Amidst many words of counsel in the July 2009 issue of the Ensign, came the message, in an insert called Surviving Unemployment, that members should "File for unemployment and other available government benefits". How can the church produce and distribute something so blatantly contrary to gospel principle and so offensive to the plan of agency, when the prophets have spoken specifically against this reliance on the arm of flesh? There is more to be said in that one phrase of the Ensign about the state of affairs in these latter-days than we realize. Let me explain.
1 And when the people saw that Moses adelayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us bgods, which shall cgo before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we dwot not what is become of him.
We must start with a few things that we know. We know that Moses is a type of Christ. We know the tablets he brought down are the higher law or gospel of Christ. We know that Aaron was the High Priest and chief officiator in the Aaronic priesthood, which pertains to all things temporal. We know that Aaron was the spokesperson for Moses. Joshua is an Israelite military leader, close to Moses, and the one who took over at Moses passing to lead the Children of Israel through battle into their promised land. Egypt represents slavery, and the world's denial of agency. The idol, particularly a golden calf, is a direct representation of a god of salvation and protection.
Now, let me recap the story in Exodus. Moses goes to talk to the Lord, where he receives the highest gospel law. The people went to Aaron and asked that they would make them gods because they did not know what had happened to Moses, the man who had delivered them from the Egyptians, why he had not yet returned. Aaron acquiesced and built an idol for the people to worship in Moses' absence. The people worshiped this idol, ate, drank, and were merry. The Lord told Moses to go down and see the people corrupting themselves with this false god. The Lord says he will destroy the people for their wickedness. Moses asks the Lord to stay His hand, that the Egyptians might not suspect folly and that the Lord may fulfill His promises regarding their posterity. The Lord tells Moses to go down execute judgment upon all those who will not repent. Joshua informs Moses as he returns that the people are becoming riotous, seeking for war. Moses, upon seeing the people's corruption, denies them the higher law by breaking the tablets. Moses destroys the idol. Moses asks Aaron what could have happened that Aaron would help them sin in this way. Aaron tells him that the people asked for the idol. Moses stood in front of the people and asked all those who are on the Lord's side to come unto him. Those who chose to stand with the Lord were told to slay some of the most wicked, of which their were 3000. Moses tells the people to dedicate themselves to the Lord and His law, from which blessings will follow. Moses goes to atone for the sins of the people. The Lord tells him that He will blot out the names of those who have sinned. The Lord commands Moses to continue in their journey, and He plagued the people because of the idol Aaron had made at their desire.
Here are a few more things we know. The Ensign is in many capacities the spokespiece for the church. In its role as describing techniques to overcome physical hardships, as in losing one's job, it is describing actions that fall within the scope of the Aaronic priesthood. In light of this, and the other things I've mentioned that we know, let me point out a few things from my recap.
The people do not understand where Christ is. They do not understand why He has not come back, or do not care what His is doing. They no longer want His higher law. Their hearts are far from His law and the blessings associated. Because they feel His absence, the absence of the One who has saved them, they ask the "church" to provide for them temporally, something that will make them feel more secure about their current position. The church not only allows such idolatry, but gives them a specific idol that represents Christ in His ability to save and protect, because the people asked. The church was not acting outside of its office, it was merely doing what the people wanted, which it has always done throughout our scriptures. Christ calls those who are on His side away from those who are not. The people are plagued because of their desires for this false god to provide for them and protect them. They have forgotten the Lord, their God. They have turned from Him to rely on the arm of flesh. The church, through the Ensign, has given them what they want. Those who are on the Lord's side know who they are, they know what to follow because they follow the Lord, and He has taught them better. This unconstitutional form of government which we now have, the great destroyer of true freedom, has been allowed, even sought for, by those who have even proclaimed to take upon them the name of the Lord. This is a false god they worship. A fleshy arm to which they look to heal, protect, and provide.
That one seemingly benign phrase in the July 2009 Ensign is a great sifter. It has separated those who lean upon the arm of flesh from those who trust the Lord. It has separated those who trade their agency for temporal security from those who follow and live the higher ancient law of liberty. It has separated those asleep from those awake. It has separated those who deny through their actions the divinity of the Constitution from those who live by its just and holy principles. It has been prophesied that there will come a time when those who are awakened to a sense of their awful situation will arise and live by the truth they have not only received, but have accepted. They will do so in spite of worldly ways and false security. These, and only these, will be free. Moses did not go down and explain the truth to the people and THEN ask who would be found on the Lord's side. He simply asked and took those who were awakened and ready to go. There is a time for learning, a time for repentance, and a time for judgment. There is a time to respond to prophetic command, and a time to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. We have stoned the prophets. We have worshiped false gods. We have been caught in our pride and faithlessness. We have been quietly sifted. Let those with an ear to hear understand. Who is on the Lord's side?