By Jason A. Kofoed
Not too long ago, one of our subscribers wrote to me thanking us for the work we are doing in trying to awaken people to what is really going on in our nation and in the world in general. He had two complaints, however: the first was that he thought that I favored the Republican Party and that I was being too partial to their schemes while being too quick to "criticize the Democrats". Now, anyone who knows me also knows that I do not in any way, shape or form claim any loyalty whatsoever to either of the two parties that run and ruin this nation. He was a fairly new subscriber to the newsletter and just hadn't seen enough of my posts to understand this; that complaint was easily resolved. His second complaint was that he felt we "need to quit posting so much religious stuff" on our website. I disagree[d].
You see, far too often we get tunnel-visioned by the symptoms caused by the real, root problems that plague our nation, the chief of which is our turning away from God as a nation. For those of you who have followed our postings for very long, you already know how strongly we feel about this...and we continue to stand by it. For decades, we the people have allowed the power seekers in our governments, along with atheistic-special-interest groups, to push God further and further away from our society in every venue imaginable and we are reaping the consequences of it in much fuller measure now. In case you haven't noticed, we have recently renamed our blog Good News: We Testify and there is a very good reason for this: we plan to post more insights of a spiritual nature than we have in the past with the hopes that we might be able to counterbalance the things of this world that may otherwise cause us to take on a more pessimistic view of where we are headed, and how things will eventually end.
Let us be very clear on where we stand in relation to the future: We believe in the writings of the prophets, including all of the Last-Day prophesies. Each and every one of those events prophesied that have not yet occurred will come to pass. As we all know, these events have been described as "great and terrible"- great for the righteous and terrible for the wicked. Everyone who lives on the face of this Earth will be affected in one way or another as these events continue to unfold. Some will suffer more than others, but we can rest assured that if we are living and obeying God's commandments and doing our best to do what we are supposed to, all will be well with us. Does this mean that God will shelter and protect us from all catastrophic events that are yet ahead of us? No. Not necessarily. Some, perhaps, but for those who must fall in order for God's judgements to be exercised against the wicked in full, they will be blessed in the life to come. In other words, regardless of what our "lot" may be in the days ahead we can be assured that God will bless those who prove faithful to Him whether it's in this life or in the next. It is for this reason that we here at Silly Sheeple are actually optimistic about the future. Fear is the opposite of faith and faith is what our lives are centered around. This is why you will see more posts of a spiritual nature than what we've had in the past. This is what we need more of in this dark and increasingly fearful world and we hope that you will find some value in them- even consider sharing some of them with others who might need some words of encouragement and faith.
One other thing: You should know right now if you don't already that Marla and I are both LDS and most (though not all) of what we post in our blog will be based in LDS theology. We know that many of our subscibers are LDS themselves, but for those of you who are not, we hope you will give us a chance to share with you more of what we believe. We will do our best not to offend those of other faiths as we firmly believe that all religions have good people and good teachings within them. We have no desire nor intent to post anything that would accuse another religion of being less than who/what they claim to be. Rather, we wish to unite with you in your faith and beliefs in God and Jesus Christ with the hopes of building one another up and sharing the things that we have found to be true. If any are offended by our LDS perspectives, we hope you will at least continue to read our BAAAD NEWS articles and disregard the things that you find no value in.
That being said, I'd like share something that I came across in my scripture study this morning. One thing we believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that God has called a prophet to lead and guide His church in our day. The Church also has a quorum of twelve apostles as Christ did when He was on the earth. The following talk is from October 1961 and was given by then-apostle Delbert L. Stapley. It can be found HERE.
For those who are well aware of the conspiring men among us, the insight offered way back in 1961 is quite remarkable.
Delbert L. Stapley, Conference Report, October 1961, pp. 20-24
My brothers and sisters, I trust the talk I have prepared will not depart from the excellent and very choice theme introduced this morning by our beloved President, David O. McKay. I have thought much about the Lord's warning given in this last dispensation against the evils and designs of conspiring men in the last days. When calling our attention to man's crafty schemes and artful intrigues, the Lord did not confine the warning, as I understand it, to the forbidden items which are specifically mentioned in the revelation on the Word of Wisdom or which have been interpreted as belonging to this divine law of health. May I read to you this admonition and warning:
"Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—" (D&C 89:4).
The Word of Wisdom is a well selected and timely example chosen by the Lord for the Saints' understanding of this warning against the evils and designs of conspiring men.
