According to the speaker, there was good news. Heavenly Father specifically saved the best generation of spirits for the end times. The younger people in the congregation were encouraged to be proud. They are the most valiant bunch of spirits ever sent to Earth.
Wait a minute. I was hearing this "most valiant generation" and "Satan getting really busy" stuff when I left on my mission 40 years ago. I thought baby boomers were the most valiant generation of spirits.
When I was a kid, Sunday school and seminary teachers told us Heavenly Father had deliberately held us in reserve to battle the devil's minions before the apocalypse. I was among the best of the best of the best! With honors. (Apologies to "Men in Black.")
It made sense at the time. Baby boomers were the victorious product of the worst war the world had ever seen. Our parents defeated Hitler. It was up to us to finish off Satan, or at least buy time until the second coming.
When I first heard this "valiant spirits" stuff my allegiance was still in question. I started wondering how big of an idiot Satan had to be in order to increase the ferocity of a battle he already knew he had lost? Wasn't he just making it worse for himself?
On the other hand, what if Satan was simply a spiteful poor loser? Or maybe just maybe Satan actually figured he had a shot at winning. Was I already on the losing side by going to church? It might explain the tediousness.
It doesn't matter. If Gen Z is now being told that they're the most valiant evil fighters, I may have to concede some sad gospel errors.
It's insulting really. How tough was my LDS mission if Lucifer wasn't at the top of his game then? Were all those evil demons just his scrubs? Was he laying back on purpose?
What happened to the Satan of the Old Testament, a Satan so effective at corrupting people that he forced God to push the world's reset button? I'm guessing the world has to be pretty bad before a loving creator drowns everyone in it.
Where's the Satan who once got entire cities slaughtered and burned to ash? If things are worse now than they've ever been, why are New York and Las Vegas still standing?
After the meeting, I considered pointing out to the speaker that previous generations of spirits were no slouches. Cannibalism, slavery, genocide, misogyny, disease and enthusiastic witch burning are no longer fully endorsed by the "civilized" world the way they once were.
Hmm. Maybe the world has always been as bad as it could be, and the people in it as self-important as they could make themselves.
Robert Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.