Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

And Given in Marriage

May 10th, 2017 by G.

The scriptures like to point out–it happens more than once–that on the verge of some catastrophic punishment for their gigantic wickedness, the people are going around “marrying and giving in marriage.”  Which is odd.  Getting married doesn’t seem so awfully wicked.There’s another quote running around these days.  “Things get worse slowly, than all at once.”

I realized today that quote and the scriptural quote about marrying are saying the same thing.  There are always signs of an impending catastrophe, but they are only signs.  There are also plenty of elements of normalcy still around. Right up to the end, in the middle of incredible degradation, folks are still doing routine stuff.  When the social capital is completely run out, the catastrophe is upon you, and its too late to take stock.

Concentration camp commandants had birthday parties.  Late-term abortionists pay taxes and have commutes.  I spent some time this twilight watching the moon play on the ripples of a river.  All was calm.  Someone could have been being murdered a few hundred yards away and thrown into the water–I would not have known.  My own killer could have been coming down the walk.

All arguments to remnant normalcy boil down to “the catastrophe has not happened yet, so it will not happen.”  They boil down to denials of calculus.

 

Comments (9)
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May 10th, 2017 08:31:15
9 comments

Bruce Charlton
May 10, 2017

“the catastrophe has not happened yet, so it will not happen.” – indeed, and this is the exact attitude that creates and guarantees the catastrophe.

When it comes to demographic changes – subfertility, ageing, and ethnic population replacement – the problems can be predicted decades ahead, but if the problems are not addressed decades ahead then they become insoluble.

That point has passed in many nations – so wrt catastrophe it is merely a question of when, how big and in what form. The situation is unprecedented in human history (eg median ages in mid-forties still rising, total fertility rates about half replacement, sustained compounding immigration rates of 1% PA in populations of tens of millions, massive global specialisation and trade inter-dependence) so nobody really knowns the details.

BTW – We are way beyond common sense measures, since common sense does not motivate sufficiently and cannot overcome short-termist selfishness – None of this can or will be solved or even ameliorated without first a spiritual awakeing and recovery of belief of a suitable kind. It’s getting rather late…


John Mansfield
May 10, 2017

It seems a lot of mining towns have a history of burning down twice and rebuilding once.


Bookslinger
May 10, 2017

In the OT, one of the things that usually preceded catastrophic punishment was child sacrifice. The other being ritualistic prostitution – the groves thing. I think it was specifically mentioned for the Canaanites, Northern Kingdom of Israel, and Kingdom of Judah.

(Some people wonder how God could kill the children in the flood, but what if there were no children left from all the child sacrifice?)

So mentioning marriage could be a way of saying they were making babies, but were giving them up for sacrifice (or had them forcibly taken), so what was the point of their civilization?

For the future-tense prophecies, it may be a way of drawing attention to the married couples who intentionally go childless. The Lord might be saying “If you’re going to let your civilization/culture dwindle to nothing anyway, I’ll just speed it up, so the land/space doesn’t go to waste, and give it to a (relatively) more righteous people who will at least raise up children.”

The coming bisexual/homosexual revolution will further accelerate the birth dearth. So the “marrying and giving in marriage” (without kids) descriptor will apply to the SSM and polyamory childless marriages as well as most traditional marriages.

On my last read of the BoM, it dawned on me that Mormon doesn’t really tell us what the “wickedness _and_ abominations” were. Jacob mentions adultery and unauthorized polygamy. Mormon mentions rape and cannibalism at the very _end_ of the Nephites’ decline. But there was plenty use of the phrase “wickedness and abominations” throughout the volume, way before it became too late for the Nephite nation as a whole.

It also occured to me that plain “wickedness” was not enough to describe the situation, nor enough to justify the destruction. “Abominations” in the OT includes transgressions of ritual. And, perhaps using two words instead of one was a Hebraic rhetorical device on Mormon’s part, but I don’t think so. I think it was to indicate what they were doing went beyond wickedness, and was too bad to even mention. The Lamanites may have been wicked, but the Nephites were wicked and abominable.

