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Return and Discern – the EPA disaster

Joshua Tree in I-15 freeway median. Redcliffs State Park in the background. Copyright Joseph Cowlishaw 2015
Joshua Tree in I-15 freeway median near Leeds, UT.  Redcliffs State Park in the background.  Joseph Cowlishaw Copyright 2015

Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

The Book of Mormon – 3 Nephi 24:18

As a family we like to read the scriptures each morning, especially from the Book of Mormon.  We came across a verse this morning that I found quite profound.  When trying to understand something I like to take into context and look up the meaning of words that most people generally know the meaning of.  I find this brings added insight and meaning. comes in handy!

Return:  to go or come back, as to a former place, position, or state…

Discern:  to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend…

This saying to return and discern is not only a great rhyme, but has deep meaning.  To discern between the righteous and the wicked is becoming increasingly more blurred in our modern world of double meaning and hidden intent.  To discern is a great ability that will benefit the thoughtful mind.

This week we have heard the terrible news of the Environmental Protection Agency actually causing a massive hazardous waste dump – opposing their entire reason for existence.  Not only has this caused great alarm in the desert southwest (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona), but it has also shown to a much greater degree, the hypocrisy that is spreading within our society.  How does something like this spill happen?  Was it an accident? Who is to say? Who is to know?  I found another article that was explaining the potential of a massive hazardous spill at the same exact mine that was written before this EPA disaster happened.  The article explains how the EPA needs disasters to clean up, otherwise there is no reason for them to exist.

This is just one example of what it can mean to return and discern.  Look back, return, and from a future perspective we can discern more clearly the intentions of the past.  This is how we can learn from the past, and hope to not repeat it.

Feel free to comment below – I would like to read your thoughts on the matter!