Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Choose Your Kingmen Carefully!

The Book of Mormon is becoming so relevant in this era. How marvelously the prophetic historian Mormon has edited the 1000+ years of Nephite history to emphasize a few short years that offer uncanny parallels to our time. Even the whirlwind tour of much lengthier Jaredite history in the Book of Ether emphasizes episodes and trends that are relevant for our time - including the desire of the Jaredites to have kings (like the ancient Israelites). Mosiah learned much from the Jaredite experiment and wisely ended the rule of kings with a form of government offering more freedom, if the people could keep it.

Over the next 90 years, the Nephite nation faced constant threats from forces who wanted all-powerful chief executives and their cronies to be in charge. Amlici and Amalickiah sought to be kings and collaborated with the enemy in their quest for power. Kingmen rose up in the thousands to support further efforts to overthrow freedom and bring back kings. Murder, bribery, corruption of basic laws, and even secret tribunals rose up, coupled with secret combinations inside and outside Nephite society, all seeking to overthrow freedom and make the people servants (perhaps with the threat of the "grievous" 20% tax exacted by King Noah - about half what this nation takes from its people already). Politicians seeking power offered others money to gain support, both in Nephite and Jaredite society -- one of the most dreaded signs of a decaying government, when leaders gain support by offering the lucre of government-aided plunder.

America seems to want kings to lead it. The rise of solitary executive power, blind to the intended constraints of the Constitution, has been going on for many years. The current Executive has kingly powers on many fronts, and those vying for our votes tomorrow differ mainly in what ways they will further expand the throne. This is the day of Kingmen.

Liberty, if it is going to be preserved, will not depend on which of the two money parties gains power in the White House. Rather, it depends on America shunning the temptations and terrors of a kingdom and returning to personal values of integrity, honesty, and morality. Without that personal strength in its citizens, they will never have the wisdom to govern themselves or to find representatives who can protect their freedoms. Moral and spiritual weakness is the prelude to liberty lost. That's one of the great messages of the Book of Mormon, more vital than ever for our time.

Oh, and don't forget food storage.

Vote wisely tomorrow. The lines will probably be long, so you may only have time to vote once.

43 comments:

Dan said...

Huh, I get a different read from King Mosiah's experiment. I see it as a failed experiment.

For four hundred years, the Nephites were ruled quite peacefully by kings. What could make King Mosiah change his mind about this course?

1. His sons all refused the kingship. This wasn't a problem in the past. King Mosiah wasn't a direct relative of Nephi if I recall correctly. He could have passed it along to someone else.

2. King Noah. He ruled wickedly and it brought ruin to his city-state. That made Mosiah think it over.

3. But King Mosiah was most convinced by the account of Ether. For nearly 2000 years, the Jaredites were at each other's throats until only Corriantumr remained.

So Mosiah decided to switch things around, to a system never before tested by the Nephites. But not something uncommon to their heritage. After all, the Israelites were ruled by judges for about 1000 years in Jerusalem. Though, interestingly, even those times were marked by lots of unrest. Mosiah should have studied his history better.

Here's the problem. If Mosiah had let the kingship continue, whether to his sons or to someone else, would someone like Amalikiah have any possible claim on the throne? Nope. Because things were opened up, it gave legitimacy to people like Amalikiah to try and take that power now open to whoever wanted to be a judge.

And after 400 years of consistency, it took just 90 years to tear it all down.

I should add, the final nail in the coffin was the massive war at the end of the book of Alma. Most people don't seem to get this, but wars really have negative effect on a population, both the aggressors and the defenders. Take a look, for example, at the end of the Book of Alma at how many people move away from the Nephites. How many go up with Hagoth to the north? Thousands and thousands. My personal view? They got tired of the constant warfare with the Lamanites. There were no Lamanites to the north, and they left.

