interested in the "nitty-gritty" of early church history in which the realities and the "humanness" are fleshed out.

If anyone has any other suggestions I'm all ears. Again I apologize for the thread hi-jack but I have not been able to find a satisfactory review of this book anywhere else....

thanks again,
Jason

TheNastyOne said...

curious to know who you believe might be those "few" who get very wealthy off the financial crises at the expense of the general population??

Anonymous said...

How about the CEO's of the failed banks? Their bottom increased whereas my bottom line in my 401K has decreased. Being a CEO qualifies as being part of a few and getting millions in bonuses and incentives qualifies as being rich.

BruceC said...

d360, I have the edition of the Parley P Pratt autobiography. It is certainly at the "humanness" level. It is a little light on historical details, but that is mostly due to Parley being on one mission or another instead of being in the thick of what we consider Mormon history. I felt the language was a bit flowery, but typical for the period.

Anonymous said...

Dem what's getting yo $$$$, de 700 billion and mo, deys da ones gettin rich while us po folk get mo po.

D360 said...

Thanks Bruce,
any suggestions on any other books? Rough Stone Rolling maybe?

Thanks again

Russtafarian said...

Yes, Rough Stone rolling is essential.

And much depends on what you want to learn. There's a huge body of literature on the "human" side of the Church.

Here are some titles I can think of off the top of my head...

Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom

Just browse Dialogue journal articlesj--the 1973 issue with lester bush's article on the priesthood ban is very good (also has an interview w/Jack Anderson)

D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View

Grant Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism

Kathryn Daynes, More Wives than One

That's what I've got. And do remember I'm one of those believing historians :)

D360 said...

very cool,

I appreciate it