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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: