So this week we vote. By we I mean all of you Americans out there. Get with it.
This year I have not received a sample ballot so I don't know what I'll be voting for, but I rest assured in the knowledge that I pretty much never vote for the winner anyway.
Lately I've been going through old notebooks and uncovering forgotten plays and short stories that I will be typing up and rewriting in the coming months. I have also found occasional religious notes which I will be cannibalizing now and then for svithey purposes, starting today.
Today's svithe begins with an opinion that most American Christians seem to hold and that Mormons worldwide accept as something close to a fundamental truth: God's hand was behind the founding of America.
Latter-day Saints feel so strongly about this because we figure that anywhere else in the world and at any previous time, we would have been wiped out by religious maniacs--and this is probably true. Religion has kind of an unpleasant record for killing people of differing opinions. And we Saints can't help but be different.
But the Land of the Free wasn't all peace love & tolerance either--plenty of early Mormons were killed/exiled/raped/pillaged/etceteraed by unpleasant neighbors, and since there was not yet a Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court found that the Mormons didn't really have much complain about re: Freedom of Religion since it was a state oppressing their religion and not the feds. Which states had a right to do.
Missouri weren't no Rhode Island, people, and Lilburn Boggs weren't no Roger Williams, neither.
America might have been the freest, most tolerant nation on Earth, but it wasn't all that free and tolerant.
So here's a question for you: Why then was the Church restored in America in the 1830s? Why not wait another hundred-fifty years? And then go to Amsterdam?
Or, why not start the Church in Tonga, which has displayed such a knack for turning out copious Mormons? Maybe the Saints would never had to deal with any persecution at all!
Why in the United States? Why 1830?
Yes, America 1830 allowed for a legal restoration, but that did not stop the citizenry from trying to wipe them out.
So what I propose is this: The gospel was restored in America in 1830 because there and then and only there and then could be found the correct and proper--the perfect mix of freedom and intolerance.
Okay, but why not in Tonga? Why not restore the gospel somewhere with a (hypothetical) 100% conversion rate?
Because the trials the early church suffered made them strong.
Could an always-had-it-easy Church survive devilish wiles?
I suggest it could not.
So let's be grateful for the sufferings of those who went before and let's continue to struggle for the cause of freedom and let's svithe out the vote.
last week's svithe