|The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Vasnetsov|
Note the third rider on the black horse carrying the market scales
So, I was sitting there in Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class amazed by the teacher skimming through that lesson on Revelation Chapters 4-22, which is quite a lot to cover in forty minutes. We did have the McConkie outline explaining that it is mostly historical based on the dispensations of the Gospel and not all still to come. We read about the first four seals and the horsemen. There was a comment about the third seal representing famine and starvation because people of the world don't share the resources we have resulting in inequities. I went back and read the verses again:
And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou not hurt the oil and wine.Revelation 6:5-6. It was one of those flashes of spiritual inspiration, or maybe I was just falling into the depths of depravity, but I said (silently in my head) "Oh, my heck! That's the free market economy! That's why he's carrying a scale because you have to pay for food and be weighed in an earthly balance!" After class I said to the woman that made the comment that I didn't want to be a heretic, but it sounded like the third seal was the opening of the market based economy. She responded that, yes, that's how she saw it but you have to be careful how you express it in Sunday School.
I suppose my critics here could accuse me of proof-texting to fit the scriptures to my world view if not just being influenced by a woman raised by Christian hippies (actually, that last part is all true). But my point here is to share the thoughts that pop into my head and that was certainly one of those that got my attention along with a connection with a kindred spirit.
The ultimate solution to any of the calamities that come upon us either by the horsemen or our own mistakes is, of course, to rely on the Lamb of God who is mighty to save. While I know what the ultimate solution is, I'm not entirely sure how to get there. I know we can't "force" everybody to follow the Lord's plan because that "force" runs directly counter to the Lord's plan. But it's not as easy as all becoming Libertarians (besides, how would we "enforce" that anyway?) I still have hope that even Republicans, Democrats, maybe even Socialists, can be saved.
My idea is that how we get there is the whole point. That's why the principles of D&C 121 are so important. A big Amen, so long, and farewell to all the priesthoods and powers that try to do it otherwise. The Lord is going to take care of most of it. We just have to keep trying whatever we do and whatever role we fulfill in this life by persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, etc.
We have no choice but to take the reality of the world as we find it. And then we can try to make it better. Just how do we do that when we're not even all of the same religious faith or tradition? There are some common, universal values that work. And I'll keep preaching the gospel as I understand it even as I recognize that not all will accept my witness. If they don't, I have no desire or intention of seeing them destroyed or condemned for failing to accept my weak efforts or even join my church. I don't even think that's how it works if you read D&C 76. I don't even agree with all the people at my own church, but we seem to get along somehow.
With regard to government, I come right back to our divinely inspired process Constitution in the United States that allows us to work together to find that common ground to come together towards that ideal. We aren't all even of the same religious faith in this country, but we can still work toward that goal of unity and a better world.
I believe the same about world peace and the ideals of the United Nations, the charter of which, by the way, is based on the principles and even some of the structure of the U.S. Constitution. Flawed as it may be, it represents the ideals of the world striving towards peace and unity (state sovereignty still protected). Those who will live in millennial peace and unity are those who are working for it now. However often our efforts fail us, we will be blessed for our efforts to the extent we allow the Lamb of God to help us. And often He helps us in spite of ourselves.
The economy? Yeah. We should all have enough to eat, and be comfortable and even prosperous. The Lord can bless us in that if we keep working for a better way. I don't believe it should be through forced redistribution, but we can do a lot better in working together to find the common ground and provide opportunity and freedom for all without arbitrary distinctions of wealth and opportunity based on the ways of men.
We have a long way to go, people. Let's not let those horsemen trample us down. Hold on to that promise of the Lamb. It works for all people of good will whether they realize it or not. We'll get there.
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