Friday, November 14, 2008

Prophets Among Us

I came across a couple of items this week that show us that if we listen we can be forewarned. The first is a quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell who really was a prophet, seer and revelator.

“Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters -- in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kgs 18:21).
“President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.' (CR, Apr 1941) This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ…
“Your discipleship may see the time come when religious convictions are heavily discounted. M. J. Sobran observed, ‘A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it’ (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, p. 58). This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain of people's opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will soon be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened…
“Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even these, however, must leave a record so that the choices before the people are clear and let others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, that others will step forward, having been rallied to righteousness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds--a majority which was, till then, unconscious of itself.
“Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves ‘summer is nigh’ (Matt. 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat.”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Meeting the Challenges of Today”, BYU Devotional, 10 Oct 1978

I think we have seen in recent weeks this prophecy fulfilled.

The second didn't come from a prophet. In fact, it may just be that this economist got lucky (the saying for a bear economist is that he predicted 10 of the last three recessions.) In any case, Peter Schiff should feel vindicated after being one of the very few that saw the fundamentals of the U.S. economy for what they were and it makes you wonder where everyone else was. Catch the laughing and mocking.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Truths and Politics

Okay, I've been much more engaged in the political debate online than I ever have been in real life. The truth is, I've never felt or noticed much effect to my personal life regardless of who was in charge.

That is not to say that others haven't been directly affected by the decisions of a president. Military personnel who have had their lives forever altered or cut short because of war certainly know the effects that a president and congress can have on an individual. Business owners and employees can feel the direct impact of political decisions on their businesses and income. Individuals who have lost property to eminent domain certainly have experienced the power of government in their lives.

But me, I've been insulated from most of these. Yes, I've been through recessions but luckily neither my father nor I have ever lost a job to an economic downturn. I've never been drafted into military service. I've never had government seize property. I've never been wrongly accused or incarcerated. So, I guess what I'm saying, is that for me regardless of which party is in charge I haven't seen much difference.

But as I've gotten older I've begun to see the country and world in terms of what we are leaving our children. And while I'll be dead before many of the implications of political decisions made in my lifetime are realized, I feel a certain moral obligation to stand up and try to undo some of the shackles we're placing on our children.

Huge government debt. Energy crises. Nuclear proliferation. Terrorist states. This is not the world I want for my kids - especially when I'm not around to take care of them.

And so I urge all people of conscience to stand up for what is right for our posterity. To leave the world better than we found it. To strive to bring peace and prosperity to all good people. To recognize and fight evil. To not spend more than we have -- either as individuals or as a country. And to allow people to live unencumbered. I would like to see government fulfill its role as the agent that restrains men from invading others' rights, from harming one another (temporally or spiritually), and promotes the general welfare of all people. Anything beyond this I say leave it to the people.