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Taken from the best-selling book, 100 Signs of the Times by David Ridges.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie summarized this sign of the last days as follows:
Isaiah spoke of the disrespect for authority, for parents, and the resulting anarchy (lack of effective leadership in communities, nations, etc.), which would lead to the downfall of Jerusalem in ancient times. Satan will cause the same attitudes and trends to abound in the days directly preceding the Second Coming. Isaiah warned (bold added for emphasis):
Isaiah 3:5 - And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
The Apostle Paul warned of these same conditions and prophesied that they would exist on a broad scale in the last days (bold added for emphasis):
2 Timothy 3:1–4
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
In the book of Helaman in the Book of Mormon, we find a very straightforward description of how governments, which were set up based on correct principles, can become corrupt, which leads to destructive strikes, anarchy, disrespect for good and honorable people and principles, and ultimately the destruction of society. Simply put, the steps are as follows:
1. The original government is established, based on the commandments of God.
2. Moral, righteous citizens endorse and support the government.
3. Over time, citizens become wicked and can’t stand righteous laws.
4. The laws of the land are changed to support corrupt lifestyles of citizens.
5. People begin to use corrupt laws to support personal wickedness. They no longer ask, “What does the Bible say?” Rather, they ask, “Is it legal?”
6. Thus, corrupt laws corrupt people, and corrupt people continually pass additional corrupt laws until society becomes morally bankrupt.
7. People are no longer governed in their own hearts by the word of God and personal righteousness. Therefore, anarchy, violence, etc., lead to the destruction of society.
This cycle of apostasy and corruption of governments originally established upon righteous principles is described in Helaman (bold added for emphasis):
21 Yea, they began to remember the prophecies of Alma, and also the words of Mosiah; and they saw that they had been a stiffnecked people, and that they had set at naught the commandments of God;
22 And that they had altered and trampled under their feet the laws of Mosiah, or that which the Lord commanded him to give unto the people; and they saw that their laws had become corrupted, and that they had become a wicked people, insomuch that they were wicked even like unto the Lamanites.
23 And because of their iniquity the church had begun to dwindle; and they began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face.
As we watch this sign of the times being fulfilled, we would do well to follow the counsel of the Brethren who repeatedly have requested that we become involved in our own community and government entities in order to exert influence to stem the tide of corruption that is leading to the fulfillment of this prophecy.
To read more about the Signs of the Times, go check out David Ridges best-selling book, 100 Signs of the Times currently on sale at cedarfort.com!
** The following was taken from 100 Signs of the Times. The opinions and views expressed herein belong solely to David Ridges and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of Cedar Fort, Inc.