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Sunday, February 27, 2022

The Greatest Revolutionary of All Time

 Previously: The Constitution of No Authority

When Jesus commissioned the twelve apostles he told them he had not come to send peace on earth, but a sword. What did he mean by that? Isn't Jesus suppose to be the Prince of Peace? Well, being the Prince of Peace doesn't mean you have to make peace with evil. After all, we all fought a war before we were born with an adversary that Christ himself cast out of heaven. That war continues here on earth. Satan's armies are highly organized, they control the world's political, economic, and religious apparatuses and institutions. When the Son of God was born a mortal on this earthly abode, he faced his enemy from an entirely new perspective. Spiritually they were no match for him, as myriad accounts in scripture relate. In one instance, they desperately begged him to possess a herd of swine rather then to remain disembodied. But Jesus had to face their mortal cronies as well: Mystery Babylon and the governments and religions she controls. 

Yes it is true that our Lord did not have to face that enemy. He told Pilate that he could've easily called down twelve legions of angels to deliver him from the Romans. Yet he stayed the course and fearlessly took on the largest military power of the known world. He let them kill him. Have you ever wondered why his suffering didn't end after Gethsemane? Or why he had to be scourged, humiliated, spit upon, beaten, and crucified with common criminals? Wasn't bleeding from every pore enough? Why did he have to experience torture and excruciating pain till the bitter end? I think the clue is found in Jesus' own words he spoke to the Nephites. He told them that the Father sent him to be lifted up on the cross to draw all men unto him. The word draw can be defined in two ways, (1) "to cause to move after or toward one by applying continuous force; drag; pull," or (2) "to cause to move in a given direction or to a given position, as by leading."

Which of these definitions applies to the Lord's use of the word draw? Well, that all depends on your definition of power as a motivator of action. Is power better wielded through coercion or persuasion? Let me ask this question another way. Is it better to drag people or to lead them? Jesus led by love, service, and persuasion, yet he amassed a posthumous following that dwarfed those of any Caesar, famous General, or other "great" political figure who exerted power through brute force. The untold numbers of Christians who willingly gave their lives because they would not deny Christ were motivated by his example of leadership. He was the great martyr. He faced evil without violently resisting it, which made him more powerful than any empire. God's power comes from his honor, which can only be attained through voluntary means. No one ever honored someone by force. Force only leads to resentment. 

Jesus was the greatest revolutionary because he stood up to tyranny and oppression without conventional weapons. It takes a brave man to fight against tyranny with a sword, but it is a far braver man who does so without one. It is something more than valor to look your enemy, and certain death, straight in the eye, knowing that they will kill you because what you stand for frightens the hell out of them. Christ's teachings were so revolutionary that they had to get rid of him; his very words challenged the political and religious authorities of his day. It was precisely the murderous actions of these cowards that assisted Jesus in drawing all men unto him. Who is not inspired by the story of an innocent man executed by a tyrannical government for standing up for the downtrodden? The story of Christ is the most inspiring account in history, touching hearts over multiple millennia. 

Jesus taught these revolutionary principles in his magnum opus, the Sermon on the Mount, the most powerful sermon ever preached; the roadmap to salvation. No wonder he repeated it to the Nephites. In it he pulverizes every facet of Jewish orthodoxy and Roman authority, without ever mentioning them by name. His words speak for themselves. Unfortunately, we have overlooked and diluted these revolutionary teachings in the scrubbed versions taught in modern religion. It’s time we let Christ speak for himself. What follows will be parts of the Sermon on the Mount retold, unvarnished and unedited. In its true form and original meaning, it is the most revolutionary language ever spoken.

 Anything but Pacifist 

The words of Jesus' sermon appear at first glance to imply that he is telling his followers to submit to unjust authority, but if you take a second look and do a little digging, you find just the opposite is true. A man who did a lot of work in this subject is the late Walter Wink. He has written several books on Christianity and nonviolence, but in the video below he presents the basics of Jesus' anti-authoritarian teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. There are three injunctions that Christ gave to his disciples that modern religion has diluted significantly: (1) turn the the other cheek, (2) go the extra mile, and (3) give your cloak to the man who takes your coat in a legal battle.

Walter starts off by explaining an overlooked translation issue that is present in the King James version of the Bible. In Matthew the Lord admonishes us to resist not evil. Wink points out that the word resist was translated from the original Greek word antistenai, which is two words, anti (against), and stenai (stand). This is where our modern English phrase "make a stand," or "withstand,” comes from. Wink explains that this word was used in Old Testament translations in reference to war. So even though Jesus is essentially saying don't resist evil with violence, he is NOT saying that you can’t resist evil at all. King James picked up on Jesus' revolutionary language and was horrified that Presbyterians were smuggling in Geneva Bibles during the Protestant Reformation, so in his version of the Bible he changed the language to subtly imply that Christ was saying that you have to submit to authority, all in an attempt to prevent insurrection. In my Mystery Babylon Part II post I quoted Manly P. Hall, who stated that Francis Bacon was tasked with integrating Masonic symbolism into the Bible. Well, Christ's teachings were also watered-down; this is what Nephi meant when he said that the Great and Abominable church removed the plain and precious teachings of the Lamb. Part of those teachings were how to stick it to the man... but in a loving way. 

Jesus is God, and has condescended from his godly status to atone for our sins and show us a more godly path. His ways are not our ways. Our natural inclination is to resist evil with evil, or return violence with violence, but Christ shows us a much more powerful way; one that allows the victim to stand up for himself while loving his enemies simultaneously. This is what Wink calls "The Third Way," which he explains below. The King James version of the bible implies that:
Jesus is made to authorize monarchical absolutism. Submission to the powers that be the king insists is the will of God [divine right of kings]. And most translators meekly followed this path until this very day. Jesus is not telling us to submit to evil, but to refuse to oppose it on its own terms. He is urging us to transcend both passivity and violence by finding a third way. One that is assertive and yet, nonviolent. (Transcript of video)

With that introduction let's examine these three injunctions. The first is found in Matthew 5:39:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 

What is the significance of the right cheek? To understand the context of this verse we have to know something about Jewish culture. To the Jews there were two ways to hit someone: with a fist or with a backhand. If you hit someone with a fist you were in a fight with an equal, if the backhand was used you were humiliating an inferior. Two people facing each other have only two choices for striking the right cheek: a backhanded right hand blow, or a fist or slap from the left hand. But in Jewish culture the left hand was used for unclean tasks, so no one would be caught dead using it to strike a servant or a slave. This would've been humiliating to the master. So we know right off the bat that Jesus is speaking to the downtrodden, not the elite. Now, after someone hits you on the right cheek, if you offer them the left they have two more choices: they can hit you with a right-handed fist or slap, or a left-handed backhand. Now they are in a conundrum; if they choose the left hand they face humiliation from their peers, if they choose the right hand they are forced to acknowledge that the victim is an equal. This is beautiful poetic justice. In classic Jesus style, the abuse is deflected and the abuser is confounded. Without saying a single word, the victim is communicating that they are a fellow human, a child of God endowed with inalienable rights. The perpetrator realizes that the victim is standing up for themselves and is forced to acknowledge their humanity, if only for a moment. In the best case scenario, the victim regains their dignity and the abuser's heart is softened. This is the power of the "third way."

The next injunction is found in the subsequent verse:

And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away they coat, let him have thy cloak also. (Matthew 5:40)

This one is loaded with meaning. In Jewish culture there were only two garments: the outer and the inner. The coat was the outer and the cloak was the inner. They didn't wear boxer briefs or "tighty whiteys." What Jesus was saying is that if you can’t pay your debts and someone takes your outer garment for compensation, than also give them the shirt off your back, and once that was off you were literally standing there stark naked. And being naked was considered taboo, not to the person who is naked, but to the onlookers. In a public court of law, every person who is part of the corrupt system, i.e., judge, lawyer, and plaintiff, would be absolutely humiliated and shamed by seeing a naked person. The entire system would be exposed for the fraud that it is. The debtor, by stripping naked, would be unmasking the injustice of the entire political structure, in essence declaring that the emperor has no clothes. 

But to really grasp the message here, we have to understand why the debtor can't pay his bills in the first place. Remember this is a Roman tribunal, and what did the Roman's practice? Maritime Admiralty Law. Yes folks, Mystery Babylon controlled ancient Jewish society just as they do American society today. This was a monetary system based upon debt and feudalism. The Romans appointed certain men to be the equivalent of  "lords" and "nobles" who were granted special privilege and tax collection power; some of them were Jewish. These received the inflated money first (kind of like Haliburton, IBM, and Black Rock), and lent the money out as hedge funds. This was crony capitalism. The poor debtor was using devalued currency to pay his bills, he was paying feudal rents on his land, and he was forced to go into debt just to merely survive. This verse is not about one man owing another man some money. This is a revolutionary statement against corrupt banking systems; against corrupt government and cronyism. Debtors had no rights in these military tribunals, they were considered personas, not flesh and blood Jews. So Jesus’ admonition to strip naked would force the elites to see that they did have flesh and blood; that the maritime system was so corrupt and ridiculous that it took everything from them, even their last piece of clothing. Can you imagine someone doing this today in a courtroom? Can you imagine the absurdity, the shrieks from the onlookers? This is the type of revolutionary language that Jesus is speaking; this is a declaration of human rights against tyranny and usury. Now when you re-read Jesus' words, "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," you can clearly see that he was being sarcastic and facetious. You can begin to see his true personality coming through the glass through which we see darkly

Now onto the third injunction:

And whosoever compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. (Matthew 5:41)

This one has been the source of the all too-often repeated platitude "go the extra mile." It has a certain ring of nicety and religious piety. Yes bishop, I did some extra good works this week, I went to the temple twice, I served in the soup kitchen, I led the music in primary, I held FHE with my family and did scripture study morning and evening, I magnified my calling, I... you get the point. But this verse has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with standing up against tyranny. What Jesus was suggesting was a clever way to love your enemy and get him into a hell of a lot of trouble at the same time. Remember when Jesus told his apostles to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves"? Well this a perfect way to do just that. Who was compelling the Jews to a go a mile? Remember this was a Roman military occupation, and as I stated above the Jews were under Roman martial law. In that law there was a caveat that a Roman soldier could compel a conquered civilian to carry his pack for a mile, but no further. Why? The Roman authorities did not want the Jews to be too brutalized because that could incite a rebellion. They were a world military empire, they had to keep their fighting resources out in the front lines of new territories they were conquering. They did not want to have to deal with insurrections of locals who were already conquered. 

So when a Roman soldier compelled a Jew to carry his pack more than a mile this was an infraction of military code. Here is what Wink said were the penalties for such a violation:

With few exceptions, minor infractions were left to the disciplinary control of the centurion, head of 100 men. He might fine the offending soldier, or flog him, or put him on a ration of barely instead of wheat, or make him camp outside the fortifications, or force him to stand all day before the general's tent holding a clod of dirt in his hands. (Transcript of video)

Can you see the genius behind Jesus' words? After the mile is up the Roman soldier motions for the Jew to give his pack back. The Jew says, "no, I don't mind going further, you look really tired and I insist." Can you imagine the bafflement of the soldier? He thinks to himself, huh, that sounds nice, but what is this Jew's angle? Why is he being nice? They usually scatter like roaches when we enter a new city. Is he being genuine or trying to get me in trouble? The soldier is backed into another logical conundrum. He doesn't know what to do. But at the same time, the downtrodden Jew is once again declaring his humanity and his disdain for the tyrannical system. He is using peaceful and nonviolent means to stand up against the most powerful military in the world. Can you imagine such a courageous sentiment? Again, Christ is admonishing his disciples to stand up for themselves against tyranny. This is his nonviolent revolutionary way. Don't fight evil on its own terms, do it in the way that heaven does. A way that touches the hearts of both victim and perpetrator. 

