On July 27, 2015, I said the following as I shared the following post:
Any of us who know much about young people and what's going on in our communities will know that there's a lot of truth in what the President says here.
The video can be accessed via this link: http://go.wh.gov/ElReno
Here's some of the discussion that took place after I shared the post.
...On the off chance that Facebook doesn't last forever, here's a text transcript of the conversation:
Marta Silver Thank you, Bruce.Like · Reply · July 27 at 11:02am
Marlene Austin Not sure I can go along with that totally. And, I do think that some of us that disagree may be as aware of what is happening with our young people and communities as those who support the things O says. Accountability has to be a part of maturity, and I do not see that happening in many of our social structures, in government or by those who are using their power to govern. Providing resources may be helpful to some but enabling, even destructive to others.Like · Reply · 2 · July 27 at 11:12am
Ken Hainsworth I am encouraged that prison reform is becoming a bipartisan issue. It would be a great part of the President's legacy.Like · Reply · 2 · July 27 at 11:29am
Bruce Young I agree. I've heard some good things on both sides of the aisle on this issue. If I remember correctly, one of those I'm thinking of is Rand Paul. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)Like · July 27 at 11:44am
Bruce Young For additional insight on these issues, I'd recommend Malcolm Gladwell's book "David and Goliath." Also, though they will seem overly idealistic to some, I like some of Joseph Smith's views on prison reform: "Joseph contended that our prisons should become seminaries of learning if we expect to rehabilitate those who have violated the laws of our society." And he wanted imprisonment to be used more sparingly as a punishment. See the following:
(4) http://www.ldsliberty.org/liberal-or-conservative-joseph-smiths-1844-presidential-platform/Joseph Smith: Campaign for President of the United States - Ensign Feb. 2009 -...LDS.ORG|BY ARNOLD K. GARRLike · Reply · Remove Preview · 3 · July 27 at 11:39am
Marlene Austin I'm not certain that the society and culture that we face today are the same as the times and situations Joseph Smith was concerned with. Idealism is nice, but we are in a very real situation that requires the recognition of reality and dealing with it appropriately. Hopefully there are those who would rehabilitate, but there are many others (terrorists) whose desire is not to change but to destroy our society.Like · July 27 at 4:42pm
Bruce Young Yes, some are pretty far gone, and we need to deal pragmatically with the threat they pose--but though far gone, they are not (if they repent) beyond the reach of the Lord's redeeming power. As President Packer taught: "Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fulness, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness."Like · July 29 at 10:56am · Edited
Marlene Austin How do we reconcile that with the scriptures that tell of the mighty wickedness and destruction that will be found upon the earth preliminary to the second coming. Current prophets have established that the ending is close upon us. Using Christ as our ultimate example and the scriptures/prophets second, we see many examples where rather than being lenient and kind, men went through torturous times (Paul, several in the Book of Mormon) in order to learn and become true followers of Christ. Perhaps "the reach of the Lord's redeeming power." is not necessarily found in the ways some of today's politicians choose to assume. The scriptures do not show a one-fits-all attitude towards the righteous or the wicked!Like · July 28 at 5:55pm
Bruce Young Fortunately, God is in charge of dealing with "the mighty wickedness and destruction" you mention. Glenn Pace gave a great General Conference talk ("A Thousand Times") on that topic (see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/10/a-thousand-times?lang=eng ). By the way, I think you're completely right that some attempts to be helpful are unwise or impractical. We need to do our best to figure out what really will accomplish positive results. It would be nice if people could work together in civil and reasonable ways to try to figure such things out--not just accuse, stereotype, and yell at each other. In the meantime, we have to do our best to help those in need, including those bound in sin, and we must have a sincere desire for their welfare--or else forfeit our own hopes of salvation, which depend more than anything else on possessing as part of our character "the pure love of Christ." Another good example: Alma 26:23-26--check it out. Do you think it still applies in the world we now live in?
A Thousand Times - Glenn L. PaceHow many of you parents have had an experience similar to this: You are relaxing for...LDS.ORG|BY GLENN L. PACELike · Remove Preview · July 29 at 9:12am
Marlene Austin I think we are probably talking about different groups of people. You are referring to the one by one group who have been raised with a basic knowledge of good and bad in a culture that foster righteous living. I am referring to the group who have been raised to believe terrorism and barbaric behavior is a manifestation of their love of their supreme being, or have been converted to that ideology. I am afraid that too often, our current leaders do not distinguish between those groups and the appropriate ways to "teach" them. Just as Jehovah of the Old Testament used violent means to deal with the wicked, we must acknowledge that there are times when that is needed to deal with current wickedness.Like · July 29 at 9:38am
Bruce Young Yes, you're right. Different groups (and individuals) pose different problems. But please read those verses in Alma (26:23-26). I've written more about my views on these matters here: http://english.byu.edu/faculty/youngb/peace.htmi Like · July 29 at 10:21am
Marlene Austin Balance is important. I think of Moroni's flag, of the many wars fought in the Book of Mormon specifically to protect the righteous and suppress wickedness. Yes, Ammon, through inspiration, was told how to react to one group of Lamanites. If I could trust that our leaders were using inspiration from God to determine our policies, I could agree, but I see men who openly spread falsehoods to gain their way, power and wealth. I haven't found that scriptures on the state of righteousness during the ending times supports that kind of trust.Like · July 29 at 12:25pm
Julia Blair I appreciate your thoughtful words. Is there ever a point to "give up?"Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 29 at 10:32am