Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Sins of the Fathers Against Latin America--Ex. 34: 6-7

"And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." (Ex. 34: 6-7)

As God reveals himself to Moses, the scripture juxtaposes God's mercy with the truth that an individual's or society's sins can consequences that carry themselves on in the next four generations.

Carlfred Broderick used to say that one reason some people may be born into broken homes is to purify the lineage by stopping the cycle of damage and abuse. For as the child of a sinning parent turns to God, he or she can often spare the children the legacy of damage that comes from the past sins.

When Elder Clayton spoke of an indigenous man in the Andes whose back bent under the weight of firewood he had to carry in order to earn a livelihood, I thought of the sins of the United States against Latin American nations.

And I wondered if the Perpetual Education Fund will serve as a means for us to begin to atone for the sins of our nation.

Can the empowerment of education begin to counterbalance the ruptures in history we forced?

Will the sins of our national predecessors visit us into the next three or four generations, or can we free our lineage from the heritage of their sins?


  1. Hi Cousin! I met you briefly in Utah but didn't get a chance to say much beyond hi and bye. This entry in your blog jumped out at me. It ties right in to the theme of my latest book The Ties That Bind, which explores how one man's choices affect his grandson a hundred years later. It's based on a true story in my husband's family. Janice has a copy you could borrow if you want to read it. Best wishes, and I love your writing, Kristen McKendry

  2. Just Googled your book--yes, I will have to borrow from Janice sometime. It also reminds me of the oft-repeated scriptural concept that the hearts of the fathers must turn to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers. I think there's a great deal of healing to be found in understanding and coming to terms with where one stands in an intergenerational story. Which is one of the reasons I also started the blog Caucajewmexdian.

  3. Do you know that Carlfred Broderick essay, by the way? I'm pretty sure the ideas I mention are from "The Uses of Adversity." It's available in "My Parents Married on a Dare" and also as its own small volume through Deseret Book.

  4. I haven't heard of it, but I'll look it up. I love the Dare title! - Kristen

  5. The one thing that is missing in this post is acknowledgment of the sins of their own Latin-American ancestors as a causal factor, not to detract the sins of "us" for fulfilling the prophesy. This entire section of the world is God's promised land- promised only to those who worship Him. Consider the lamentation of Moroni. And yet they are blossoming like a rose now because of the missionary effort. The best we can do for them is to share the gospel and teach them about God's way, which is righteousness and freedom. It's too bad that there are so many Latin-Americans still suffering under Socialism/Communism, without the freedom to learn God's plan for them. It truly is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today, even if you only consider how it shuts out the missionary effort:
    "In distinguishing communism from the United Order, President David O. McKay said that communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and that it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land." -Marion G. Romney, 1980

  6. Communism has a really bad track record, but the scriptures aren't so hot on capitalism either. (No man can serve two masters, economic inequality means the whole world lies in sin, etc.)
    Since we live in a society with a more exploitative, capitalist mindset I prefer to speak out in stronger terms against it. The Book of Mormon, too, focuses a lot on economic pride--not that I'm saying it doesn't talk about freedom, of course.
    And in Latin America, I think it's safe to say that right-wing dictatorships have been even more brutal and anti-freedom than left-wing dictatorships, so there's enough blame to go around with communists getting to take it all.
    All that said--you are absolutely right that past Latin American leaders have done plenty to screw up their countries. But, like you say, there's a lot we can do to help.
    Working toward Zion through the Perpetual Education fund is one thing I think we often forget about, and I hope that we don't lose track of it among the countless other things we spend our money on.

  7. It sounds like you are not grouping Fascism where it belongs- next to Communism and Socialism. That's where the prophets have historically put it. There are 2 ways that governments exist: not left-wing vs. right-wing, but government by the people, (like in a Constitutional Republic) and government by the elite, like in Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Dictatorships, etc.

    Capitalism reveals the hearts and values of the people that use it. They vote with their money, and have more freedom over themselves because of it. Remember, this life is a trial to see how we will use freedom, and Satan is the one that wants to limit freedom. Capitalism allows us to fail, commit evil, and have inequality, but it also allows us to be righteous, choose to use our money for charity, and to do great good. Governments doing charity for us, without us having a choice and causing equality by force is Satan's plan that he presented in the pre-existence. His way was coercion and force. God's was to allow us to fail and grow so that we can learn and repent. Capitalism is about freedom, even though it fails sometimes. But Communism, Socialism, and Fascism fail every time.

  8. I don't see capitalism as fundamentally about freedom.
    To me, it's a way of replacing values like duty and interpersonal obligation with abstract ideas of what has value.
    I hope and believe that there's something better, and that we'll be worthy to receive it before Christ comes again.

  9. Of course- the United Order. But we have to be able to distinguish it from Satan's counterfeit in order to not fall for the deception. Capitalism lets flawed people do flawed things, but under all systems societies have to find ways for people to produce and be fruitful instead of lazy and slothful or else the system collapses. The possible motivations are money, power, and morality. Capitalism allows for all 3. Consecration is based on Christian morality, which includes production for the good of everybody. Marxism preaches Statism while forcing production because without real morality, money, or power why bother working? If the people don't gain from production, then why produce? Marxism causes bankruptcy unless it forces production by "the barrel of a gun". Capitalism is about motivation to work and produce because there is a financial benefit to be had. It is heartless, but protects us from the worse possibility, which is government controlled production. When the governments control labor, we are slaves, not free men.



Related Posts with Thumbnails