As far as the Kingmen are concerned, I'm sorry, but America doesn't look for a king. Maybe some do, but the fact that we're going to have about 130,000,000 Americans vote in a new president says differently.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that "America seems to want a king". America wants government back. Government of, by, and for the people. It's not a bad word.
For the past eight years we've had a man who would be king in office driving the final nails in the coffin of some outdated ideas: deregulation, reckless monetary policy, the marriage of church and state, and heartless selfishness in the guise of conservativism. My deepest hope is that the word "conservative" becomes a hiss and a byword as much as the word "liberal" has. Jesus was undeniably liberal.

Mark N. said...

From all the emphasis that gets placed every 4 years on the Presidential election, it sure feels like Americans want a king. The idea of Congress being a co-equal branch of government doesn't seem to cross too many peoples' minds. And the ide of requiring the President to obey the laws of the land seems to be a foreign concept these days as well.

GulKeder said...

130,000,000 Americans about to vote? Get real! We'll have that many votes in Florida and Ohio alone. Turnout tomorrow should be about 450% of the voting population, based on my projections.

Anonymous said...

People who don't think Americans don't want a king may be caught up in the word "king" so much that they can't see the real meaning. Concentration of power, first in the government, then in the executive branch.

When the people leave their inhibitions behind, the government always steps in to babysit "just long enough for the problems to go away." Which is to say, never.

Putting the blame on Republicans or making it clear that your *personal* views reject this notion is really just showing ignorance of the problem. The King-syndrome is identified by zooming out to look at large populations and their governments, and it is fixed by a return to personal morals and responsibility. Which is to say,

"Freedom requires religion."

(Oops...but that's a historically relevant quote, regardless of your views on political parties. ;-))

Anonymous said...

"Freedom requires religion."
Nonsense.

Confutus said...

With all due respect, Dan, you seem to have overlooked a few things.
1) I don't see that we actually know that the Nephites were ruled peacefully by kings for all that time. The only information we have is for that period is from the small plates, which omitted discussion of government.
2) Mosiah discussed what he feared would happen if he appoionted anyone other than Aaron, the legitimate heir, to succeed him. Mosiah 29:6-9.
3) It's easy to criticize the man on the spot, after nearly 2100 years, based on a translation of an abridgment of a record of an extinct culture. Whether it's fair to do so is less obvious.
4) Rule of the judges lasted for some 122 years total (92 years until the sign of the birth of Christ, 30 thereafter) when it finally ended with the murder of Lachoneus II, after which the Nephite nation broke up into tribes. That's actually a quite respectable record, by historical standards. There are some that have done better, but many more that haven't survived half that long.

Dan said...

confutus,

Actually,

1. Look at the books of Jarom and Omni. There was never a break from the rule of a king under the Nephites.

2. Yes, Mosiah discussed what he feared. But that was only one possibility. Not necessarily the inevitable possibility.

3. Well obviously we have the benefit of hindsight, and not just Monday quarterbacking, but 6000 years of research into what type of government works best. Obviously Mosiah would not have been able to foresee the inherent problems of a judicial rule.

4. Is 120 years really that impressive? Think about it. The Nephites were essentially destroyed after 400 years of relative peace and security. Switched to a judicial rule and within a short period of time (25% of its own existence to that point) and it was toast.

What other example is there where a society lost in less time upon switching to judicial rule? The Israelites made it for 1000 years. Who else was run under a comparably similar system?

RWW said...

The fact is that involuntary government -- any form of it from monarchy to democracy -- is an evil. Sometimes necessary, often not, but always an evil.

gb said...

Omni 1:3 And it came to pass that *two hundred and seventy and six years had passed away, and we had many seasons of peace; and WE HAD MANY SEASONS OF SERIOUS WAR AND BLOODSHED.

I think that says it all!!

Having a king didn't insure peace.

Dan said...

gb,

Nor did I say having a king ensured peace. I know I said in my first comment "were ruled quite peacefully by kings." I made a mistake in using the word peacefully. What I meant to say was that they were ruled consistently under a king. They did not have to endure the troubles the Jaredites had.

Mark N. said...

If you believe Nibley's take on the Jaredites, their "system" of kings was as much a product of their culture as anything.

Anonymous said...

