Nearing a Mormon Regeneration
Martin Luther King explains at the height of the Civil Rights movemen in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail t that “we will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men [and women] willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right”. The Prophet Alma himself taught that “…there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; … yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors”.
In the same vein, life on earth must be seen as the tireless efforts of men and women being God’s co-workers in the establishment of the Beloved Community that Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned, and that we, as Latter-day Saints, recognize as Zion. Having successfully gone through the Reformation, the Restoration and the Reorganization, is our movement ready for a sorely needed Regeneration? Regeneration could mean that, “God brings us to new life from a previous state of subjection to the decay and the power of death” (Ephesians 2). The hope we ultimately have in the coming Regeneration is that we, as a movement, can be born again: “And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again”.
Regeneration (definition from Wikipedia.org):
In Christianity, born again refers to the spiritual rebirth (regeneration) of the human person, contrasted with the physical first birth everyone experiences. The origin of the term “born again” is the New Testament: “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.’ Jesus explained to Nicodemus that this doctrine was in error—that every person must have two births—the natural birth of the physical body, the other of the regenerated spirit. Jesus’ discourse with Nicodemus established the Christian belief that all human beings—whether Jew or Gentile—must be “born again” of the spiritual seed of Christ. In the Bible, to be “born again” is associated with terms including new birth, resurrection, new life, new creation, renewing of the mind, dying to sin and living to righteousness, translation from darkness to light, etc.