On Friday, June 7, 2019, I was reading section 3 of D&C as I returned to Almeria after a day’s work.
Since the reading of this section led me to reflect on Chernobyl in the light of Christ, I invite you to read some of its verses first.
«The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.»(D&C 3:1)
The magnificent words of its beginning contrast clearly with the nothingness of the end. As well as the impetuous waves against a cliff
In recalling the circumstances of this statement, after the loss of 116 pages, impressions are added to the words. It does not sound like a warning, but rather a reflection shared with the prophet. I can imagine two ways of expressing it. With one hand on the shoulder of the listener or turning 1/4 looking at the horizon. Both are friendly and with some distance from the facts. In that quiet scene our attention is prepared for the next thing that is said.
«For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.» (2)
Clearly his designs are not manifested as sprains in his plan. It is rather an elegant movement like a turn, with a calculated geometry. Executed with pulse and patience. The turn is an advanced movement, contains space, is planned before and goes according to a route in time. To twist is to improvise, a break in the course of events. Something like a fracture of purpose. That is why theirs are not frustrated, because they are executed with the perfect outline of a celestial geometry.
Men’s work is faked because we don’t have a plan as such. We act before the difficulties or problems in 1/5 of generation, for that reason the breaks in history surprise us. It is urgent for us to twist when misfortune is cast upon us in the form of various evils. Large scale improvised movements are twists not turns, consequences are in sight.
The only thing that gives us a certain luster and ease in our dance through space is the light of Christ. It is it that moderates and rectifies the great oscillations in our history. If we renounce Christ and his light, we will be alone before the unpredictable geometry of the natural man.
«For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.» (4)
I spent all the time meditating back to verse 4. I realized that the scriptures also come from «…the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.» (1 Nephi 8:20) Therefore they do not belong only to the universe of believers but to the universe of all mankind. They have been given to the gender of Adam. As we look at the scene of Lehi’s dream, we understand that his words govern, like Kólob, the minor stories and deeds of men. Whose orbits are below the great eternal twist of his plan.
Chernobyl and D&C 3
On my way home that Friday, a connection between verse 4 and the 29th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident came to mind. When we read «because even when a man receives many revelations,» we think of the prophet or personal revelation. But it is more than this, it is the flow of knowledge that floods us, and in that general current is the domain of the atom.
We would be unable to obtain that knowledge without «the light which shineth, that [illuminates] us, [that] comes through him that enlightens [our] eyes, and is the same light that vivifies [our] understanding,» (D&C 88:11) And he, «…maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,» (Matt. 5:45), also provides that man «…power to do many mighty works,» (4). Such as those of our generation. Isn’t it powerful that the fission of a Kg of uranium is equivalent to 3,000,000 Kg of coal?
It is our staff thrown at the feet of God, emulating our Father. It is our nature to follow it also in the domain of its particles. Like Pharaoh, blessed «with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom,» (Abraham 1:26) our generation is also blessed. But it will be so as long as «Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days,» (26).
The causes of the Chernobyl accident
According to the World Nuclear Association, the Chernobyl accident «was a direct consequence of the isolation of the Cold War and the consequent lack of a safety culture. In fact Mikhail Gorbachef later acknowledged it with these words: «…it was the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, this catastrophe was a historical turning point that marked a pre-disaster and a post-disaster era.»
Although there are dissenting voices such as Louli Andreev, responsible for the radioactive cleansing after the disaster, who nevertheless recognizes as a cause «the weakness of the government and the high rate of corruption».
When one analyzes this disaster, one can see that it is not only the result of a bad reactor design, nor of a technical crisis management full of errors. It is the consequence of lies and corruption.
Valery Legasov’s report on Chernobyl
Valery Legasov, a radiochemistry expert with a doctorate in chemistry, was commissioned by the government to investigate the accident and the measures to contain the radioactive release. He did not leave the accident area at any time so he received large doses of radiation. His report (World Nuclear Association) contains this interesting conclusion.
«After visiting Chernobyl NPP I, I came to the conclusion that the accident was the inevitable apotheosis of the economic system that had developed in the USSR over many decades. The neglect of scientific management and designers was everywhere, without paying attention to the condition of the instruments or equipment. … When one considers the chain of events that led to the Chernobyl accident, why one person behaved that way and why another person behaved in another, etc., it is impossible to find a single culprit, a single event initiator, because it was like a closed circle. «.
According to the INSAG-1 report: «Operators, deliberately and in violation of the rules, removed most of the control and security bars from the kernel and shut down some important security systems.»
The corruption referred to by Louli Andreev is confirmed by the lack of an independent inspection system, so that political power prevailed over the scientific establishment. For this reason, previous accidents such as the one in 1982 were not published until 1985, and so the Minister of Industry forbade the publication of adverse effects. In March 1986 (the year of the accident) a director of the Lyubov Kovalveska power plant published an article in a Ukrainian magazine in which she assures that the plant is a time bomb… «The mistakes made here will be charged for the next few decades», the accident was the following month.
