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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Politics: A Clear Voice In the Face of Chaos

Ah, yes, likely the all around most contentious topic of conversation in existence today aside from religion.  So why the heck am I writing about it?  To be honest, I do my best to avoid this subject matter, but there's something happening in the world right now within politics about which so many are (both innocently and willfully) ignorant that I feel a great need to publish this as a reminder to disciples of Christ and a warning and message of hope to anyone else who will read this.

To the best of my memory, ever since Nixon, people's trust in the U.S. government has been doing a total nose dive with no apparent hope of any kind of recovery in that area.  Every four years since then, the majority of the United States population have allowed themselves to be manipulated by fear mongering, controlled by hate and anger and given into the lie that mortal men can solve all the countries problems.  The whole reason we are in this mess of a country we have is because of mortal men, so more of them sure as heck won't get us out.  If we want to have any voice of clarity in all this chaos we need to be turning to Someone who is always clear no matter what else is going on anywhere in the universe, our Savior Jesus Christ.  Elected politicians may never again give us anything more than unfulfilled promises and bravado.  Yes, there are some who actually do want to do good for us by keeping traditional, biblical family values at the core of society, but there are so many of them who don't that they usually end up snuffing out the voice of the few politicians who have any kind of moral compass.

For a while I was actually considering writing in a name instead of checking off one of nominees for any party but at this point (pre election 2016) I have chosen my candidate.  Part of this is because of the fulfillment of the Book of Mormon, written for our day, where "their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted." (Helaman 5:2)  The other part is because, as I have quoted before, from Elder Maxwell, “If, in the end, you have not chosen Jesus Christ it will not matter what you have chosen.”  Only one the candidates who even tried in the race for nomination have given me any indication that they are basing their campaign enough around principles of Christ and His Plan and Atonement but even with him, I'm nervous that he will, at some point, slip into the same pattern that every other politician does.  Christ is the center my moral code and in order for me to vote for a person to fill the office of president, I need to be convinced that they have, as much as possible, the Savior at the center of their focus.

As Glen Beck said, "If you’ve ever been to Washington, D.C., you know the architecture of the buildings. These guys go to work every day in historic buildings and say, ‘Dig me. Look how important I am.’ And some people in the government actually believe, ‘This is never going away. We’ll never lose this. We’ve been through worse times than this.’ No, we haven’t. Nineteen trillion dollars in debt? No, we haven’t. The public as angry as they are now? No, we haven’t. The only other time it’s been like this was the Civil War. You couple the Civil War with $19 trillion in debt, and it doesn’t last."  There are more divisions and bickering and hardened minds and hearts among all groups of people today than there ever was.  Even among Latter-day Saints, the most religiously united group in the world, the intensity of radical divisions in our political opinions this time around proves what President Kimball said, that we are in a "battle royal with an enemy so powerful, entrenched, and organized that we are likely to be vanquished if we are not strong, well-trained, and watchful."

The United States has now become the Divided States, and not just by a factor of which state is more "blue" or "red" than another.  It is also divided within each state to different extents per state.  Even in states like Texas or New York, where the majority of the population is one political "color", there are sizable areas where large and bitter divisions have taken place recently.  In my home state of Colorado, according to this map, the division has been getting more polar and aggressive than ever in previous elections and it's worse now than it was then.

Is there any hope left for the United States?  Yes!  There is!  It all depends on who we put our faith in as the clear voice in the face of all this chaos.  Christ is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords.  As Isaiah prophesied, the "government shall be upon His shoulder".  It is He who ultimately has all things in His care.  Yes, I'm aware that He has revealed to modern prophets that we need to be appropriately engaged in politics, but our reasons for choosing a candidate to vote for should not be because of which type of person they appeal to or which political party they identify with.  The reason should be because the candidate shows by their actions that they are most likely to promote and enforce as much as possible the doctrines and patterns of living exemplified by Christ.  Changing laws won't decrease the number of criminals.  Changing creating new penalties for crimes won't change the hearts of men.  Putting more policies into the education system will not repair anyone's ignorance.  All of these issues can only be solved by one thing: understanding, in our hearts and minds, the doctrine of Christ; for as President Boyd K. Packer said, "The study of the doctrines of the Gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior."

Every election gets more angry, more contentious, more divided and more destructive than the last and it's everything to do with not enough attention on the Savior's example.  The socio-political tide is changing fast and the divide between true disciples of Christ and those who are not is only going to get more quickly, drastically and obviously wider.

If you don't want to be on the wrong of the side of the eminent chaos looming over the world right now, turn full force toward Jesus Christ and don't let distractions pull you attention away from Him.  Satan is more clever in his manipulation of the media and their portrayal of public opinion than you realize.  That cool new product that will never bring you as much happiness as the time you could spend strengthening relationship with your family.  Knowing the relationship status of Angelina Jolie is nowhere near as important as your relationship status with your family and your Savior.  A presidential candidate that is popular because he "says what everyone else is really thinking" is no match for the One after whom we should be shaping what we are thinking.  In fact, one of the major causes for the turmoil around the world today is the evil and destructive thoughts, especially when they are executed, of mankind.

No matter how this upcoming election turns out, the only thing that will put the U.S. back on the right path is if the general public stops letting anger and selfishness dictate their priorities and allow the love and law of the Lord to permeate their hearts.  No matter which candidate is elected, even if we have the most Christ-like leader possible, it won't make any difference if Americans don't turn their hearts to Christ as well.

The only way to pull America out of the hole it's in is for Americans to uproot the anger out of their hearts and fill it with the pure truth and love of Jesus Christ.