I was at the temple recently, and was surprised to be there when Utah Senator Mike Lee entered the temple. Senator Lee has joined forces with Senator Ted Cruz (of Texas) in shutting down the government, and trying to cause the government to go into default. Since Senator Lee is obviously a devout Mormon, I thought it might be interesting to see how his recent actions stack up against D&C 121.
Verse 41 states that “power and influence can or ought to be maintained…by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.” Did Lee utilize any of those characteristics? Verse 42 continues “By kindness, and pure knowledge which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile.” How well do you think Senator Lee’s recent actions on the shutdown follow these scriptures?
Some people might say that Senator Lee’s “principled” stand is following verse 43 where he is “reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost.” Do you think Lee was moved by the Holy Ghost to offer this stand?
Verse 43 continues, “and then showing forth an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy.” Lee is unapologetic in his stand. He said “there are some battles that need to be fought whether you’re certain you could win at the outset.” I think many people consider Lee to be not only their enemy, but an enemy to the American people for voting to default on the national debt.
Do people think that Lee’s “faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death (verse 44).” No, I think he is trying to kill the American form of government by his irresponsible positions.
I think Senator Lee is unfortunately described in verse 37. With his “principled” stand, he is trying to “exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men.” What happens to men who do this “in any degree of unrighteousness[?] behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.”
Senators Lee and Cruz are brand-new senators, and they seem to both be described in verse 39: “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” Verse 40 continues, “Hence many are called, but few are chosen.”
It seems to me that Lee’s stand did the exact opposite of what he intended. Polls show that the popularity of Obamacare has improved (despite the horrible roll-out), and has hurt the Republicans approval ratings. Some polls show that the shutdown has hurt the republican challenger in Virginia Governor’s race, and another poll now shows that Democrats may take back the House of Representatives. Was this really a wise strategy?
Senator Lee, I am one of your constituents and a fellow Latter-day Saint. Please stop acting irresponsibly. Please follow D&C 121.
(*** This post is dedicated to Jared, who said that “the use of scripture is almost entirely absent” at Wheat and Tares. I think he avoids posts such as these that actually interact with scripture quite well. It is true that we don’t engage in devotional scripture study here as much as Jared would like, but he fails to recognize these posts. Spiritual posts generally don’t garner as much interest as other topics we discuss here (and Jared, I encourage you to submit a post of your choice.) This is another attempt to liken the scriptures to our modern day, as Nephi encouraged us.)