Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Americas as a land of liberty with no king

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7 But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.
8 And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.
9 Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles, for he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?
10 But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
11 And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.
12 And I will fortify this land against all other nations.
13 And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.
14 For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.
15 Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.
16 Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.
17 For I will fulfil my promises which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh—
18 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our God: I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the Gentiles; nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the Gentiles, that they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore, the Gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the house of Israel.
19 Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed, and them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me, saith God. (2 Nephi 10:7-19)

In this block of verses, I noticed something interesting.  I noticed a lot of repetition of attributions of words to God, like “saith our God.”  I so I highlighted them and there were eight of them over the space of thirteen verses.  And in verse 3 Jacob says an angel visited him the previous night (in between days of preaching to the people), so there was a message that God badly wanted delivered, and it seems Nephi liked it so much he put it into his record for us.

One of the reassuring parts of the message for us is the pronouncement that “this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles….For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish..” (2 Nephi 10:11,14)

We take this for granted, but can we say that a king has to call himself a king to be a king?  If he exercises the power of a king under any other name, would he not still be a king?

So this hints there is the possibility of grass-roots support or moneyed support behind a political figure who would act like a king.  This king-like figure raised up “against me [God]” seems like a militant atheist or militantly opposing the commandments as standards.

Somehow I don’t think the Lord gives warnings about things if they are never to happen at all.  But I think He gives warnings like these to show us that when they happen we have come to a very dark place, and His warnings then become reassurance to the righteous that the trouble is temporary and something is going to give way soon.  We are reassured that God saw this coming (and from a very long ways away), so we can have faith that the train of history is not flying off the rails or going into uncharted territory, and God really does know the end from the beginning.

What we should be worried about is the part that says, “he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish.” Those who support the king-like figure and bring him to power are warned that the Lord will bring consequences upon them, specifically death.  We want to be sure of being on the Lord’s side and not fighting against Zion or raising up a king figure who will fight against Zion and the Lord.   It means studying out political platforms and not just glomming on to any strong figure who promises to do anything and everything to bring chaos under control.  It means rejecting those who would abandon the principles of the Constitution, even when it seems like breaching those protections are necessary at the moment to meet whatever the current crisis is.

The trouble will be temporary and there will be a reaction; we are told what will happen.

15 Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.
16 Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.

The Lord says, “I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.”  It gives us a clue that secret combinations, murder, and abominations will be rampant among those who support the would-be king, that it will be part of the reason why they want this figure in charge, so they can do those things with greater impunity.

If institutional justice fails to destroy the secret works of darkness, then grass-roots vigilante-ism starts to coalesce.  (We’re used to seeing the militancy of the poles of the political spectrum, but when it works toward the middle, people are seriously torked off and threatened.)    This is understandably concerning and it will probably be alarming.  It may seem like things have gone horribly wrong. 

Do I see the Saints participating in this?  No, I don’t.  It sounds like a case of the wicked destroying the wicked.

The reason the Lord tells us that He has to do this is so that we know that it fulfills His purposes, even though it is terrible to contemplate.  Somehow it is part of how He keeps His promises to mankind, even if we don’t understand how that is.

Further, we are reassured, “for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.” (v14)  We don’t need an earthly king to keep order among us if we follow the Lord’s words.