(June 28, 2013)
Shiz claimed that his desire was to take over the kingdom, but we can clearly see that wasn’t the case. When Coriantumr gave him everything that he claimed he wanted, Shiz refused. Why? Because if Shiz had taken Coriantumr up on his offer, Shiz would not have disproved the Lord’s prophets. Shiz knew and believed that if Coriantumr survived, then the prophets were speaking the truth (to his condemnation). So it wasn’t for a kingdom that Shiz was fighting – it was against a Kingdom (of Heaven).
Again, it is fine to place ourselves in the position of Coriantumr or Ether and to recognize the many ways in which we deal with people who are irrational because they contend not with us but with the Lord. But, more importantly, we should also examine our own behavior to recognize when we are demonstrating the qualities of Shiz. When a leader in the Church tells us something, do we obey promptly? Do we disobey? If we don’t like the instruction, do we look for other failings in the leader so as to discount the instruction that we are not yet ready to receive? Do we fight against spouses or children who speak the truth to us because it is hard for us to hear?
One other thought on this chapter before I finish. I cannot imagine how it must have been for Moroni to translate Ether under his circumstances. The last chapter must have so closely resembled his circumstances and the ultimate tragic result must have been very dispiriting. And yet, he stuck with it. Even seeing society crumble and degenerate into willing evil wasn’t enough to shake his resolve – he still would not deny the Christ. There is an example for us to follow as well. Sometimes we see the writing on the wall for our society and we are saddened that we won’t be able to pass on the society we loved to our children. But, ultimately, this world isn’t about society. To paraphrase Ether, it doesn’t matter what happens on this Earth so long as we are taken back home to dwell with our Father.