The Gradual Method: A Calculated Erosion
Considering the turmoil and commotion filling the earth spawns feelings of distress for many who believe the prophecies contained in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. These emotions can influence the believer to let their guard down and even descend into a state of despair in which they simply succumb to their inner fears. Though understandable, this is not the correct response; rather, the events of the last days require more vigilance on the part of believers. Anything less allows the enemy of truth to harvest more souls through devilish schemes of deception, which are afoot in the land and, yes, even taking place within the Church.
Because of this knowledge, people grow disillusioned, lose their faith, and fall away without taking the time to investigate the underlying causes. The proper response, however, emanates from the example of Mormon who soldiered on and did his duty when all hope was lost.And being a soldier requires fighting. Thus, it is imperative to deploy countermeasures against the enemy of all righteousness to disabuse those who are either duped or rendered demoralized by the deeds of traitors.
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Some think the stratagem used by these traitors are of recent date, but they are not. Should the seeker further research the scriptures and Church history, he will discover nefarious deeds in the times of Christ, Joseph Smith, and throughout the Old Testament narrative. Others even conceive modernity has somehow render mankind wiser than the ancients because we are more evolved than our predecessors, not to mention our perpetual boasting of our technological advances and, what many claim, our flawless scientific wisdom. With all this, it does not change human nature, a nature prone to vicious acts and duplicitous double-dealing. Simply giving science to such, without changing the heart, just makes us that much more lethal and brutal, and yet many can cloak their deeds behind the well-mannered facade they evince via television or other media outlets—even traitors.
To make matters worse, religious institution offer an amenable environment from which the cunning can operate with devastating effect. Given that religion creates a vast empire over the mind, all persons of nefarious characters would need to do is reach the highest seats and enact gradual changes among the congregation so that the latter come to adopt the ideas the former hold. Changing doctrines and morals will allow such wolves to come out into the open with little threat to their persons or reputations, since all others have become like them. As for those wise enough to see through their ploy, the leaders of the pack direct their followers to ostracize and marginalize them in hope of either convincing them to adopt their methods or driving the thoughtful away, and perhaps even killing them. It is indeed the convert or die mentality of medieval Catholicism and Islam.
With the preliminaries out of the way, let us turn to the main crux of this post.
Russell M. Nelson and Jacinda Ardern
Christchurch, New Zealand experienced a mass shooting at two mosques carried out by none other than a “lone gunman” hellbent on murdering several Muslims for the sake of appeasing his Islamophobia. The evidence pertaining to the event makes for interesting reading, raising more questions than answers, but the immediate legislative measures enacted in the country in the wake of the shooting are of importance here. And this is where Jacinda Ardern enters the picture.
Ardern, a former Mormon and current Prime Minister of New Zealand, didn’t lay the blame solely on the gunman; rather, she took advantage of the crisis and punished the citizens under her charge by curtailing their gun rights, though she claimed to have acted for “the safety of New Zealanders.”And then “she urged gun owners to hand in their weapons,” in particular semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles. The weapons ban was not enough for her cup of tea, for she needed a sweetener and went even further, introducing censorship on free speech. All this because one man decided to go postal on a religious group?
This is extreme injustice that even children understand at their core. Let’s say a parent has three children, and one of them commits an infraction of some sort. The parent, instead of punishing the perpetrator, decides to punish them all for the actions of a lone child. The innocent two immediately feel the injustice and scowl at their tyrannical parent because of his or her lack of justice. This is in effect what Jacinda did and reveals her distrust of citizens more so than the feigned care she verbalized. Those reading this article are probably thinking “so what?”
If you’re an ardent lover of the Book of Mormon, you’ll discern that true liberty is the last thing on Jacinda’s mind. But things are much worse than they appear. A couple of months after the shooting, Russell M. Nelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, arrived in New Zealand and held a meeting with Ardern. The photos from the meeting convey a convivial gathering where a world leader receives an extensive genealogy of her family, but these two also spoke about political matters associated with the Christchurch shooting. Nelson offered high praise of Jacinda’s leadership style.
“She’s courageous,” he said, adding, “The world will discover they’ve got a real leader here. It’s an unlikely scenario, a young mother leading a great nation, a peacemaker, a policymaker, a consensus-builder. We’re very confident she’ll have a great future.”
Keep in mind that Nelson claims that Jacinda, the same woman who curtailed the rights of her citizens, exemplifies a peacemaker.
This conference between these leaders perhaps sends the wrong message to church members who apply the “follow the prophet” mantra to the nth degree. Endorsing and commending world leaders who strip their respective peoples of their rights, all in the name of security, will influence Latter-day Saints to believe that since the President of the Church espouses such, they should too. What’s so disturbing about this prospect is that masses of people act thoughtlessly when obeying the edicts of a demagogue, with these always disregarding the rights of the innocent.
Some will presume that this author has blown things out of proportion and that Nelson simply says what he does to ensure he’s politically correct in an effort to preserve the Church. My question for the reader is this: “At what point does prudence become indistinguishable from cowardice or, far worse, indistinguishable from participation in a hidden agenda to erode the doctrines and morals of the Church to conform with those of the world?”
Walls, Jason (16 March 2019). "Christchurch mosque shootings: New Zealand to ban semi-automatic weapons". nzherald.co.nz. The New Zealand Herald.
Ainge Roy, Eleanor (19 March 2019). "Jacinda Ardern says cabinet agrees New Zealand gun reform 'in principle'". The Guardian.
Walch, Tad (20 May 2019) President Nelson meets New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, says church will donate to mosques. Deseret News.