Monday, December 9, 2013

3 Nephi 7:1-2

"Now behold, I will show unto you that they did not establish a king over the land; but in this same year, yea, the thirtieth year, they did destroy upon the judgment-seat, yea, did murder the chief judge of the land.
And the people were divided one against another; and they did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family and his kindred and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land."
3 Nephi 7:1-2

Historically, this was a couple of chapters and a year or two before Christ appeared to these people... but what years.  Packed with cleansing and destruction and upheaval of the most dramatic sort.  Definitely something that would be challenging to live through.
These verses seem to illustrate how fragile our communities are sometimes... how easy it is for us to break apart and to only support the people we know.  I remember talking to a guy on my mission.  He invited us in and as we were talking, he told us that he was loyal only to his family.  He said that it was okay to cheat other people (he was a plumber and he said that he overcharged his customers all the time) in order to support his family and make them happy... and he believed that is what everyone else did as well.  I feel like it is easy to get into that mindset... to relate to and defend only your family and friends and to dismiss people who are outside that circle of influence/acceptance/friendship.  But God asks more of us.  He asks us to recognize that we are *not* separate tribes, but together, all children of God.  Our loyalty should not be only to those of our household, community, or even country.  If people are outside our circles of friendship, and they seem strange or foreign to us, then God asks us to get to know them, to invite them in... to friendship and fellowship and community.
Today, let's not break into tribes. :)  Instead, let's be one.  Part of each other, caring about each other, willing to serve each other as we serve the Lord.  Let's build Zion together, making a place where no one is poor, and no one is excluded.  A place where there is no hate... where we learn love and peace.  Let's work to understand and love each other rather than cutting each other off.

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