I have only covered three short verses of the Sermon on the Mount. Can you see how Jesus loads every word with meaning? Next we will examine what Jesus meant by swearing oaths.

Do Not Swear At All

The verses under examination including the following:
Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair black or white. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Matthew 5: 33-37)

In everything Jesus teaches there are dual meanings and implications: the more general or superficial meaning, and the deeper or more intrinsic meaning. There are layers of meaning in scripture, and what level you comprehend depends on how much of the mysteries of God are imparted to you. And whatever you think you understand, there is always a deeper level. 

The more obvious meaning of these verses in Matthew is that Jesus is teaching us that we should keep our word. The word forswear means to break an oath or lie under oath. He's telling you not to get yourself in situations where you have to lie or break a promise, or in other words, don't make promises you can't keep. He is also imploring you not to swear (which is a word that came from the old English word swerian, meaning to "take on oath") to inanimate objects like the heavens or the earth. In the Old Testament it was explicitly taught that a man should only swear by the name of God, not to "them that are no gods." By the phrase you can't "make one hair black or white," Jesus is saying that you as a mortal are powerless to change things you have no control over, so don't promise the world when you can't deliver it. And keep meaningless phrases like "I swear to God, or I swear by all I hold dear, or I swear on my mother's grave," out of your daily conversions. In other words, don't be full of it and be a straight shooter. If something is true say "yes," if something is false, say "no." Straightforward enough right? 

Now for the deeper, more revolutionary meaning. Jesus declares that them of old were to swear only to God, but now he's telling his followers to swear not all all. We know that the word swear means to take on oath, so Jesus is proscribing oaths. Why would he do that? Who else takes oaths? Secret societies, mystery school initiates, government officials, religious authorities, fraternal organizations, etc. The first oath goes back to Cain and Satan. Satan told Cain and his brethren to swear by their heads, their throats, and by the living God, to keep the murder of Able a secret. This event documents the beginning of secret combinations, which became the model for corrupt government: theft and murder for gain. Remember what Lysander Spooner called government? A secret band of robbers and murderers. 

The word oath appears in the Book of Mormon 37 times, most of which are in condemnation of it. Oath came from an old English word (oth), originally meaning "judicial swearing or solemn appeal to deities or sacred relics." A related term is the word huguenot, which means "comrade," or "he with whom one shares possessions." Huguenot was interchangeable with oath, and was a political, not a religious term. With that in mind let's re-read part of Giddianhi's epistle to Lachoneus: 

Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us--not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance. And behold, I swear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed... I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor of the secret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be good; and they are of ancient date and they have been handed down unto us. (3 Nephi 3:7-9, Emphases added)

An oath is a promise and appeal to some type of organization or society, political in nature. Notice that in scripture God calls his promises to Israel covenants, not oaths. A covenant is a mutual compact between two parties, an oath is an appeal to some authority, not an actual agreement. It is an acquiescence that someone or something has power over you, which implies duties and obligations. Now do you see what Jesus is really saying? Don't make oaths to political organizations that want to enslave you. Or, if you are an elite, don't make oaths to secret societies so you can be a partner of their stolen substance, stolen through taxation, which is what Giddianhi was offering to Lachoneus. 

One way the modern American State has gotten everyone to agree to have it be their master is through the Pledge of Allegiance. Yes, I know this is a sacred cow; many consider it to be a grandiose declaration of their American citizenry. But I'm telling you, and so is Jesus, that it is nothing but good old fashioned idolatry and self-imposed slavery. It is an oath made to "them that are no gods." To those who defend this vain repetition as somehow divine and required by God, I would ask if they know what the word pledge actually means? It comes from the Old French word plege, which means "hostage, security, or bail." And in Old English from the 14th century, pleon meant "a person who gives surety or gives bail for another." And another form of the word, pleggen, meant "promise," or "to give something as security or repayment," or "promise faith to." 

But it gets worse. The word allegiance comes from the French-Anglo leguance, meaning "loyalty of a liege-man to his lord." And the root word liege literally means "entitled to feudal allegiance and service." So, when you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which by the way was written by a self-proclaimed socialist by the name of Francis Bellamy in the early 1900s, you are really pledging yourself as financial security to your feudal lords. Oh but I can hear your rebuttal. You don't pledge to feudal lords, you pledge to a flag. Sorry, but a flag is an inanimate object, and as such cannot be pledged to. Instead of a piece of cloth, you are really pledging to the abstraction that the flag represents, i.e., the State. And since there is no such thing as a State, or since the State is a fiction, you can only be pledging to those who run the State; Spooner's secret band of robbers and murderers. And besides, how can you pledge yourself as financial security to a flag or an abstraction? Only real people deal in money, not pieces of cloth or ideas. Don't be fooled folks. Jesus was just trying to open your eyes. The only agreements, or covenants, that mean anything are the ones that God makes to his people. You can read all about them in Isaiah. Everything else is man-made nonsense. 

I have one more sacred cow to tip over before moving on the next part of the sermon. This one has to do with the LDS temple endowment. I personally believe that the laws and covenants in the temple endowment originated from Joseph Smith, but the oaths, handshakes, signs, and tokens, came from the Masonic background of Brigham Young and Heber Kimball. How can any truth-seeking person reconcile the Masonic rites that go on in LDS temples, especially the motion of the throat-slashing that was removed after 1990, with the following scripture in the Book of Mormon?:

And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant... (Helaman 6:22)

I don't want to get into specifics as this is a touchy subject, but there is one oath that is made in the temple, performed under the auspices of the law of sacrifice, in which the individual covenants to consecrate all that they have, even their very lives if necessary, to the ChurchTM of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. First of all, this is a deception; the person sacrificing is making a promise to an organization but thinks they are making a promise to God. The organization, capitalizing on the promise, lets the person think that such is the case, while at the same time promising nothing in return. Second, this is not a covenant at all, remember that a covenant is a contract and requires two parties, each promising to do something. This then, is an oath, where one party is declaring their loyalty to an authority, in this case the corporate church. Now let's take it a step further. Thirdly, the corporate church is a fictional entity, and just like every other corporation, it does not exist in the real world. Hence, the initiate is covenanting to nothing at all, yet somehow believes that the organization is synonymous with God. In reality, God has nothing to do with the organization, and the person is engaging in yet another form of idolatry. Isaiah saw this future phenomenon:

Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth or in righteousness. (1 Nephi 20:1, or Isaiah 48:1, Emphasis added)

Who else but those who have been given the truths of the restoration, and who have entered the waters of baptism, could qualify for such an allegation from Isaiah? I'm telling you he's got our number. I don't write this to condemn anyone still active in the church and attending the temple. I'm just saying that Jesus warned us about making oaths to any and all man-made organizations. True covenants come from God and are made to individuals or unorganized groups, not to or through official organizations, especially not fictitious corporations. Interestingly enough, Jesus condemned the Pharisees in the New Testament for falsely swearing by the gold and the altar in the Jewish temple. They were making up their own rules about what what they could and could not swear on:

Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. (Matthew 23:16-22)

A few verses later Jesus accuses them of straining at a gnat, and swallowing a camel. He is pointing out the absurdity of their religious practices, in essence saying, "look guys, it doesn't matter what you swear on, it all belongs to God anyway, so what you're straining at is all nonsense." We do the same thing in the modern church, we pick and choose what rules are important and which are not, and we make certain things commandments like the Word of Wisdom (which never was) and Follow the Prophet (a totally made up doctrine), and move further away from Christ in the process. The commandments become our false gods and we never end up knowing the real Christ, although we draw near unto him with our lips. We judge others by the standards, stakes, and creeds that we have falsely attributed to God, but really come from mortal men running a business... which leads me to the next revolutionary part of Jesus' sermon: 

Judge not that ye be not judged. 

The Divine Law of Restoration

At the beginning of Matthew 7, Jesus said this:
Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 

How are these words revolutionary? They do not merely address religious folks who think they are better than someone else who doesn't follow their particular brand of piety, these words also condemn those who endeavor to destroy human freedom. The word measure means to "deal out or divide up," and the word mete also means "to measure," or "to allot," or to set up boundaries. This is where it gets interesting. Whatever restrictions, stipulations, caveats, limitations, prerequisites, contingencies, or subordinations we place on others, or even desire to place on others, come back on ourselves. Eastern religions call this karma, the Book of Mormon calls it restoration. Alma taught this to his son Corianton:

If he has desired to do evil, and has not repented in his days, behold, evil shall be done unto him, according to the restoration of God. (Alma 42:28)

And this is from Samuel the Lamanite:

He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you. (Helaman 14:31

See also, the entire chapter of Alma 41, and D&C 1:10. As you can see, what you "mete," or dish out to others, whether in reality or in our hearts, will always return back to us. God is trying to teach us something about creation here. If God creates something to be free, we cannot alter that intention, and if we try to do so we are kicking against the pricks, and God's justice has claim on us. Those who would curb the freedom of others in this world cannot be allowed to do so in the next world, otherwise God's purposes and his very creation (his work and glory) would be destroyed. He is testing you to see how much freedom you allow to others, and this determines how much freedom you get in the next world. This includes freedom to act in one's own self-interest, freedom to think for oneself, freedom to use the raw materials of the earth to mix with your labor, freedom to put into your body whatever you want, and freedom to believe whatever you want. 

I stole the subheading above, The Divine Law of Restoration, from a chapter of H. Verlan Andersen's book, Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen. He has a way of laying this stuff out that is easy to understand. I'll let him do the talking on the following point:

Why is it that the justice of God demands that those who have committed evil must have evil restored to them? Or, defining evil as the destruction of freedom, why is it that those who have undertaken to destroy the freedom of others must lose their own? Is this merely an act of divine revenge, or is there some fundamental reason which requires the execution of this law?

Let us first consider the problem from the viewpoint of those who would be the victims. If those who desire to use their freedom to destroy the freedom of others were to have their powers and opportunities to do so continually increased, then joy, the object of existence, would be unattainable. In its place misery would prevail because, as we have seen above, the denial of freedom is the very essence of unhappiness.

Now let us consider the problem from the viewpoint of those who are punished with a loss of their freedom. Are their interests best served by having their freedom taken from them; or must we conclude that the interests of men are basically antagonistic so that the evil-doer must be harmed to prevent unjust suffering by those whose freedom he would destroy?