The Perplexities of Nations
There is a great contrast between the chain of errors and lies and the greatness and humanity of the volunteers and workers who avoided greater harm. They are the liquidators» «of approximately 600,000 volunteers and army personnel. According to Georgy Lepnin, a Belarusian doctor working on reactor number 4, «approximately 100,000 liquidators have died». In April 1994, a text commemorating the Ukrainian embassy in Belgium estimates 25,000 deaths among liquidators since 1986. According to Viacheslav Grishin of the Chernobyl union, the main organisation of liquidators, «25 000 of the Russian liquidators have died and there are 70 000 disabled people, about the same number in Ukraine, plus another 10 000 dead in Belarus and 25 000 disabled, making a total of 60 000 dead and 165 000 disabled» (Wikipedia)
This isolation, mentioned by the World Nuclear Association, began with the construction of a wall in Berlin, and continued with others of a social and political nature.
«…yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him..» (4)
Translated into a secular situation, God’s counsels are the culture of security, which was undermined from construction to crisis management. And the carnal desires can be seen in the late evacuation of Prípiat so that the accident did not transcend. In the proud refusal to recognize previous accidents and to apply corrective measures. In short, to expect from atomic energy the obedience and submission that was demanded of the whole of society.
Something similar to the plan of the adversary, who wanted the honor of the Father to dominate powerful allies such as light and truth, the nucleus of his power. Without knowing that they are independent (such as the atom) to act in their sphere and that they have laws unattainable to their conspiracy maneuvers.
Chernobyl in the light of Christ
In Section 3 of D&C the Lord says to Joseph Smith «For thou hast suffered the counsel of thy director to be trampled upon from the beginning… Nevertheless, my work shall go forth, for inasmuch as the knowledge of a Savior has come unto the world, through the testimony of the Jews, even so shall the knowledge of a Savior come unto my people…And for this very purpose are these plates preserved». (D&C 3:15-16,20)
Deep down, the prophet is told more or less, «Joseph, this is not about you, it’s about billions.»
The prophet put his emotions and desire for credibility before the advice of his director. This collapse of the restoration nucleus, when the plates were removed, meant his little Chernobyl. He had to learn bitterly the importance of the culture of security and this is to put the will of the director of the plan before our desires.
The politburo of Mikhail Gorbachef had no clear knowledge of what had happened. The information from Chernobyl was confusing. He was talking about a fire, about problems in the coolant tanks. Nothing serious. When scientists in Sweden 1100 km from the accident, detected high levels of radioactivity in their country, they asked Moscow if there had been a nuclear accident. Then they understood that this was not about Ukraine or Russia but about hundreds of millions of Europeans.
The truth was not transmitted to Moscow because the medium was thick, there was terror to recognize what had happened, because it went against the infallibility of the state. It took a great effort to accept the impossible.
Martin Harris sitting near Joseph’s house, unable to confess the loss of the manuscript. The prophet seeing it in his expression. Martin where are they? and his exclamation Oh my God all is lost!
The safety of the plan.
The eternal twist of your plan allows you to see its path because it is not linear. In the same way that in the curve of a road we have a more complete perspective of the past and future route. If you want to see this in action, let’s read verse 20.
«And that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their fathers, and that they might know the promises of the Lord, and that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and be glorified through faith in his name, and that through their repentance they might be saved. Amen.»
Starting from the past of his parents and the promises of the Lord to them, he presents the gospel and his son. He passes on to the faith and repentance of the present and ends in future salvation. From each element of the verse you can observe all the participants of the plan in its movement. But it is not a closed circle, but a spiral in time.
In Chernobyl, the light of Christ, which illuminates every man who comes into the world, was overshadowed by a murky environment. Faced with the emergency, they acted subway by subway, second by second. Without a complete perspective. Twisting a reality that they didn’t understand because they didn’t have the necessary light for it. When they discarded transparency towards the truth and its culture, they were left in darkness before the stars.
Just as the stars give light, although they do not illuminate, the light of Christ illuminates the one who receives it and, in the last case, the constellations of His words guide us as navigators. They allow us to see beyond our horizon.
Legasov wondered «why one person behaved that way and why another person behaved in another». President Mikhail Gorbachef knew the answer so he introduced his new policy, La Glásnost (Russian voice meaning transparency, openness or frankness) But it was too late, the cost of accumulated lies took its toll as warned Lyubov Kovalveska.
They can’t be frustrated.
They can’t be reduced to nothing. In the curvature of his plan each one can stick out his head and observe. He will not allow his church to depart from his governing council. The culture of safety is part of his plan. This is what we see in the difficult beginnings of this dispensation. And even when there were decisions difficult to understand or accept, we now see in the turn of his acts the ascent of his plan.
I. *. Since 1989, more than 1000 nuclear engineers from the former Soviet Union have visited Western nuclear power plants and there have been many reciprocal visits. More than 50 twinning agreements have been established between Eastern and Western nuclear power plants. (world-nuclear.org)
II. Certainly, the safety of all the reactors designed by the Soviets has improved enormously. This is due in large part to the development of a safety culture fostered by increased collaboration between East and West, and substantial investment in upgrading the reactors.
III. Detailed sequence of events at the Chernobyl plant