There are a lot of things on Facebook that just bug me. I'm talking about comments that people make on their statuses, especially political ones. I was just telling Amy the other day that I hate bumper stickers. Even when I agree with them, I just don't like seeing them because I don't really think that we need to be inflicting our opinions on people at every opportunity. (Obviously I feel differently about the blog, because you intentionally come here, although I'm not entirely sure why, but I do appreciate it. Anyway, it's your choice to have my opinion inflicted upon you.)
I don't mind articles or videos because they're at least informative, but I just hate statements that people make because they inevitably are going to fire someone up, right? And you may be surprised by this, but a lot of people just don't know what they're talking about. They just don't. Surprise! Most of the time I feel like I can just brush things off.
And then there are other times when something just sets my on fire.
I think to myself that there is no way that I can't respond to such and such inane comment about the government or whatever. That person has to know that someone else has an opinion in direct conflict with what he's saying. That's when I chime in, and fifty or ninety comments later, it's over. I'll usually participate for about a dozen or so responses, and then I'm done. Mostly because I don't want all the email notifications.
I have one friend whose comments I just cannot stand. I like him in real life, but his online persona bothers me to no end. I vehemently disagree with everything that he says.
This brings me to my point. I started thinking about this yesterday after speaking up on Facebook, about how some people become so grossly misguided about governance, politics, and the like. Disagreements about politics was a driving force behind so many of the wars in the Book of Mormon. In the last half of Alma, it talks a lot about the kingmen and how they lobbied for power, but the freemen put down their rebellion for the sake of the Nephite nation. It is this same kind of conflict over freedoms that prompted the pilgrims to settle in America. It's what prompts most of the world conflict today. And it will be what precipitates and serve as the cause for the wars and rumors of wars that will precede the Second Coming.
You can see evidence of it by the way the country divides itself politically. The borders of the country are clearly blue states (Democratic) while the red (Republican) states are in the mostly central part of the United States. There is not a perfect delineation between the people in these areas, obviously, but it's becoming more polarized, and you can see moving patterns that suggest that people do move their residence towards friendlier political climates. Texas has seen a huge surge in moving because they support conservative principles, so there is a huge shift in people moving from places (California, especially) for that purpose. That's based on actual data, although I'm not going to bother finding the source right now.
This is how the gathering will occur. People don't realize it, but it's truly that way. In the coming years, people will continue to coalesce into like-minded groups and they'll be receptive to the gospel because much of what propelled them to gather to where they have will be based on the ideals that they share in their localities. That's how it's happened before, and will continue to play out in the future.
It's just amazing to me to think about the signs of the times and how watching current events will give so much insight about how things in the scriptures are, indeed, coming to pass. You can see the patterns unfold and the circumstances develop to where those events prophesied of in the future will eventually come to pass, how it will occur.
The gathering is happening. It's going on right now. People don't need to be told by a prophet to go to certain areas because they can already anticipate the changes that are unfolding. They sense the shifting ideals in the places where they live and will go to new areas that will be more welcoming for their kind. This is as true for those with the gospel as those without.
I just hope that it's in a place with nice weather and a body of water nearby.