The OP in my opinion is a gross misrepresentation of what "kingmen" are and were as applied to our government. The "kingmen" wanted power for the sole purpose of being able to hide their lies, murder, and stealing- they were truly excersizing secret combinations- they were gadiantons in every respect!

To say that our governing parties are seeking these same murderous combinations to obtain wealth and power- to oppress the poor, needy and righteous is completely baseless!

Get your facts straight!!!

We have more liberties and freedoms than anyone else in the world- if you don't like it go live in Mexico where the problems you propose really do exist and stop being antagonistic towards freedom!

Sorry to be so blunt but i know that people like you have a lot of sway with others in spreading this gross disease amongst the land.

Anonymous said...

Mexico? Nehh...go to Canada. The people there are way less corrupt and totally not a third world country...

Bookslinger said...

Hey, you Anonymouses!

Pick a handle and stay with it, Puh-LEEZE!

Anonymous said...

thank you, mormanity "man"--

well said--

realizing that the "governing parties" are corrupted is an experience that requires a sometimes painful epiphany--

sort of like a "conversion", of sorts; you either get it or you don't. If you get it, you find meaning in the Book of Mormon you didn't before.

If you don't get it, you become defensive of your party and talk about "America, love it or leave it"--

*sigh*

the point about endless wars and people leaving--

so, now, where do WE go?

I sent friends to Viet Nam--and relatives . . . and now I sit and watch fearfully over my son going . . . to Iraq; I had a nephew in Bosnia . . . it feels endless enough to me--

the two parties are just throwing a football game to keep us distracted; both presidential candidates are "cronies"; they like each other in private--

no contest; it's all just about WHEN and HOW they will sell us to the slavers, not if--

:(

sorry to be anonymous; I can't get a google identity to stick; I keep losing them--

Anonymous said...

Some comments:

20% tax for a sustenance agrarian society is grievous. 40% tax on a people that is currently experiencing an obesity epidemic is not grievous.

The constitution is inspired. No where has it ever been said that the constitution is perfect.

There are many in the government that are corrupt. This is why I vote for the party that is not in power. I think having a balance of power (even if it is between only two parties) is a good thing.

If you don't like how the politics are happening, get involved. Join the local political party and start making your voice heard.

We have not even come close to a Weimar Republic. I love this country, I love the opportunities that it provides. I have become politically involved in my own small way with the resources that I have.

My name is Steve but if this blog does not wish to hear from anonymous people then make it a members only blog.

Mike said...

"Moral and spiritual weakness is the prelude to liberty lost. That's one of the great messages of the Book of Mormon, more vital than ever for our time."

I couldn't agree more. The answer to our woes is not a new politician or government program, but rather the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

RWW said...

40% tax on a people that is currently experiencing an obesity epidemic is not grievous.

I could see how you might think that way, if you judge by some standard other than principle.

If you don't like how the politics are happening, get involved. Join the local political party and start making your voice heard.

If it were a simple matter of having my voice heard, why bother with politics? The fact is that politics is a fight for control over the life and rights of others. I have no desire to join you at the cannibal pot.

Mormanity said...

So to the "Leave the Country if You Don't Like Our Politicians" Anonymous, just exactly how does one recognize an aspiring Kingman or Gadianton? Are they required to make a public disclosure of their past and planned abominations so that we can recognize how dangerous they are? Or do they put on a good show as they manage to acquire loads of power, while keeping the nitty gritty of their combinations rather secret? What is your Kingman test?

Anonymous said...

The king-men in the Book of Mormon had a certain trait we cannot deny. It is easy to discern. There was a division of the people into two groups- the king-men and the freemen. The freemen wanted and covenanted to maintain their rights of freedom by a free government. It was obvious that it most certainly had to do with basic issues concerning the freedom of religios worship.-
6 And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain chief judge over the land took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them, for the freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their rights and the privileges of their religion by a free government.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 51:6)

The king-men did not want a free government- they wanted to establish power over the people- a government not ran by the people. The cause of the freemen extends for several years even to the point a few years later when Moroni needs more military backup and writes to Pahoran and does not get it. Moroni is obviously mispleased and warns Pahoran. But Moroni does not understand that the rebellion started by the king-men has turned gadianton style and the government is being taken over and Pahoran forced to leave with other freemen. The kingmen then administer a king in thir midst and the new king forms allinaces with the Lamanites to eradicate the freemen from their society.