In trying to answer this question, let us first recall that we have defined evil as the motivating force which causes people to destroy freedom. But those motivated by evil are themselves miserable. No one has ever seen a person motivated exclusively by hate, envy, lust, etc. who was happy. The more intense the hate and the desire to destroy others, the greater the misery. Wickedness never was happiness. (Alma 41:10) For the good of such a person, his capacity to destroy freedom should be decreased. (p.13)

Do you see the problem that God has to deal with? He simply cannot allow someone to continue in wickedness, i.e., destroying the freedom of others, after they die and have moved on to the next world. So they have to be restored to that which they were and are. Let me give you a few examples:

  • Church leaders who shut up the kingdom of God against their followers will have the kingdom of God shut up against them.
  • Church leaders who restrict members access to knowledge or try to cover up church history will have their own knowledge restricted. 
  • Church leaders who wrongly assert their self-perceived authority and use it to exercise unrighteous dominion against those "under" them will be placed in similarly subordinated positions in the next world. They will lose their priesthood and be subject to the devil and his angels
  • Those who vote for, support, or believe in laws that curtail or restrict free agency, in any form or degree, will lose those freedoms in the next world.
  • Those who do not believe in self-government will not be allowed self-government in the next world.
As you can see, Jesus' teaching here about judging others bridges the chasm between church and state. King Benjamin said that there are "divers ways and means" to commit sin. The same can be said for destroying freedom; the ways to do it are endless. Andersen ends the chapter with an appeal to D&C 121:36, which is so powerful that I will repeat it below. Men have the hardest time learning this one lesson:

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. 

Here is part of Andersen's conclusion for this chapter:

Thus, while we are permitted to exercise the Priesthood here on earth, though still afflicted with a weakness to abuse authority, the powers of heaven and the Priesthood which is inseparably connected therewith, cannot be controlled by one with such a disposition.

If, at the end of this life, we are still inclined to exercise unrighteous dominion and thereby deny others that freedom to which they are entitled, the divine law of retribution will demand that our power and opportunity to affect the freedom of others be restricted. The Lord will have no alternative but to assign us a place in the hereafter with that great majority who cannot be trusted to use authority only for the increase of freedom. God's power cannot be used to defeat God's purposes. (p.18)

Whatever we mete comes back to us in full. If we mete evil, then evil is returned. If we mete goodness, then goodness is returned. One thing to understand here is that goodness is devoid of coercion, which can only be justified when it is preceded by the law of restoration. This is why in righteous societies only crime (the kind involving a victim) is punished. Force can only be used against those who employ it to steal, murder, rape, or otherwise assault others. For all other situations, God has only given us the following tools of persuasion:

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile--Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou has reproved, let he esteem thee to be his enemy. (D&C 121:41-43)

The other thing to consider here is that almost all men fall to the temptation to "mete" out injustice, or in other words, to abuse authority. And the reason that the law of restoration is so revolutionary is because all the laws of men are unjust. Remember only God's laws are just. So in this one line Jesus is obliterating and calling out as absurd all of the laws that men build societies on. If there is the least amount of oppression in society, and we support any level of it, we become subject to the law of restoration. Even if we are not the ones physically oppressing others, if we allow our agent, the government, to do it for us, then the intention is the same and it is counted as wickedness. Most laws, policies, and programs are designed to have one party that benefits at the expense of a party that loses. Politicians use these laws to garner votes from certain groups of people. Similarly, most policies in organized religions are designed to keep one group of people, the leaders, in positions of authority over the members. Anytime measures are meted out in such fashion, it is often to cover up the sins of those who are behind them, just as Joseph Smith said:

... when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that men. (D&C 121:37)

Once again, in this one line, Jesus is reducing the laws of men to the oppression that they are. He is declaring that the emperor has no clothes, and neither do those that support him.  

 I Never Knew You

There is only one more section of the Sermon on the Mount I want to cover. Obviously, to offer commentary on every verse would fill volumes and that isn't the scope of this post. I wanted to show you that Jesus' words really are like a two-edged sword. Embedded within his teachings are the ultimatums of choosing liberty and eternal life on the hand one, and captivity and spiritual death on the other (See 2 Nephi 2:27). Jesus' weapons were unconventional, instead of a real sword, he used words, but his words have been the most powerful ever spoken and written, and have accomplished far more good than any violent revolution ever could have. Consider these words from the Book of Mormon:
And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which is just--yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them--therefore Alma thought it expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. (Alma 31:5, Emphasis added)

Even though Jesus was a nonviolent warrior, he was also a loving friend. In fact, he is just waiting for all of us to let him into our lives. He stands at the door and knocks, but we have to let him in. If we never take that step, but rather rely on our perspective religions to paint his image for us, we will be among those whom he professes he never knew. Can you imagine standing on the other side of a door and hearing everything spoken on the inside and it was all about you? But everything being said and assumed about you was wrong? That would be infuriating. And even though you were right there, inches away from your friends, they don't acknowledge your presence or give you a chance to show them your real personality. Instead they rely on some paid priest or minister, once a week, to bray like a jackass about your life, spreading falsehoods and assumptions about you while they collect tithes from your friends. Jesus has to deal with modern Pharisees all over again, who are robbing you of the chance to create a beautiful friendship with the God of all creation. This is what Jesus said about people who won't open the door and let him in:

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)

These are religious people he is talking about. They do "wonderful works" in his name. They cast out devils by his authority, and they prophesy. They go to church and Sunday school, they study doctrine, they know the Gospel, they outwardly keep the commandments, but they do not know him. They have created a version of him in their own image, they have set up boundaries, stakes and creeds for him in their own minds. They draw lines in the sand and say he can be this and no more. They are not interested in getting to know the real him, but have become infatuated with their own idea of him. This is not life eternal. Life eternal is knowing the real God and becoming his friend. 

I have only begun to opened up to Jesus. My entire life growing up in the ChurchTM  I believed that only church leadership got to be close to the Lord. I assumed that the prophet and apostles met with Jesus weekly in the holy of holies in the Salt Lake temple and personally directed the church. To me Christ was merely an abstraction, so far out of my reach that I only needed to look to the leaders to get tiny glimpses of him. But one day when I was 19 years old, I got a small taste of his love. I was just about to leave for my mission and was having incredible self-doubts about my abilities as a missionary. I did not think I was good enough to serve. I had serious self-esteem issues back then. Just days before I left for the MTC, I poured my heart out in my room, begging God to help me with my weakness. I got an answer. It had nothing to do with missionary service. God spoke to me, he said, "I love you, my son." That was all I needed to hear. For the next few hours I literally felt his arms around me, and to this day I cannot deny what I experienced. 

But over the years I still assumed that incidents like that were isolated and only leaders were entitled to receive direct revelation from God. I could have the Holy Ghost, but they got to talk to him. How wrong I was to assume this. Now we know, from admissions from Brigham Young, Heber J. Grant, and Dallin Oaks, that leaders don't talk to Jesus. They rely on the Spirit and run the church by "inspiration," which they later call "revelation" after this or that policy comes out. But the scriptures paint a different picture. Jesus spoke face to face with all his prophets, which were common people, not wealthy leaders. We were never supposed to follow a man. As Nephi said, cursed is he that puts his trust in the arm of flesh. He also said that the Lord employs no servant to stand between us and him. Without the spiritual interference of a religious authority, Christ is free to work with you personally, to offer you his friendship and genuine personality. He is jovial, compassionate, rebellious, affable, funny, witty, and real. He wants you to know who he really is, not the image of him that has been painted by the pretentious strokes of institutional lackeys. This is his promise to you:

Verily, thus sayeth the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am. (D&C 93:1, Emphasis added)

This promise is literal. When leaders tell you that we shouldn't seek for such experiences now-a-days they are wrong. When they say such things they are being anti-Christ. Nephi warned us about them:

And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us ["we will not and cannot lead you astray"], and hear ye our precept; for there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men. (2 Nephi 28:5

When I started this blog a few months ago I was introduced to a new friend that helped me through some of the technical stuff on blogger. I never got to meet him personally but talked to him on the phone and through email. He would always talk about Jesus, whom he referred to as Yeshua, as if they were friends. I was intrigued. I asked him how someone can become closer to Christ. He offered the following advice:

If you try to draw near to him, he will draw near to you.

Then he told me that one way to draw near to him was to read the book Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldridge. I just finished a week or so ago and have a whole new perception of Jesus. The subtitle explains a lot of the book: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus. I learned in the book that Jesus (this is also in the Bible but I never paid attention) made the equivalent of 908 bottles of wine for the wedding in Cana... all because his mother asked him to because the host dropped the ball on the wine order. Keep in mind the wine was provided for nothing else but the entertainment of the guests. Is God really ok with people having some alcoholic drinks to celebrate a life event? You bet, God loves to have fun too. He was the one who invented wine. 

Eldridge points out that we can see God's sense of humor and his fun personality all around us. He tells a story about how Jesus used to send him hearts in everyday items like clouds, seashells, dinner rolls, and even stains on his jeans. But John began to grow impatient with the hearts because he was asking God for answers to some harder questions about trials he was going through. Eventually the hearts stopped coming, and one day, when he was out hunting in the Fall, he asked the Lord why he stopped sending them. At that exact moment he looked down and saw a cow-pie heart on the ground. That is so Jesus, he thought. Take it from John, our Lord has quite the personality. Here is quote from the book on the revolutionary magnitude of the Sermon on the Mount:

In the Sermon on the Mount he completely overhauled their understanding of goodness. In a sort of moral Copernican revolution, he moves the concept of righteousness from the external to the internal. It is a far, far more demanding holiness, but one that will overturn legalism like a fruit cart. (p. 83)

Getting back to my friend who recommended the book. I said I never got to meet him, that's because he recently passed away, but from what I hear he was always helping people grow closer to Jesus. Well, he helped me tremendously. I feel like having a relationship with the Lord is actually within reach, even to someone like me. That feeling of inadequacy comes straight from the adversary, like I said before, Jesus is waiting just outside the door, it's up to us to open it. As much as I loved reading the book Beautiful Outlaw, it can never replace the Book of Mormon as a road map to ascension theology. 

What I mean by ascension theology is the step by step process laid out in the Book of Mormon whereby a person can come into the fullness of God's presence, while still in this mortal life. Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Alma, Mormon, Moroni, Ether, the brother of Jared and others have been included in the record so we can learn this very thing. For Nephi this happened when he was a teenager:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers. (1 Nephi 2:16, Emphasis added)

Mormon also tasted of the goodness of Jesus as a teenager, Jacob urged his people to enter into the rest of the Lord, Enos was told his sins were forgiven, Moroni saw Jesus and spoke to him face to face, Alma saw God on his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, Nephi, son of Helaman, was given the sealing power by the voice of God, the brother of Jared had so much faith that he could not be kept from beholding within the veil, and saw the Lord's spirit body, and was brought back into his presence, and Moses spoke with God face to face and was quickened to endure his presence. Are you noticing a pattern? 

Coming into the Lord's presence during this life is called having the Second Comforter. It is Christ's testimony to you that you've been true and faithful. It is what the entire temple endowment points to; parting the veil and speaking with the Lord face to face. This experience comes in the due time of the Lord, according to his own will, we cannot hasten it. The Book of Mormon shows us how to get started on the ascension path. There is a huge misconception, because of D&C 132 (which was made up by Brigham Young to justify polygamy) that the "new and everlasting covenant" is eternal marriage. That phrase does not appear in the Book of Mormon, but it is introduced in D&C 22 as the new and everlasting covenant of baptism. When it comes to eternal marriage, we hear nothing but crickets from its pages, yet we are told it contains the fulness of the gospel. The Lord told Joseph Smith that the whole church was under condemnation for not remembering the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon. So instead of eternal marriage as a step to ascension, God requires something else.

