Sunday, January 1, 2012

What If?

This morning, while waiting for Sacrament Meeting to start, I read from the Book of Mormon.  In my personal reading, I've started 2nd Nephi.

I read this (2nd Nephi 1:8-10

"And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.
 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.
 10 But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them."
I wondered what if the descendants of Lehi, all of them, had remained righteous?  Would the "New World" as the Americas were called ever been discovered?  Would Christopher Columbus had been able to find the Americas?  Would the pilgrims have known about the Americas to leave Europe in search of religious freedom?  Would there have been a Trail of Tears?

Then the answer came.  Sometimes the question "what if?" is good for an increase in knowledge and understanding.  In fact, it's great if you are looking to innovate something for the future.

But pondering "what if?" about the past?  It may be interesting and even educational, but to dwell on it serves no purpose as it will not change how things are now.

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