The Lord foresaw the evils of our day and the designs of cunning and deceiving men who operate under the influence of Satan and his satanic hosts. Satan's power to deceive and to lead astray the children of men is unquestioned. The scriptures are full of such examples.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. We, the people of the Lord, cannot afford to be lulled into peaceful security and complacency. The dangers of our day are real and knocking constantly and unrelentingly at our doors. How ably will we meet the challenge of these evil influences and designs of wicked men? The test of true Church membership is here. Can we stand firm and true to the principles, ideals and standards of the gospel, or will we be so naive and unsuspecting as to fall into the traps of evil so cunningly planned and promoted by designing and conspiring men? Those of a religious nature are so often classified naive and innocently unsuspecting. The Savior knowing of this attribute counseled his disciples, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." And he added: ". . . beware of men" (Matt. 10:16-17).
Possessing, as we do, the endowment of the Holy Ghost, if worthy, we are entitled to the gift of discernment to guide and help us avoid the pitfalls of scheming and designing men to trap and ensnare us into the meshes of worldly lusts, influences, and pleasures.
I repeat, this warning concerning the evils and designs of conspiring men, although given in the revelation on the Word of Wisdom, has a much broader application than normally applied to its forbidden items, and, if rightly viewed, encompasses every field of human endeavor. It is equally true that the use of the things forbidden in the Word of Wisdom also serve to break down the accepted Christian virtues and moral concepts of life which so often lead to other more serious transgressions and sins. To narrow the meaning of this warning would make us vulnerable to the wicked designs of conspiring men who are not interested in the salvation of man but rather are interested in their own personal favor or gain. The Savior gave warning that in these last days Satan will rage in the hearts of the children of men and will stir them up to anger against that which is good (2 Ne. 28:20).
"And others," said the great American prophet, Nephi, "will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell" (2 Ne. 28:21).
We cannot with safety say, "all is well in Zion." We cannot afford to become complacent and indifferent to the wicked and deceptive designs of conspiring men. Lehi taught, "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things" (2 Ne. 2:11). That opposition is present in force today. The pressure of Satan's power is intensified as the time of the Savior's second coming to earth draws near. We have a foreboding example as recorded in the Book of Mormon history of the Nephite people in the years just preceding the birth of Christ into the world. Samuel, the Lamanite prophet, prophesied to the Nephites of the approaching birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the land of Jerusalem (Hel. 14:2-9). They rejected his witness and testimony. They attempted to explain away the teachings of Samuel and the unusual phenomena of nature so much in evidence on this continent before Christ's birth, which happenings were also prophesied of by their prophets. They accused their spiritual leaders of keeping the people down to be servants to their words, also servants unto them (Hel. 16:21). Thus ignorantly persuaded they were unwilling to yield themselves to the teachings and warnings of the prophets.
To sum up these darkened and hardened attitudes of the Nephites, I quote one paragraph only from the Nephite record:
"And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come" (Hel. 16:22).
This account of wickedness and contentions among the Nephites prior to the Lord's birth in the meridian of time is duplicated in the wickedness, contentions, and deceptions of our day as we approach the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Prophecies concerning these days are also being fulfilled and Satan is stirring up the hearts of men to do iniquity continually; and to thwart, if possible, faith in the great event of Christ's second coming to earth, which I testify is sure to come to pass. Satan is alert and active. We must be more alert and perceptive of the false and insincere schemes of his agents among us.
Here is a partial list of areas where, in my judgment, the warning applies. The listing is not complete and in no way reflects the order of their seriousness:
In the field of politics the party is so often first, regardless of candidate qualifications or record or party platform and legislative program.
Decisions frequently based upon political expediency and not what is best for the people.
Selfish ambitions of men in departments of government who also seek to perpetuate themselves in office.
Harassing investigations, many of which are either publicity stunts or smoke screens to deceive the public from the underlying motives and purposes.
Pressure groups seeking preferential treatment at the expense of the people as reflected in increased tax burdens.
The tremendous extravagance and waste in government with much covering up of mistakes and errors.
Recreation and amusements in which money is so often spent for that which is of no worth to the individual.
The theater and cinema which so frequently portray and encourage the indecent, immoral, lustful, and worldly imaginations and desires of mankind.
Glamorizing the movie star, the entertainer, or the athlete and placing him or her upon a publicity pedestal when his or her personal life may not measure up to the high ideals of moral and ethical standards of behavior expected of celebrities who are constantly in the public eye.
So much low standard movie productions which weaken the moral virtues, destroy character values, and encourage vice and crime among youth.
In the field of communications, newspapers and other periodicals reveal the vast expanse of man's designs and schemes and frequently accept advertising which is false and misleading. Recommending products, the quality and benefits of which are of questionable value.
Newsstands with so much vile, filthy, and obscene, pornographic literature which is a disgrace and a disease to intelligent minds.
