Monday, April 11, 2016

Ether 11:12-14 -- On Not Being a Moron

"And it came to pass that in the days of Ethem there came many prophets, and prophesied again unto the people; yea, they did prophesy that the Lord would utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth except they repented of their iniquities.
And it came to pass that the people hardened their hearts, and would not hearken unto their words; and the prophets mourned and withdrew from among the people.
And it came to pass that Ethem did execute judgment in wickedness all his days; and he begat Moron. And it came to pass that Moron did reign in his stead; and Moron did that which was wicked before the Lord."
Ether 11:12-14

So, prophets come and then they withdraw because the people reject them.  Later in this chapter Moron has a son named Coriantor, and prophets come in his day too, pleading with the people to repent.  Generations of wickedness, and we aren't surprised because it runs in the family, right?  And people teach wickedness to each other, so you can't escape.  ... Except, wait.  These are the descendants of the Brother of Jared... one of the greatest, most spiritual people we read about in the scriptures.  He saw Christ, he had amazing faith... he moved a *mountain* with his faith.  And (spoiler alert), Moron's grandson is who?  Ether.  The prophet.

It's hilarious to say "Don't be a Moron" at this point, but after we finish laughing, let's also take it seriously.  Moron didn't have to be a wicked man.  People before him and after him chose God instead.  He didn't have to follow in his father's footsteps and choose evil over good.  There is good in all of us... just as much, or more, good than bad.  God never puts us in a situation where we don't get a choice, or where we don't have some possibility of a good influence.  We *can* change who we are: what we choose to do and to be.  No one is stuck, no matter how many generations of wickedness have gone before.

I'm not saying it is easy.  The easy way is to do what Moron did... to slip into wickedness because that is what our fathers did and that is what we know.  It is much harder to choose to do what Ether did, and break the cycle.  To read and recognize and learn to love the truth, and stick to it even though it makes everyone around us uncomfortable or angry and they cast us out and we have to hide in a cave (Ether 13:13).

Today, let's cast off the influence of the world.  Let's not let wickedness win.  Let's determine our own path and our own destiny, no matter what stands in the way.  Let's break the cycle in our own lives, and choose God.  Let's be the good influence in our families rather than the bad... let's teach love and not hate, kindness and not cruelty.  Let's choose Ether's way over Moron's, and place God over any other influences in our lives.

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