Journey through the Book of Mormon: Mosiah 19 (Universal Morality)

I’ve recently been listening to an audiobook version of C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. Lewis gets to the notion that a higher power exists by pointing out that there are universal norms which exist regardless of culture, and that certain things are bad in every culture. He mentions the example that being a traitor or a disserter is dis favored everywhere. Then, he emphasizes that often this conscience conflicts with the drive for self-preservation and other baser instincts. Therefore, there is a higher good and hence a God of some form.

Lewis’s argument is imperfect, but  sound insofar as you wish to establish that something greater than ourselves likely exists. This chapter of Mosiah is a good example of his theory in action.

Even though Noah had convinced his people that many base and immoral things were moral, there was a limit to what he could do. He could make the people believe that drinking excessively and sexual debauchery were okay. He could convince them to kill an innocent prophet. But he could not convince the man that abandoning their wives and children and fleeing was acceptable. Deserting spouse and child invoked shame and abrobrium even when instigated by the King. Many refused to leave their families, while those that did go turned on the King, killed him, and went back anyways.

Neither the drive of self preservation nor the command of the King could lead the people to see abandoning their families as a virtue.


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