Harold Stuart wrote:

> > [RB Scott] I'm inclined to
> > believe that God must be a pretty forgiving God if he's willing
> > to forgive the sins of repentant sinners like you and me.  I
> > believe that God wants to include as many people as He possibly
> > can...and that it's my job to do my bit to ensure the roster is
> > as large as possible.  You take a different tack.  Good luck to
> > you.  Our purposes are the same, more or less even if our methods
> > are different.
> You see, the only way that one can be included in that roster is to 
> repent and become clean through the blood of Christ.  Verses 20 and 21 
> are pretty clear -- the gospel we must preach is the gospel of 
> repentance.  If you don't teach repentance, you don't teach the gospel.
> Too many of us are like Neville Chamberlain.  We think that evil can be 
> won by appeasement.  The idea is that if we just compromise a bit here 
> and give a little there all will be well.  The problem is that 
> compromise and negotiations only work between honorable men.  Satan 
> knows that every time we compromise with him we give up our power.  God 
> cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.
> The current battle is not over civil rights, as some would claim.  
> That's just a smokescreen.  The real battle is for the salvation of 
> souls.  Sexual sins are real, addictive, and terribly difficult to 
> overcome.  People who cannot overcome these sins receive God's 
> righteous judgment.
> Can we not see the plan of the evil one?  More and more of the things 
> that condemn people to eternal damnation are being integrated into 
> society.  Abortion, which in but the rarest of cases is nothing more 
> than cold-blooded murder, now enjoys a legally protected place in our 
> society.  The problem is that murderers are damned.  Adulterers, 
> fornicators, and those who practice other gross sexual sins have a 
> legally protected place in society.  The problem is that those who 
> unrepentantly practice sexual sins are damned.  Society embraces those 
> things it legally protects.  It tells those who live within it that it 
> is OK to do those things.  If a society teaches its people to do evil, 
> it encourages them to be damned.  God has repeatedly destroyed such 
> societies.  WE ARE NOT EXEMPT!

The struggle, as I see it, is on two levels.  The first, 
obviously, is that of good vs. evil in absolute terms.
If we have a testimony of the Gospel, and particularly 
if we've gone through all of its saving ordinances, then 
we know what's good, what's evil, or at least we have a 
better idea as between the two.  Consequently, we see trends 
within our society that are disturbing and even alarming,
we can speak to those things from that frame of reference.
This first struggle is a deeply personal one, in that we
work out our own salvation (then concurrently work on our
family's) before we work on the salvation of others.  

The second struggle is that because of apostasy, there are
clearly different ideas as to what constitutes salvation,
which in turn leads to different ideas as to right and 
wrong.  This struggle is within society itself, and 
probably has been that way from the beginning.  

Now what the Lord says to us personally and through the 
scriptures is clear and unmistakable, but part of that is
because of the witness of the Holy Ghost, and part of that
is because some of our scriptures are unique to us.  Where 
things become more problematic is within society itself, 
because 1) apart from the Restored Gospel, there's no 
witness of the Holy Ghost (only the light of Christ, if
at all); 2) there are no common scriptures--no one
even agrees on the translation of the Bible that should be
used; and therefore, 3) There doesn't seem to be a common
consensus as to what ought to be the basic principles this
society should operate under.  Or the "core values," as I 
told Ron a while ago.  And yet one of the basic principles 
America was founded on involves the freedom of society to 
worship how and where it may, which by necessity seems to 
place all religious beliefs, all scriptures, and all 
concepts of right and wrong on the same playing field...
regardless of what sort of a testimony we may have 
regarding them.

Or to be plain about it:  How do we allow for people to
believe and worship where and how they may without also
accepting or tolerating evil...?

I actually agree with you as to what you wrote.  It's how
we apply these things to society as a whole that's part of
what I'm wrestling with.

All the best,

The Rabinowitz Family -- http://www.firstnephi.com
Spring Hill, Tennessee

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