Do We Have an Apathy Problem?

I have a relative who is very active in politics and works hard to stay informed and have an influence on the political process. She’s done some pretty significant work, in fact, at the local and state level. I won’t specific who she is, but let me just say that I’m very impressed with my mom and her attitude of being anxiously engaged (my father is highly active also – one example is his testifying before the Utah House in 2003). Interestingly, some fellow Latter-day Saints have asked why she gets so involved and tries to hard to educate others on social and political issues. The attitude of some people is that we have nothing to worry about as long as we trust the Lord and keep the commandments.

Well, yes, the Lord does bless and protect those who keep His commandments. But His commandments require that we be anxiously engaged (D&C 58:26-29), that we seek good and honest men to be in office to help protect liberty and befriend the Constitution (D&C 98:6-10), that we resist evil – particularly secret combinations that seek power over us (Ether 8: 20-26), that we stand up for true principles, and that we work hard and even give battle if necessary to preserve the liberty God has given us (Alma 43:45-48).

I wonder if Captain Moroni ran into lots of fellow Nephites who felt that everything would be just fine as long as they observed the Sabbath and made the appropriate offerings. His words in Alma 60 leave little doubt about the stupidity of such apathy:

6 And now behold, we desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, we desire to know the cause of your thoughtless state.
7 Can you think to sit upon your thrones in a state of thoughtless stupor, while your enemies are spreading the work of death around you? Yea, while they are murdering thousands of your brethren–
8 Yea, even they who have looked up to you for protection, yea, have placed you in a situation that ye might have succored them, yea, ye might have sent armies unto them, to have strengthened them, and have saved thousands of them from falling by the sword.
9 But behold, this is not all–ye have withheld your provisions from them, insomuch that many have fought and bled out their lives because of their great desires which they had for the welfare of this people; yea, and this they have done when they were about to perish with hunger, because of your exceedingly great neglect towards them.
10 And now, my beloved brethren–for ye ought to be beloved; yea, and ye ought to have stirred yourselves more diligently for the welfare and the freedom of this people; but behold, ye have neglected them insomuch that the blood of thousands shall come upon your heads for vengeance; yea, for known unto God were all their cries, and all their sufferings–
11 Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your thrones, and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver you? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain. . . .
20 Have ye forgotten the commandments of the Lord your God? Yea, have ye forgotten the captivity of our fathers? Have ye forgotten the many times we have been delivered out of the hands of our enemies?
21 Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?

Fellow Mormons, we need to be more involved, more informed, and more active in standing up for good. Have you written your Congressman? Do you study the issues? Can you see past the deceipts that dominate so much of the media messages these days?

Other Christians also fall into the trap of apathy, especially when they believe that they will be spared from trials and tribulations because of their faith. One faithful Christian friend of mine in Wisconsin thought that we Mormons showed a lack of faith in God by maintaining food storage. Shouldn’t we just trust God to deliver us? Isn’t he going to beam up all the Christians when the times of trouble come? (The rapture concept is a pleasant idea – but it’s really unbiblical and is leaving a lot of people unprepared for the troubles and tribulations that are already here. Fellow Christians, you need food storage just like Noah needed an ark – if only to be prepared for layoffs, strikes, natural disasters, acts of war, or the ravages that battalions of lawyers may bring after November 2 as they fight to settle the 2004 presidential election).

God gave us brains for a reason. We need to grow, to be active, to do all that we can to protect liberty and make this a better world. If we shy away from politics and social issues and flee when evil sweeps down upon us because we expect God to do all the work, we might as well quit our jobs, take a nap, and just wait for God to feed us, pay the bills, mow the lawn, and take out the cat.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

2 thoughts on “Do We Have an Apathy Problem?

  1. Yes, we have an apathy problem. In fact, I believe the principles of the Constitution Party coincide more with the morals and philosophies LDS should have, and many do have, but the extent of their attention to politics is the 20 seconds it takes to punch a straight party ticket. Then it’s back to garbage on TV such as Buffy the Vampire. Television for the most part is Vain Imaginations.

  2. I know this post is old, but I just came across it on google (while searching for a good quote on apathy) and think it rasis a good point.

    I agree w/ the previous poster, that the constitution party has some good values, many of which (but not all) are in line with LDS principles.

    I agree w/ Jeff that there is a problem with Apathy among church members (and people in general).

    This is evidenced by an experience I had just last night. While visiting with relatives (aunts, uncles, and cousins) I was asked my position on the Israel conflict.

    In the middle of talking, one of my cousins interrupted me and complained about how it didn’t matter, asking why we needed to bother talking about it, etc. Her lack of caring and interest shows her blatant apathy and disregard for anybody but herself.

    I’m not saying that it’s that bad with most other people, but I do feel that there are far too many people in our society that just don’t care.

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