Saturday, January 30, 2010

Alma - Chapter 11

They say the grass never grew where Brigham Young spit when he was thinking about lawyers.  If that is true Brother Brigham probably loved this chapter.  I don't mean my comments to be an indictment of  the legal profession per se.  There are good lawyers, many General Authorities among them.  But there are also lawyers who are much like Zeezrom and his ilk, who abuse the law, rather than uphold it.

I think this chapter highlights the trouble with law, Mosaic law included.  Pretty soon we begin to make rules and then attempt to interpret them to our advantage.  Our interpretations of the law begin to list toward what we can get away with rather than the benefits of obedience to them.  So it was with the Jews, and the Ammonihahites, and so it is with our society today.  Lawyers who facilitate this, even promote this are those who like Zeezrom are leading us further into corruption and further toward our destruction.

I have a friend who ran a motel near a mountain ski resort.  Every winter a few Jewish families reserved his motel for a week of skiing.  Each year on Friday night they went to the parking lot and started their cars, just before sunset.  They let their cars run all night.  On Saturday morning they all jumped in their cars and drove to the slopes for a "Sabbath" day of skiing.  My friend asked them once why they started their cars and left them running all night.  Their reply?  It's a violation of Jewish law to kindle a flame on the Sabbath, so we kindle it before the Sabbath and keep it going.  "Aren't you restricted in how far you can travel on the Sabbath?"  "Just how far we can walk," was their reply, "there is no restriction on how far we can ride, or slide."  Zeezrom would have been proud.  

I need to look at my own rationalizations and see if I'm examining ways to get away with things rather than sincerely trying to be obedient.

1 comment:

D1Warbler said...

I had an experience with a young, female, LDS lawyer one time who could have collected a "Zeezrom" award.

She was the lawyer for the defense and I was part of the jury pool from which she had been asked to select her jurors. She recognized me immediately, but I didn't recognize her. (My husband was in the Bishopric of her student ward at that time, and had been sustained only a few weeks previous to the trial in question. She had thus seen me when the wives of the Bishopric members were asked to speak to the Ward the day our husbands were sustained, but I, truly, had not noticed her previous to the trial in question.)

It was her legal duty to dismiss me from the jury pool immediately because she knew me, but she chose not to do that on purpose.

She told me a few weeks later, during a ward dinner, that she had recognized me, but chose to keep me in the jury pool anyway because she thought that I would decide the case in favor of her defendant.

During that same dinner she bragged to the table that she liked to play legal "games" to try to find loopholes to excuse the defendents she represented -- even those she knew were guilty.

I was appalled then, and still am appalled as I write this, that she was willing to sell her integrity so cheaply. I was also appalled at her willingness to advertise that fact to the rest of her LDS peers (including members of her Bishopric and their wives) in such a public setting.