Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen

I recently picked up H. Verlan Andersen's Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen (currently out of print, but available in eBook and paperback form at have received quite a wake up call.  The book starts off by defining our countries current (1967, but it's amazing how much this problem remains with us today in 2011) problem of supporting an unjust government and how a lot of that fault lies with the citizens of our country.

"We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.  (D&C 134:1, emphasis added)

"When the individual disapproves of an unjust government measure and uses all of his influence against it, no blame should be attached.  Justice demands that each be held liable only for those acts which have his approval and support.  Since laws may be good as well as evil, opposition to a good law may be as blameworthy as approval of a bad one....

"If the Lord is going to hold each of us morally accountable for every coercive act of government of which we approve, it is of the utmost importance that we be able to accurately discern the good from the evil in government action.  It is not enough that we do this approximately.  We must be able to distinguish with precision because:

"When we undertake to ... exercise control or dominion or compulsion ... in any degree of unrighteousness ... Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. (D&C 121:37, emphasis added)"

Elder Andersen continues on by pointing us to the ultimate measuring stick to determine whether or not an act of government is righteous: "Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matt. 7:12; 3 Nephi 14:12)  If we would not be comfortable applying a certain law to ourselves (in our current circumstances), than that law is immoral.