Monday, September 21, 2015

Alma 3-4

(September 15, 2015)
                It is impossible to read the scriptures without becoming aware of the racial components that exists within its pages.  Some people read this, and it becomes their motivation to turn away from the Church.  Others read it, and it becomes their motivation to hold to the belief that there is some truth to the idea of racial differences that are meaningful.  Still others read it, and it becomes a reminder to them that even prophets and apostles are human beings trapped in their own time and subject to prejudices which they remain unaware of (which they claim to would or would not have escaped from, depending on the charity of the one espousing this position).

                Frankly, though, this seems to me to be a bit of a waste.  After all, we are so rarely told why.  Far more often we are told what, and it takes all of our capacity to live up to that charge.  Today we are told to treat everyone as the children of God that they are, so what does it matter what people in centuries or millennia past were told?  It is either a weapon against the Church or against others, but it still draws no one closer to God by examining it.

                The other thought I had was on the persecution against those who did not believe according to their own will and pleasure.  It is not enough, with some people, to control other’s actions.  No, they want to control their very thoughts and beliefs, and will engage in any number of terrible activities in order to do so.  Whether it is the abuse of one spouse against another in an effort for control, or the propaganda of one group to control the narrative, it amounts to a denigration of God-given human agency.  The Lord did not need to abrogate our agency to accomplish His Atonement, so why do we ever think we need to abrogate the agency of others in order to further His work?

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