One of the unexplained things is the re-division into Lamanites and Nephites toward the end. It says in 3 Nephi that there were no more “ites”, and _everyone_ was converted to the Lord. So in the decline after that point, they were all sinning against the light. Yet one group sinned bad enough to be completely wiped out, virtually without a trace , and the other group just bad enough to be reduced to primitive circumstances.

So there is a lot left unsaid in the BoM, and what is there has been greatly abridged. Of which Mormon reminds us several times.


Lucinda
May 10, 2017

I used to wonder about the long delay between the destruction prophecies and their fulfillment in the Book of Mormon. But then someone pointed out that it is the readiness and preparedness that holds back the destruction. It seems that prophets being taken seriously when they warn people to be ready often leads to the readiness being “unnecessary” in the short term, causing some to then question whether to take further prophetic warnings seriously. It opens them to ridicule for being ‘wrong’ and ‘wasting effort’.

An elderly sister in my ward diffused a tense Sunday School lesson about preparedness by saying that she’d been doing emergency preparedness her whole life, and never needed it. (Her husband was the teacher and was making serious warnings.) She has since passed away, so from a certain perspective, she never needed it. But I think from a different perspective, she always needed it, we all did.

Before the catastrophe, there is an increasing number of people who can get by without preparing, which often becomes outright free-loading. The mischief is that they cause those who actually prepare, the ones holding back the destruction, to question the needfulness of being prepared. There’s a scripture in 3 Nephi, “And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.”

Which is why I think it’s so important to keep in mind that death is not the end. Otherwise we stay too short-sighted to accomplish the best of even our short-term desires.


Ivan Wolfe
May 10, 2017

“One of the unexplained things is the re-division into Lamanites and Nephites toward the end. It says in 3 Nephi that there were no more “ites”, and _everyone_ was converted to the Lord. ”

Likely because while ideological identities disappeared, tribal ones did not. Orson Scott Card covers that in his “Artifact or Artiface?” article:
http://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-bookofmormon.html

excerpt:

“Furthermore, when we do find social classes in the Book of Mormon, political divisions, they seem to reflect alien to anything Joseph Smith was familiar with. To Joseph Smith, social classes were based entirely on money, which was displayed in the form of property. Where money is the basis of social distinction in the Book of Mormon, it is never associated with land, but rather with fine clothing. This is entirely consistent with Meso-America, but hardly a pattern Joseph Smith would have known.

When social conflict comes in the Book of Mormon, it seems to follow lineage rather than economic distinctions. A common pattern in the Caribbean basin was for an invading tribe to establish themselves as a permanent ruling class over the indigenous tribe, as the Taino of Haiti did. This seems to be the hidden pattern within the Book of Mormon culture. The Nephites seem to have been a ruling class superimposed on the underlying Mulekite population of Zarahemla, and as their influence spread, they continued this pattern of bringing indigenous people under the rule of a Nephite aristocracy. The Zoramites seem to have done the same, so that the division between the Zoramites and the poor is very clearly drawn. The poor are ruled by the Zoramites, but they are not Zoramites themselves.

In Ammonihah, Amulek asserts that he is a descendant of Nephi. This seems to be important, though it would hardly be so if everyone was descended from Nephi. But perhaps the distinction is clearest in the struggle between Kingmen and Freemen. This is thought by many of Joseph Smith’s critics to be based on the American Revolution, but if anything it is the opposite — an effort on the part of an old aristocracy to reassert its primacy over the new judges. The America that Joseph Smith knew had no hereditary class that large numbers of people thought had the right to rule. Even in England, a culture the Prophet was probably marginally familiar with, no group of nobles could possibly have assembled a popular army that would seek to bring back kingly rather than parliamentary rule. But Zarahemla had a clan, a lineage, that could command enormous popular support — the old ruling family of the Mulekites. The Nephite kings had abandoned their right to rule, and had turned over the government to elected judges. But the indigenous people of Zarahemla would remember that they had once had kings of their own, before these strangers came from the land of Nephi. And they knew who the king should be. So even though the Book of Mormon calls it a war between Kingmen and Freemen — which is how it would certainly appear to those on the side of the Freemen, as the writers of the Book of Mormon accounts certainly were — it might have seemed to the Kingmen themselves to be a struggle between the ancient native tradition and the ruling class, which had surrendered its legitimacy by giving up the throne. After all, the Nephite kings had only ruled for three generations in Zarahemla.

