"Conjure Magic For Them"

The "Holy Priesthood" series will resume after a brief detour.

At this writing, the video below has been viewed over 9.6 million times on youtube.

While I was watching this, I was reminded of a quote by a politician named Gracchus in the movie "Gladiator" (‘edited for TV’ version.) He was talking about how Commodus, Emperor of Rome, had reintroduced gladiator games to Rome.

"I think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they'll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate, it's the sand of the Colosseum. He'll bring them death - and they will love him for it."

I don’t subscribe to the idea that mass recreation was deliberately planned by a ruling class, but there’s no question that fame, riches, diversion and self-indulgence are tools of distraction that waste the human energy intended for relevant endeavors. And by utilizing these tools, those who would empower themselves and enslave others often sneak by us when we are least aware, and least prepared, to intervene.

I’m not anti-entertainment. I love to relax as much as the next person! But I have to remind myself that that to which I give the fullest measure of my energy and attention is indeed my god, my object of worship, the leader to which I pledge my allegiance by my acts. The negative ‘leaders’ can be a number of things—sports, shopping, vacationing, food, TV, naps, video games, Hollywood stars, music, etc.

Pursuits that may be benign in moderation become harmful when taken to excess and truly dangerous when placed ahead of matters of eternal importance—honesty, truth, chastity, benevolence, virtue, well-doing, all things which are of good report and praiseworthy, all things that enrich the family and strengthen faith, things which sharpen spiritual intuition and make us alert of the conditions in our communities, country, and planet. In short, all activities that draw us near to God and lead us to act boldly for his will.

Imagine if every rabid sports fan felt as passionately about the fight of liberty over tyranny as he does about New York vs. Boston. Imagine if every shopaholic were as passionate about selfless service as she is about 1-day sales. What kind of world would it be? What type of leaders, personally, publicly, temporally and spiritually, would we choose?

“Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.” 2 Nep. 9:51

Need a lasting break from the grind? “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28