Yes, my friend, this is the exact passage that has prompted this question. I read this a couple months ago and have been pondering it in my heart. Now, I'm trying to track down where it started (was it, in fact, Diogones, and what was the work and that which surrounded it and/or the purpose of the statement), how it got into LDS culture, and if it should, as M Nibley states, not be there.
Elmer L. Fairbank wrote: --- "In the world but not of it" or something of it's ilk. What's the source of the saying? ---According to Nibley-- That is, when I find myself called upon to stand up and be counted, to declare myself on one side or the other, which do I preferógin or rum, cigarettes or cigars, tea or coffee, heroin or LSD, the Red Rose or the White, Shiz or Coriantumr, wicked Nephites or wicked Lamanites, Whigs or Tories, Catholic or Protestant, Republican or Democrat, black power or white power, land pirates or sea pirates, commissars or corporations, capitalism or communism? The devilish neatness and simplicity of the thing is the easy illusion that I am choosing between good and evil, when in reality two or more evils by their rivalry distract my attention from the real issue. The oldest trick in the book for those who wish to perpetrate a great crime unnoticed is to set up a diversion, such as a fight in the street or a cry of fire in the hall, that sends everyone rushing to the spot while the criminal as an inconspicuous and highly respectable citizen quietly walks off with the loot. It can be shown that in each of the choices just named, one of the pair may well be preferable to the other, but that is not the question. There is no point in arguing which other system comes closest to the law of consecration, since I excluded all other systems when I opted for the real thing. The relative merits of various economies is a problem for the gentiles to worry about, a devil's dilemma that does not concern me in the least. For it so happens that I have presently covenanted and promised to observe most strictly certain instructions set forth with great clarity and simplicity in the Doctrine and Covenants. These are designated as the law of consecration, which are absolutely essential for the building up of the kingdom on earth and the ultimate establishment of Zion. "Behold, this is the preparation wherewith I prepare you, and the foundation and the ensample which I give unto you, whereby you may accomplish the commandments which are given you; that through my providence, notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world" (D&C 78:13-14). It is all there, this law of consecration, by which alone the Saints can implement God's plans for Zion in spite of the persecution it will bring on them; this is the foundation on which they must build (see D&C 48:6). The alternative is to be dependent on baser things, for "Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself" (D&C 105:5). But should I ask for tribulation? I live in the real world, don't I? Yes, and I have been commanded to "come out of her,. . . that ye be not partakers of her sins" (Revelation 18:4). It is not given "unto you that ye shall live after the manner of the world" (D&C 95:13). Well, then, you must be "in the world but not of the world." That happens to be a convenient para-scripture (we have quite a few of them today), invented by a third-century Sophist (Diognetos), to the great satisfaction of the church members, who were rapidly becoming very worldly. The passage as it appears in the scriptures says quite the opposite: "For [whatsoever] that is in the world. . . is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 2:16). The Lord has repeatedly commanded and forced his people to flee out of the world into the wilderness, quite literally; there is only one way to avoid becoming involved in the neighborhood brawls, and that is to move out of the neighborhood. There is nothing in the Constitution that forbids me doing certain things I have covenanted and promised to do; if the neighbors don't like it, they have no legal grounds against me, but there are ways of getting me to move; "the tribulation. . . shall descend upon you," said the Lord, but do things my way and "my providence" will see you through (D&C 78:14). This inescapable conflict is part of our human heritage, as we learn from dramatic passages of scripture. (Hugh Nibley, Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 163 - 164.) ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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