Morianton – Ether 10:9-12

9 And it came to pass after the space of many years, Morianton, (he being a descendant of Riplakish) gathered together an army of outcasts, and went forth and gave battle unto the people; and he gained power over many cities; and the war became exceedingly sore, and did last for the space of many years; and he did gain power over all the land, and did establish himself king over all the land.
10 And after that he had established himself king he did ease the burden of the people, by which he did gain favor in the eyes of the people, and they did anoint him to be their king.
11 And he did do justice unto the people, but not unto himself because of his many whoredoms; wherefore he was cut off from the presence of the Lord.
12 And it came to pass that Morianton built up many cities, and the people became exceedingly rich under his reign, both in buildings, and in gold and silver, and in raising grain, and in flocks, and herds, and such things which had been restored unto them.
(Ether 10:9-12)

As we read yesterday, Riplakish was an evil king who treated his people so badly that they revolted against him, assassinated him, and drove his descendants out of the land. Many years later, one of his descendants, Morianton, managed to regain the throne. Learning from Riplakish’s faults, Morianton treated his people fairly and with kindness. But as Moroni tells us in the passage above, he was not so kind to himself. “He did do justice unto his people,” Moroni says,” but not unto himself because of his many whoredoms; wherefore he was cut off from the presence of the Lord.” He was able to discipline himself in some things and avoid the public tragedy experienced by his ancestor, but his more private faults resulted in personal tragedy.

As James E. Faust taught, there are no “victimless crimes” (“He Restoreth My Soul,” Ensign, October 1997). Every time we sin, someone is harmed, at the very least ourselves. Some of our sins may seem inconsequential and inconspicuous. But in reality, even the smallest and least noticeable sin can distance us from God. And who can tell the impact on others when our own spirituality is impaired. It is impossible, for example, to know which opportunities have been lost because we were not prepared to bless the lives of the people around us.

Today, I will take inventory of my own private decisions. Are there sins I need to repent of that no one else is aware of? Are they distancing me from God, and can I close that distance through personal repentance? I will remember the example of Morianton, and I will avoid doing injustice to myself.

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