Angry With the Government (Alma 59)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, February 06, 2019. Posted in Scripture Study

Angry With the Government (Alma 59)

In Alma 59, Moroni sends a letter to chief judge Pahoran, requesting reinforcements for the war against the Lamanites. The Nephite army is in need of additional soldiers as well as food and supplies, so Moroni reaches out to the government to provide these needs. However, as time passes, no assistance arrives. In later chapters, Moroni finds out what is happening from Pahoran's perspective, and then he understands why no assistance has been provided. However, at this moment, he is out in the field with his army, fighting for the Nephite cause and hearing nothing from Pahoran. As a result, "Moroni was angry with the government, because of their [apparent] indifference concerning the freedom of their country" (verse 13).

In the United States at this time, it appears that just about everyone is angry with the government in one way or another. People who oppose the current president and what he stands for are angry with him and the government representatives who support him. People who support the position of the president are angry with the government representatives who oppose what he is trying to do. The anger has spilled over such that regular citizens who support one position are angry with citizens who support the opposite position.

Yes, there's plenty of anger associated with the government today.

Perhaps there are some valid reasons to be angry with the government. Occasionally, policies are enacted that affect you in a negative manner, especially financially. It's only human to be upset when this happens.

However, in addition to our own individual circumstances, all of us who are servants of God should be dismayed to see many in our government leading the country away from God. Sinful conditions are not only being legalized but are also heralded as honorable and worthy of special protection from the government. Standing up for the teachings of Christ is not only unwanted but not permitted in many cases. People who are interviewed for certain government posts are asked about their Christian beliefs; if they respond that they support what Christ taught, they are eliminated from consideration. We've come a long way from a nation that was founded as a Christian nation.

Yes, it's enough to make you somewhat angry with the government.

However, in spite of the above, let's be careful to not get too caught up in all the anger and political drama of today. Many personal relationships — between friends, family members, even fellow servants of God — have been severed as a result of being on opposite sides of political positions.

Jesus said, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45). If we're going to be the children of our Father which is in heaven, it's not too much of a stretch to extend this verse to include having love for people of the opposite political party — even if they don't love us.

It doesn't mean you'll be friends with everyone. Unfortunately, many are so caught up in their anger that they want nothing to do with you if you're not with them, and/or they belittle you for your beliefs such that a friendship doesn't make sense. However, to the best of your ability, try to exhibit the love that Christ taught rather than allowing the anger of the day to influence how you treat others. Seek to understand the other person's perspective. As happened with Moroni and Pahoran, this can often make a difference.

Regardless of the circumstances, the Lord expects us to be different and to allow the light of Christ to shine through us. Let's not allow that light to be diminished, even if we do find ourselves angry with the government.

Bio Jerry New

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