One of the most quoted scenes in all of star wars is the one where Obi-Wan Kenobi does his famous Jedi mind trick line “These are not the droids you are looking for.”
In this scene, Obi-Wan and Luke are entering the city of Mos Eisley along with their two droids C3PO and R2D2. They are subsequently stopped in order to be searched by several storm troopers. These storm troopers are on the lookout for two droids that fit the exact description of the two riding with Luke and Obi-Wan. Even though the storm troopers are looking directly at them, Obi-Wan simply uses the power of the Force to put thoughts into their minds, and gets their minds to disagree with their eyes. Obi-wan waves his hand and says, “These aren’t the droids your looking for”, the storm trooper then replies, “these aren’t the droids we are looking for”, and they are allowed to pass without any problem. In case you live under a rock, here is a clip to fill you in…
Wouldn’t this be the sweetest power ever? To simply insist that what is right in front of someone else, isn’t really there, and then have them believe you? Talk about every teenager’s dream at “is your room clean?” time.
Unfortunately for us and our society, this is happening. Everyday. Right in front of our eyes. And while the Jedi were able to use this mind trick to deceive their enemies and fight for the good guys, today’s mind tricks are being used by the bad guys. We are living in a very upside down society. Our world seems to demean, and vilify traditional values and beliefs. While, at the same time, our society often praises, labels “courageous” and even honors sinful behavior.
Traditional marriage is portrayed as old fashioned, or a waste of time. “Its not worth getting married if we can live together anyway, right?”. ”Its just easier when we break up if we aren’t actually married”. This mindset proliferates our society simultaneously while same sex marriage is praised as an accomplishment and progress towards a more ideal society.
Religious freedom is being attacked. The freedom to believe what you want is being labeled as “intolerant”. By just believing a certain behavior is sinful, you are being intolerant, and discriminatory. In a country that was originally founded on religious freedom, and acted as a sanctuary for those persecuted for their beliefs, it is almost inconceivable how much our country has changed since the pilgrims landed here in the 1600’s.
It is now essentially illegal in public schools to pray, repeat the pledge of allegiance because it mentions God, sing Christmas songs, or even say “Merry Christmas”. This is seen as a constitutional violation of the establishment clause. Its not even called “Christmas” anymore, its “Winter break”. If you do choose to try and pray, like this football coach, or this teacher, you will be either fired, disciplined, or publicly shamed or humiliated. Somehow, this seems backward.
This “establishment clause” is found in the first amendment to the Constitution and says this, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Does banning prayer, and Christmas trees, along with labeling Christian beliefs as discriminatory sound like “prohibiting the free exercise of religion”? It does to me. Never mind the fact that in that very first congress that passed this bill of rights, and this amendment, opened their sessions with a prayer.
Tolerance is preached to include any and all types of behaviors and lifestyles that may not be in line with traditional Judeo-Christian values, yet these same preachers are often viciously intolerant of anyone espousing traditional beliefs. Its completely upside down. These are not the droids we are looking for. We are right in the middle of a massive Jedi mind trick, and it’s not good.
We have to realize what is happening in order to prevent it. We have to realize that our freedom to worship is key to our ability to follow God’s commandments. This has all been seen before, and foretold in the scriptures. This is the very reason we need to read them. We have to wake up to the fact, that our day, today, is the backwards time that Isaiah writes about. Isaiah is a great source for us because he saw everything, from the beginning to the end, he saw the whole movie, and tells us all about how this whole thing goes down. This is a little about what he saw from our part in the movie…
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that … justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
In the Book of Mormon, Jacob teaches us all about this same scene. Jacob, like Isaiah, Nephi, John and others, saw everything. From the beginning, to the end. His movie review is similar to Isaiah’s. He writes…
“O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.”
-2 Nephi 9:28, 29
Knowing and recognizing that this is all part of the prophesied movie of the world, and knowing what the ending is like, can help us be more committed to the gospel. If we just open our eyes and view the world around us through the lens of the gospel, it will become more and more clear. We are in some not so good times. But, we also live during a great time. We know more, have access to, and can enjoy all the words of all the prophets and apostles easier than at any other time in the history of the world. It just so happens that the world outside the gospel is becoming less and less interested in anything spiritual.
While the world around us makes it harder and harder, we can all still be tolerant of one another’s beliefs. We can, and should love everybody, regardless of who they are, what they believe, or how they live. If we are trying to be like Christ, we should treat everyone just as He would. But, we must also be aware that compromising our beliefs to fit in with the popular crowd will only put us upside down, and backwards, instead of pushing forward steadfastly¹. Let’s try even harder than we do now, to “hearken unto the counsels of God²”, and try to stay forward and upright, in a backwards, and upside down world.
Up is Down
This world will say that up is down,
that perfect smiles are “special” frowns.
That right is wrong, and wrong is right,
The night is day, and day is night.
That sweet is bitter, wet is dry,
left is right, low is high-
The answer to this craziness,
is dedicated righteousness,
But far too many learned men,
would have us look away from Heav’n.
Where truth, real peace, and comfort lie,
Instead, we hear the desperate cries.
Of all the lost, throughout this land,
Who put their faith in mammon’s³ hand.
What’s in, is out. And out, is in.
intolerance the only sin.
Where evil has a pretty face,
enticing into death’s embrace.
with chains that bind us quietly,
and lead us down so carefully4.
He lies, deceives, to trick our eyes,
“All is Well5” is his disguise.
But we must keep our eyes ahead,
And heed the words our prophets said,
Defending what we know is right,
And face the wind! Steadfast! Upright!
- 2 Nephi 31:20
- 2 Nephi 9:29
- Mathew 6:24
- 2 Nephi 28:21
- 2 Nephi 28:21