Sunday, December 7, 2008

Satan – A Man with a Plan

I found myself in downtown Salt Lake yesterday with a few minutes to kill so I dropped into the genealogical library to do a quick bit of research.  Sitting across from me was a couple doing the same.  They bantered back and forth as they worked.  The man told his partner that there were several very large families in his lineage.  One family, he noted, had 18 children.  The man opined that Satan’s Plan must be working because we do not have large families like that anymore.

In the recent Prop 8 debate, I heard the phrase Satan’s Plan used extensively by LDS members trying to explain the push for same sex marriage.  Not so much from the top of the Church, the Brethren I think are careful about that type of speech in a setting that involves non-Mormons, but I heard it a lot from the rank and file members.  Although to be fair, Mormons provide a slew of reasons why the family is under siege and how the attack is part of Satan’s Plan. 

Today in Elder’s Quorum we had a very timely and helpful presentation from a ward member who is a banker.  He made a brief presentation about the state of the economy and the causes of our current recession.  He then provided a number of measures we can take to be prudent in our financial dealings and enhance our financial well being.  He talked about staying out of deal, measuring risk when investing, the need for collaboration between spouses and children when managing a household budget, and being charitable with money.  It was one of the most on point lessons I have experienced in a very long time.  But of course this was church meeting, not a Suze Orman lecture, and the context was very much a religious one.  He equated debt free living as being in tune with God’s plan and being debt ridden as being beholden to Satan’s Plan. So, family planning, same sex marriage and debt --- part of Satan’s Plan?  Depending on the type of Mormon you are, you might see Satan’s Plan in any or all of these examples.  Or perhaps you don’t think everything you happen to view negatively is the devil’s doing. 

I personally don't think family planning is inspired by the devil and I don’t believe that Same Sex Marriage is in the devil’s play book.   But debt – that’s tricky – I am pretty down on debt having spent of good portion of my professional career representing bankruptcy filers in court.  Ok – I am willing to say that debt is part of Satan’s Plan --- whatever that means.