By Kellene Bishop
Today I wrote an article for Women of Caliber about sitting ducks and how they actually endanger the lives of those around them. In writing this article, I realized that Captain Moroni dealt with such individuals. He understood their danger to the safety of others, even those who were risking their lives and fighting for the freedom and well-being of their own country. He gave the “sitting ducks” an ultimatum—either fight for freedom or die.
To recap, as you may recall in Alma chapter 51, the Kingmen refused to take up arms against the attacking Lamanites. Verse 13 of Alma 51 specifically says they were “wroth” with the “people of liberty” and as such would not take up arms to defend their country. Moroni calls this action “stubbornness” (vs. 14) actually, not ignorance or a stance on ones’ own beliefs. The verse states that his soul filled with anger against them. The governor apparently agreed with this justified anger of Moroni and thus authorized him to compel any dissenters to defend the country’s freedom and liberty or to be put to death—yea, even to “level them to the earth.” (vs. 17) Why such a final reaction towards those who choose to do nothing? Verse 16 clearly identifies the apathy of the dissenters as “the cause of all their destruction.”
Certainly we don’t believe that Captain Moroni was some kind of a controlling tyrant. I believe that he clearly understood that liberty simply could not be had if not diligently fought for. If the valiant were to fight for freedom only to have it dwindle in their homes while they were away, then there would be no reason to fight for its existence as the flame of freedom would easily be squelched by those who viewed it as insignificant.
I wonder today how many of us really are just sitting ducks? How many of us put so much else above the type of freedom that this brave prophet fought for? He valued freedom above all else, realizing that all else was impossible to enjoy without it. There is no religious freedom without it. Without it we lose the marriages in our sacred temples. We lose the establishment of the Priesthood. We lose the freedom to share the Gospel with others. We lose the ability to raise our children in righteousness. And we even risk losing the liberty to declare our own beliefs.
Today we are not yet “compelled to hoist the title of liberty” however, those of us who ignore doing so will indeed be compelled to live in a manner which we do not enjoy. It’s simply a matter of consequences. So in answer to the question, do we really have the freedom to be apathetic? While it may seem that we have the freedom to do just about anything we want in today’s liberal climate, ultimately our Heavenly Father has shared with us that the freedom we may believe in now is merely a smoke screen that comes with delayed consequences. We must truly be diligent in fighting for liberty and freedom in all that we do or else settle for the inevitable outcome.
Fighting for freedom isn’t just about wielding a gun or a sword. It’s about the movies we pay to support, the politicians we elect, the businesses we patronize, the people we associate with, the media stories we believe in and circulate, and how and what we do with our abilities to defend our homes and families both spiritually and physically. I believe that our apathy today is indeed “the cause of all our destruction.”
Unfortunately, the enemy of liberty never takes a break. He is crafty, diligent, and unscrupulous. Can we afford to be any less diligent in our opposition of such a threat?
Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.