The Great and Abominable Church

Abominable… I’ve had that word in a different form, back in Jeremiah, referring to the love of wealth. Will it be used in the same manner as Nephi describes his vision of “The Great and Abominable Church”? Let’s look at the quote in 1 Nephi 13…

… I beheld this great and abominable church; and i saw the devil that he was the founder of it. And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.

So, yes. It is. And the church is not a specific organization: it’s all the enemies of the greater good of humanity. That’s their uniform and their desires. They’ll say and do anything to acquire those things. Modern Americans always want to focus on the harlots, in their obsession over sexual mores, but in so doing, they lose sight of the first things mentioned, the trappings of wealth. Given that America also obsesses over conspicuous wealth, it makes sense that Americans would want to pass over a condemnation of their desires – especially when those desires are equated with being part of the devil’s church:

And the angel spake unto me, saying: “Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church. And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.

A note on the word “harlot”: it’s not exclusively female. It’s wrong to only associate women with that word, especially when the origin word referred exclusively to men as idle rogues. Over time, it came to mean anyone who was idle and promiscuous – morbidly rich, in other words. This is not an exchange of sex for money for survival. It’s a wantonness born of a lifestyle devoted to and dressed out in excessive piles of cash.

So, it is these people devoted to wealth and idle living who also take any teaching critical of them and twist the words to either divert the target of the words or to change their meaning entirely. Look at how Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all universally condemned lending at interest as something one only does to one’s sworn enemies in their original teachings. As time went on, loopholes were both opened up and forced upon others to justify lending arrangements within those religious traditions – and that is the great and abominable church at work.

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