What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: loquenoves
For years, those predicting the mess we’re currently in have been labeled as “doom and gloomers,” seen by the placated proles as negative worriers that are disconnected from reality. This label has, of course, been used throughout the ages, most notably applied to prophets calling people to repentance and boldly pointing out the sins of the people. Warnings of future calamity are not nearly as endearing as present platitudes of praise, and thus those painting a picture of long-term catastrophe are shunned and reviled.
Such myopia, however, fails to realize that time vindicates the prophets. While their long-term projections may be unfathomable or painful in the short-term, the progression of time and unfolding of events nevertheless shows that they were right all along. Whether one’s source of information is God or a common sense understanding of the cyclical nature of history and the inevitable consequences of our current actions is inconsequential. Any person’s implausible prediction that ultimately comes true was likely a point of mockery among many when first suggested, and in the resulting development of events, that person and his prediction become vindicated.
It’s important to note here that contrary to popular belief, hindsight is not always 20/20. Any historical event is rife with numerous interpretations and assertions of motive, indicating that there is rarely any general consensus on any given issue. While predicting future events is an understandably difficult task to reliably achieve, one would think that understanding past events would not be so problematic.
But problematic it is, for those who criticized prophetic proclamations in previous years rarely, if ever, admit their fault when proven wrong. Rather, hearts are hardened and minds are blinded to that point that the individual refuses to see what is eventually plainly visible. Miracles are written off as mere coincidence, and mistakes are justified with excuses and shifted blame. Truth presented in plain and simple terms is intentionally disregarded and disbelieved, as the person would rather not admit their fault. But truth need not be popular and generally accepted to be correct:
The holy prophets have not only refused to follow erroneous human trends, but have pointed out these errors. No wonder the response to the prophets has not always been one of indifference. So often the prophets have been rejected because they first rejected the wrong ways of their own society. …
Prophets have a way of jarring the carnal mind. Too often the holy prophets are wrongly perceived as harsh and as anxious to make a record in order to say, “I told you so.” Those prophets I have known are the most loving of men. It is because of their love and integrity that they cannot modify the Lord’s message merely to make people feel comfortable. They are too kind to be so cruel. I am so grateful that prophets do not crave popularity. (Spencer W. Kimball, via Quoty)
The vindication of truth that time manifests does not necessarily mean that it will be all-convincing and easily understood. That people today can claim to believe that the Holocaust did not occur, for example, is a simple (though disturbing) proof of this fact. But for those paying attention to unfolding events who have faith in a certain predicted outcome, the confirmation of that faith is a validation that the path they are pursuing is the correct one. Having a 20/20 hindsight and correctly understanding past events is crucial if we are to recognize authoritative voices among the current cacophony of opposing opinions and chart a correct course for our future.