Friday, April 9, 2010
D & C 132, conclusion
Section 132, concluded:
Which brings us to the question of why Section 132 would be given in the first place. I don't think it is enough to say "Joseph asked the question" as the full reason for it being revealed. Joseph could have received the revelation without the requirement to live it. We could have an understanding that this was a correct principle, but that we had no obligation to comply with it (just as we do now). However, we were at one time given it and, commanded to live it. So the questions is "why?" Here's my take:
We are witnessing the end of the times of the Gentiles. There is a worldwide collapse of the Gentile populations. (Gentiles being the white, European populations.) Although we have scattered Israelite blood in us, the LDS Church was founded by those who are "identified with the Gentiles" (D&C 109: 60). But their (our) time has run its course.
The God of this land (North America) is Jesus Christ. When people reject Him, they lose their claim on the land and are swept away. (See 2 Ne. 1: 7-10.)
We have now, by the popular vote of the Gentiles who possess this land, chosen a leader who proclaimed on April 6th, 2009 (the Lord's birth date) that "we are no longer a Christian nation.
Birth rates among Gentiles have collapsed. The European social democracies require a large working class to support the retiring older class. The older retiring class did not have a birth rate that would supply the needed taxpayers, and therefore they are importing a younger working class throughout Europe. The younger working class is drawn from third-world people who have much higher birth rates. Those people are primarily Muslim. As a result there are many European nations whose demographic picture leads to the inevitable change from Gentile/Christian nations to Muslim nations within the next twenty to fifty years. The Danish peoples will be among the first. France has a majority of their school-age children now who are Muslim. All of them are threatened by a religion that rejects Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Redeemer of mankind. They are, in a word, anti-Christ.
In the US the birth rate is is only a replacement rate. But social programs require growth. That population growth is the only way to amortize the governmental spending. Increased government spending requires in turn a surge in population to support by taxation the necessary payments. This is being accomplished by the deliberate failure to police the immigration of foreign populations. It is a fiscal plan, not a demographic, social, religious or political plan. The government will not be able to pay for itself if large working-class people aren't found and brought into the US. Fortunately, most of those who are coming to the US are already Christian, and only a small fraction are Muslim. However, the Gentiles who are identified with the white population are declining, and being displaced by those who are identified with Book of Mormon remnant populations (although perhaps not THE remnant destined to build Zion--that's a whole different subject).
The church's birth rate has also declined rapidly. At present it is only a small fraction above the larger US rate. There result is the same loss of Gentile momentum in the building of the church. The Gentile population of the church is collapsing just as it is throughout the world.
What the revelation in Section 132 offered to the Gentiles was an opportunity, while the Gentile's day was still in full bloom, to create a much larger population from which to build Zion. I've seen some estimates that, had we lived the principle of plural wives from when it was restored until today the resulting population of Latter-day Saints would have been in excess of 150 million. The Latter-day Saint population would essentially have political control of the United States. That didn't happen, and now the time of the Gentiles has passed. We can't make up for lost time now. Nor are we exhibiting any desire to do so, as our declining birthrates demonstrate. Indeed, large families have vanished as a subject for General Conference. The Brethren seem to have forgotten the message once preached to "not artificially limit the size of your families." That message was spoken in General Conference as recently as President Kimball's time. Their examples are also important and telling. (Taking only the most recently called of the Twelve: Elder Bednar has three children, President Uchtdorf two. President Eyring has six. Elder Anderson has four, Elder Christopherson has five children. Now we don't always know the reasons why people have the number or children they do, so I do not read too much into this. However, there was a time when the reason all did not have six or more children would get attention, and an explanation would be offered. Now we don't even notice and it is simply not an issue. We presume that larger families are optional and completely unrelated to living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.)
Well, as with all things in the Gospel, we are handed opportunities. What we do with them is up to us. However, these opportunities are gifts from the Lord. We are now a tiny fragment of what we might have been at this point in history. We are vulnerable as a people in a way that we could have avoided with living the principles in Section 132. The results are going to play out in conformity with the rather pessimistic view of the Gentile's failed stewardship foretold by Nephi, Mormon, Moroni and modern revelation.
There's always a back up plan. That plan will rely upon a "remnant" to take things over and return to what was once offered to the Gentiles. And to the extent that a few Gentiles will follow the covenant, they are invited along and included as covenant people. But by and large they will be left behind.
Now Section 132 was an opportunity, not a burden. We never got enthusiastically behind the opportunity and the earlier posts explain why. I think the reasons for the failure are perfectly understandable. I think it was reasonable. But it is a fact that we failed with the opportunity. Worldwide we have a little less than 4 million active Latter-day Saints and an estimated total population of approximately 14 million. Those results are not what might have been. The Gentile Saints are vulnerable in a way they would have avoided had they taken the opportunity and done more with it.
But of course, that is true in a much larger sense, as well. The promise of an "innumerable posterity" presumes that the one receiving the promise realizes that it is a great blessing, and not a curse or burden.
OK, those are my thoughts. It's taken a bit to lay out. And I probably should add that there are those who would disagree with much of what I have said. However, I've given enough thought and study to the matter to have reached these conclusions, and I offer them to you for whatever you want to make of them.