My sense is that there are a lot of Mad Max Mormons in the world. Now admittedly I just made that term up, but what I mean by it is there seem to be a lot of Mormons who expect the world to get worse and worse until some massive calamity nearly wipes humanity out and just as we are in the verge of being forced to live like Mad Max in a post-apocalyptic dystopia Jesus will return and fix the world. And who could blame Mormons for such a world view? Not only are there plenty of prophesies in the Bible that seem to indicate that’s how it will come down prior to the second coming of Jesus, there are supporting modern revelations saying the same things in even more detail. The term “Latter-day” is in the official name of our church for cryin’ out loud. To most people that indicates that these are the very last days of the world.
Between the revelations about pending calamities and the “Saturday’s Warriors” plays and the Cleon Skousens and Glenn Becks and the far-right-leaning politics that dominate modern American Mormonism it seems to me that Mad Max Mormonism is flourishing and has been for a very long time.
However I find myself gravitating toward being a Star Trek Mormon. I just made that term up too but what I mean by it is I like the idea that we as a human race will work things out. I know it’s painfully optimistic of me but I prefer to think we humans will progressively become better at getting along with each other. I think we will get along with each other better as individuals and nations and that we will get better at taking care of our planet as well. And I like to think that 500 years from now our people will be exploring the galaxy in bright colored shirts as we get along with our pointy eared neighbors from other planets… Ok that last part might be going overboard but I do like to think we can work it out.
What I really suspect, based on the evidence, is that Jesus really doesn’t even want to have to come back here. What evidence is that you ask? The commandments of God. All of them. The commandments seem to me to be a recipe to working it out amongst ourselves. If we all got a little better at loving our neighbors as ourselves and if we could be taught to be just a bit more Christlike there would be no man-made Armageddon to wipe us out at all. It seems to me that all of the commandments are God’s way of yelling to his quarreling children from across the universe: “Don’t you make me come down there!”
So before we start attaching razors to boomerangs in preparation for a post-apocalyptic Mad Max fiasco, maybe we should work harder to do what the instructions we have from God seem to be telling us to do — working it out. And lest you think the modern revelations leave no room for us working it out just remember that 2000 years ago the Christians had revelations that said “The End will come in your lifetime” too. No doubt the end of the world could come in your lifetime but I get the feeling God doesn’t particularly want it to. And I don’t want it to either. I’m hoping my great-great-great-great grandchildren will be wearing bright colored Federation shirts as they explore the galaxy. Oh and of course I expect they will read my blog in some blog archive and laugh at my old-timey ways. But when they do at least they can point to this post and say: Hey, he might have been a bit daft but at least he called that one right.
(Note to my descendants: Avoid wearing the red shirts…)