Jesus said “If ye are not one ye are not mine.” In the Book of Mormon the effects of disunity were made abundantly clear. Due to their pride and their conviction that they alone were the Lord’s chosen people, or that they alone understood the will of god, several different groups separated themselves from their brethren and refused to listen to the prophets that god sent to them.
Alma 21:5 “Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite, and began to contend with him, saying: What is that that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold, art not this people as good as thy people? Thou also sayest, Except ye repent, we shall perish. How knowest thou the thought and intent of our hearts? How knowest thou that we have cause to repent? How knowest thou that we are not a righteous people? Behold, we have built sanctuaries, and we do assemble ourselves together to worship God. We do believe that God will save all men. Now Aaron said unto him, Believest thou that the Son of God shall come to redeem mankind from their sins? And the man saith unto him, We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing. We do not believe in these foolish traditions. We do not believe that thou knowest of things to come, neither do we believe that thy fathers, and also that our fathers did know concerning the things which they spake, of that which is to come.”
The Amalekites had built sanctuaries and met together to worship god, but they could not believe that their fathers, or anyone else, let alone a nephite, whom their fathers had separated themselves from due to their wickedness, knew more than they did, or even had anything of worth to teach them. They viewed themselves much like we do today, as the pinnacle of civilization, the height of understanding. The zoramites were convinced of similar things. Eventually, through the teachings of the nehors and the spread of the secret combination this attitude affected all of the nephites, and they collectively rejected Samuel as the Amalekites rejected aaron. That this false gospel became widespread among the people should surprise no one, since it is pleasing to the natural man, telling a man that he has no need to change what he is doing, and that he can look forward to a life of riches and god’s continued favor.
Helaman 13:27 “But behold, if a man shall come among you, and shall say, Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that, and ye shall suffer; yea, he will say, walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth; and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and ye shall say that he is a prophet; yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, and then ye will not find fault with him.”
Shortly after rejecting Samuel’s testimony, the people lived a lifestyle that sounds extremely similar to American life today:
3 Nephi 6 “And it came to pass that there were many cities built anew, and there were many old cities repaired; and there were many highways cast up, and many roads made, which led from city to city, and from land to land, and from place to place. And thus passed away the twenty and eighth year, and the people had continual peace. But it came to pass in the twenty and ninth year, there began to be some disputings among the people; and some were lifted up in pride and boastings, because of their exceeding great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions: for there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers. And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches, and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches; some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceeding humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing, and persecution, and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God; and thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land, save it were among a few of the Lamanites, which were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immoveable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord. Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this: Satan had great power unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world. And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people, to do all manner of iniquity; therefore they had not enjoyed peace but a few years. And thus in the commencement of the thirtieth year, the people having been delivered up for the space of a long time, to be carried about by the temptations of the Devil whithersoever he desired to carry them, and to do whatsoever iniquity he desired they should; and thus in the commencement of this, the thirtieth year, they were in a state of awful wickedness. Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God.”
After the more wicked part of the people were destroyed and the secret combination was no longer in the land jesus taught the people exactly what things they should do, and exactly what things to believe. Jesus gave Joseph the seer even more specific instructions for our day; so that there were would be no disputations among us concerning the points of his doctrine. He taught that we should be equal in our temporal things, that there should be no class divisions, or economic competition (contention). He taught the simple truth that all children know but are taught to ignore as they get older, that we work better together, that we should share what we have, that live is not a competition to see who can accumulate the most things before they die. Jesus said in D&C 70:4
“nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.”
That this scripture has been fulfilled I have no doubt. When I was among saints who were compelled to be humble and were all poor together, the abundance was not withheld to the extent it usually is in north America. miraculous healings, divine communication through dreams, and the ability to soften the hearts of our brethren through the spirit were not unheard of, although still not present to the extent that they were in the scriptural record. there were occasions that we felt like nephi
And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority. And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words; for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ
The process of becoming zion, or of one heart and one mind, dwelling in righteous and having no poor among us, is a very unique one. As we begin to be equal in our temporal things, our spiritual things, our beliefs, the abundance is no longer withheld, and our father lets us know how happy he is with us for doing his work. Lets not forget that he and his angels want zion more than any of us do, more than any of us can want it. The problem is that it is hard for us to become of one heart and one mind because we are being pulled apart by forces that we do not completely understand and recognize. Television, movies, political parties, racial pride, religions, sports franchises, differing ideologies on every subject imaginable, and a never ending demand to work more and accept larger amounts of debt keep us distracted from our true nature. We often end up like the Amalekites or zoramites or countless other examples in the scriptures of people who were convinced that they and their tribe would be saved while others would be lost. Such a foolish and false teaching can be easily be discounted by reviewing the scriptures.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Brothers and Sisters, god swore that his people would possess the land, and his people are those who do his will. He did not destroy the lamanites and spare the nephites. He did not destroy the nephites and spare the lamanites. He spared the people that listened to his prophets, and destroyed those who hated their brethren.
