Friday, January 29, 2016


I originally sat down today to write some thoughts on the candidates who are presenting themselves for the leadership of this country. My disdain for some has been expressed in past postings but there are some others that I thought needed more consideration.  Much has been said about each and I’m sure more will be forced upon us in the ensuing months. I don’t look forward to the rancor that comes with the process but I suppose that’s how it will always be. 

But, thoughts have skewed from my original intent because it has occurred to me that we are going about this all wrong. If the desire of our nation is to be free from the violence and misery that seems to be encompassing the world we must do more than ‘elect’ individuals who claim to have skills in politics, negotiation, and speechifying.  It’s wonderful that “this candidate” has experience in foreign affairs and “this other person” can work deals for the benefit of the nation, but where is the person who will look long-view and build a nation that has true lasting power.

Let me digress for a bit and set a stage for what I am thinking.  If you aren’t into lengthy treatises then this probably isn’t for you.  But if you are still hanging around, I hope what I say might have some merit.

A little over 15 years ago we experienced a terrible event that changed the way our nation functioned.  Prior to 9/11, most of us were secure in our belief that we could defend our country from attacks and destruction launched by our enemies.  But the events in New York and Pennsylvania changed the whole mindset of our citizenry. Instead of having faith in our leaders, we began to question what they had been doing while Osama-bin-Laden and his cronies were planning their murderous rampage. We questioned whether there was anyone who could have the foresight to prepare for the future attacks that surely would come.  The United States of America was in trouble and we had no idea how to fix things.

So we did what we had been taught to do.

We went to a Higher Source and pleaded for help. And we made ‘no bones’ about it. It didn’t matter what the ACLU, or the atheists, or the anti-religionists, or any other group had to say about it.  As a Nation, we fell to our knees and pleaded for help from the one source we knew would listen and give us hope.

And it worked.

Maybe too well.

I’m not na├»ve enough to think that EVERY person sought help from God, but I believe there were enough engaged in seeking help to make a huge difference. My recollections are that people began to attend church and pray much more than they had in recent times.  Politicians seemed unafraid to express their hope that more would find time to worship.  We even had a President who set an example by his own actions. Overall, the feeling in America was that we had to find our way back to safety and the best way to continue was to let God lead us.

Now we are in 2016.

After more than 15 years of dealing with the aftermath of 9/11, the world we live in is very different.  Travel has changed because we need to be safe from terrorists.  Immigration, once a staple for growth, has become a hot-button issue and an economic ragdoll.  Poverty continues to plague our nation – some government caused and some from lack of response by the people.  And when was the last time we saw a major leader express the opinion that we should look to God for answers to the day’s problems. 

How quickly we seem to have forgotten.

For a moment, I would like to consider something I have always wondered about in the scriptures.  This happens in more than one place, but I will focus on a time from the Book of Mormon when similar experiences occurred.  Please bear with me because it will make sense when I’m done.

In 3 Nephi 3, there is a story about King Lachoneus who is trying to save the Nephites from destruction by the Gadianton Robbers.  These robbers were ruthless, devious, and set on the total destruction of the Nephites, much like groups we have today. Lachoneus came to the conclusion that the only way to be safe from their enemies was to gather all the Nephites into the city of Zarahemla and wait out the robbers. Collecting food and supplies for a seven year siege and reinforcing the city for protection, Lachoneus deprived the robbers of their favorite tactic: wait and pick off small groups until the whole was destroyed.  It took years of patience but eventually the Nephites in Zarahemla were successful and destroyed the wicked robbers. (I am not advocating this as a tactic against ISIS or other terrorists, it’s just part of the story).
BUT! That’s not the end of the story.
After surviving and keeping their freedom, the Nephites began to grow in numbers and found themselves doing pretty well in the ‘wealth and success’ area of life.  Their cities grew, the population expanded and there seemed to be no end to the good they would reap from their faithfulness in serving God.
Yet, only a few years after the harrowing experience with the Gadianton Robbers, things started to turn a different direction.  It began with people who had accumulated more wealth than others. 
They weren’t happy being richer – they needed to make sure everyone else knew. 
Then other groups started needing to separate themselves from the ‘masses’ by distinguishing themselves in other ways.
The end result was that a people who had survived the attacks of a vicious, death-dealing organization, eventually destroyed themselves.  And their destruction was WAY more complete than the previous threat could have imagined. 

And they did it to themselves.

In just a few short years.

I’ve always thought that was odd.  How could a people go from goodness to wickedness in such a short time? 

I think I get it now.
Seems nice but don't know enough
about him.

Ok, back to our regular discussion.

The question for our nation is not “who can we elect that will save us from our enemies”? It’s not a question of who is best prepared for the political wrangling that will occur in congress and between other nations. 

The question we should be asking is “Who is going to help us find that place where we can learn to work together and fix our problems?”

There’s only one answer that makes any sense if we want to be safe. 

Pretty sure she isn't looking for God.  What? I don't know.
We have to look to God and seek His help.  He is the only source that has no prejudices or agendas.  His efforts will always be to help His children live in peace.

If we need help, and we ask with faith, help will come. 

It only stops when we quit asking.

Oops, how did
she get here.
I don’t know enough about the current candidates for office to really have an opinion of their ability to seek heavenly help, but it seems most are not overly interested in that path.  The few who make passes at the subject seem rather timid.  And the good chunk of the vocal citizens look to be in the same position. 
I can just imagine what he would say if this subject
came up.  I don't think he can humble himself
enough to be great.

So, what is there for those who recognize the problem to do? 

Can one person or one voice really make a difference? 

Or will those who speak up be categorized as ‘fanatics’, ‘weirdos’, and ‘religious extremists’? 

I’m not sure it matters.  If our desire is to see a change in what is to happen we can’t sit by and wait.  To do so is to accept the way things are.

Such a mystery to me. Should be better than he seems.
Not sure he cares enough about
what is right -- maybe!
We have separated into different factions and are in the process of destroying all that is good in our diversity.  Our nation has abandoned many of the basic beliefs that made us great and held us together during the stormy times of the past.  Some who lead us are only interested in the comfortable positions they hold and the benefits received. The fate of the world, nation, and cities is held in the hands of people who don’t appear to ‘care’ more than a few days in the future.

I will always wonder what might have been different if he
had been elected. Not that he is perfect, but I know something
of his heart.
Tomorrow will come and this nation will still exist.  My hope is that with proper leadership it might exist for generations to come.  My fear is that we are in a downward spiral that will only end when we implode.  The way to peace has to be taken the right way.  No mortal man can do this alone.  It takes a God to keep a righteous people safe. 

Without God, there is not righteousness. 

Without righteousness, there is no peace.

As citizens we have to invite our leaders to look to the One True Source for guidance in the governing of this country.  Otherwise, the fate of The United States of America will look much like the fate of the Nephite nation (which was very similar to ancient Israel, Babylon, Assyria, Rome, Egypt, Greece, etc.).

His leanings are somewhat known and the
results were surprisingly good.

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