Friday, October 18, 2013

..., a little authority, as they suppose, ...

One of the reasons Mormonism stuck with me are these scriptures from Section 121 of the book we call the Doctrine and Covenants:

39 We have learned ... that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as the get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, ...
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, ... by love unfeigned, ...
Yeah, I'm deliberately quoting it out of order, to keep the forest visible through the trees. You can read the whole section here.

One of the reasons Christianity sticks with me is this scripture in the New Testament (in Mark 10):
43 ... whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Unfortunately, not all Mormons (or Christians) remember these scriptures.

So many of our political leaders don't seem to understand the simple words, "public servant". Or perhaps they once understood, but, having gotten a taste of the social brand of authority, they have forgotten.

Perhaps the first step to restoring the freedoms of my country is a step I can't take. Not because I am outside the country and have been for twenty years, but because I am not in a position of authority.

Those who are in positions of authority, whether government, industry, market, finance, entertainment, wherever, need to look at themselves in a mirror when they wake up, when they take a break for lunch, and when they go to bed, and ask themselves,
Why am I here?
What can I do to make the world a better place for others?
Am I trying to force people to be my version of good?
and similar questions. And it may seem ironic, but no one can force this to happen.

Well, wait a minute.

I have some authority, as it were, in my family. And I have some responsibility in my work. So I can do this relative to my own family.

 And you have some responsibilities, too, so you can join me.

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