And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you: for I, Nephi, would not suffer, that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God, ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken, ye need not suppose that the gentiles are utterly destroyed. For behold, I say unto you, as many of the Gentiles as will repent, are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent, shall be cast off: for the Lord covenanteth with none, save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, which is the Holy One of Israel.
Salvation does not come based on membership of any group of any kind. It only comes to those who do the will of our father, which is to love all men equally, no matter what. There are no qualifiers given to this commandment. As long as we are divided into groups, we can be sure that we are not doing the will of our father. When there were no longer –ites of any kind, the people were finally able to sing “the lord hath brought again zion; the lord hath redeemed his people”
In what ways do we need to repent and become one? What things do we do that prevent others from joining us, or us with them? In what ways do we seek to excersize control over others? In what ways have we been tempted “to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world?”
We need to learn to learn from everyone we meet and accept everyone we come into contact with. We need to stop doing things that make others want to be separate from us, and finding excuses to separate ourselves from them. Bill Nye the science guy once said “everyone you meet knows something you don’t know”
Terence McKenna in speaking of what he called “the eschatological transcendent event at the end of history” (what we call the second coming and ushering in of the millennium) said
The real cataclysmic future does not lie in the propagation of the errors of industrial materialism. The real transformation of the future is built into the rocks, the oceans, the animals, it’s not coming from human beings. The people who think they are running the world are dreaming. I’m completely convinced that no one is in control and that this is very good news. nobody is in control, not the communist party, the Vatican, the world bank, nobody is in control. there may be groups who dream of controlling, but their frustration level must be approaching infinity at this point.
When I heard this I was struck by how much it sounded it like
Yea, it shall be unto them even as unto a hungry man who dreameth, and behold, he eateth, but he awaketh and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man who dreameth, and behold, he drinketh, but he awaketh, and behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite. Yea, even so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against mount Zion.
How does one fight against mount zion? By seeking for power and authority, and riches and the vain things of the world. By not doing their part to build zion, or as Christ put it:
But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;
We need to decide now whether we will move toward unity or away from it. There are inspired men speaking in the name of the lord all over the world, from every tribe of Israel, in all types of different churches, it is time to join with all of them in the building of the kingdom. Jesus will return to this earth, if we repent we will be able to meet him and give a good and valiant report. If not we will awake long after his return, or if he returns while we are alive we will be destroyed like the people in zarahemla.
you’re not being borne along on the current of some kind of inevitable thing where you’re embedded in it like a raisin in bread. you’re able to steer. You’re able to steer away from things that are bringing you down and your able to make alliances and relationships with things which support you., its all about personal empowerment, and personal empowerment means deconditioning yourself from the values and the programs of the society and putting your own values and programs in place… That means that you see what’s going down, you see the game that’s being run and you don’t buy in. you know, they can’t buy you with a Mercedes or business trips to paris or something like that. You’re smarter than that. it’s a kind of controlled alienation where you actually cultivate extra environmentalism. The great thing about an extra environmental is that you’re at home everywhere. Every place is your home and therefore you are always comfortable and you don’t have to be with people of your class, or your color, or your earning capacity to feel alright…I am a human being therefore nothing human is alien to me.Y ou accept the human you become the extra environmental…It’s a kind of shifting it’s a magical thinking it’s a shamanic thing youre a performer you always move through these thing with a sense that “This is not who I am this is not what I am this is merely a response to the demands of the moment. – Terence McKenna
terence mckenna quotes are from this video, but be aware this one has a little more false doctrines mixed in than the usual amount
in the spirit of elder chantdown, i decided to include links to the music i listened to while writing this