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit

The Lord told the Nephites what it is. Those who survived the destruction just before Christ visited them heard a voice in the darkness that their burnt offerings were no longer acceptable to him. There was a new type of sacrifice required:

And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost... (3 Nephi 9:20)

This is the true law of sacrifice; offered to Christ, rather than to a church. A broken heart and contrite spirit means that you will lay everything upon the altar for the Lord. This is the new covenant. And it is the gate to the straight and narrow path. The baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost is not merely being confirmed after baptism. It is a spiritual re-birth whereby you become the literal sons and daughters of Christ. King Benjamin explained it this way:

And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. (Mosiah 5:7)

After experiencing the baptism of fire, the effect is that one has no more disposition to do evil, which is what it means to be born again. No amount of temple worship, serving in church callings, or outward observances will EVER bring this about. No amount of organized religion will ever equal this experience. This is between you and Christ, and is the gate that leads to the fruit that Lehi saw in the vision of the Tree of Life. The fruit is the love of God and represents entering into his rest, and is more desirable than anything else in this world. But to get it you have to offer up a sacrifice to the Lord. He might ask you to give up the very things that you thought would save you. Like your religion, the false traditions of your fathers, the social and cultural euphoria that organized religion brings, the comfortable complacency that comes from trusting mortal leaders, or the addiction to service and checklists that you think are earning you points in heaven. 

But there is more he might ask you to sacrifice. Like your wealth, or your reputation, or friends and family that might reject or shun you for following him, or as in the case of the primitive apostles and so many ancient prophets, your very life. Can you see why Christ is the great revolutionary? Upheaval follows him wherever he goes. And all hell breaks loose against those that follow him. To have an ascension experience, you cannot love anything more than him; this is the meaning of the new and everlasting covenant. You have to lose your life so to speak, for Christ's sake. It is only then that you will find it. To love Christ, is to love the truth. 

Isaiah saw our day. And he prophesied that we would break this covenant:

The earth is also defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (Isaiah 24:5)

What has been the vehicle for the breaking of the covenant? Organized religion. It is a slow poison that drains the life out of the Doctrine of Christ, incrementally corrupting it until it vanishes and has to be restored again. The Pharisees were the religious leaders of Christ's day, and he spent his ministry condemning them, defying them, and confounding them. Are we so foolish to assume that organized religion is any different today? Consider this quote from Beautiful Outlaw:

Thus George MacDonald, that old Scottish prophet, asks, "How have we learned Christ? It ought to be a startling thought, that we may have learned him wrong." It is a startling thought. "That must be far worse than not to have learned him at all: his place is occupied by a false Christ, hard to exorcise!" Hard to exorcise, indeed, because religion gives the impression of having Christ, while it inoculates you from experiencing the real thing. Most wicked. If you want to destroy an economy, flood the market with counterfeit bills. (p. 8)

Mormon also saw our day. He asked a sobering question: "why have ye polluted the holy church of God?" Who else could he be addressing besides the LDS Church and all the other restoration branches that have the fulness, or the Book of Mormon? We are the ones that have the ancient record in our hands, who else could it have been written for? It is the "most correct book on earth" because it literally shows you how to free your mind of the false traditions in organized religion and commune directly with Christ, the source of all truth. There is no need for a middle man. 

This post is getting long, so I'll leave you with these words from Nephi, who concisely sums up the doctrine of Christ in the last few chapters he will etch onto the plates:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism--yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises to the Holy One of Israel...

For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. 

And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive. 

And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. 

And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen. (2 Nephi 31: 13, 17-21, Emphasis added)

Postscript: Study Resources

I discovered a website called the Doctrine of Christ, where there are tons of podcasts, videos, and discussion forums on Christ. This is an incredible resource. Everything discussed is scripture based. 

Also, my friend Rock Waterman was recently interviewed by Steven Pynakker of Mormon Book Reviews. Here is the video: 

Also, Rock has published new content at Pure Mormonism on the debacle that is going on in Ukraine. As usually, we are not being told the truth about what is actually going on. Click on the link below:

Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Constitution of No Authority

 Previously: Slavey by Consent

In 1833, Joseph Smith received a revelation in response to hostilities between the Saints and the people of the state of Missouri, in it the Lord set forth his law concerning when it is just to go to war. In the beginning of that revelation, the Lord justified the Saints in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land, and than admonished them that "whatever is more or less than this, cometh of evil." 

For the past decade I have really struggled with these verses, along with second-hand accounts like Joseph's "white horse prophecy" and John Taylor's prophecy about the elders of Israel saving the Constitution. Of course, after the release of Who Killed Joseph Smith, I think we can pretty much discount everything that John Taylor ever said, along with the rest of the clowns that called themselves apostles after Joseph was murdered. But when I was a TBM growing up in the LDS Church, I really believed that the elders of the church would save the Constitution, and I longed to be one of them. I was a huge fan of Ezra Taft Benson, his granddaughter was my third grade teacher, and when I went to college in the early 2000s I began digesting everything that he and others like H. Verlan Andersen and W. Cleon Skousen had written. I was a proud Bensonite Constitutionalist, a member of a John Birch club on the Rick's College campus, and an avid studier of anything about Secret Combinations that I get could my hands on. 

But a decade later I discovered the Mises Institute, and I read Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, and began to see the logical absurdities of having a government at all, and discovered that the U.S. Constitution was actually a coup d'etat led by scheming nationalists like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, who wanted to crush the Articles of Confederation and subject all the independent colonies to a central government patterned after the British Empire. My paradigm was turned upside down; I had to re-set my mind to tabula rasa, and begin a whole new intellectual journey that culminated in the creation of this blog. Now I've come full circle, and find myself staring bleakly at the Lord's admonition to befriend the very Constitution that, in my opinion, has allowed the creation of a megalithic federal behemoth that has smashed individualism and personal liberty in this nation and around the world. This blog post will be an attempt to reconcile my dichotomy by searching deep into what the Lord really meant in those and other verses where the Constitution is referenced. 

What is the constitutional law of the land?

In my last post, I dove deep into Maritime Admiralty Law, but only skimmed the surface of Common Law, which is what I believe is God's law of the land; his true law of individual freedom and "moral agency." The word constitution, according to Meriam-Webster, means the system of beliefs and laws by which a country, state, or organization is governed. What is the Lord really getting at here? In addition to Section 98, he is even more explicit in Section 101, and references the Constitution with a capital C. Here is the full quote:
And again I say unto you, those who have been scattered by their enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune for redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers and are in authority over you--

 According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles:

That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. 

And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. (D&C 101:76-80

In the first verse he is referring to when Joseph Smith asked president Martin Van Buren for redress against the Missourians and was denied. The president said, "your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you." Why? Because it was understood at that time in history that the federal government had no right to intervene in state affairs. This was considered to be "constitutional," because it was the states that created the central government and not the other way around. Wait a minute, why is God asking the Saints to do something that was unconstitutional? Hold that thought. Now how about the last verse? The Lord suffered the Constitution to be established, by "wise men that he raised up unto this very purpose"? So does the Lord condone the 3/5 Clause? That a slave was only 3/5 of a person? Didn't he say it's not right for men to hold other men in bondage? What about equality? What about the Commerce Clause? The clause that gave Congress license to enact Maritime Admiralty Law that I went over in my last post. Are we not all in bondage because of this clause?  What about the Necessary and Proper Clause that has allowed Congress to legislate in all kinds of matters that affect our personal liberties? What about the power to tax? Is it not the power to destroy? The Constitution opened all sorts of opportunities for state officials to destroy freedom, and they have capitalized on those opportunities. 

Now I am not calling the Lord a hypocrite here, but there has got to be a rational answer as to why he placed his stamp of approval on the Constitution. I concede that up until the 1861, Americans enjoyed abundant freedom and liberty compared to other nations, and unprecedented economic growth, but the Gadiantons were there, with their central bank experiments, their state-supported monopolies, and their insider trading and market manipulations in stocks and bonds. 

Maybe the key to understanding this is what the Lord said in the middle verses. Notice the mini-chiasmus the Lord uses in verses 77-80. Constitution is spelled with a lower case c in the first verse, and in the middle verses he talks about what? Moral agency and just and holy principles. Then he ends with Constitution with a capital C. It is almost like he is saying that constitution with lower case c is the foundation of the one with an upper case C; the U.S. Constitution still had redeeming qualities despite the fact that it was written by scheming nationalists who left loopholes for tyranny. Some of the U.S. Constitution is based upon just and holy principles, mostly because of Antifederalists like George Mason who insisted on including a Bill of Rights. But the Constitution failed to prevent government from morphing into a draconian leviathan; it began to be trampled upon from the moment George Washington signed the charter of the first bank of the United States. In the end the Constitution is just a piece of hemp paper, that none of us ever signed or agreed to. In fact, most people who lived in the colonies at the time did not sign or agree to the Constitution. Most of them did not even know about it until after it was ratified. In fact, Pierce Butler (of South Carolina) and other nationalists made sure that the convention in Philadelphia was held in secret. After all, the colonists had just expunged a distant centralized government and were living in new-found freedom; why would they want to adopt another one? The sobering truth is that the Constitution was the result of the compromise between statists and classical liberals, and the statists got the better end of the deal

Now before all you hard-core Constitutionalists stop reading and swear my blog off forever, please continue and try to open your mind; I promise this will all make sense if you read to the end.

Let's get back to Martin Van Buren. Why did God ask Joseph Smith to importune for redress when he knew that federal intervention in Missouri would violate the Constitution? Because just and holy principles transcend all earthly documents and governments. Now if Van Buren had organized a federal army, paid for by taxes, to go in and smash the Missourians that would've been wrong. Why? Because taxes force all the people who pay them into supporting whatever they are used for, and not everyone would've supported such a cause. That doesn't mean that the cause was not just, but that the means to support the cause were unjust. What is the right answer? Helping the Saints would have to be done through voluntary means. The president and others in government could've started a petition for anyone who wanted to donate to the cause of the Mormons or for others to voluntarily enlist in a militia to go and help save their lands from the Missourians. It all comes down to coercion versus persuasion, and according to D&C Section 121, persuasion is the only tool we can use in priesthood, and what is priesthood but the government of God.

constitution with a lower case c

Coming back to Meriam-Webster's definition of constitution we find that it is nothing but a system of laws and beliefs for any what? State, city, township, or organization. Did you catch that? What we are talking about here is local government, which means self government. And why is the word belief used? What about the separation of church and state? Well, this is another myth, there is no such thing. All laws are based upon a belief system; you cannot separate religion from government. It is either based upon God's laws or man's laws, and men's laws originate from pagan deities, which come from the devil and his legions of evil spirits. Godless communism is still a belief system; secularism is still a belief system; humanism is still a belief system. There are still Two Churches Only, I cannot stress that enough; it is either God's laws or Satan's laws. In what follows you will learn where God's laws which are "constitutional" really came from. They did not originate in the halls of a clandestine convention in Philadelphia; they have always existed as just and holy principles, and God tries to inject them voluntarily into society every chance he gets.

My belief is that God's preferred system of government, self-government, really comes from the structure that he gives to his church. Just has to do with law, and holy has to do with religion. God has revealed these principles in every dispensation since Adam and Eve, and a constitutional law is constituted of both just and holy principles; it is made of something that gives it both form and substance. It is really the church that is supposed to govern the state. Notice I don't spell state with a capital S like I usually do? That's because State with a capital S is a central government, which in my opinion, is not part of God's just and holy principles of self-government. A lower-case state could be anything, like say a city-state, a county, a township, a stake, or even a ward. Are you picking up on what I'm saying? If not, then hang in there, because after this short history of England I will prove my point. 

