Here is a topic that I would like to bring up since I mentioned it in the last post. When I was on the Mission I attended a sunday meeting that taught me a very valuable lesson.
The leader of the local congregation got up and very tactfully stated that he was going to be addressing a rather touchy subject. To give some background information, the ward was neglecting some of it's duties to take care of other members of the church. Taking care of your neighbor is a basic standard of the church. The leader held up a peice of paper with a boldly painted number on it, 32 I think. He asked "Can anyone Guess what this number represents." One of the observant members of the congregation identified it as the prcentage of families that had been visited by the mens organizations, the ideal being 100%. The leader looked around and stated "This is not the problem. I believe this is a symptom of the problem." He held up annother sign bearing the number 62 on it and repeated the question as to what this represented. It turned out to be the percentage of women who had been visited by the women's organization. "Better than the men, but it still has some room for improvement." He said then repeated "This is not the problem. I believe this is a symptom of the problem." For emphasis he repeated this display annother two times with two other numbers representing the number of new converts in the congregation and the percentage of attendance at the sunday meetings, both of which were rather low by all standards. Each time he repeated "This is not the problem. I believe this is a symptom of the problem" Then he turned the discussion over to the congregation itself and asked "What then is the problem?"
I break from what the group came up with for a moment to relate this to what is happening in this world. How often do we fail to recognize the simple differences between symptoms and disease. How often do we criticize others for their actions when perhaps those outward actions are just manifestations of more deep rooted problems that have not been dealt with. How many of us look for some sort of bandaid solution to sicknesses.
I propose that the problems with society, government and economics that most people see are meerly symptoms of a much greater sickness. The Violence and immorality that is so trademark of our age and generation, are they self existant or are they byproducts of poor parenting and upraising. This is not to say that all criminals are victims of their upbringing, far from it. One can see plainly that in some cases, despite the best upbringing and the most carefull and observed instruction, some people willfully stray from whatever is good into darker paths of destruction. But I do believe that there are many who have been permitted to be led carefully down those paths by neglect of those who were sent to stand guard against such ocourences.
The Economic recession from so many bad decisions. Were the majority of those dicissions, that contributed to the state in which we now live, honest mistakes, or were many of them the byproduct of desires unbound by good judgement, desires blinded by greed and a hollow promise of security at the expense of someone elses livelyhood.
Is the rapid and unchecked spending of the government and it's members a natural thing that cannot be purged, or is it the by product of a people who, through the powers granted them from democracy, put such corrupt individuals in place because their selfish desires aligned with the petty promises of wealth and prosperity that those corrupt individuals presented. The people not knowing that such wealth and prosperity would not come from some government, but could only be bought by the sweat of their brow and the racking of their own intelect. The people uneducated in the matters of what powers govern the taxes they pay and how those funds are spent, what powers institute the laws and the mode of enforcing those laws, which laws often loosen from year to year. Is all the coruption and unfavorable qualities (small as they may be individually but they do stack up) that are in the government perhaps symptoms of the problems of the people who put them there.
I have often said and I will say again, I can not trust the President nor the Government under him any further than I can trust the people who put them in power. I have seen some of the best this nation has to offer and some of the worst. With all my experience in mind I shall say I can't trust the government very far.
Please any who read this, ponder atleast a while on the principle of symptoms and problems. What are some things which are just symptoms, what are the real problems that can be helped.