It is the classic all to returning case or cycle of captivity and freedom in the Book of Mormon.

So, when you start equating our great country composed almost entirely of freemen to kingmen I get a little dirty taste in my throat over this and want to spit it out! There are major differences with our government that flourishes in freedom and the ideals and practice of the "king-men"- those even willing to unite with the sworn enemy to eradicate freedom.

The conspiracy theory in mormonism that our government is a secret combination is a complete and gross sham! Posts like this that perpetuate the hatred of our country and its freely elected leaders make me sick! I go to church on sunday and all I hear anymore is how our constitution is getting trampled and we are slowly but surely being stripped of our freedoms.

Its all complete nonsense! Fairytales I say! Show me in our society where there is a division of freemen and king-men who are disputing freedom to the point of wanting to do away with electing presidents and instill instead kings or dictators?

The fanciful imaginations of American mormons (us) is at an all time high! I have neighbors already planning there escape into the "tent cities" hidden in the mountains for when the UN takes over the USA.

Your title should read "Choose Your Freemen Carefully". Your conotation of Presidents being king-men leading to our entire destruction is baseless.

Confutus said...

Dan, you've already admitted a mistake in using the word "peaceful" rather than "consistent" to describe the Nephite 400 year rule of kings, because as, it wasn't.
How do you know there weren't defections and unsuccessful dynastic struggles as well?
But even if the Nephites had enjoyed an internally peaceful stable rule under the Nephis, the conditions after Mosiah I were entirely different. He led a number of refugees out of the land of Lehi-Nephi and abandoned it to the Lamanites. The people of Zerahemla accepted him as king, but he and his fellow Nephites remained a foreign minority to them, and the people of Zerahemla had certainly not emjoyed peace among themselves. Bejamin, son of Mosiah I, had to put down numerous dissenions before his reign was secure. The covenant he established was sufficient that his son Mosiah II didn't have to do so until the next generation came to maturity.
But after that, I see no reason to believe that power-hungry men like Amlici, Zerahmenah the Zoramite, Amalekiah, Pachus, and Coriantumr the descendent of Zerahemla wouldn't have sought to overthrow the rightfully descended king every bit as readily as they sought to overthow the rightfully elected chief judge.
Succession crises following the rule of a particularly able ruler or two are scarcely uncommon in the history of monarchy. Avoiding both an incompetent successor and a civil war among rival claiments to the throne is an achievemnt very few can boast. To create a different system of government that outlasts average royal dynasty as long as the nephite reign of judges did is a success almost without equal, and hardly
deserves to be called a failed experiment.
By comparison with modern governments, a goverment would have to date back from the present to 1886 to match the lifespan of the reign of the judges. There are a few that can match or exceed that, but not many.

tatabug said...

"Leave the Country if You Don't Like Our Politicians" Anonymous,

It seems to me that some of the issues in this election surround issues that have the potential to impact religion and the free exercise of it. At least our prophets, seers, and revelators see it that way. But then, hey, what do they know?

You seem to be under the impression that we don't have some "kingmen" in our government because they aren't telling us that they are out to take away religious freedom. But do you seriously think that the kingmen went around openly telling people that they were out to take away religious freedom? No, they used "great flattery" to lead "away the hearts of the people" (Alma 61:4). They didn't issue warnings that they were out for power and gain and the suppression religious freedom. Who would've gone for that? Not many, I would expect. If our politicians were really open about their intentions, assuming the likely possibility that some or many are in it for the wrong reasons, who would go for it? Just because we can read the Book of Mormon and see clearly the intentions of those kingmen, doesn't mean that all the people at the time could see what they were really up to. We have the luxury of seeing things from the perspective of Pahoran and others. Do you think everyone believed the freemen when they likely warned the people what the kingmen were really trying to do? No. They probably called them conspiracy theorists too.