Nephi saw in vision European peoples who were seeking for religious freedom and escape from English tyranny. He specifically mentions that these people were brought into captivity by the Great and Abominable Church. Well, before New York city was built, London was the center of Mystery Babylon and Maritime Law. It was once part of the Roman Empire but after its fall the city was abandoned and wasn't inhabited again until the Anglo-Saxons came onto the scene around 500 AD. England was divided up into multiple kingdoms until the Danes (the Vikings) began an assault in the 800s and nearly conquered every kingdom... except Wessex, the kingdom ruled by King Alfred the Great. Now when a political figure's name is followed by "the Great" it usually means they weren't great at all, not so with Alfred, the father of modern England. Turns out he was a Christian and a proponent of natural rights and freedom. He was a fortifier, similar to Captain Moroni, who built forts, call burhs, consisting of ditches and wooden buildings that civilians could flee to for refuge when under attack by raiding Vikings. He relied on a wealthy class known as the Thames, who donated money and land for the burhs and men to defend them. Also like Moroni, Alfred never engaged in aggressive warfare or imperial pursuits, his aims were always to defend his land, his people, and his religion. Unlike later kings such as Edward Longshanks, Alfred led his people into battle and fought bravely alongside them. 

King Alfred spent most of his reign fighting off the Danes, but by the time he died in 899, Wessex had gained back its independence and the whole of England was eventually united into a one kingdom. Before his untimely death in his early fifties (some speculate from battle wounds), Alfred pursued intellectual interests that culminated in his translation of several books including parts of the Bible from Latin to English. He had a passion for learning and desired all of his subjects to be educated. He wrote a code of laws based upon Mosaic and Common law, much of which was drawn on three centuries later when King John, brother of King Richard the Lionheart (this is where the legend of Robin Hood came from), was forced to sign the Magna Charta by a group of rebellious barons who'd had enough of his high taxes and political antics. Our modern western concept of freedom and natural rights originated in Anglo-Saxon England. Nephi was right, God wrought his Spirit upon many of our ancestors there. Well maybe not mine, my lineage is from Denmark and Norway, so I hail from plundering heathen Vikings. 

A few centuries after King Alfred's reign, William the Conqueror launched his Norman raids on England and become the Anglo-Saxon king. The last vestiges of resistance came from merchants who controlled London Town. These merchants had access to London's ports and could re-supply munitions and men via ships, while William's men and supplies were dwindling. He eventually had to concede a compromise and a deal was struck. The merchants demanded Lex Mercantoria, or the Maritime Law. Downtown London, "London Town," was to be maintained under Maritime Law while the rest of the city and all of England would remain under Common Law. Thus, the Mystery Schools regained their Maritime stronghold they once held under Rome. Satan had his foot in the door and eventually the great whore of the earth began persecuting the Saints from the very place where freedom was born anew. With that in mind, let's read again the prophecy of Nephi:
And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church. And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. 

And it came to pass that I behold this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it. And I also saw gold, and silver, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots... [think merchants] 

And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.

And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance... And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them. (1 Nephi 13: 4-7, 13-16, Emphasis added) 

Who were these people? They were Anglo-Saxons seeking for religious freedom and a reprieve from European tyranny. They were imbued with the Spirit of God and burned with intense passion for freedom of conscience and liberty.  It is these people who deserve the credit for freedom in America, the "weak" things of the earth whose names are absent from the annals of history. Yes it is true that the Founding Fathers pledged their lives and sacred honor for independence, but many of them enjoyed wealth, prestige and affluence. While the pilgrims who preceded them sacrificed everything they had, barely escaping from Europe with their very lives, for just one chance at being free. We owe our gratitude to these immigrants, it was them who are the nameless and faceless stars of the freedom play in America. It was them who laid the foundation of the just and holy principles that the Lord referred to as the constitutional law of the land. This is a story that needs to be re-told in full, but my haphazard rendition that follows will have to do.

The church Instead of the State

There was never supposed to be a State, all the principles of self-government have always existed and have been taught in the Lord's church. Now I am not talking about a centralized organization called a Church with a capital C. I'm talking about the Lord's church with a lower-case c. It merely means the people who meet together oft to teach one another about Jesus. The people are the church. Remember that Jefferson proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that government derives its "just powers from the consent of the governed"? The creature cannot be greater than its creator, but what I'm suggesting is that the creature need not be created at all. Because every time a State is formed those who govern eventually succumb to the universal temptation to abuse power, and once the Gadiantons get their foot in the door, it's game over for liberty.

There is a better way, and both Enoch and Melchizedek figured it out; that's why Enoch's city was translated and Melchizedek was called the Prince of Peace. In Zion there can be no strong man to answer for the sins of the people, they must do that for themselves. They must choose to live in harmony with people of all different religious and ethnic backgrounds. They must voluntarily choose to have all things in common, including laws that guarantee inalienable rights for all inhabitants. There can be no coercion in Zion, otherwise there is nothing to distinguish it from any other Babylonian city. God's desire is to bestow moral agency to his children in its highest and purest form. This is the moral high ground that must exist in a city of God.

The book that you see to your left, complied by Verna M. Hall in 1966, contains much of the story of the religious foundations of America's pilgrims. The more secular history is contained in Murray Rothbard's Conceived in Liberty, which is a five volume set that covers the entire history of the colonies from 1600 on. I am not going to pretend like I've read them because I haven't, except for part of volume 5 covering the Constitutional Convention. But between these two books you can learn everything that Nephi saw in his vision; the full history of colonial America. 

Now let's move on to "Christian Self-Government." True Christianity has always been anti-authoritarian. Christ was a powerful nonviolent revolutionary; his Sermon on the Mount is a blue print for self-government, both secular and religious. This is why Church and State leaders both hated and feared him. Everything he did from healing on the Sabbath, to preaching sermons, to fraternizing with “undesirables,” to challenging religious authorities was a calculated demolition of the power structures of society. Jesus Christ was the most powerful revolutionary of all time, and he accomplished it without ever drawing a single sword or harming another human being. None of us can comprehend such power, manifested only through love and service. The Jews were wrong about their Messiah; they thought he would come charging in with his legions to rip the Roman Empire to pieces. Not so, but his message of love was far more powerful than any violent revolution ever could be. This my friends, is why we are suppose to base our laws on Christian principles; Christ himself being the author and finisher of them. Remember what the Book of Mormon says about the land of promise:
Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written. (Ether 2:12)

Did you realize that there is no freedom without Christ?  King Benjamin once declared that "under this head [Christ] ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free" (Mosiah 5:8). He said that as plain as day, only Christ can make you free, no other being or man can. No other philosophy or law other than Christian principles can create a free society. All other philosophies and laws can only come from Satan and lead to slavery. In Lehi's declaration of opposites he described to his sons, he makes it clear that we are enticed by either one or the other, there is no in between. 

Time to dive into the history. The primitive church was one composed of fiercely independent disciples involved in a grass roots movement. After the ascension of Christ and the martyrdom of the apostles Christianity spread like wildfire. Its adherents radiated with vigor and passion for the teachings of Jesus in all their unpendantic prose. Many succumbed to persecution by Roman authorities who tortured, scourged, crucified, and threw them to the lions and the gladiators in the colosseum for the viewing pleasure of all of pagan Rome. Rather than join the military and commit murder for imperialism, they would give up their own lives, sometimes being killed in the most gruesome manner. These were true disciples of Christ and true Christians in every sense of the term. And I can assure you, these humble followers of Christ would’ve been abhorred at the idea of following a man or swearing oaths to a large religious organization or a political empire. Many were killed precisely for refusing allegiance to Caesar, who the Roman's equated with God.

Verna Hall, in her comprehensive compilation on Christian self-government, quotes several 19th Century authors who wrote about these concepts. The first one, Leonard Bacon, had this to say about the primitive church:

The churches instituted by the apostles were local institutions only. Nothing like a national church, distinct and individual among co-ordinate national churches -- nothing like a provincial church, having jurisdiction over many congregations within geographical boundaries, natural or political -- appears in the writings or acts of the apostles... But that the organized church, in the primitive age of Christianity, was always a local institution - never national, never provincial or diocesan - is a proposition which few will deny.

Each local church was complete itself, and was held responsible to Christ for its own character, and the character of those whom it retained in its fellowship... Particular churches, in that age, were related to each other as constituent portions of the Universal Church. Their unity was their one faith and hope. It was the unity of common ideas and principles distinguishing them from all the world besides -- of common interests and efforts, of common trials and perils, and mutual affection... (The Christian History of the Constitution, p. 17) 

Elsewhere, Bacon said this:

Having seen that the process of organization in the mother church at Jerusalem was essentially democratic while under the immediate guidance of the apostles, we need positive information to convince us that in other places the process by which believers in Christ became an organized body was materially different. But there is no such information. On the contrary, there are indications that in every place the society of believers in Christ was a little republic... (Ibid, p. 16, Emphasis added) 

Did you catch that? Church congregations consisted of independent, self-governing bodies of believers. This persisted for some time, but gradual authoritarianism crept in as the "vain ambitions" of men desiring to "gratify their pride" and "cover their sins" began to crave "power over the flesh." Bacon explains that when Constantine decided to merge political Rome with Christianity, he didn't have to "institute the the episcopal form of government over the churches - he found it already existing..." (p. 18) 

The word episcopal means church government by bishops. This is how centralization began, as independent fellowships gave way to “regional authorities” who collected tithes and gave marching orders. And when Constantine made Christianity the State religion it was game over for Christian principles of self-government, and man plunged headfirst into the deep recesses of the dark ages. The Great and Abominable Church reigned over the earth, enjoying dominion over Church and State, corrupting the teachings of Christ by supplanting them with doctrines of devils subscribed to pagan gods. These were disguised in the new pantheon of Christian gods and saints adopted by the Catholic, or universal, Church. Authority mattered more than doctrine or substance, a pattern Bacon points out is apparent in both governmental and religious organizations:

Christianity, often persecuted, always an "illicit religion," was making its way in the presence of powerful enemies. Its natural leaders, the "bishops and deacons," freely chosen in every church were of necessity, intrusted [sic] with large powers over the endangered flock, and, of course, power was accumulating in their hands. The churches were in cities; for it was in cities that the new doctrine and worship could obtain a foothold. Such churches, as they grew, were naturally distributed, rather than divided, into a plurality of assemblies governed by one venerable company of bishops or elders, served by one corps of deacons. Equally natural was it for each mother church to become still more extended by spreading itself out into the suburbs and surrounding villages; all believers in the city and its suburbs, or in the country round about, being recognized as constituting one ecclesia with one administration. 

In the growth of such a community, as its affairs become more complicated, one of the elders or overseers must needs become the moderator or chairman of the board; and to him the chief oversight must be intrusted [sic]. At first that presiding elder is only a leader, foremost among the brethren who are equal in authority; but by degrees he becomes a superior officer with distinctive powers. A tendency to monarchy begins to be developed in what was at first a simple republic. The principle of equality and fraternity begins to be superseded by the spirit authority and subordination... (p. 20, Emphasis added) 

Do you see how the pattern applies to both Church and State? Can you see how Joseph Smith's warning "that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion," can be applied to every institution, group, family, organization, or government? Every possible situation that allows a man to be placed in a position of authority is subject to this phenomenon. There is no escaping the lust for power in this fallen world. Lord Acton’s dictum, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," is the rule rather than the exception. 

