Apparently I’m supposed to take the good stuff I post on Facebook and bring it over here, not just the other way around. Who knew? Anyway, this is what I posted this morning:
Sabbath morning ponderings:
As I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning, a pattern struck me. Not the ‘pride cycle’ that we talk about all the time. But the divisions.
Nephites and Lamanites. Kingmen and freemen. Rich and poor. Citizens and robbers. Bond and free. But mostly, Nephites and Lamanites.
And every time there is a division, there is trouble. Iniquity (based on inequality) and contention and murder and war and death. Every. Time.
The ONE time there was no strife was in the two centuries after Christ came, and it was described thusly in 4 Nephi 1:17:
There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.
It is important, nay, VITAL, to note that the peace and the lack of -ites was not the cause. It was the consequence. It was choosing to become one, to stop using labels and work at empathy, at seeing others as valuable as yourself and making that effort to see things as they might see them, that made the difference. When we do this, when we become One, we stop labeling, because we know labels are stupid and pointless.
It began to fall apart when people started seeing others as separate and different again and the labels started back up. By this time, there had been over two centuries of intermingling and lack of labels, so the original meanings of ‘Lamanites’ (descendants of Laman and those who went with him) and ‘Nephites’ (descendants of Nephi and those who went with him) were completely void. That last division of Lamanites and Nephites was purely ideological, a label applied to separate. Us vs Them. Good vs Evil. Though such labeling is incredibly inaccurate.
If you don’t see similar labeling, divisions, and vilification today, you are blind.
And if you dare to think, “but that political party/religion/ethnicity IS evil/trying to destroy us/clueless!” then you are the problem.