Dear Weekly Standard,
I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of my life, so I know first-hand about the unkindness that comes from some of the more orthodox members of the church. Like the Pharisees in the scriptures, they are all hypocrites when it comes to living their religion… focusing only on the law, and not on the mercy and love that should be present in our communities.
Just last week, I came across a passage in the Book of Mormon that really resonated with me, because it talked about how damaging this type of person is. Of course, I’ve read parts of Mosiah before… mostly the verses in chapter 18 about mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stand in need of comfort… but I accidentally read a few pages earlier in the chapter and came across one of these orthodox religious types. I think this provides a good lesson on how to handle this sort of situation. I started in Mosiah 12.
First off, just like some of these #DezNat types, this guy comes (in disguise, of course, because he’s a coward) and starts nitpicking about the behavior of other people… you know, “…this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage…” Like, dude, why don’t you look at your own life before you start harping on others!
Then he incites violence against people. He singles out one progressive leader that he hates and says that his life will be, “...valued even as a garment in a hot furnace.” Obviously, this is a dog whistle to rile up the alt-righteous (read: everyone is alt-right who disagrees with me) agitators against people who don’t live up to their standards.
So then, this guy is approached by the government leaders. They respond in a really rational, calm, and down-to-earth way… because, like, if it were me, I would’ve wanted to punch him in the face like the Nazi he was. They went straight to the kind parts of the scriptures… listen:
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation...”
So calm, so peaceful, right?
And then he goes straight for this self-righteous verse: “if ye keep the commandments, ye shall be saved… have ye done all this? I say unto you nay, ye have not. And have ye taught this people that they should do all these things? I say unto you nay, ye have not.” I mean, the brazen unkindness and judgmental preachiness really gets under my skin.
So I guess in the end he gets what he deserves and gets burned alive. That’s almost poetic, isn’t it? He was saying that was going to happen to the guy he was attacking, right? Clearly, he deserved what was coming to him.
So yeah, even in the Book of Mormon these right-wingers in the church use all the time… this guy… what was his name? Yeah… Abinadi…
He can serve as a lesson to them about what happens when you don’t use kindness. Checkmate judgmental Mormons!
Evan B. Haram