Have you ever wondered why Mormon declared that if all men were like unto Captain Moroni then the "very powers of hell would be shaken forever"? Why did he say this and why did he name is own son after the Nephite war hero? Because if any man could have abused power it was him. His men would've followed him anywhere because of their great love for him. Do you recall that he threatened Pahoran, the chief judge, because he mistakenly thought that he was neglecting to send provisions to his armies (provisions that were donated because as far as we know there was no taxation at this time in Nephite history). He told him that he would bring his men against the capital city of Zarahemla if need be to punish the leaders of government. But after he found out that it was the king-men who were laying siege to Zarahemla he immediately went to deal with the insurrection. My point is that Moroni could have easily used that situation to execute a military coup and take over the entire country, establishing himself as a de facto dictator, the very thing that Amalickiah was attempting to do. Do you realize that the Book of Mormon was written as one long thousand-year chiasmus? And guess who is smack dab in the middle of it? Captain Moroni. It seems as though God wants you to pay special attention to this man who, "seeks not for power, but to pull it down." Men like him are rare in this world. What made him so great? His dedication to Jesus Christ and his love of Christian principles

I've stated repeatedly on this blog that Murray Rothbard is my favorite scholar, his numerous works in history and economics are unparalleled. Despite dying at the younger age of 69 in 1995, he was one of the most prolific writers in history. He wrote Man, Economy, and State, a 1400 page treatise on economics when he was only 35 years old. He was so prolific that his books continue to be published posthumously by scholars at the Mises Institute, who are left with the task of sifting through his copious writings. Rothbard was not religious at all, or at least he never really talked about it. But the way he views history is as Christian as it gets. This quote from his preface to Conceived in Liberty succinctly sums up his approach to history in every book he has written:

My own basic perspective on the history of man, and, a fortiori, on the history of the United States, is to place central importance on the great conflict which is eternally waged between Liberty and Power, a conflict, by the way, which was seen with crystal clarity by the American revolutionaries of the eighteenth century. I see the liberty of the individual not only as a great moral good in itself (or, with Lord Acton, as the highest political good), but also as the necessary condition for the flowering of all the other goods that mankind cherishes: moral virtue, civilization, the arts and sciences, economic prosperity. Out of liberty, then, stem the glories of civilized life. But liberty has always been threatened by the encroachments of power, power which seeks to suppress, control, cripple, tax, and exploit the fruits of liberty and production. Power, then, the enemy of liberty, is consequently the enemy of all other goods and fruits of civilization that mankind holds dear. And power is almost always centered in and focused on that central repository of power and violence: the state. (Volumes I-IV, p. xvi)

The struggle between Liberty and Power begins in the church, which means people, in those societal structures that are local and real to us. After Constantine established the power of the Great and Abominable Church, resistance began to spring up in little pockets throughout the ages. From Wycliffe to Tyndale, to Luther to Calvin, the way began to be opened up for religious freedom. God was micro-injecting his just and holy principles into anyone who would listen to a portion of his Spirit. After the discovery of the New World, the mass exodus of pilgrims to America began just as Nephi saw. In those days, there was nothing better than a vast ocean to separate the rulers from the ruled. Here is what Leonard Bacon said about the refugees who would form the New England churches:

All had gained the intelligence that comes from the diligent study of the Bible, and all were honest and earnest believers in the Christ of the New Testament. Such were the men and women who were thus driven out of their native England, yet hunted and intercepted in their flight, as if they were criminals escaping from justice. Why did they suffer the spoiling of their goods, arrest, imprisonment, exile?... They had caught from the Bible the idea of a church independent alike of the pope and the queen, independent of Parliament as well as of prelates, and dependent only on Christ. It was their mission to work out and organize that idea... (The Christian History of the Constitution, p. 27)

The next scholar quoted by Verna Hall is Edwin Hall (not sure if they are related), and this excerpt from his book, The Puritans and Their Principles, written in 1846, proves my point made above several paragraphs ago. Verna, in her compilation, labels this section Christian Principles Produce Local Self-Government, this is also the point of this entire blog post and the very reason I was prompted to write it. If we want to live in a Zion society someday in the future, we have to learn all the Christian principles of self-government (and by the way they are all contained in the Book of Mormon and the Bible), it is the only way that a city of God can be established. We have to learn these things ourselves and live them, God is not going to do it for us. He won't come to his city until he has a people that have sufficiently prepared for him. Here are the words of Edwin Hall as he quotes some of history's greatest minds:

It is remarkable how men of comprehensive views, and free from sectarian bias, have agreed with regard to THE REPUBLICANISM OF CHRISTIANITY. "Christianity," says Montesquieu, "is a stranger to despotic power." "The religion," says De Tocqueville, "which declares that all are equal in the sight of God, will not refuse to acknowledge that all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law. Religion is the companion of liberty in all its battles and all its conflicts; the cradle of its infancy and the divine source of its claims." "The friends of liberty in France are accustomed to speak in enthusiastic commendation of the REPUBLICANISM of the Scriptures." The Abbe' de la Mennais, acknowledged as one of the most powerful minds in Europe, little as he regards Christianity as a revelation from God, familiarly speaks of its Author as 'THE GREAT REPUBLICAN." Our own De Witt Clinton said, "Christianity, in its essence, its doctrines, and its forms, is republican."...

The tendency of the true Gospel principles is to bring the most absolute despotism under the limits of law; to imbue limited monarchies more and more with the spirit of popular institutions; to prepare the people to govern themselves; and finally to establish everywhere the spirit and the reality, if not the very forms of a republic. (Ibid, p. 28)

If Edwin didn't make it obvious enough for you, Christianity is the basis of a republican form of government. But again, I'm not talking about a State called a Republic. I'm also not talking about a political party with a capital R called Republican. I'm talking about just and holy principles that exist independently of lands and leaders. I'm talking about individual self-government, the kind done without a State. To learn what that really is, we have to turn to the Book of Mormon.

Mosiah 29 and the "Three Whiches" of Republicanism 

When I was a missionary in 1998, I had a pretty good mission president. Instead of focusing on rules he focused on doctrine, and back in those days there was still some doctrine left other than "follow the prophet." At the first zone conference I had with him he passed out Book of Mormon study guides for us to use for discussions. He wanted us to teach our investigators principles from the Book of Mormon. But this wasn't your run of the mill study guide, it was written by two professors from BYU whose stated purpose was to "unlock the treasures of the Book of Mormon." It is called Building Faith With The Book of Mormon, by Glenn L. Pearson and Reid E. Bankhead, and I still use it for study today. 

In fact, this book was the catalyst that helped me gain an appreciation of Joseph Smith's introduction of the Book of Mormon as "the most correct book on earth." It fits that description because it teaches you, the follower of Christ, which philosophies come from him and which come from men or the devil. And these span across all aspects of human life, and permeate every organizational and societal structure that men can or have formed. The whole reason I started this blog is to promote the principles in the Book of Mormon, because after all, the church, which means us, the individual people, are still under condemnation for not remembering the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon. I am trying to do my part to help lift that condemnation. 

Pearson and Bankhead have a section entitled, "Mosiah Set Up a Christian Constitutional Republic," where they explain what the "three whiches" of republicanism are. Here is what they wrote:

You can understand the nature of a true Christian constitutional republic when you understand the government of "three whiches" that Mosiah gave to the Nephites.. (Mosiah 29:25.) This was a government of laws (1) which were given to their fathers, (2) which were pronounced correct, and (3) which were given to them by God. In a democracy, the voice of the people is sovereign (all-powerful), while in a true Christian constitutional republic, God is sovereign. His sovereignty is expressed mostly through his law. (p. 90)

The authors go on to explain that republics "embrace two principles: (1) the sovereignty of God and (2) a limited franchise" (p. 90). A limited franchise does not limit who can vote but what is voted one. In other words, you are not supposed to vote to change God's law, the voting is done to choose judges or representatives that are best qualified to uphold God's law, and this is best done on the most local level possible. The "three whiches" put forth by these authors are describing none other than Common Law; laws that came from God (through Moses), and were passed down from generation to generation; the same just and holy principles of self-government that I have been describing throughout this post. By the way, if you want to read a mind-blowing book on the evils of democracy, read Hans-Hermann Hoppe's Democracy: The God That Failed.

Notice in verse 26 that Mosiah says that it is not common for the voice of the people to choose what is not right, but it is common for the minority to desire what is not right, so he admonished them to do their "business by the voice of the people." He did not mean democracy; he did not mean that the majority could oppress the minority by voting to destroy their rights or take their stuff. He meant that most people will try to choose what they believe is right. There are usually only a few bad apples who want to destroy freedom. A perfect example of this is the king-men in Alma chapter 51. Many of them, who presumed they were of "high birth," desired to alter the system and return to monarchy. But the voice of the people settled the manner and the people of liberty were victorious. 

The opposite of this happened in ancient Israel. God warned the Israelites that if they chose to have a king he would oppress them and abuse his power. They were not detoured. So God allowed them to enslave themselves. Samuel tried to tell them about all the things a king would do: tax them, give their substance to his buddies, enslave their children, take the fruits of their crops and their property, plunge them into needless wars, and grant special privileges to elites (1 Samuel 8). Then he told Samuel to give them what they asked for. They were really asking for a State. A government to take care of them so they would not have to govern themselves. Freedom is too risky and scary for some people; they need someone to tell them what to do. And this tendency begins with the temptation to look to a strong man in religion, like the children of Israel did with Moses. They refused to go up to Sinai to face God themselves, a fact lamented by Moses

After the Israelites opted for a king, things went downhill from there. We know Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians shortly after Lehi left for the promised land, and by the time Christ was born, it had been assimilated into the Roman Empire, and had lost all semblance of self-government. God truly does give people what they want, even if it is not what he wants. He is an accommodating God, but the natural consequences of those choices always play out. We are living through our own consequences of rejecting freedom right now. 

Another author I have brought up a few times on this blog is the late H. Verlan Andersen. His writings were a major influence in my early intellectual pursuits in the early 2000s. Although I have found a few points that I disagree with him on, his books are still a part of my library. I was searching through one the other day called The Book of Mormon and The Constitution, published by his son in 1995. It is a compilation of some of his writings that he never got the chance to publish during his life. I found something that blew my mind and goes right along with the topic of this current post. He made this fascinating observation about the Israelites before they opted for a king:

Inasmuch as the commandments, statutes and judgments of God were enforced by the Israelites as the laws of the land, and inasmuch as those who taught and enforced them were prophets, priests and other religious leaders, there appeared to be no necessity for a separate state organization. Indeed what functions would remain for a civil government to perform under such circumstances? The religious and political affairs were almost completely integrated and the people could see no need for forming a separate government organization which would only laden then with taxes.

