Thank Goodness for the words of Isaiah. I've said it before and I will probably say it again...it's right about now, in the Latter-day annals, that Isaiah begins to make perfect sense. This is a great time to revisit Isaiah 7, where we've got a thickening plot none too different from our own set of concerns.
The kingdom of Israel (dominated by Ephraim) in the North had made an alliance with Syria for mutual strength against a common enemy, the violent and agressively sprawling Assyria. When Judah, in the south, refused to join the alliance, Israel and Syria threatened to subjugate Judah by force. Isaiah was directed to warn Judah's king, Ahaz, against seeking political alliances for Judah to defend his people. The message was clear: the Lord would fight their battles because they were His people. They were to ally themselves only with Him. Unfortunately, King Ahaz, perhaps doing no more than seeking the carnal security of his kingdom, rejected the Lord's warning and the rest is history.
Contrast that with the example of the Nephites, whose custom it was "to appoint for their chief captains (save it were in times of wickedness) some one that had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy." During a period of great peril, the chief judge Lachoneus chose a righteous man, Giddgiddoni, to lead their people into battle against their enemies. The people said to their chief captain to "pray unto the Lord" about a specific plan they proposed, of going into the mountains to destroy their enemy. Gidgidonni responded, "The Lord forbid." He suggested that they should prepare themselves in the center of their lands instead. [Please note that neither Lachoneus nor Gidgiddoni were capital "P" Prophets, but they still possessed the gift of prophecy for the benefit of their community]. 3 Nephi 3:19-21
The scriptures provide us both good and bad examples. I WONDER how they can be applied to us in this day. Do we support unrighteous entities because we hope that the arm of their power will abolish what it is we fear? Isn't that what King Ahaz did? Doesn't the Enemy of our souls use fear to convince us to relinquish our own power as a trade-off for carnal security?
One last piece of wisdom from Jeremiah, a prophet who "lamented" the demise of his own people due to a course we just described:
When looking at candidates who will potentially represent me and to whom I will lend my support, I don't wish to fall into the trap of focusing on political power instead of personal righteousness. Every Saint knows...God lends the power no matter how weak the vessel, as long as that vessel is clean.
What say ye?
In the podcast we discuss the article Nikabrik's Candidate which can be found here