(January 29th, 2014)
As a child, watching Star Trek with my parents, I felt that our society would not change because we were too comfortable in our daily lives and that only a large-scale lesson in humility would be enough to shake people from their complacency into social reform. Now that I've seen a few large-scale doses of humble pie served to my home nation (the US) and the results among the people, I see that I was wrong. It was never complacency that kept us from action. As Mormon put it so very well in Mormon 2:13, "For their sorrowing was not unto repentance... but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin."
"What is this sin?" one might ask. If you ask me, I would say that the largest sin of society today is the betrayal of Zion and her King. In D&C 38:27, we read, "I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine." Speaking of Enoch's city (which was so righteous that they were taken up to Heaven), the Lord has said (Moses 7:18), "And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." Notice that the principal characteristic, the most important thing mentioned about Zion isn't the prevalence of gold or lack of any specific traditionally recognized sin. It's that there were no poor among them. (Gee, I suppose it's too bad they hadn't heard the mandate given by the more self-righteous political factions in this country that such social reforms only "create dependence and a sence of entitlement".)
In fact, such scriptures talking about sharing and having no poor come from any age when there was peace and righteousness abounding on the Earth. In Acts 2:44-45, we read, "And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." In 4 Nephi 1:3 (my favorite scripture) we read, "And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift." In D&C 49:20 we read, "But it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin." Yes, the Lord calls it a sin for one man to have more than another.
But we live in a society that rejects all of this. The prevailing winds (unfathomably, largely coming from the supposedly "religious" political party) are against these ideals of equality, saying that no one would work if one man could not have more (by his hard work) than another (who supposedly did not work as hard). The fact of the matter is, though, that hard work has almost nothing to do with how much money you make or have. The hardest working Americans are often the ones who have the least, not the most. Those who have the most tend to produce the least useful labor, if any at all. This lie that "hard work will lead you to the American Dream of riches and prosperity" is like a Lottery Ticket extolling the millions you could win for just the measly dollar or two investment it demands. But, once the thin silver paint is scratched off the paper card, reality sets in all too quickly, a reality that shows the gullible one who bought the ticket is far from the millions offered as bait. They've merely sacrificed the cover price to society's false deity of greed.
I have long insisted that we cannot have Zion until we are willing to build it first in our hearts, and I stand by this assertion. I am truly disturbed by the sheer amount of vitriol aimed, most especially by the Republican Party, at the poor and needy. If the Republicans are truly the religious party (though I don't think either party is particularly religious, or worthwhile, for that matter), then they would be the first to reach out to the poor. If people truly felt that government inefficiency was the problem with public programs, then they'd be happy to step in and do better. The fact is, the Republicans do not care about the poor. They care about their rich corporate paymasters (just like the Democrats do, though they aren't as flamboyant about it as the Republicans). It is for this reason that I feel my country's next big slice of humble pie will most likely come when (hopefully if) the Republicans ever again succeed at winning another presidential election. I certainly don't agree with everything the Democrats do (most especially their stance on Gay Marriage and the continuance of several Republican policies such as "Enhanced Interrogation", aka legalized torture, infinite detention without trial, drone strikes, illegal wire tapping, and the utterly failed war on drugs), but I've listened to enough Republican talking points to realize that what they are advocating is Social Darwinism (the foundation of such idiocy as racism, eugenics, and Nazis). Heaven help us all if that's what our country is coming to!