Envy, Part 2

Being Zion

Envy is Complicated

Even though envy is a root cause, can you completely separate envy from pride, greed, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth--the Seven Deadlies? Perhaps not. However, envy appears to be the sin pushing the prideful, greedy, wrathful, lusting, gluttonous, and slothful, over the edge. 

Envy appears to be the catalyst of much emotional upheaval and unrighteous behavior. That's no wonder considering the crowd surrounding envy as noted in the final verse of 3rd Nephi.

Envy precedes, and is the root of, jealousy. Envy is a process of comparing. You are one side of that comparison. Comparisons with Father's children, with help from the dark side, can easily slide into the miserable abyss of envy and lust for the honors of men and the material goods they have accumulated. 

Paul warns:

"For we dare not make ourselves of the number*, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (2 Cor 10:12 LDS; 2 Cor 1:34 RE) 

*(Strong’s #1469; i.e., Don’t sit at the cool kid’s table.)

For any who seek righteousness, our Lord has the answer to, perhaps, the most critical question ever asked:

"...why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men..." (LDS D&C 121:34-35; RE T&C 139:5)

Honor is power. Power has two opposing faces. Father's power is based on integrity, persuasion, patience, and faith. Power based on coercion, is the other face. Whether by force of arms or organizational policies, power by coercion is not honorable, and attracts neither heaven's attention or its authority. Oh, I understand the value of a mortal Priesthood fraternity. But what about the fraternity of angels? What about the Powers of Heaven?

The Lord, through Joseph, continues to teach:

"...that they do not learn this one lesson — that the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the Powers of Heaven and that the Powers of Heaven cannot be controlled nor handled, only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true, but when we undertake to cover our sins or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control, or dominion, or compulsion, upon the souls of the children of men in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the Heavens withdraw themselves, the spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man." (LDS D&C 121:35-37; RE T&C 139:5)

As an extreme example, George Hinkle didn't understand any of this when he made his deal with Colonel Lucas to bring in Joseph Smith, for arrest and prosecution, on the pretense of a negotiating pow-wow. The ruse used on Joseph was for his assistance in bringing peace between the Mormons and the locals in Missouri. 

Hinkle has been called the Mormon Benedict Arnold in a 2010 Deseret News story and elsewhere. Baptized in 1832, he served on the Far West high council but never amounted to much. His betrayal of Joseph Smith's trust condemned Joseph and his comrades, to Liberty Jail for the cold months of 1838. Actually, it was more like a medieval dungeon.

George Hinkle wanted what Joseph had. He thought, maybe, he could get some of it, without Joseph in the way. It is doubtful that there was room in George Hinkle's heart for much of anything but envy. How sad envy can lead us to such extremes.

A favorite movie, ("People Will Talk," 1951), more poetically teaches the point. (Spoiler alert, although nothing I reveal will ruin the story's entertainment factor. Highly recommended.)

A short, envious, stiff-collared, hard hearted, bureaucratic, university professor attempts to discredit a creative, compassionate, fair-minded, and financially more successful colleague. 

The attempt failed, embarrassingly. The following was said to the envious failure:

"Professor Elwell, you're a little man. It's not that you're short. You're...little, in the mind and in the heart. Tonight, you tried to make a man little whose boots you couldn't touch if you stood on tiptoe on top of the highest mountain in the world. And as it turned out...you're even littler than you were before."

Such are my feelings about George Hinkle, Sampson Avard, and all the rest who bore false witness against and slandered Joseph Smith in the early days, those who were successful in their conspiracy to murder him, and those who continue to deny historical and scriptural facts and order the lighthouse* to change course 10 degrees. Enough said. 

*(Reference to the “lighthouse” story in Steven R. Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)

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