I went to my Ward Sacrament Meeting today. No this doesn’t signal the advent of the Apocalypse, it’s just that I was asked to give the opening prayer, and I said yes (for reasons that I don’t totally understand).
The inspirational talks were given by 4 teens/young adults from our Ward. There was one thread running through all of the talks: we live in wicked times and things are getting worse, a theme that is increasing being trumpeted among Mormons along the Wasatch Front. Many are sure we are in the Last Days.
A recent Sunday sermon by Matthew DeVisser, a Sandy UT Stake President, brought attention to the phenomenon:
Never in my life have I witnessed a more stark difference between good and evil that I did in 2012. Never has there been a greater moral, economic, or political decline in society than there was in 2012 and over the last few years. These climates combined, were as bad in 2012 as they have ever been in the history of the world.
Many were dumbstruck by DeVisser’s statement. According to Brian H. Stuy (Sunstone, Jun 2013):
The fundamental problem of DeVisser’s talk is that things are not by any quantifiable measure worse now than at any time in world history Abortion rates are down; divorce rates are down; murder, rape, and other violent crime rates are down and have been falling for more than 20 years. The number of people dying from starvation, disease and war has collapsed over the past 100 years.
Are things great? Certainly not.
But we certainly don’t live in the worst of times. There are still great opportunities for my 3 children (and their spouses) and my 11 grandchildren.
Mormons need to quit looking at the world through “very dark and cynical glasses.” This constant obsessing over all things wrong in the world is getting church members nowhere. Let’s talk about opportunities. Ways we can make the world a better place, and I’m not talking about Prop 8. Let’s start bonding with church members in developing countries. Let’s work in our local communities to make thing better.