Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lesson 1 - Adverse Possession

Law school has been an interesting experience so far. Now that I'm a month into my first semester, I'm pretty much a professional. All kidding aside, for some reason law school has made me want to be more aware of what is going on in the world around me. Pre-mission I was pretty into politics and what was going on around me, but after my mission I just kinda fell into this lull where I was happy and prosperous and what was going on in the world didn't really matter. Then I listened to Obama and I realized it was time to wake up and take action.

In my property class we have been learning about something called "adverse possession". It's a legal way to "steal" real property (land) in the United States. The basic concept is this:
(1) A (not the true owner) acts as if he/she were in fact the true owner
(2) A makes it known that he/she is claiming ownership and does so in such a manner that the true owner should be aware ("put on notice") that A is claiming that which does not rightfully belong to him/her
(3) the true owner takes no action against A to remove him from his property or any other action to rebut A's claim that he is the true owner (the true owner fails to demonstrate "due dilligence")
(4) the statute of limitations has passed (depending on the statute in your state anywhere from 5 to 60 years)
(5) if all the conditions are met, the true owner can lose his title to the land and A, the person "acting" as owner, can become the true owner.
There are other conditions that must be met and the adverse possession statute/law varies from state to state, but that is the general idea.

I was sitting in Gospel Doctrine the Sunday after I first learned about the concept of adverse possession, the lesson was on the war chapters in the Book of Mormon (my favorite part of the Book of Mormon). I started thinking about Captain Moroni and all that he did to protect what was his. Then it hit me, Satan is an adverse possessor. F rom the beginning his mission has been to take that which is not rightfully his. Sometimes we allow Satan to take foot on our "property" by our intentional actions, either by doing something we know to be wrong or by not doing what we know to be right. If we take no action against Satan and we let it go on for long enough he will become the rightful owner of whatever he possesses: our souls, our family, our homes, our country, etc. It reminded me of that quote "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." And so it is with many things in our life, that which we fail to defend, we lose. We can't count on anyone to defend that which is ours, that is left up to us.

Allow me to get on my soapbox for a brief moment. I am not a doomsayer or a pessimist or a conspiracy junkie. I believe America to be the greatest nation on earth. I am optimistic about our future. I know there are rough times ahead, but we've been through tougher. We can't simply listen to what is being said or in some cases to what isn't being said. Our participation must go much deeper. We have to think about the consequences and outcomes and how it will affect life as we know it. More than anytime before I feel that our system of government and way of life are in serious jeopardy. More than anytime before I feel that our country is at a crux. We have two choices before us and I feel one of those choices will certainly lead to destruction. This is not a time to sit idly by, we must defend that which is rightfully ours. If we fail to do so we will lose all that we hold dear, bit by bit and piece by piece until there is nothing left to protect.

One more thing, the Book of Mormon was written specifically for our day. There is much in there about government and people and those who try to usurp power. I always found those chapters to be intriguing, but never actually thought about how it applies to our day. As you read the story of Amalikiah and the king men and go through the war chapters, think about how those times mirror our times. Look how quickly the Nephites go from righteous prosperity to the brink of destruction. Think about our day, think about how quickly we to go through the pride cycle. All that is need for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing or as John Bytheway added for good men to be doing something else.


House of Joy said...


Wonderful post. We are reading it for FHE.

You are wonderful

Love ya

Jeff said...

Wise words. You are awesome.