Things which should be Cancelled 2: Watching for iniquity

We live in a judgmental culture. Very judgmental. Every social media post is held as a document of condemnation, of a potential failing of the moral character. That scrutiny for iniquity is destroying any hope we have of being friends.

Isaiah 29:20-21 (KJV)

20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

Isaiah 29:20-21 (NIV)

20 The ruthless will vanish,
    the mockers will disappear,
    and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—
21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty,
    who ensnare the defender in court
    and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.

2 Nephi 27:31-32 (Quoting Isaiah)

31 For assuredly as the Lord liveth they shall see that the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off;

32 And they that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught.

Doctrine & Covenants 45:50

50 And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.

There are plenty of verses in all books that tell us to avoid iniquity, but only these one tells us to avoid watching for it. And you have to admit, social media is all about watching for iniquity. And condemning the "guilty."

Why do we watch for iniquity?

We are human. We can't be expected to be perfect.

Now, speaking of why, perfectionism is an emotional health problem. Probably from childhood, some of our parents made it clear that unless we are perfect for them we can't be loved. It's part of performing well in school, part of being obedient when we were little, and certainly part of being on social media. Perfectionism is one of the poorest ways to "earn" love. Because you can't earn love, it is given freely. But when we were kids it wasn't given freely. It came with conditions. And that makes perfectionists out of kids (and those it don't become perfectionists become rebels, which isn't as bad, or become loathers of themselves, which is way worse).

Where does the desire to watch for iniquity come from?

Moses 4:1-4 (Pearl of Great Price, LDS Scripture)

And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.

But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.

Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

Forcing everyone to be perfect while here on Earth is the only way I can imagine Satan making sure that no one would ever make any mistake. Perfectionism was Satan's plan. We would give up our agency (and any possibility of eternal progress) and Satan would get the glory; we sacrifice for him. Heavenly Father's plan was to give us our agency, and Jesus would make the sacrifice. His was the better plan. The biggest thing ever to happen on this planet was when Jesus performed the atonement for all of us, freed us from our own iniquity, and made it so that having accepted Jesus our mistakes would never trail after us.

Pretty amazing, I think.

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