And how about those Utes? Now 7-1 overall, and tied for the the lead in the PAC-12 South. Their 52-45 shootout with UCLA yesterday in the Rose Bowl where Joe Williams smashed the single game rushing record with 332 yards was poetry in motion on a football field. They got some love in the coaches poll today, moving up to number 16. Even the Cougars from the school down south have been fun to watch. Their record doesn't reflect how close they've come to being undefeated. Even Utah would be undefeated with a few more inches that fell short on the final drive in their single loss to California.
So, believe me when I say these have been pleasant diversions from the nightly news. Speaking of that, aside from the politics, I have wearied of the nightly crime blotter - murder, adultery, theft, burglary, armed assaults, and all that goes with it. As a product of the Sixties, I have always been a television addict, but those days are now gone as my television time has been self-restricted. I hate commercials. God blessed the man who developed the "Hopper," and I praise that man's name now.
I am continually reminded of the ancient record as found in Mormon 8. Mormon was the father of Moroni, and one of the last survivors of an ancient nation state that once thrived in the Americas. But his civilization was destroyed by wickedness. He writes here in about 400 A.D., with a prophetic vision of the times in which we live today:
35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies — because of the praise of the world?
39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
41 Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
I want to be clear - I have always thought of myself as an optimistic person. I really don't want to believe in secret combinations that are set up to get gain, murder the innocents for power, and grind the faces of the poor into the dust. I don't look for the anti-Christ under every bush. I want to believe that people are basically decent, hard-working and honest with one another. I really don't want to let myself go there with conspiracy theories about "rigged" systems of government or business that pollute our inheritance as free people in America.
But, that said, the conditions, the rhetoric, the back and forth of the political dialogue to which we have been exposed this election cycle have been so reprehensible that if I had small children at home I would have no choice but to unplug the television. Even with sports, I record the games, fast-forward through the endless commentary and commercials and reduce my watching to the actual plays. That Utah-UCLA game yesterday took four hours. Watching it the "Hopper" way I do takes a little longer than a half-hour.
|Elder David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles|
Some are simply too young to remember the Clinton era when Bill was the POTUS and his whole presidency seemed to be one sexual intrigue after another. Stains on a blue dress, parsing of tortured definitions of what constituted "sexual relations" in front of a panel of the House of Representatives convened to impeach him for lying to a grand jury, and the lies that were told, then refuted and corrected with hard evidence to the contrary; all were the "highlights" of those years. Impeached in the House, but a conviction lacking in the Senate, Bill Clinton skated, though he was impugned and lost his license to practice law. And now he's back running for "First Gentleman," whatever that may come to mean. He is anything but a "gentleman."
This year the Clinton legacy has all been brought to the forefront once again, accompanied by the allegations of the escapades of one Donald J. Trump, man of the world if ever there was one. It seems our national moral compass has been demagnetized. We are no longer shocked by anything that once would have immediately disqualified these two candidates in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Our true north is whatever a scheming politician says it is. I noticed the other day that the polling done last week puts Clinton and Trump in exactly the same place they were a year ago when this all started - in other words, nothing has been settled yet. I guess we should be grateful they are both the most loathed candidates ever put forward to run for the presidency.
I think the counsel of this priceless hymn is worth repeating - If the way be full of trials, weary not. . .
And so, in answer to my question, "Could it get any worse?" I answer yes - the Cubs could lose the World Series, and the Utes could lose to Washington next week and get little or no respect in the national rankings.