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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Despair Cometh Because of Iniquity

Study Finds Utah Leads Nation in Antidepressant Use. Antidepressant drugs are prescribed in Utah more often than in any other state, at a rate nearly twice the national average. When I read this and other heartbreaking news, I get a little weak in the stomach.

I ask myself, "Why is there so much despair among the Mormon people?"  Are there answers in the scriptures yet to be discovered? Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

These words are written in the final chapter of the Book of Mormon, “And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope. And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity. And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.” Moroni 10:21-23


I decided to look up the definitions of iniquity and despair to help me in my understanding. Iniquity is gross injustice or something that is unfair or evil. Despair is hopelessness or depression 

Why did Moroni say, “Despair cometh because of iniquity.” So what does our iniquity have to do with depression?

I read what the dictionary said about iniquity, then I wondered what the scriptures said about iniquity? This is the best scripture I found that gives some kind of definition for the word.

“And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.” Alma 41:11

From this scripture I learn that iniquity has to do with being in a natural, or a carnal state. What do carnal men and women do that is unjust or unfair?

When Abinadi called the church leadership of his day to repentance, he said, “And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.” Mosiah 13:11

Why would the church leaders of his day be studying and teaching iniquity? What does that look like?

Abinadi said, Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise. Therefore, what teach ye this people? And they said: We teach the law of Moses. And again he said unto them: If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye commit whoredoms and spend your strength with harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to prophesy against this people, yea, even a great evil against this people?” Mosiah 12:27-29

King Noah and his priests set their hearts on riches, but so have I. When Mormon was abridging the Book of Mormon, did he include this story because he could see our day? “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. Mormon 8:35

“And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father. For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness. 


"And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain. And all this did he take to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and also his priests, and their wives and their concubines; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom. 



"For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.  


"Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them. And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;

 

"And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things. 


"And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.


"And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.


"And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.


"And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be built in the land Shilom; and he caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land; and thus he did do with the riches which he obtained by the taxation of his people. Mosiah 11:1-13

I feel like I just received a great treasure. I am excited to repent. I really didn't understand iniquity a few hours ago when I started to write down ideas. I need to reconsider how I do things.

Look what happens when we're freed from our riches . . . “behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost . . . the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. . . And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” 4 Nephi 1:1-16

What would happen if I wasn't interested in obtaining and maintaining a large amount of stuff? A lot of energy is expended taking care of my possessions. I think this also has to do with keeping up an image: how I dress, what I look like, and what people think of me.

Is the Lord's yoke easy and his burden light? Can we be filled with the love of God and be the happiest people on earth? How does our materialistic world contribute to the depression among our people? Going back to the definition of iniquity, what is unfair or unjust about people being on unequal ground when it comes to temporal things? "Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld." D&C 70:14 I didn't put the two together, but it's something to think about.

It's interesting that this understanding is coming to me now. Jaylee came home for fall break with the idea of building and living in a tiny house (about 250 square foot home). As I listened to her ideas and started watching the videos of people shedding their material things, I could feel the joy build. It would be very liberating to live a simple unencumbered life.


I am just beginning to understand what it means to repent of my iniquity. I am excited to explore a new way of living and thinking.  

7 comments:

  1. A tiny house---for the entire family?
    I look forward to seeing it. Thank you for this wonderful post

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  2. The neat thing about these homes is they are built on wheels and you can take them wherever you want to live. For a large family, you might need a few homes. I'm thinking about four people could live comfortably in each home. Still that would only be 750 square feet for my entire family. Each home only costs $15,000-$20,000 to build. That is cheaper than most cars. I don't know if this is what I am going to do, but I am definitely going to simplify my life.

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  3. My wife would go NUTS in a house that small with the kids all day!!! I love the idea, though. I once suggested that we sell our house, buy 3 used travel trailers, and set them up in a triangle on some land. She gave me the look of death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob, I don't think we all need to live in tiny houses, but the idea of simplifying my life, getting rid of things I don't use, and living on less is a direction I want to pursue.

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  4. Replies
    1. Angie, I'm not sure I understand your question.

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  5. http://mic.com/articles/104096/there-s-a-suicide-epidemic-in-utah-and-one-neuroscientist-thinks-he-knows-why
    This guy has an alternative theory for the Utah depression/suicide phonomenon

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for posting