(May 22, 2014)
The Gadianton robbers were parasites -- unable to live without their responsible hosts. While it is easy to look at them with condemnation (deservedly so), it is also important to look inward when we see bad examples, so we can see those ways we imitate or follow their paths. Each of us, in our chosen professions, are either getting paid for the work we do -- allowing us to make a living while we do something good for the world -- or we are taking from those around us. Sometimes that line may be blurred -- what am I to do when a client wants to pay me to push forward a case, knowing that the case has little merit? -- but oftentimes we know where the line is in our gut even if we cannot articulate the reasons we draw the line there.
I have often thought the best manner to know whether we are parasitic in our profession is to imagine ourselves practicing our profession in the Millennium. Would lawyers still be needed? I assume so, to resolve disputes fairly and present matters to the judges and stake presidents (after all, there are essentially lawyers in Church disciplinary councils). So the practice of law is not per se parasitic. But what about the way that I practice? Could I practice the way that I practice in the Millennium? I think so, but it is something to consider.