Radio and television portray crime, sex, and the sensational. This worldly and carnal emphasis applies to the cinema productions as well.
The underworld of gambling and vice are constantly and unrelentingly exploiting the innocent and unsuspecting.
Liquor interests and gambling operators partially justify their existence through the heavy taxes paid by them which they claim relieves tax burdens from the people. They fail to mention that by the use of their products and gambling devices, the customer pays the tax and receives no personal good from the product or activity.
Some speculative business operators, also swindlers, with their schemes, stock promotions, and finance plans of an unsound and promotional nature.
Promotions are not always truthful, also short of dependable facts and fail in fulfillment of promised income and rewards.
Organizations with deceptive aims and purposes which operate under the cloak of humanitarian, social, or political guise to gain personal goals or preferred group benefits.
The aims and purposes appearing on the surface do not constitute the real underlying motives of such sponsoring groups. Examples may be found in socialistic and communistic front organizations.
The labor movement in certain areas is permitting management racketeers whose motives are sinister and damaging to the working class, to business, and to government. The end of this serious problem is still before us to be reckoned with.
The narcotic racket which includes the promotion and use of harmful drugs is a constant menace to this and other countries. The number of drug addicts is increasing at an alarming rate. In spite of legislation and controls by the Federal Food and Drug Act, men evade the law, and the traffic in narcotics continues to expand and is an ever-increasing curse to humanity.
The disgraceful abortion racket draws into its net young women pregnant out of wedlock who wish to cover up their sin. Married couples are also guilty of this heinous sin. I refer you to the recent articles on this immoral, murderous racket recently featured in The Saturday Evening Post of May 20 and May 27 of this year.
The sciences are not free from the designs of conspiring men, although true science is fundamental to modern progress and living. The process of discovery, which we call science, is neither good nor evil. It is neutral. But the conditions which it imposes on those who practice it are not neutral. Scientists are human, and many channel their knowledge developing commercial products to realize increased personal wealth. It is the promoters of science whose chief purpose contemplates financial gain where evil and designing men will be found.
Although good ethics exist in the profession of law, nevertheless the profession is not without the unscrupulous cunning, and designing fellow members.
In the practice of medicine and surgery, quacks and non-professional practitioners are found.
Also the physician without knowledge of the main purpose of life to bring souls to earth will advise couples to forego the bearing of children and even advise sterilization to the regret of both husband and wife when conditions change in their lives.
Over-emphasizing surgery, and in some cases needless and even harmful surgery.
Another example is the so-called "cancer cures."
The psychiatrist who attributes cases of maladjustment in men and women to a background of sex inadequacy, suggests as treatment a transgression of the moral code to correct the ill.
The vast production and sale of drugs, which ordinarily are beneficial, yet a fine line must be drawn between the designs of men in the stock market and the actual medical need of the drug.
Teachers in educational fields promoting wrong ideas and theories, also personal views which undermine the ethical, moral, and spiritual values which youth should freely receive in the classroom. In the field of philosophy are found the deceptive sophistries of men. Also the modern intellectual and free thinker who attempts to modify, change, or improve upon the glorious truths, principles, and standards revealed of God to his chosen prophets who speak authoritatively by his divine power and wisdom.
Then there are always the insincere and unethical, as well as the deceiver and anti-Christ to deal with.
These are but a few areas in the affairs of mankind where the agents of evil prey upon the unsuspecting and innocent. It has ever been so in the history of man and today unfortunately, the picture has not changed, but operates upon a much broader scale. Man's desires and actions are not always pleasing to God, and in this era of time it seems man's conspiring designs and deceptions are destroying the ethics and morals pleasing to an all-wise and loving Father. Youth is systematically exploited with great energy by the unscrupulous and scheming agents of evil. Youth requires wise counsel, good example, and understanding teachers to guide them.
In the Church, as elsewhere, we are at grips with the trying problems of evil. Therefore, we should be on guard constantly and so live as to discern the designs and intents of the wicked and not fall prey to their sinister schemes and motives. The Lord has been most kind and considerate by giving us this knowledge and warning by revelation. Will we heed the warning and not yield to Satan's powers and stratagems to deceive and to destroy us? Our peace, our safety, our happiness is in listening to and following the teachings and instructions of the Lord's anointed.
I pray, my brothers and sisters, that we will have faith in the revelations and abide by the commandments, warnings, and admonitions which the Lord has given for our guidance, blessing, and exaltation, and with the eye of faith see through men's evil designs and with courage and wise purpose avoid them as a plague.
God bless us with wisdom and judgment to do so, I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.