On “sustainable societies” and hateful politics, with a note on sex

On “sustainable societies” and hateful politics, with a note on sex October 21, 2020


Gorgeous country
My adopted home, Utah, is in very many ways, a pretty great state.
In the Uinta Mountains of Utah, looking south toward Kings Peak from above the Henry’s Fork Basin. Taken by Hyrum K. Wright (Hkw2 at the English language Wikipedia) on 25 August 2004.


I was extremely pleased to see this:


From national CBS News:  “Republican and Democrat running against each other for Utah governor unite for joint ad”

From the Deseret News“In our opinion: Utah’s politics aren’t an aberration. They’re a model for the nation: Those who designate Utah a sleepy state in election years should wake up to its increasingly unique influence”


Because — as manifested in the recent passion for “erasing” people, and elsewhere — we’re in a bad condition, nationally:


“Mitt Romney condemns Trump name calling, ‘hate-filled morass’ of American politics”

“Mitt Romney, the ‘guy who can’t please anyone,’ just won fans: After a year of sporadic vilification from all sides of the political spectrum, Sen. Romney’s latest statement should be respected by all.”

“Anne Lamott called for a moratorium on public shaming, and people unfollowed her: The bestselling author’s take was consistent with her Christian faith”


But it doesn’t have to be this way:


Deseret News (a while back):  “For Ruth Bader Ginsburg, oneness never was meant to be sameness: It is Ginsburg’s friendship, not her court opinions, that the nation ought to remember right now”

The Deseret News editorial board (a while back):  “In our opinion: Justice Ginsburg’s legacy is anything but ordinary”

And I liked this more recent article very, very much:

National Review:  “Why the Senators Don’t Hate One Another: At a time of ultra-partisanship, senators seem to genuinely enjoy one another’s company.”


Of course, those of my readers and elsewhere who favor name calling and who approve of making America a hate-filled morass — I have some of these, both on the ostensible “right” and on the left — will feel otherwise and will, doubtless, forcefully say so.


For my part, though, I simply can’t help but have 3 Nephi 7:2-3 on my mind.  The passage describes the condition of the Nephites on the eve of the great destruction described in 3 Nephi 8, the very next chapter:


And the people were divided one against another; and they did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family and his kindred and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land.

And every tribe did appoint a chief or a leader over them; and thus they became tribes and leaders of tribes.




And, speaking of the destruction of society:  My friend Allen Wyatt — who, with the recent additional help of Jeff Lindsay, oversees the regular production of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship — kindly brought the following item to my attention this morning.  Reading it, I was strongly reminded of Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s excellent address to the recently-concluded October General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on “Sustainable Societies”:


“Why Sexual Morality May be Far More Important than You Ever Thought”


Here’s some background on the author:


“Meet Kirk Durston … scientist, clergyman, philosopher, father, husband, nature photographer, and wilderness adventurer”



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