It’s been interesting to watch how the conservative media unfolds. There are roughly two parties battling it out over the airwaves for audience and influence. One is interesting in making a living, the other is interesting in fixing the country. Oftentimes, these two people can be different facets of the same person.
I don’t think anyone truly understands what is happening within the heads of these conservative personalities who are not politicians, not even these people themselves. I genuinely believe that they genuinely believe that they are trying to do something good rather than trying to exploit someone. But this isn’t really relevant. Motivations and thoughts are of secondary importance to actions and effects.
So we are left to judge the people who show up on TV and radio and blogs not based on what they believe, but based on what they are doing and what effect they are having in our country.
Glenn Beck has inspired me. Of course, we share the same language and that means that what I hear and understand is going to be slightly different than what you hear and understand if you haven’t been active in the LDS church for an extended period of time.
But Glenn Beck appears to be inspiring a whole lot more than conservative mormons. He seems to have struck several chords in the Christian community at large, delivering a powerful message to anyone of almost any faith who has a hope to see our nation grow into an even better nation.
If that is all Glenn Beck did—inspire greatness—then we could close the book on Glenn Beck and say that he was someone who inspired countless millions of people to be something greater than they were.
But this isn’t all Glenn Beck has done. Over the weekend, he held a massive rally in Washington D.C. Who knows how many people attended. Reports range from a few dozen thousand to over a million. Seeing pictures of the crowd myself, I can’t see the end to the people and so I can’t see anyway we can count them all. Suffice it to say that a very large, and perhaps the largest crowd ever, turned out to the Lincoln Memorial for three hours.
What did they hear? They heard a sermon.
If the only thing that those people heard was the message that as a country, we have to repent and turn back to God, then Glenn Beck has become something more than just someone who inspires. He could actually be a critical force for changing our country.
I believe that a nation is a sum of its individuals, or more likely, something much more than the sum of its individuals. When those individuals are focused on a common goal, then they will likely achieve it. What is the only goal worth pursuing? Why, it is those goals that God has for us, namely eternal life and salvation. When we, as a nation, turn towards God and set our hearts and hands to do that work, then great things happen. One of the nice benefits of turning to God is that we, as a nation, prosper. Unfortunately, that leads to us turning away from God and focusing on the material wealth we have accumulated. And then we begin to suffer as we are no longer capable of retaining the wealth we had. Either this drives us further away from God or it turns us back toward Him.
Of course, this is the central theme of the Book of Mormon.
As a side note, I’ve often wondered about people who claim to be Christian and who refuse to read the Book of Mormon or even come to understand the content of the book. If the Book of Mormon is what it claims to be, then it will contain even more knowledge and understanding of Christ, and will help us draw nearer to Him. What harm could that do to a Christian? If there were any book out there, written by anyone, that drew people closer to Christ, wouldn’t every Christian encourage everyone to read it for themselves? Of course.
Regardless, the central theme of the Book of Mormon, and perhaps the reason why it was prepared for our day, is that as a nation of individuals, we must keep our hearts humble and penitent before our God. That is the only way we can survive. And having done so, and applied God’s law to the best of our ability, He will bless us with peace and prosperity. The only power in the universe that exists that can turn a single person away from their awful, natural state towards a godly, humble state is Jesus Christ himself. The story of how people change through Christ, and cannot change without Christ, is repeated on almost every page.
We, as a nation, are a Christian nation, but not because the Constitution or Declaration say so. We are a Christian nation because we are made up of Christians. Christians don’t need the government to survive. We only ask that the government protect our religion as it protects all religions, and ensures that all have the same right to worship as everyone else.
As a Christian nation, we are blessed with a certain understanding of God and Christ that other nations do not have. As such, we are held to a higher standard. We are expected to turn our hearts, minds, and souls to God through Christ. We are expected to proclaim the gospel of Christ not just within our borders, but throughout the entire earth. That is first and primary among all things we do.
As a Christian nation, as we live up to our ideals, we will be blessed with peace and prosperity. As a Christian nation, if we turn away from God and Christ, we will lose the very blessings we once had.
Glenn Beck is right on the money for pointing this out. It’s a message that used to be preached from almost every pulpit every Sunday. It’s a message that needs to be preached everywhere at all times.
That’s what our country really needs. Having done that, everything else will fall into place.