Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2 Nephi 28: Their Works Shall Be in the Dark

Nephi has (finally) grown tired of quoting Isaiah, so now he decides to editorialize for a bit concerning the last days--and mostly how dangerous it will be to live in the last days.

False Churches?!  Where?!
Throughout this chapter, Nephi warns repeatedly against false churches and false teachings in the modern day.  He warns (among other things) against churches that claim to be of God but are not, people who teach based on their own understanding as opposed to the power of the Holy Ghost, those who teach foolish doctrines, and prideful church leaders who gouge the poor for their own financial gain. 

Sound familiar?

Joseph Smith was warning us against...himself and his successors, it seems.  After all, it's his church that claims to be of God but seems to receive no actual prophecy anymore, gives celebrated object lessons about pickles and airplanes and often tries to simply reinterpret or spin anew existing doctrines, enacts policies and practices surrounding sacred underwear and baptism for the dead, and extorts a flat ten percent of all members' incomes--including those who can't afford it--to build multi-billion dollar malls.

Yeah, I think it sounds familiar.

...And Their Works Shall Be in the Dark
In verse 9, Nephi warns against those who deal surreptitiously:
Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.
It seems painfully contradictory to me that a church whose most lauded book of scripture contains a warning against people and organizations who keep secrets can allow itself to become so notorious for keeping its financial records from the public.  Did they not read their own book?

All Had Better Not Be Well or We're Out of a Job
Verse 25 speaks to a prominent feature of Mormon culture:
Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
There's always another commandment.  There's always a threat against the family or the sanctity of marriage.  There's always an apocalypse looming on the horizon.  There's always something else that needs to be done, whether it's family home evening, food storage, home teaching, magnifying your callings, protecting your children from the ways of the world, remaining worthy of your covenants, or whatever else.  There is no room for contentment in Mormonism (although this is hardly unique to Mormonism, I think it's unusually prevalent).  There can be no sitting back and enjoying what you've accomplished, because you just can't be sure that what you've accomplished is enough. 

No wonder so many Mormons are eternally stressed and perpetually frazzled.  Claiming things to be acceptable, even for the time being, is basically a sin.  It makes sense, though--if Mormons were permitted to stop and think for a moment, maybe they'd realize that all this worrying and hurrying to become worthy of salvation was simply a tactic to keep them under the heel of their esteemed leadership.


  1. I may be mistaken, but didn't the people traveling by handcart sing "Come, Come Ye Saints" on there way to and perhaps at Martin's Cove? I think they show it in the movie 17 Miracles.

    "All is well, all is well."

    I've always wondered how any TBM could dare sing that song without fearing god would cast his "wo" upon them.

    Then President Kimball scared the crap out of me in 1982 when he said in conference "...this work is divine, the Lord is at the helm, the Church is true, and all is well."


    1. Haha, maybe President Kimball only declared it solemnly instead of crying it!