This view makes the Book of Mormon story much clearer and seems to fit the cultural patterns in the book. On the other hand, the American Revolution provides no useful analogy and doesn’t fit the facts in the book. Yet if the Book of Mormon were a hoax, this alien social pattern would surely have been pointed out and clarified so that the 1820s American reader couldn’t possibly miss it. Instead, it is simply taken for granted by the author, so that it can easily be overlooked by the reader who isn’t looking for alien social patterns. Neither Mormon nor the writers whose works he abridged would even think to explain the relationships among tribes and lineages, because to them those things were obvious. For an analogy, you might look at the mysteries of Tony Hillerman. His stories are set on the Navaho reservation of Arizona and New Mexico, yet he feels no need to stop and explain to the American reader that the Navahos were once an independent nation, which was confined to a reservation by the U.S. government. He certainly does not go through the whole history of the relationship between native Americans and the European invaders. Likewise, how many essays and articles are written about poverty in American cities today without bothering to go through the whole history of slavery, emancipation, segregation, the African-American migration to the cities of the North, and the struggle for civil rights?

In a longer history of America, of course, these themes would be dealt with, precisely because they have changed over time. In fact, because of the rapidity of change in our culture, we have a tendency to explain a lot more than historians from earlier eras. Even so, how many histories of important events in American history do you think could be written without a single mention of drive-in movies, microwave ovens, and handheld calculators? We ignore what we take for granted, just as the writers of the Book of Mormon did. When, after the birth of Christ, the Nephite society broke down completely, people immediately lapsed into tribal organizations — Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, and so on. But in all the years since the Nephites first organized themselves as a nation, we have had not a single mention of those tribes other than the ruling Nephites themselves. We might have thought that all the people were Nephites. And yet those tribal organizations persisted throughout the entire six hundred years of Nephite society and were available to provide a skeletal social organization when the rule of law broke down. So the hoaxer who was writing the Book of Mormon was so brilliant that he not only maintained this shadow organization of society until it was needed in the plot just before King Jacob, but also deliberately did not mention it, in keeping with the way history would be written by someone within that culture.”


Zen
May 10, 2017

@Bookslinger,

there is an old Jewish myth about the Flood, that when the waters came up the people’s knees, they held their children in their arms.
When the water came to their chest, they put their children on their shoulders.
And when the water came up to their chins, they stood on their children.

That story has haunted me for a long time. This culture talks a lot about family and children, but I have my doubts about what they would do, when the water came up to their chins.


G.
May 11, 2017

@Lucinda,
that is a very lucid comment.


Bookslinger
May 11, 2017

There are some interesting myths/oral traditions recorded in this book
https://www.amazon.com/Incas-Garcilaso-Vega/dp/0380455420/
by Garcilaso de la Vega. Don’t let the Spanish name fool ya. He was of the last generation of Incan elite when the Spanish conquered. He was taken to Spain and educated there. Then wrote, in Spanish, the oral history he had received in his youth. (It’s been a while since I read it, my description may not be 100% accurate.)


Ben
May 19, 2017

@Zen

In many more important ways than actually physically, the water is rising rapidly, and those not too soma-coma’ed too see it are making sure their heads are / will be above water (at least for the time being). And the older generation has been standing on the children for while.

(inflation. Keynesianism. 3rd world labour importation. Debt.)

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