Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thomas Paine Understood

In spite of the fullness of the gospel not being present at the time of the American Revolution, there were definitely inspired men on the earth at the time. Consider the words of Thomas Paine as found in his pamphlet Common Sense: "The which the Continent was discovered, adds weight to the argument, and the manner in which it was peopled, increases the force of it. The Reformation was preceded by the discovery of America: As if the Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

President David O McKay on Socialism

"......We have traveled far into the soul-destroying land of socialism and made strange alliances through which we have become involved in almost continuous hot and cold wars over the whole of the earth. In this retreat from freedom the voices of protesting citizens have been drowned by raucous shouts of intolerance and abuse from those who led the retreat and their millions of gullible youth, who are marching merrily to their doom, carrying banners on which are emblazoned such intriguing and misapplied labels as social justice, equality, reform, patriotism, social welfare...." (Gospel Ideals, pl 273)

When thinking about the bailouts and the current trend toward socialism, consider President McKay's comments: "The fostering of full economic freedom lies at the base of our liberties. Only in perpetuating economic freedom can our social, political, and religious liberties be preserved." (Treasures of Life, pp. 501-502)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our responsibility

"I want to again remind you of your responsibility to preserve the righteousness of America. I have reviewed 4,000 years of history, declaring this to be a land of promise, chosen of the Lord for his special purposes. Now we must deal with America’s future. The land must continue to remain strong and great and good. It is destined to be the major supplier of human and financial resources, to build the kingdom of God here in the whole world, and to prepare the world for the return of the Lord and Savior. The adversary knows all too well that a weak America will literally stop this building process and thwart the work of God.

"I want to issue you a challenge. I want you who are the best trained, the best educated, who have been given these great advantages here in America to literally become the conscience of America and the molders of its destiny and future. With your knowledge, your training, your understanding of how God works in the hearts of his children here on earth, let us obligate ourselves to temperance, to frugality, and to industry. Let us show justice, kindness, and charity toward our fellowmen. Let us demonstrate the love and reverence we should exhibit toward our Almighty God. Let us not trifle with the things that are holy to God.

"This is the time for you to be bold enough to stand up for what you believe, to let the world know that God still blesses this great land of America—if we will live righteously, according to that which he has commanded."

-L. Tom Perry, “God’s Hand in the Founding of America,” New Era, Jul 1976, 45

Sunday, February 15, 2009

President Benson Gives Sound Advice

"....Be ever on your guard that you do not unwittingly, in the name of tolerance, broadmindedness, and so-called liberalism, encourage foreign "isms" and unsound theories that strike at the very root of all we hold dear, including our faith in God. Proposals will be offered and programs will be sponsored that have wide, so-called "humanitarian" appeal. Attractive labels are usually attached to the most dangerous programs, often in the name of public welfare and personal security." --- Ezra Taft Benson (God, Family, Country. pg.7)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More prophetic counsel on debt.

"Recent history has demonstrated that in difficult days it is reserves with intrinsic value that are of most worth, rather than reserves of value which may be destroyed through inflation. It is well to remember that continued government deficits cause inflation; inflation is used as an excuse for ineffective price controls; price controls lead to shortages; artificial shortages inevitably are used as an excuse to implement rationing. When will we learn these basic economic principles?" -Ezra Taft Benson, "God, Family, Country." Pg. 271.

Friday, February 6, 2009

President Benson vs. the Stimulus Plan

Another great resource to educate ourselves is President Benson's book "God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties." Both of his quotes in this post are taken from that book.

President Benson: "I believe that no people can maintain freedom unless their political institutions are founded upon faith in God and the existence of moral law."
Stimulus Plan: Prohibits use of funds to modernization, renovation, or repair facilities "used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity." In other words, if a school building has a bible study group or is rented by a church on weekends, no money.

President Benson: "I consider it a violation of the Constitution for the federal government to levy taxes for the support of state or local government...nor can the citizens exercise their rights of self-government under such conditions."
Stimulus Plan: $79 billion for State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to support state governments.

Thoughts on Kings

We read over and over in the scriptures of people desiring to have kings to rule over them. The Israelites wanted one (1 Samuel 8), the Nephites wanted one (2 Nephi 5), the Jaredites wanted one (Ether 6). Why?

1 Samuel 8 states the reason the (wicked, at that time) Israelites wanted a king: "...We will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations..." The lesson to learn here: being "like all the nations" doesn't make an idea right. When that is given as a reason to support some agenda, remember our standard should be what does God support, not what does Europe support.

I have always wondered why the Nephites and Jaredites, both of whom were generally righteous at the time, asked for kings. The scriptures don't say. Recent events, however, have given me an idea. Could they have wanted security? Someone who would be responsible to make the important defense, industrial, and economic decisions?

More importantly, is the same thing happening to us now? Kings have certainly gone out of style, but there are many, many people who still want to shift responsibility for the important aspects of their lives to the government. There are people who are demanding that the government take responsibility for providing their health care and food, paying for their home, educating their children...

The problem with this is, any time we give up responsibility for something, we are also giving up control over it. Maybe those in control of it will do a good job, just like the early Jaredites and Nephite kings did. But inevitably, just as the brother of Jared warned: "Surely this thing leadeth into captivity."

Yes, this is only my opinion. But in light of the many quotes by modern prophets and apostles warning that benevolent government social problems eventually enslave the people (see previous "welfare programs" post), I don't think my opinion is too much of a stretch. People haven't changed, now they are just demanding an elected-committee-king instead of the traditional kind.

King Noah vs. The Stimulus Plan

One interesting detail about King Noah's activities that Mormon considered important enough to include in the Book of Mormon:

"And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and all manner of precious things, of gold, and silver and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and off copper;" (Mosiah 11:8)

Compare that to some of the details of the stimulus plan that Congress is currently working on:
$150 million for the Smithsonian
$34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters
$500 million for improvement projects for National Institutes of Health facilities
$44 million for the Department of Agriculture headquarters
$88 million to help move the Public Health Service into a new building
$448 million for constructing a new Homeland Security Department headquarters
$1 billion for the Census Bureau

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Security or Agency?

President Ezra Taft Benson: "In the war in heaven the devil advocated absolute eternal security at the sacrifice of our freedom...Today the devil as a wolf in a supposedly new suit of sheep's clothing is enticing some men, both in and out of the Church, to parrot his line by advocating planned government-guaranteed security programs at the expense of our liberties. Latter-day Saints should be reminded how and why they voted as they did in heaven. If some have decided to change their votes, they should repent--throw their support on the side of freedom--and cease promoting this subversion."

Educate Ourselves

We have heard the church leaders say that the Constitution will be hanging by a thread, and the saints will rise up and save it. I dare say that the Constitution is already hanging by a thread. If we as a people are going to rise up and save it, we need to be educated about our Constitution. I would highly encourage everyone to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Another outstanding and informative book on the Constitution is "The 5000 Year Leap" by Cleon Skouson. I would highly recommend obtaining a copy and studying it. We know that public schools aren't going to educate people on this most important subject, so it is incumbent on us to do it on our own!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Welfare Programs

Elder Marion G. Romney has warned us of the dangers of government welfare programs.

"The practice of coveting and receiving unearned benefits has now become so fixed in our society that even men of great wealth, and possessing the means to produce more wealth, are expecting the government to guarantee them a profit. Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizen."

"In Mine Own Way," Ensign, Nov. 1976, p.123