A child’s curiosity and natural desire to learn are like a tiny flame, easily extinguished unless it’s protected and given fuel. This book will help you as a parent both protect that flame of curiosity and supply it with the fuel necessary to make it burn bright throughout your child’s life. Let’s ignite our children’s natural love of learning!
Sometimes I’m astounded at how loaded a single verse can be. The other day during my morning scripture study I read only one verse:
Now it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, from this time forward, king Mosiah having gone the way of all the earth, having warred a good warfare, walking uprightly before God, leaving none to reign in his stead; nevertheless he had established laws, and they were acknowledged by the people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws which he had made. (Alma 1:1 (see also verse 14), emphasis mine)
The political implications of this single verse are amazing. A person with recognized authority (King Mosiah) established some new laws. Because his authority (and hence the laws he created) was recognized by the people, they were obliged to obey.
Other scriptures shed additional light on this (in my opinion) very interesting subject:
It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it? (D&C 128:9, emphasis mine)
When actions are done with proper authority (in this context, the priesthood), it becomes a law that must be obeyed. The person giving the law (the priesthood holder) has authority that is generally recognized and so his actions are trusted.
When somebody does not have the proper authority, their actions/words/laws do not require obedience. Take, for example, Oliver Cowdery:
But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom; (D&C 28:5)
All that which was taught by Cowdery was merely done so “in wisdom” and not “commandment”, since he did not have the proper authority.
That authority is sought after and usurped by persons lusting after power. Take, for example, the Gadianton Robbers doing so. Or, the prime example, Satan himself:
Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world. (3 Nephi 6:15, emphasis mine)
Satan’s first attempt to usurp proper authority sheds some interesting light on its source:
And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency; (D&C 29:36, emphasis mine)
God’s power stems from the honor he receives from those below him. Because we trust and honor God, we are willing to obey His commandments, and thus the authority he has takes effect with those in his stewardship.
Similarly, a Bishop, Young Womens leader, or choir director all have effective authority over those in their stewardship when they are honored. The principles we read in the well known verses of D&C 121 specify exactly how we can receive such honor and promote obedience to the law given by that authority.
Think of a leader you’ve had, be it in church, work, or another organization, where that person was mistrusted, despised, or disliked. Not being honored by his/her “subjects”, any “laws” given by that person weren’t obeyed, were they? And if they were, it was done grudgingly with a strong sense of disapproval.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, that single verse in Alma has amazing political implications. It is the basis upon which the Declaration of Independence was signed! The Founding Fathers did not recognize the authority of a distant tyrant (King George) who imposed absurd laws upon them. And so, they were not “obliged to abide by the laws which he had made”.
This begs the question, at what point in our current government do we abolish certain laws and legislation because we don’t recognize the authority under which they were issued? When King George (Bush) repeatedly states that he is above the law by imposing dictatorial orders, at what point do we cease to obey (civil disobedience, yeah!) because we refuse to recognize such a usurpation of authority?