Today's Favorite Verse: Helaman 6:17, 38
"For behold, the Lord had blessed them so long with the riches of the world that they had not been stirred up to anger, to wars, nor to bloodshed; therefore they began to set their hearts upon their riches, yea, they began to seek to get gain that they might be lifted up one above another; therefore they began to commit secret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain.
And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and join with them in their secret murders and combinations."
This chapter just grieves my heart. Its starts off so encouragingly, the Lamanites that had not believed in Christ are converted. Then they in turn convert others, its beautiful. But, among the Nephites those that had once believed in Christ no longer do. With that they begin to support the Gadianton robbers, and take over the sole management of the government. It made me wonder how many Nephites even realized they were no longer followers of Christ? Its possible to be a member of the church, but not counted as belonging to the church of God. You can say your a Christian and not be.
I pondered on those Gadianton robbers. I had thought of them as some horrible band that hide in caves and came out only to murder, rob and plunder. Then something inside me clicked, its more than that. If those that were once righteous accepted it, then outright murder, robbery and plunder was painted in such a way to seem acceptable to them.
The promises of riches and power is at the heart of a Gadianton robber. You don't have to go out and rob a store to be one, simply redistributing a man's wealth does the job. You cannot regulate compassion and charity by taking away the agency of man. But, you sure could paint the redistribution of wealth as being compassionate. To the point that someone once righteous could be deceived into believing that was exactly what they were doing. Taking part in the spoils of another and feeling it is your right is the heart of a Gadianton robber.
How do you combat it? Just like the Lamanites did. There were no Gadianton robbers in their land because they converted them. That means their hearts were turned to God and the agency of man. When a heart is turned to God true charity is there. That is the only way the true needs of the people can be met. The heart isn't after riches, and what's in it for them. Its after doing the will of God, which inspires and lifts man. Every man esteems his brother as himself. If these Gadianton robbers had taken over the sole management of their government I would think you would need to regulated it out. That is the only way their free agency could be fully restored.
Day 343 Tami Fitzgerald Harris