For those of you who aren’t members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – that’s in the Book of Mormon.
And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good — to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. – Jacob 2:19
This verse has had me thinking for a few weeks now. The world is full of captives, and we need to do what we can to liberate them.
Some people out there (probably not too many who would read my blog, but …) think that means we need to raid the prisons and let the prisoners out. If that’s what you think, you would be mistaken. People need to face the consequences of their actions, and if they are criminals, they need to do their time, but they need to be liberated from the bondage of sin that put them in prison in the first place. Yes, we need to put support people in their struggles to become free from the bonds of sin. But the truth is, they need to free themselves by shunning sin (See John 8:31-36) and by the saving power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
But there are other types of bondage that enslave billions around the world as well. The worst part of this type of bondage is that a huge part of these people (and perhaps a majority) have no idea they are in bondage.
To best understand this, you must first understand another concept – agency.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important gift our Father in Heaven has given us. Only through the Atonement can we be made perfect and return to the presence of God. But the second most important gift is that of our Agency.
[mantra-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left” width=”40%”]Agency is our ability to choose and to act for ourselves.
Freedom is power or ability to make personal choices without compulsion.
Liberty is the state or condition of being able to act and think freely. [/mantra-pullquote]
God will not take away our Agency. It is His intention that we have the freedom to exercise our agency. If we live in a land of liberty, we will have that freedom.
This has been how it was since the beginning. We will have consequences for our actions and disobeying the commandments of God, but we ARE free to choose.
Look at the world around us. What countries live under some sort of socialist or some other form of despotism? Obviously we start with North Korea, China, Burma, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran, Venezuela, Laos, Vietnam, Zambia, Syria, Belarus, Turkmenistan, but these are just a start. If you are just looking at economic despotism you need to add Sweden, Norway and increasingly Russia, France, Great Britain – heck, all of Europe. Want to see economic oppression combined with religious persecution – look all over the Middle East and Northern Africa. Don’t get me started on Central and South America.
We live in a world were most people have few if any rights, and the few people who have some rights are oppressed in other areas of their life. Unfortunately most of these people seem to be completely unaware of their plight.
Even in a country like ours, we are being overrun with government regulation, idiotic rules and made to believe we are still a free country. Well guess what? THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES ON! Someone has to say it!
People … we need to use our resources to restore God’s intentions to this land. We need to liberate the captives in our own land, and reignite the beacon of freedom. It is a righteous cause and I will be writing more about this.