Insofar as we can determine, the united church and state organization had little need to impose taxes. Apparently the people forged their own weapons of war, and when contributions were needed for the building of such things as the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle, the people stepped forward and made sufficient voluntary contributions. The tithes collected seem to provide all which was needed to carry out united activities. (Lev. 27:26-34)

The Levites who spent their time in serving in religious and judicial capacities, were supported by the tithes of the people. (Num. 18:21) Of course when the people chose to have a king as other nations, their monarchs did not hesitate to impose heavy taxes just as the Lord warned would be the case. (1 Samuel 8:8-10) (The Book of Mormon and The Constitution, pp. 55-56, Emphasis added)

The system of judges set up by Mosiah was the same law given to the Israelites: self-government according to Common Law. Mosiah did not tell them to set up a State. He told them to appoint judges, and if they weren't doing a good job at judging they were judged by other judges. Here is how Mosiah describes this system of checks and balances:

And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge. If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgements, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people. (Mosiah 29:28-29)

Has it ever occurred to you that jurors were never supposed to be under the direction of a judge? Judges get their power to judge from the jurors, and not the other way around. I pointed out in my last post that in admiralty courts this has been flipped around in that jurors have to await for jury instructions from a judge. Remember, he is the captain of the ship and has all power. In Common Law, the jurors are the judges, the lower judges described by Mosiah who are supposed to judge the higher judges, because he is acting on the consent of the lower judges. This is self-government; a government of peers, based upon God's laws. Do you remember in the Old Testament when Moses' father-in-law Jethro offered him advice to delegate some of his responsibilities? He introduced the same system that Mosiah did, a system of judges to adjudicate in Israelite disputes and matters according to God's law. The small matters were left up the people, the bigger matters were brought before Moses. I'm sure this offered a much needed reprieve for the exhausted prophet. You can read about it in Exodus 18

Do think it is a coincidence that Moses and Mosiah have the same first three letters in their names? Well I looked up what the word mos means in Latin and this is what I found. The "Latin word mos comes from Proto-Indo-European *m-et-," and it means precept, law, quality, nature mode, fashion, conduct, behavior, character, humor, self-will, caprice, manner, custom, way, usage, practice, and habit (Source). What do all these words have in common? Self-government. 

17th Century Colonialists Practiced Self-Government

Did you know that the first American constitution was written in 1639? Inspired by a sermon from Thomas Hooker, the Puritan preacher who dissented from Massachusetts and founded Connecticut, three small towns gathered in Hartford and adopted the first colonial constitution in history. This happened on January 14th, 1639. Here is what John Fiske, another author quoted by Verna Hall, said about it in his 1889 book, Beginnings of New England:
It is worthy to note that this document contains none of the conventional references to a "dread sovereign" or a "gracious king," nor the slightest allusion to the British or any other government outside of Connecticut itself, nor does it prescribe any condition of church-membership for the right of suffrage. It was the first written constitution known to history, that created a government, and it marked the beginnings of American democracy, of which Thomas Hooker deserves more than any other man to be called the father...

The most noteworthy features of the Connecticut republic was that it was a federation of independent towns, and that all attributes of sovereignty not expressly granted to the General Court remained, as of original intent, in the towns...

This little federal republic was allowed to develop peacefully and normally; its constitution was not violently wrenched out of shape like that of Massachusetts at the end of the seventeenth century. It silently grew till it became the strongest political structure on the continent, as was illustrated in the remarkable military energy and the unshaken financial credit of Connecticut during the Revolutionary War; and in the chief crises of the Federal Convention of 1787 Connecticut, with her compromise which secured equal state representation in one branch of the national government and popular representation in the other, played the controlling part. (The Christian History of the Constitution, p. 252)

Now are you getting an idea of what the Lord meant in Sections 98 and 101 when he uses the word constitutional with a lower-case c? He is talking about local government based upon Christian principles. John Winthrop, the Puritan lawyer from Massachusetts, said in a 1645 speech that "... liberty is incompatible and inconsistent with authority, and cannot endure the least restraint of the most just authority" (Ibid, p.262). Tell me, is it even possible for a national government to exact just authority?

Now I will concede that the Constitution with a capital C was based upon what the pilgrims said and did centuries before it was written. And the federalism of the independent states was similar to the federalism of these independent Connecticut towns. However, when a national government is being created the power at stake is too great a temptation for scheming men to let alone. Many of the "wise men" whom we assume the Lord is referring to in D&C 101:80 were scoundrels with plans to abuse authority from the very beginning, and purposely left the door open for the loss of freedoms that we have seen since the Civil War. How are we to know that the Lord was not referring to other "wise men" who came centuries before, who did not enjoy the pomp and prestige of many of the Founders who actually wrote the Constitution? How are we to know that he wasn't referring to the losers of the ratifying conventions who were overwhelmingly Antifederalist, who fought tooth and nail for a Bill of Rights to be included in the document, but still voted no in fear of what would become of the sovereignty of their states? 

I used to assume that the "Gentiles" spoken of in the Book of Mormon were people in other churches other than the LDS Church. I mean, after all, we were the Lord's church, how could we be guilty of all those things Nephi, Mormon and Moroni were accusing the Gentiles of doing? I was wrong. You cannot assume anything. The Lord always requires you to humble yourself to learn truths that are contained in scripture; usually that involves changing your traditional paradigms. Similarly, how many of us have assumed that the "wise men" the Lord referred to in Section 101 were Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Randolph, Morris, Franklin and other nationalists? I mean, they are the most famous of all the Founders, right? (Hamilton even got his own musical). How many people have even heard that Antifederalists like Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Samuel Chase, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and Willie Jones were too skeptical of a national government to even attend the convention? How many people have even heard of these men besides Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams (him mostly because of a brand of beer)? Henry, in regards to the convention, said he "smelt a rat." And Samuel Adams was considered by many to be the Father of the Revolution. Why? Because he declared independence from Britain in behalf of Massachusetts twelve years before Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence:

There were very few whose minds could comprehend the important distinctions which were then agitated, or whose reasoning could discern the approaching events of that controversy. Mr. Adams, buoyed up by a sense of the justice and righteousness of the colonists' demands, stood forth first in their defence [sic], and heroically won his title - THE FATHER OF THE REVOLUTION. In 1764, he was elected to prepare the instructions of the town of Boston to their representatives in the General Assembly. The document is now in existence, and contains the first public denial of the right of the British Parliament to tax the colonies..." ("American Eloquence", 1857, quoted in Ibid, p. XIV)

Perhaps we should reconsider who the founding "wise men" really were. Did you know that the nationalists used the term "Federalists" to disguise their true intent to create a powerful central government? Did you know that Hamilton wanted the president to be a monarch with absolute power and life-long tenure? Did you know that Hamilton wanted to subdue the states and make them bureaucratical agents of the federal government? Did you know that the nationalists outnumbered the Antifederalists in an overwhelming majority at the convention? Did you know that many of the nationalists were not Christians, but were self-declared theists? But some appealed to Christianity when it benefitted them. Many Antifederalists were Christians, including Samuel Adams. 

When Power defeats Liberty the winners always write and control the narrative of history. Many nationalists who supported a centralized government were merchants or their beneficiaries. Hamilton wanted to import the British system of mercantilism to America so the elites could profit. This is the age-old system of crony capitalism and corporate favoritism and welfare. Also known as fascism. Consider this quote from Rothbard from his Conceived in Liberty, Volume 5:

Nationalist strength tended to come not only from the wealthy and eminent per se, but also from the urban commercial interests, merchants, and artisans, the majority of commercial farmers, and leading urban-exporters. In short, nationalist strength came from men who supported centralizing tariffs and navigation laws, raising the value of their public securities, and an aggressive foreign policy, all at the expense of the taxpaying inland farmer. And surprisingly, in seven of the twelve states, no representation whatever at the convention was allowed to the inland farmers, which was a clear and enormous weighting of the convention in favor of the nationalist forces. (Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 5, pp. 140-41)

You've probably caught on by now if you've read more than a few of my blog posts that things are never what they seem. There is no cow too sacred to tip over in the dead of night; the U.S. Constitution is no exception. 

The Counter Revolution of 1789

There were really two American revolutions; one in 1776 and one in 1789. The one in 1776 redeemed the promised land by the shedding blood, while the one in 1789 began a slow process of transferring power back to the very merchants whose colonial hegemony was originally secured by British mercantilism. You see, the Revolution was not fought just over taxes; the modest excise taxes the colonialists were paying paled in comparison to the draconian income tax we pay today. They were protesting against Parliament's doling out of special favors and monopolistic privilege to private British corporations. They were fighting against crony capitalism. The Boston Tea Party was not about a miniscule tax on tea, it was a calculated statement directed against the East India Company's government-granted monopoly. The colonialists were simply not allowed to compete. The Navigation Acts were protectionist schemes designed to shield British industrial merchants from foreign competition. Only British ships were allowed to import goods to the colonies, and if colonial merchants wanted to ship goods to the Caribbean, they had to sail to England first to declare the goods and pay taxes and royalties on them. The American Revolution was fought for economic freedom against a merchant aristocracy supported by the British crown, not merely over taxation. In fact, before the 1770s, colonialists paid less tax then British citizens who lived on the mother land. 

Ironically, the U.S. Constitution undid much of what the colonialists were fighting for. As Rothbard points out, most of the nationalists were aristocrats who wanted to use the new government to benefit themselves and their business associates. Honestly, does that sound like something the Lord would condone? When has Jesus ever favored the wealthy and powerful over the underdogs? And the underdogs, the Antifederalists, lost bitterly. Many of the Antifederalist leaders were also from the wealthier aristocratic classes, and despite providing lip service to decentralization, some caved to the temptation of the benefits a centralized government with direct taxing power could provide. Hence, many of the lower classes of Antifederalists, the more common people, were powerless to sway no-votes at the ratifying conventions.

Another problem was that the Federalists found ways to block the writings of Antifederalists in the press. As Rothbard writes:
The press was overwhelmingly Federal; for one reason, the press was urban, and the urban force, from wealthy merchants to lowly artisans, was solidly nationalist. Furthermore, the remainder of the printers who were inclined to be Antifederalists or even to publish both sides of the coin were subjected to intense and ruthless economic pressure by subscribers and business advertisers. (Ibid, p. 216)

It seems as though the deck was stacked against the Antifederalists from the beginning. Indeed, even the libertarian Bill of Rights was used as a tool by the Federalists to sway the more moderate Antifederalists to vote for the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, authored by Madison, who Rothbard says "abhorred the concept of a bill of rights," was only half of what the more radical Antifederalists were asking for. They wanted more protection against federal power, like a two-thirds requirement to pass navigation laws so they could have more votes to prevent American merchants from parroting British ones. Rothbard points out that there were around 210 amendments proposed by the states throughout the ratification proceedings, most of which had to do with blocking federal taxing power, removing mercantilist protections for the elite, and guaranteeing personal liberties. But by conceding a bill of rights, the Federalists won out and got everything else they wanted: a large standing army, the power to create and build up a navy, a federal power to lay direct taxes, and loophole clauses that allowed them to create national banks and monopolistic privilege for favored businesses. The nationalist agenda was nothing but the British mercantilist system born anew. Here is Rothbard's summation of the Federalist power play:

The Federalists, by use of propaganda, chicanery, fraud, malapportionment of delegates, blackmail threats of secession, and even coercive laws, had managed to sustain enough delegates to defy the wishes of the majority of the American people and create a new Constitution...