I agree that you are getting caught up with the word "king" and not seeing king as representative of more than a monarchy, but as a symbol of power, not necessarily by one person or family. It is entirely possible to have complete governmental control over the people without having a king, per se. But who's to say that it isn't possible once government gets tight enough control, and our constitution ammended sufficiently, that we couldn't someday have a king imposed on us too? However, if we adopt socialism, we'd be just as well off to have a king.

If you don't see our freedoms slowly eroding, then I'm not sure what you consider freedom to be.

Lars said...

Steve and other Anonymouses: when you post a comment, before you hit the "Publish Your Comment" button, look at the "Choose an identity" options: "Google/Blogger," "OpenID," "Name/URL," and "Anonymous." Choose "Name/URL" and you will be able to enter in your own tag to identify yourself without having to create a login identity. I don't think it's so much a problem of anonymous comments not being welcome, as it is a problem of keeping all the anonymous comments straight. See all the previous posts that say things like "in response to the anonymous poster at November 4th, 4:30pm..." It gets very confusing sometimes.

In regards to the article, I would tend to agree that America does want a king, even if we wouldn't call him/her as such. Politicians have tended to make grandiose campaign promises for generations. You'd have to be a de facto king in order to make good on such promises. How many have campaigned with a platform of "I want to be president not to enact some glorious legislation, which is the job of the legislative branch, but simply to perform my Constitutional duty to execute those laws and to act as a check and balance"?

Anonymous said...

leave the country anon--

you do seem angry when others tell you that THEY believe there are conspirators in positions of high power in our nation (world)--some of us call it a "shadow" government, and we see Gadianton written all over it--

not all of us who see that are even willing to talk about it in church--heaven help us--

and not all of us believe that we will be in tent cities--

some of us resisted this knowledge for years, because it was too painful to imagine--

but you sound too angry to be logical about it.

Perhaps, if you can calm down a bit, you can explain WHY you believe that our belief in conspiring men in high positions is a sham--

calmly--rationally . . . and no spitting, please; Emma would not like it--

:)

suzyq said...

i chose a name/url

Anonymous said...

The Book of Mormon warned of our day. The message in it is meant for us in our day. But present day America is not the only designation. It covers specifically all of Central and south America also. The problems with government in Latin America are those that are mirrored in the Book of Mormon, not present day USA for the most part.

People keep talking of conspiracies within our government and I keep patiently waiting to see the fruitation of these experiments or conspiracies and I do not see the connections. I am still waiting on the conspiracy theorists to explain why our country is now experiencing the greatest religious freedom that we have ever encountered- and this all in the midst of a great war on terror!

So I keep asking- where specifically is the mirrored actions of our government of times of old (king-men, gadiantons, etc). Is there parts of our society that I am not aware of where the government is completly controlled by wicked men who are killing righteous judges? Are there evil men in office who are trying to change the laws protecting religion?

I am just not seeing it,

Regards, Rob Osborn (formerly the Anonymous)

lorenhops said...

wohoo! Obama won, hopefully this'll mean the governments getting better, not worse.

tatabug said...

Rob,

Thank you for taking a name.

Certainly the message of the Book of Mormon is for all. But it is indeed meant for the U.S. as well. It is intended to show us how to avoid becoming subject to kingmen. Hiding our heads in the sand is not how to avoid it, but watching for the corruption and the slow erosion of our freedom is. Having the attitude of, "All is well in Zion; yeah Zion prospereth, all is well" (2 Nephi 28:21)is not how we remain vigilant.

Maybe there isn't some orchestrated conspiracy, but there is a concerted effort from some, including our newly elected president, to move us in a more socialist direction which is a huge step in the direction of communism.

Should we withdraw from society and live in tent cities? I certainly wouldn't advocate that, and I am very cautious about buying in to conspiracy theories just because they sound believable. I just think that we should be watchful and I think we have good reason for concern. The move towards socialism began many years ago, and it has taken a slow road, but I think that because it is being imposed upon us so slowly and is cloaked with flattering words, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security.

