Adam G at Junior Ganymede has posted a transcript of a great talk he gave at church. This is both realistic, and very inspiring! In it Adam references the 'great and spacious building' which comes from a vision described in The Book of Mormon (see my note at the end); G&SB means much the same as the Liberal Elites/ the Establishment or The Cathedral. Here is an abbreviated version:
OK, let’s talk about Journalism and the Media. These people are incredibly socially liberal, they don’t share our values, and the higher up and more powerful and elite the journalist, the more they don’t. They don’t go to church, they may not even know someone who goes to church, they are pretty much all in favor of gay marriage and transgender and all that and they may not even know someone who isn’t. They are hostile to the idea that men and women are different, they are hostile to Christianity and organized religion. That really matters. Just to give you an idea, though its about politics, studies estimate that the media changes elections in the direction of Democrats by as much as 5%. Without them, purple states would be red and red states would be Saudi Arabia. If they can have that kind of effect on politics, what kind of effect do you think they have on culture and people’s attitudes about life?
OK, let’s talk about Academics and Education. That is super important in today’s world. Getting a degree is your ticket to the good life and it gives you status. We don’t think about it that way, but its true. People are proud of their degrees, it’s a status thing. So when we send our kids to college, who are we sending them too. Well, these people are incredibly socially liberal, they don’t share our values, and the higher up and more powerful and elite the academic or the professor, the more they don’t. They don’t go to church, they may not even know someone who goes to church, they are pretty much all in favor of gay marriage and transgender and all that and they may not even know someone who isn’t. They are hostile to the idea that men and women are different, they are hostile to Christianity and organized religion etc. etc.
Entertainment. Hollywood, singers, all that. Ditto. Socially liberal, don’t share our values, all of that. Even the occasional actor who comes out as conservative is still careful to be socially liberal. To them, thinking like us is unthinkable. They make sex and violence into entertainment, they teach that nothing really matters and right and wrong is just up to you, they teach that women are the same as men and/or are sex objects, they teach that life is just about finding yourself. Obedience to God isn’t on the radar. This is our entertainment.
Social media. Its everywhere, and its designed to hack your brain. Its designed to make you think you are having a real social experience when you are not. There are valid uses for it, obviously. But there are also reasons why some of the billionaires who created this stuff won’t let their kids use it.
So here they are, the rich and the influential and the famous, and they’re against us, and their influence is everywhere. Look at the centers of power of our civilization, look at where all the decisions are made, go to New York or LA or DC, are they on our side? We live in a world that is increasingly organized against us, even to the point of persecution, and where incessant propaganda fills every corner of our lives attacking what is sacred and precious to us. Absolutely the Great and Spacious Building was for our day.
I don’t watch horror movies because I’m a big scaredy-cat with an overactive imagination. But basically we live in a horror movie. We are surrounded by monsters who want to swallow your soul. The thing is, most horror movies rely on people doing stupid stuff. If it were real life, if the monsters were real, we’d cope.
The thing is, the Mormon home is a powerful thing. It may sometimes feel like a fortress where we are holed up, surrounded by the world. But if so, it’s the kind of fortress that is a base we use to launch strikes deep into enemy territory. You are amazing people. You are stronger than you know.
Protecting my family against the world is something I brood about a lot. It seems overwhelming. How can I possibly win? I will not give up, even for a moment, because losing my kids is unacceptable. But its overwhelming. It’s me against everyone who matters in the world.
So I went to the church General Conference brooding about this. How am I going to protect my kids against overwhelming odds? How can I do the impossible? Then one of the church leaders gave a talk about being a Dad and the Spirit whispered to listen up, this talk was my answer. I did. So what did he talk about? He talked about having silly games at Family Home Evening. He talked about praying for your kids and telling them you love them.
It’s that easy.
Imagine it like this. Its like in a movie. You are in your castle surrounded by your enemies. Tomorrow is the Last Battle. Maybe imagine a battle from Lord of the Rings. The thing is, there’s no one the castle but you. You’ve got your wife and your kids and that’s it. And the enemies around you, they’re orcs or monsters and you can’t even count them, you can’t even see all of them they stretch so far out, there are millions of them, and its just you. In the early hours, it’s the very early morning, you are getting on your armor and getting your sword and you are praying. You have no idea what to do. Because charging out and dying heroically in some kind of big last stand is not acceptable. This is not a drama, this is real. You have to win. You have to fight and fight and fight and live and fight and fight and fight, you have to win, but there are millions of them, and its just you. So you’re praying. And God says, well, say family prayers with real intent. OK. And He says, read some scriptures. OK. And then have some family councils and family games and those little jokes that families have and mess around with your wife and kids. OK, you say, but what then? That’s basically it, God says. Do that, you win.
Which is hysterically, hilariously easy. It makes you want to laugh. Imagine that Last Battle, all the nasty orcs spreading out to the horizon, and up there at dawn on the castle walls is Brother G. half-dressed in his armor, capering around, dancing around with glee, laughing his fool head off.
We should all be laughing our fool heads off.
It’s that easy.
Here is the main section in which the nature of the G&SB is defined. This excerpt is edited from the First Book of Nephi, Chapter 8:
And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.
And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.
And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.
And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.
I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.
And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.