These powers were sought eagerly as a method of handing out special privileges to commercial groups: navigation acts to subsidize shipping, tariffs to protect inefficient artisans stampeded by national depression from foreign manufactured goods, and a strong army and navy to pursue an aggressive foreign policy designed to force the opening of the West Indies ports, the Mississippi River, and the Northwest. And, to pay for all of these bounties, a central taxing power would be harnessed that could also assume and pay the public debt held by wealthy speculators. (Ibid, p. 306)

Perhaps many of you who are regular readers of my blog haven't been exposed to this part of American history. Well, don't feel bad, it's been hidden carefully. Like I said, the winners of wars and political campaigns get to re-write history in their own image, just like Brigham Young began doing the instant Joseph and Hyrum were killed. This is the nature of power, it seeks to hide its own sins. We have been taught to idolize many of the Founders who wanted nothing more than wealth, prestige, special privilege, and power. It is always the more common people who are the real heroes, the nameless and faceless patriots who fought bravely to redeem this land with their own blood, with their surviving progeny returning to their farms and humble lives, leaving the politicking to the ambitious and greedy. This is the never-ending story of Liberty verses Power; the story of the people verses the State. This is why the State needs to be abolished, it is nothing but a vehicle for corruption, a vehicle that never changes anything but the conniving politician in its drivers seat, who like the last one, continues to mow down the rights of his constituents. 

I'll let you decide for yourself, dear reader, what the Lord meant when he said he condoned the Constitution and the "wise men" who created it. Was he talking about the powerful and ambitious men and the document itself, or the principles of self-government it was supposed to be based upon? I could never answer that for you, because after all, everything I write on this blog represents my opinion, and like all other fallible creatures (except maybe Rusty Nelson and his merry band of profits, sellers, and revenue-makers), I could be wrong. 

Lysander Spooner's Master Logic

The title of this blog post was stolen from Lysander Spooner's essay entitled, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority. It is a real mind bender; once you read it you can never unread it. Just the title is a semantic masterpiece. It means that the Southern states committed no treason in seceding from the Union because there never was a Union in the first place. Spooner's logic is impeccable. Writing in 1870, he asserts that the Constitution could bind no one to anything because it was created by men who were long dead, who none currently living have contracted with. Not only that, but out of those living at the time of its ratification, "only a small portion even of the people... were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent in any formal matter" (p.9). 

How can anyone be expected to live under a contract that he or she never signed or voluntarily agreed to? John Locke's "social contract" theory is a dead argument. There is no such thing as a mystical entity called society, there are only individuals. Thus, it is illogical to assume that any of us owe any fealty to a fictional group, organization, or corporation. If we do "pledge allegiance" to such a figment, we are engaging in none other than idol worship, replacing the true God with an imposter that has no substance. Here is some more of Spooner's logic, which is prophetic when you consider what my last blog post was about:
It cannot be said that the Constitution formed "the people of the United States," for all time, into a corporation. It does not speak of "the people" as a corporation, but as individuals. A corporation does not describe itself as "we," nor as "people," nor as "ourselves." Nor does a corporation, in legal language, have any "posterity." It supposes itself to have, and speaks of itself as having, perpetual existence, as a single individuality.

Moreover, no body of men, existing at any one time, have power to create a perpetual corporation. A corporation can become practically perpetual only by the voluntary accession of new members, as the old ones die off. But for this voluntary accession of new members, the corporation necessarily dies with the death of those who originally composed it. (p. 11)

What is interesting about this statement is that one year later, in 1871, the United States corporation was formed. Spooner was living through the post-war ear of Reconstruction and the implementation of the 14th Amendment that really enslaved us all. Also, Spooner was a lawyer, so he was familiar with all the 19th Century legal speak I went over in my last post. He was also a bit of a spit-fire, he challenged the inefficiency of the U.S. Postmaster General and started his own mail delivery company. He abhorred monopoly in all its forms. Honestly, this guy is one of my personal heroes. Next he proves that voting with secret ballots could not bind any one to the Constitution:

As all the different votes are given secretly (by secret ballot), there is no legal means of knowing, from the vote themselves, who votes for, and who against, the Constitution. Therefore, voting affords no legal evidence that any particular individual supports the Constitution. And where there can be no legal evidence that any particular individual supports the Constitution, it cannot legally be said that anybody supports it. It is clearly impossible to have any legal proof of the intentions of large numbers of men, where there can be no legal proof of the intentions of any particular one of them. (p. 15)

Is your mind blown yet? Earlier I quoted Pearson and Bankhead's BOM study guide on the "three whiches" of Mosiah's republic. Remember that they said in a republic there is a limited franchise? Well, it does not limit who can vote but what can be voted on. Do you realize that most people did not get to vote for the Constitution? That is what Spooner is talking about. It was voted on by only elites who did so in secret. Is that something that God usually condones? Does he do things in secret? The Book of Mormon says that he does not! See Ether 8:19. The word secret appears over 75 times in the Book of Mormon, and most of them are in condemnation of it. Now with that in mind, read Spooner's next burst of reason where he takes this argument even closer to its logical conclusion: 

As all voting is secret (by secret ballot), and as all secret governments are necessarily only secret bands of robbers, tyrants, and murderers, the general fact that our government is practically carried on by means of such voting, only proves that there is among us a secret band of robbers, tyrants, and murderers, whose purpose is to rob, enslave, and, so far as necessary to accomplish their purposes, murder, the rest of the people. The simple fact of the existence of such a band does nothing towards proving that "the people of the United States," or any one of them, voluntarily supports the Constitution. (p. 16)

Don't you think it is interesting that Spooner uses almost the exact same language as the Book of Mormon in referring to the "secret band of robbers and murderers"?  "And it was this secret band of robbers who did carry on the work of destruction and wickedness..." It's uncanny isn't it? Almost as if the Spirit of God was working with Spooner... after all, he wrote this piece during a watershed moment in American history when the sovereignty of the individual was under direct attack. 

Now we come to the crux of Spooner's master argument, the reductio ad absurdum of granting a fictional entity the power to tax. Before you read Spooner's words, think back to the Book of Mormon and ask yourself if God ever condoned taxation among the Nephites. The word tax or taxes appears six times in the Book of Mormon, every one in condemnation of it. Would God support granting such a mischievous power to a nameless and faceless organization? You decide. Here is Spooner:

It is under... compulsion... that taxes are paid. And how much proof the payment of taxes affords, that the people consent to support "the government," it needs no further argument to show. 

Still another reason why the payment of taxes implies no consent, or pledge, to support the government, is that the taxpayer does not know, and has no means of knowing, who the particular individuals are who compose "the government," To him, "the government" is a myth, an abstraction, an incorporeality, with which he can make no contract, and to which he can give no consent, and make no pledge. He knows it only through its pretended agents. "The government" itself he never sees...

Not knowing who the particular individuals are, who call themselves "the government," the taxpayer does not know whom he pays taxes to. All he knows is that a man comes to him, representing himself to be the agent of "the government"--that is, the agent of a secret band of robbers and murderers, who have taken to themselves the title of "the government," and have determined to kill anybody who refuses to give them whatever money they demand. To save his life, he gives up his money to this agent. But as this agent does not make his principals individually known to the taxpayer, the latter, after he has given up his money, knows no more who are "the government"--that is, who were the robbers--than he did before. To say, therefore that by giving up his money to their agent, he entered into a voluntary contract with them, that he pledges himself to obey them, to support them, and to give them whatever money they should demand of him in the future, is simply ridiculous. (pp. 19-20)

Now, in light of everything we have talked about in this post, let's re-read what the Book of Mormon says that Gadianton robbers always do. Keep in mind that they could not do these things if there is not a State to seize control over:

...and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats--have usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men. 

Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover, to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills--(Helaman 7:4-5).

God's just and holy principles transcend all earthly documents, societal structures, and political organizations. The U.S. Constitution was the result of a battle between Liberty and Power, elements of both show up in the document, but the proponents of Power won out in the end. Of course God condones those parts of it that are based on his principles, but he could not remain a just and holy being if he condoned the parts that were designed intentionally to abuse power. The Gadianton tendency to use government for monetary gain and self-aggrandizement is universal and perpetual, the "wise men" who established the Constitution of this land are no exception. Remember what Joseph said, almost all men abuse power, and just because the scriptures call men "wise," does not mean they are righteous. Solomon is the perfect example. He was known for his great wisdom, but his private life was full of riotous living with his many wives and concubines. And he was a king like king Noah, who built extravagant palaces with his people's tax money. 

Someday, maybe sooner than later, God will destroy Mystery Babylon and all her strongholds. There will be no more governments, churches, or other earthly organizations, and all the world will be in civil war and violent chaos. If we want to establish a city of God, a city of refuge, even Zion, the New Jerusalem, we will have to learn to govern ourselves. We will have to be familiar with God's just and holy principles of self-government, and we will have to allow all to be free. There will be no State, no taxes, no licensing laws, no feudal rents (property taxes), and no coercion except in the case of punishing real crime. There will be no strong man, no president, no king, because Jesus Christ will be our King. He will reign personally on the earth in a kingdom of volunteerism, where all things will be held in common because the people willingly choose to share. There will be no army or navy, no weapons of mass destruction, perhaps no weapons at all, because Jesus Christ will fight our battles, the fear of Zion will be the fear of God. 

I'll leave you with these comforting words from Nephi, God wins in the end, despite all the destructions of our freedoms in this current political swamp controlled by globalists and deep staters, these words should give us great hope; God will fulfill his covenants to the House of Israel, and arm his servants with power and great glory:

And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations [New World Order] of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things--

And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out [See 3 Nephi 21] upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for his fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel. (1 Nephi 14:13-17


A Final Word on the Constitution

God is omniscient and has infinite foreknowledge. He knows all things from the beginning to the end.  He knew the minds and hearts off all those wise men involved in the founding of America. He knew who they were in the pre-existence. He knew the ones whose hearts were pure and the ones whose motives were to get power and gain. God did his best to pour his Spirit out onto those who were involved, and some listened and some did not, and the result was the Constitution, and despite its shortcomings, it still created one of the freest nations to ever exist on earth. Federalism is not evil in itself. But when the federal servant became the federal master, the entire experiment failed. This happened, and God knew it would happen, but he still did his best to make his people free. This is just what God does. He is a revolutionary. A revolutionary who uses persuasive means. 

The scriptures give us examples of three other failed freedom experiments: the Nephites, the Israelites, and Jaredites. The same pattern happened with these ancient societies. Freedom was established, but eventually and inevitably, power crept in and led to destruction. In the Nephite case it only took the Gadiantons sixty-two years to usurp power over the entire government. Just before Christ came to visit the Nephites, he destroyed the Gadiantons through natural disasters, but it didn't take long for new initiates to infiltrate and spread over the land, eventually culminating in the destruction of the entire Nephite civilization. Just as God is always doing his work to spread freedom, Satan is working hard to destroy it. When you look at the entire spectrum of history, the Constitution was but a means, not an end. It was the best God could do with what he had to work with, and it allowed Joseph Smith the religious freedom to do his great work of translation and restoration. But there is a better way. And like the people of Mosiah, we have to be willing to answer for our own sins in the day of judgment. We have to want to be free, and we have to learn how to be. 

The Constitution will not be saved by the elders of Israel, or by the LDS Church (that was obvious decades ago), or by freedom-loving patriots in this country. It is a failed experiment, a dead document, binding on no one, especially the politicians who swear falsely to uphold it. As Nephi said, God will one day arm his saints with power and great glory against the Great and Abominable church; he will lead his people out of bondage and into freedom like he always does. But he needs a people willing to take on that responsibility, a people willing to educate themselves in his laws and principles of self-government; a people willing to write them on their very hearts, and live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God

Books for Further Study

Conceived in Liberty, Volume 5: The New Republic: 1784-1791, by Murry N. Rothbard (Free PDF download)

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat (Free PDF download)

The Moral Basis of a Free Society, by H. Verlan Andersen

Let's Abolish Government, by Lysander Spooner (Free PDF download

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