I am not saying that we don't enjoy many freedoms. I am only saying that if you think there aren't people looking to take away, or at the very least curtail those freedoms, however well intentioned they may be, you are kidding yourself.

If you look at some of the things being talked about, you hear the fairness doctrine, which is a somewhat veiled attempt at stifling free speech. It seems rather obvious to many that that is what it is, but some seem to think it is just a matter of fairness, rather than a free speech issue. After all, internet porn is regulated, right? Why shouldn't talk radio be as well? Isn't that what Chuckie Schumer said?

Then you have the gay marriage issue. I recommend you take a look at this statement by the church in order to get a better idea of how such a law would affect our religious freedoms as well as other freedoms. Luckily Prop 8 passed by a wide margin in California, but if you think that the issue is dead, think again. It won't go away anytime soon.

In January of this year, Obama said to a newspaper editorial board that his goal is to bankrupt the coal industry through environmental penalties imposed upon carbon emissions. Is that your idea of freedom? Essentially forcing a huge element of our economy into bankruptcy and forcing higher prices on electric rates? If that's freedom, I want no part of it.

In addition, there are many who would like to redistribute the wealth in order to give to the underpriviledged of society. It is a noble goal to care for the poor and needy, and it is certainly a commandment for us to do so. Even our own Law of Consecration resembles this sort of socialism. However, there is a huge difference. With the Law of Consecration, all have a choice. No one is forced to live it. That would be contrary to free agency. With Socialism, there is no choice. All are required to live this law.

Certainly, there are people in our government who would like to take our freedom away in the name of fairness, justice, and equality. Those are all wonderful ideals, but the forcible implementation of those ideals will be disastrous for our nation. There is no doubt that our nation is headed for perilous times. The prophecies are pretty clear on that. It is up to recognize the dangers and work to retain as much of our freedom as we can.

Anonymous said...

tatbug,

So you have proposed some social ideals infiltrating the government. We can all agree on that. But that is not the message of the book of Mormon. Many socialist ideals in this country make this country indeed great and what it has become today as a prosperous and sound democracy. I will give you a for instance-

Roads, before they became governemt owned and operated as a public utility, were very few and far apart inbetween. Henry Ford I believe started a program to build roads all over the country- highways so to speak. The problem though was the astronimical cost of building these highways for his automobiles to drive on. So, the government seeing it a good investment took over the entirety of the project. Roads suddenly took on the role of a public access but government owned utility. Under the strictest of terms, the road and bridge dept. for both cities and interstate use, became a bureauocracy of socialist proportions.

Call it what you like but these types of programs usually do take on socialist properties in order to succeed. The welfare system in government is socialist. The army and defense system is socialist.

We can apply many of these principles to BoM times when thety were free and not being the cause of their downfall- the king-men and gadiantons coming into power.

So, if you can show where the socialistic programs of the BoM led to their corruption and downfall I am all ears. We actually have more freedoms and enjoy greater ethnic quality now than we did 50-100 years ago. So, if you can show how these secret combinations are actually (not theoretically) there and exist please share, I am all ears.

Regards, Rob Osborn.

Anonymous said...

Roads are not a good example of a socialist program because they are not funded by income tax but rather gas tax (meaning those who use the roads pay for it).

Welfare programs are absolutely socialist, and I don't know if you are trying to persuade, but I do not agree with government welfare. At least 70% of the money that goes towards those programs goes to bureaucratic waste, as is the case with most government projects.

Stealing from one person, no matter how noble a cause you justify it with, is wrong. Income tax, is a form of stealing/redistribution of wealth or whatever other label you want to call it, and is evil. See Marion G. Romney's talk "Is Socialism the United Order?" (http://www.ldsinfobase.net/liberty/MGR_66apr.html).

As members of the church we know that the Constitution is an inspired document. We know that it will one day "hang by a thread". Socialism in all its forms cannot happen without the violation of the Constitution and the stripping of civil liberties guaranteed therein.

