Carol and I have been reading in Ether the past week or so. Like many of you who have been reading the Book of Mormon again this year, we have seen amazing parallels with what is happening in the world around us and what we read each night. We are especially cognizant of the multiple warnings to not let the secret combinations get above us. We get it. We see it. But what can we do about it?
Reading the scriptures aloud each night is a life-long habit, one I thoroughly endorse and recommend. It elicits commentary. It invokes discussion. We are both edified as we ponder the words from prophets who were writing for our day. The Book of Mormon was given as a warning to give us an opportunity to avoid the fate of the Jaredites and the Nephites, who succumbed to combinations.
I wrote about secret combinations previously. I pointed out my observation of where I see those combinations today. My mother named me after one of her heroes, Dwight D. Eisenhower (Dwight is my middle name). He warned about a secret combination of his day, the military industrial complex. I hope I have been clear in my warning about the news media, big tech, and tyrannical government.
The Power of Technology
We live in California. I work in Los Angeles. Both the governor of this state and the mayor of the city qualify for the label of hypocritical tyrants. But wo is me, I live among a people who seem to be comfortable with their leadership. There is no doubt I live in a progressive state, and I use that label in a good way. Technology has done so much for this state, this nation, and the world, and most of it started right here in California. I make a good living because of my work in technology.
But the wealth it has brought to our state has clearly brought out the greed and lust for power among those who desire to get gain. We have sufficient for our needs. The Lord has been good to us. We have always seemed to be able to earn a wonderfully comfortable living in technology. I enjoy my work. I love learning new technology and using it to help those who depend on my expertise.
I have written before how I feel about this tech know-how I have acquired over the years. I keep thinking of the day when none of it will matter. I’ve had dreams of that day, a day in which the power grid does not function, a day in which we have no Internet, a day in which our great interstate road system has crumbled into decay and ruin, a day in which our cities are being torn apart by civil war.
Dreams and Visions
The tribes I have seen in my dreams keep fighting for their desire to restore the cities to their greatness. They rally others to their cause with fair promises of being able to share in the wealth again, if only they will help them gain control of this city or that one. Neighborhoods trade sides in great battles that no longer have the power of modern technological weapons, only guns and bullets.
Communication systems have failed. There is no cellular network. There is no central government, either on a national or state level. There is no police force, no military. No fuel for the fighter jets and tanks. Our great health care system with all the hospitals, medicines and lifesaving power has been decimated. Distribution of goods is non-existent. Civilization has gone back a hundred and fifty years. No cars, no working sewage systems, no more water distribution.
I awake with a start. What could have caused this terrible scene? What could have possibly brought on such a terrible civil war to this once great nation? How could we have done this to our cities, to our government, to our industry? Why do we have such terrible wars of genocide and fratricide? Such hatred, such powerfully strong convictions of being right, and yet all are wrong who fight each other.
I will not fight. We will not fight. We must flee. We must find a place of refuge, a place of safety. Where is Zion? Is there no place we can go to get away from these terrible roving gangs who steal and plunder, searching for food and ammunition? I have no guns. We hoard no ammunition. We barely have enough food to feed ourselves for a few more weeks. It is time to go. We must escape. But to where?
Where is Zion?
Having grown up in the church, we have been taught that Zion will be in Jackson County Missouri. Such a long way away. And apparently the prophecies have come true. We will have to walk to get there. We are old. There is no way we will make it so far. How will we get food along the way? And water? What about our medications? How far can we get started in our car? What about more gas?
From experience we know we can make it to St George on one tank of gas, and we have a couple more gallons in the trunk just in case We decide to start late one night. We have family there. We hope they are still there so we can band together for the long journey to Missouri. No, we have not heard if anyone has any sure knowledge of what waits for us there. Nobody seems to know anymore.
We are grateful for the members of our local ward and stake. We have held out together for as long as we could. We are lucky. We have been able to stay in our home. Others are living in tents in the grassy area behind the stake center. We have hoped and prayed together for months that this fighting would stop and that we would return to a normal life again. But it has been getting desperate lately.
Several other families agree to go with us to St George. We will caravan together for protection. Others are going to try to make it to Arizona. They have families in Mesa. Interesting how we each seem to gather to the temple. Sadly, we heard the Los Angeles temple was burned several months ago. There was nobody to stop them. Such hatred. One of the last TV pictures we saw before things fell apart.
A Desperate Flight
We are frightened. We almost didn’t make it out of the city. The gangs control all the main routes in and out of the city. They take whatever they want. We are able to get past them by using side roads, but it takes more precious gas. We are glad one of the brothers in the ward brought his truck with the gas tank he used to fill his construction vehicles. We should be okay if we can get past Las Vegas now.
It is still dark when we approach Vegas, but it is lit up. How can that be? We soon see. It is burning. Are we too late? How will we get through? One of the families in our caravan has a daughter in the outskirts of town. They join us and help us find a way around the gangs. With renewed hope and a quick bite to eat we make the long run for the corner of Arizona where the I15 goes through the canyon.
It’s morning now. Damn. Do you see that? Somebody has dynamited the rocks above the entrance to the canyon. We’ll have to go back to Littlefield and take old US 91 around to Ivins. There is a line of cars as we approach the Shivwits Indian Reservation. They have a blockade and are questioning everyone who is trying to get into St. George. Surely that means things are better in Utah. We hope so.
We Almost Don’t Get Through
Slowly, we make it to the barricade. There are several men with shotguns.
“Hold on there. Where are you going?”
“We have family in St. George.”
“But you’ve from California.”
“Yeah, but we had to leave. We couldn’t stay there anymore.”
“We don’t want anyone from California here.”
“We don’t like what you did. You destroyed our country.”
“Well, we don’t like what happened either, but we had nothing to do with it.”
“Which side are you on?”
“We’re not on either side. We won’t fight.”
“Everybody’s gotta fight. I’m asking you again.”
The man lowered his shotgun from off his shoulder. Two other men behind the barricade did the same. What in the world did they want to hear?
“Look, we’re old. We don’t have a dog in this fight. We just want to find our families and live in peace. We can’t live in Los Angeles anymore. We aren’t going to bring the fight to you. We don’t have any guns. Can’t you see that?”
“Turn around and go back,” the man with the shotgun said.
“I don’t suppose it would do any good to offer you money.”
“Money is no good anymore. You’ve got nothing we want.”
“But my wife is from Utah. So is my son. You want to see their birth certificates?”
“No. You’ve got California plates. Nobody gets in from California.”
“Okay. We promise we won’t stay in St. George. We’re on our way to Missouri.”
The man paused, looked back at the line of cars behind us.
“You all going to Missouri?”
“Where else can we go? Everyone’s fighting. The whole world is turned upside down. We heard the church has a lot of land there. We’ve got some tents in the back and hope to find others like us who won’t fight. Please let us through.”
The man paused a minute, put his shotgun back on his shoulder.
“What stake you from?”
“I’m from Hurricane. You promise you won’t stay?”
I reached out my hand. He took it. I was startled by his grip. He smiled.
“Welcome to Utah.”
The men moved the barricade and waved our caravan through.