I've been reading a great book by Douglas E. Brinley called America's Hope... Why Every Other Civilization Has Failed and What You Can Do to Save This One
Within the book is delineated 10 Stages in which each former civilization has passed on its way to extinction.
Before I begin I need to make this disclaimer. The information in the Book of Mormon is the major source of historical context that this book bases it's entire premise on, however not the only source. I can hear the polygamy jokes already, but save 'em.
The Book of Mormon is actually the compilation of records left by the ancients of this hemisphere over the last several thousand years. Yes that's right, the ancestors of who we know as the native Americans did in fact leave records for us to recover and to have translated by the power of the Holy Ghost for the purpose of restoring the Gospel in this, the land of Promise, the Americas.
Being the history and anthropology nut I am, I'm satisfied by the empirical evidence modern day research has conducted that verifies the claims made in the Book of Mormon and have by faith accepted those records as Scripture themselves after many readings from cover to cover of this fascinating work.
The Book of Mormon in itself is a book I highly recommend be read by all with an open mind and open heart and a love for history who aren't afraid to believe that there is a Heavenly Father who has and still does reach out to us through particular vessels... ie. The Prophets.
Ok, I know I lost a lot of you but the reason I wanted to write this post is to see where on the scale of those 10 Stages you see modern day America. Not necessarily to preach LDS doctrine. If the mere mention of Mormonism conjures up fear in your hearts that you'll be corrupted by some cultish sac-religion then you really should look at yourself in the mirror a bit more closely and question your ability to achieve clarity.
Ok, on with the Stages...
Stage 1: The Lord Leads the Righteous to the Promised Land
Despite what teachers such as Jay Bennish are teaching in the schools about Columbus's intentions to rape and pillage land, I believe that Columbus instead was inspired by the Holy Ghost to find this land which has become the beacon of hope for the rest of the world... knowingly or not. Just as Adam and Eve were given Paradise in which to begin this Earthly journey of mankind, America has been the modern day Promised Land for the dissemination of the Word of God without fear of reprisals, at least not yet.
Adam and Eve, of course, began the first dispensation. After leaving the Garden of Eden, they settled in the promised land at Adamondi-Ahman (D&C 117:8).The Americas have been a land of refuge for the righteous since the beginning of human record keeping... long before 1492.
The Jaredites came to these continents under the leadership of Jared and his brother following the tower of Babel episode when God Scattered the people and confounded their language. This righteous colony came by barges to the promised land sometime around 2200 B.C.
Lehi was forced to leave Jerusalem about 600 B.C. because of the wickedness of the Jews who sought to kill him.
The Mulekites, from Mulek the son of the Jewish king Zedekiah and contemporaries of the Lehites, came from Jerusalem when Zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar (2 Chronicles 36:11-13). The Babylonian king killed the sons of Zedekiah living in Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:7); however, one of the sons, Mulek, avoided capture and death. The details of how young Mulek escaped, his exact age at the time, how many others were in his party, and how they negotiated the oceans remains unknown.
Stage 2: God Covenants with the Inhabitants of the Land
The second stage actually puts in place the covenant between God and those who reside on the land. Two options are presented to the inhabitants. Either they will serve God and keep His commandments, or they will be swept from the land should their wickedness sink to a certain level of depravity.Stage 3: God Establishes Laws for the Governance of the People
The people living in Noah's day undoubtedly were aware of the covenant. The Jaredites were likewise aware of the promises on the land, and the Nephites understood the covenant from Lehi's teachings.
The Lamanites (those we now refer to as the Native Americans) were without the gospel much of the time; like the Gentiles, they were unaware of the covenant on the land. The Lamanites who lived in the northern hemisphere later lost their land to the ever-expanding Gentile population. Sadly, all of these early inhabitants broke their covenant with Deity. The fate of the Gentiles is still in the future.
In the third of the ten stages, God raises up wise men for the purpose of codifying and systematizing laws so that people can live in an environment of order and security and be accountable for their agency.Although the founding Father's faith in Heavenly guidance is completely glossed over in today's history courses, all you have to do is read their writings to see the obvious acknowledgement of the influence of the Supernatural as they shaped the documents that continue to rule our land. The leaders of civilizations past usually benefited initially by this same guidance as documented in Scriptural accounts in the Old and the New Testaments as well as modern day scripture... I would contend that the Founding documents of this country can be considered such.
