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Monday, September 14, 2009

Washington and Zarahemla: The Beltway-Nephite Disease

Click here for a great article written by Gary Lawrence in Meridian Magazine on-line. I have listed a few highlights below from the article.

Six years.

In the thousand-year span of the Nephite people, that’s the time on stage for a prideful group known as the king-men.

The last fourth of the book of Alma, in which the king-men story is imbedded, is a sharp break from the doctrine-laden chapters of the first three-fourths of the book, as Mormon turns to stories about war strategy and political happenings.

Why did Mormon include this story of arrogance? Is it a parallel for our time, a warning, something we should learn?

I think so. Because Mormon saw our time, what he decided to include in his abridgement was not happenstance.

Doing a bit of reverse engineering on the actions of king-men based in the government town of Zarahemla, and drawing on other scriptures describing Nephite behavior, here are nine characteristics to watch for, if and when king-men pop up in Washington.

1. They Will Be Subtle
2. They Will Exploit the Desire for Power
3. They Will Consider Themselves the New Nobility
4. They Will Look Down on Others
5. They Will Flatter
6. They Will Deceive
7. They Will Strike When Crises Provide Opportunities
8. They Will Not Trust People’s Freedoms
9. They Will Oppose Efforts to Defend the Country

If the events of 2009 and the attitudes of those currently in power are not those Mormon saw in our day, such that he included the king-men story in the Book of Mormon, what further parallels must occur before we learn the intended lesson?

Are we so complacent to think that the king-men parallel lies yet in the future, a problem for some other generation? Are we willing to take a chance that 2009 could not possibly be the king-men day that Mormon saw?

Look around, America. The answer is clear — very clear.


Javelin said...

The king-men approach works more with the recent Bush administration since we were pushed into a war that was so unnecessary. Add to that the attitude to use torture on anyone who might be an enemy without any due process. So yes, I can see this connectione during the Bush years.

With President Obama, I would liken that more to King Benjamin who wanted to build the community.

Pam said...

I think many politicians fit in to the king-men approach since they seem to all desire power. I am disappointed in general with the politicians in our day because most are corrupt no matter what the political party. But I would NEVER compare Obama to the great leader King Benjamin. King Benjamin's motives were pure and I don't think Obama's are, but that is just my gut instinct. Obama says a lot of the things people want to hear, but in the same breath seems to take freedom from the individuals to better the community. Granted King Benjamin also encouraged people to serve one another like Obama outwardly professes, but by CHOICE, not force (which is the democrat style - take from the rich, give to the poor to make it all fair). Most of the politicians, both conservative and liberal, have many of the characteristics described in this article. Bush did his best to defend our country, but perhaps some of the methods were flawed and he certainly sought after power. Obama does not want to spend much effort or money defending our country from outside enemies. And Obama looks down on the rich instead of the poor. All politicians tend to eliminate individual's rights when crises arise unfortunately.