Sunday, September 20, 2015


It was so long ago that it seems like it could easily have been in another life time. It is also a marvelous tribute to the magnificence of our gray matter that I can recall something that happened so long ago.

The name of the teacher at Santa Ana Junior College has faded, but I do remember he was a member of the John Birch Society and the class was an introduction to philosophy. (I apologize to those readers of this Thought who will have to do a search to be informed on the John Birch Society, but that isn't the reason or the memory that I still carry from that class and that I am trying to get around to using as an introduction to this Thought.) The teaching I remember, after all these years, was that 95% of the world’s population is being controlled by 5%. I am not totally sure he used the word control, but I do remember the word was stronger than influenced.

Historically, it is interesting to note, when generations have been released from the control of totalitarian governments, it often takes two or three generations before their descendants really gain the confidence to make independent decisions. (Babylonian Kings, Egyptian Pharaohs, Roman Emperors, German Chancellors and Russian Premiers).

Sadly, after the passing of almost six decades and while trying to find exceptions to his statement or at least invalidate it to some degree, I have come to realize that most of us have to some degree voluntarily yielded our lives to that 5%.

As a more casual observer, I have watched humanity yield their freedoms in a variety of ways.

Students of all ages yield, not only to the information knowledgeable teachers impart, but also to their philosophical ideas, many times without testing the veracity of those views.

Subjects yield to individuals on the fragile foundation of political party allegiance, which in all probability became their party of choice because of their having previously yielded to the peer pressure of a 5 percenter.

Consumers yield their commodity choices to the powerful 5%, who buy their product loyalty through the costly promotion of fads, fancies, and fantasies.

Addicts yield their consciousness to whoremongers of mind numbing substances, while unconsciously subjecting themselves to a powerful 5% underworld.

All seem to yield to their own demons, seen or unseen, binding themselves with chains which become stronger and heavier, as the immoral 5% forges unfounded links of belief that there is no such thing as immorality.

If these realities, were just another case of the status quo of things in a mortal world, it would be tragic enough, but even more devastating is the understanding that comes when we realize that the 95% to 5% ratio we are surrounded with, is contrary to one of the most important eternal life principles which our Loving Heavenly Father has established in His Plan.

Whether we choose to call this magnificent Gift we have received through the Grace of God, Agency, Free Will or Free Agency or some other politically correct verbiage which is currently in vogue, sadly, we are probably more prone to give it lip service more than application during our lives.

Whether we credit the willing submitting of Agency to the naturalness of man, to despotic leaders, to our own weaknesses, or to the cleverness of adversaries, we seem to have a universal propensity to lay our gift at the feet of willing despots who seek to use it for their own gain.

Mournfully, we slowly come to the realization, that along with the marvelous Gift of Agency, the Eternal Plan of Heavenly Father also lays a heavy consequence through the understanding of the principle of personal responsibility and accountability.

Evidently, there will be no excusing of the conscious yielding of our Agency to another, whether they are teacher, politician, advertiser, drug dealer, personal weakness or even the devil himself, in order for us to be removed from the responsibility and accountability of our choices. The Plan seems to have taken away our right to use the excuse –
The devil made me do it – no matter what sheep’s clothing he might be wearing.

I become increasingly convinced that the Gift of Agency is one of the top principles which fall under the admonition that all must come to understand, that where much is given, much is required. Therefore, those of us who live in an atmosphere of relative freedom to choose during our lives which 5% we are going to follow, seem to be under greater responsibility to be wise in our decisions.

A religion teacher, Chauncey Riddle, at Brigham Young University once taught me, that there is no such thing as an inconsequential decision. The years have also taught me that there is nothing inconsequential about whom we allow to influence us during our mortal sojourn.

Perhaps those who sometimes irritate us because of their seeming inability to make a decision, may after all be worthy of some emulation. I don't advocate standing in a river waiting to see if the flood waters which were forecast are really going to happen, but it may be well for all of us to take more time to make a decision the next time we have a choice of who, what or where we may follow or go.

Just a little bonus Thought – I would never want to discourage anyone from making the Holy Spirit the 5% they choose to follow. That same religion teacher also taught that there will be more time gained through thoughtful, listening prayer than will ever be lost through having to repent of wrong decisions.



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