Stage 4: When Most of the People Choose Evil over Good, the Covenant Is Breached
When people turn from a foundation of God-given or God-inspired laws to support or demand legislation contrary to that which is right and decent, and when the constituents uphold (and even promote) unchristlike [SIC] practices or policies, when they vote for corrupt individuals who seek personal favors at the expense of the innocent or poor, wickedness prevails.Try and tell me that we're not at least at this stage! Is it possible that Roe vs Wade fall into this category?
Stage 5: The Lord Warns the Inhabitants When They Are in Danger of Being Swept Off
The Lord does not destroy His children until they have been warned multiple times concerning their spiritual laxness. God gives ample warning through His prophets and missionaries when they are in violation of the covenant on the land.Stage 6: The Inhabitants Respond to the Warnings from God's Servants
If they continue to reject the warnings of God's servants to the point not only of ignoring prophetic counsel but of threatening the lives of those sent to warn them, they set themselves up for divine judgements of war, pestilence, and famine (Alma 10:22-23).Stage 7: When the People Reject Prophetic Warnings, the Judgements of God Begin
Need I say more?
Stage 8: The Spirit of the Lord Withdraws from the People
In case you were wondering if this has ever happened before, read up on the era known as the Dark Ages... there was a reason why it was considered Dark.
As people continue to reject the warning messages of the Lord's servants, they quickly lose their spiritual bearings. Evil becomes more appealing to them while righteousness becomes too confining. They are unable to discern between good and evil. They call evil good and good evil.When the reactions I get from this post are from people who are more insulted by this topic or any of the considerations made in this post than they are by the filth that they take in their their sensory organs on a daily basis, I can make a good case that this stage is long past it's infancy. Thankfully I believe that there are more people here in America who still embody the Spirit of the Lord than not... although the momentum of that balance seems to be shifting.
Stage 9: The Inhabitants Become Fully Ripened in Iniquity and Cast Out the Righteous
Each former civilization ripened in iniquity until it was destroyed.Stage 10: The Wicked Are Destroyed
Believe the stories in the Scriptures or not, all of the story lines concluded the same.
At this point, the land is cursed and the destruction of the inhabitants becomes certain. Though repentance is always open to the people until their fate is sealed, at this point they seldom choose to cease their wickedness. When the spirit of repentance departs, when hearts are hardened, when people are fully ripened in iniquity, they stand condemned before God.Consider the concepts how you will. Consider them as brainwashing tactics to keep the masses in line if you will. But at least consider them. Read your Scriptures and see what they tell you about yourself, your neighbors, your Spirit. Read your history of mankind through the ages, see the ebb and flow of civilizations' rise and fall.
Even if you consider it hogwash, consider it nonetheless. There's no harm that can come upon you for doing so, in fact if you were to stick to your guns, you would study them even further to bolster your own arguments.
As for me, I know how my Spirit reacts to the words in Scripture and that can only be experienced by me and me alone. I can testify of these impressions and movements inside of me but they can not be tangibly conveyed except only by the will of the Holy Ghost.
I have concern for this Country and for the world. I believe that this nation is to survive until the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when the work of God will be consummated, when the king of heaven shall descend and put an end to all warfare, evil, and wickedness, and the great work of the Millennium will be underway. The bad news is that the ripening process will continue among the wicked; the good news is that the righteous will become even more committed to the work of God.
Ok, that's it for my preaching and I'm sure some of you are itching to tear me apart for espousing these views... well, just let me know in the comments section. I'm not scared. All I hope is that you just consider the concepts that have been quickly and one dimensionally laid out and speak to me from your heart.
Have a good weekend y'all.
linked with this weekend's open posts at: Adam's Blog, The Uncooperative Blogger, Basil's Blog, The Right Nation, Stuck on Stupid, Jo's Cafe, Cao's Blog, NIF, Free Constitution, Don Surber, Stop the ACLU, Wizbang, Point Five, The Mudville Gazette, Is It Just Me?