Archive for August, 2008

Another Bible for Conservatives

August 27, 2008

Alongside the good book itself, the Bible, the Book of Mormon is another bible for conservatives.  It espouses many of the values of freedom and liberty of the individual under Natural Law, also known as God’s Law.

Here are some of the conservative viewpoints from the Book of Mormon:

  1. God given rights are inalienable, i.e. men are born with them and are only denied exercising them by unjust abuses of power by governments or individuals.
  2. One of these god given inalienable rights is the right to bear arms, including guns, swords, etc.  The prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon made swords to arm his people with in defense of their liberties from their enemies.
  3. United orders of true Saints of God have never been communes in the sense of Communism and Socialism.

People often make the false assumption that the United Order of the saints in the Book of Mormon was a form of communism, but this in turn is based on other false assumptions, namely:

  1. False assumption: private property didn’t exist.  King Benjamin gave a famous speech about living the United Order (Law of Consecration).  In this speech he encouraged his people to return things they had borrowed from their neighbors.  One can only borrow something if it belongs to someone else.  Thus private property existed and was being encouraged to continue to exist.
  2. False assumption: industrious individuals were continuously stripped of their surplus production and wealth.  Providing for the poor and needy doesn’t necessitate using all surplus production to do so.  If everyone is as industrious and self-sufficient as possible, then only a small surplus production would be needed to provide for the needy.
  3. False assumption: surplus was equally distributed among the poor so as to raise them to the same level of wealth as everyone else.  Church welfare has never worked this way and never will.  The poor that can’t provide for themselves the necessities of life are provided for from the tithes and offerings of the church.  However all are expected to be as self-sufficient as possible. As stated in D&C 42:42:

“Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.”

The apostle Marion G. Romney alluded to the dangers of encouraging unearned benefits and the resulting involuntary redistribution of wealth and Socialism that entails.  He mentioning a historical example of how the introduction of socialistic practices (via bread and circuses) led to the fall of Rome: past in his talk entitled “Work and Welfare: A Historical Perspective,” Ensign, May 1982, 87:

A few years ago I read a lengthy book dealing with the reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire. That fall, in large measure, was due to the purchasing of votes with unearned benefits, such as entertainment, circuses, and food. The government’s actions built up in the people an expectation and demand which eventually could be kept down only by the establishment of a dictatorship. Many of our members live in countries where this history has repeated itself. In the United States, our treasured American work ethic is waning and the purchasing of votes with unearned benefits is dangerously common.