The king men in the BoM may have advocated the immediate removal of civil liberties, but today it is happening much slower, as a flaxen cord. One only needs to look at the patriot act for a good example of this.

Are we more free? I think not. We certainly are more blessed in many respects, but our freedoms have been eroded away by a trickling stream.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I'm going to take a different approach to this subject. It was said earlier that the constitution was inspired, but that it is an imperfect document. Both are likely true. We do have a good form of government, and we do have more freedoms in the US than anywhere else in the world. So much freedom in fact, that we've become complacent, and no longer fully comprehend what it is that we have as a society.

We have allowed our government to begin stripping away our freedoms over the years, simply because we are becoming less involved. This election on Tuesday was a historic event in that we had one of the largest voter turnouts since the 60's. This is good, but why isn't it a 100% turnout?

There's been a great deal of discussion on this posting about corruption in government and eroding of the values that our founding fathers put into the constitution. If you want to blame anyone, you have only to look in the mirror...not anyone personally here, but figuratively. We have a government by and for the people, but we've allowed corrupt people to remain in office because of party politics, and utter stupidity in listening to negative ads versus demanding better people in office. The fault for the erosion of our constitution lies with everyone who votes for one party or another just because of party loyalty, instead of using their brain and voting for people good for the country. Its all of our fault that bad people are in office, and good people won't run.

I voted for Obama because I believe he's good for our country. Some will disagree with my choice, and my opinion, but I'm not making a plug for Obama here. The point I'm trying to make is that in considering who to vote for, I investigated, listened, read all I could about each of the candidates, prayed, and then made the choice I thought would benefit our country the most. If everyone of us would educate ourselves and discard party loyalty and do that we'd actually take back our government and have better people in office. I'm likely preaching to the choir here in terms of praying about who to vote for, but I think you understand the point I'm making.

Sincerely

Catholic Defender.

suzyq said...

you want "proof"--

I am NOT a polygamist; I hated the fact that some of my ancestors live it; the idea of it makes me shudder--

all right?

But, the great state of Texas collected children from the FLDS compound last April, and there was much division among LDS (the mainstream ones, of which I consider myself to be a part) about whether it was "right" or "wrong" to take these children from their homes. They weren't THEIR kind of homes, some said, so they weren't homes; they weren't safe homes. After all, FLDS are a "cult", and cults, we ALL know, are dangerous and need to be rooted out. So, what if other religious groups think that LDS are part of a cult; there are some who feel that way. Where do you stop that sort of threat to religious freedom? It was a scary time for a lot of people in the southwest U.S. who have connections to polygamists, and the heart of this person who shudders at the thought of plural marriage . . . felt hurt for them.

Freedom?

Ask someone who has had their children removed from their home by CPS for a false accusation; ask them about freedom. There are more than you know, and the mainstream media does not focus on it. MOST Americans think, "oh, that only happens if there is something wrong; there can't be smoke without a fire." WRONG!!!

These people have a tremendous amount of power--CPS and their sister groups, and they work quietly.

The first intrusion against families for religious reasons came in April, and it was just a foot in the door, but, though the FLDS got their children, sort of, back after spending a lot of money and a lot of time and heartache--

that door has been opened.

NObody can "prove" conspiracies; I don't know why people are so sensitive about saying, "oh, I don't buy them even if they are easy to believe"--

hey, why not?

They have existed forever; why not now?

I think that if ANY person has invested his or her well-being in the greatness and goodness of his nation (or church or social group or family), THAT well-being WILL be challenged--

what about the bail-out? Didn't you understand? The federal reserve just "took over" and decided what to do and completely ignored the American public--

how was that "freedom"? They didn't even listen to us; neither McCain or Obama listened--

they ran to Washington and sold us out, and we think we are free?

If you ask the FLDS about religious freedom, they might disagree with you, but if YOU think the CPS was right to do what they did, then you must not value that freedom as much as you think you do.

YOU could be next. "Regular" LDS could be next.

I appreciate seeing Catholic Defender on here; the public schools were begun mostly as an answer to the highly successful Catholic parochial education that anti-Irish feared would take over ?America in the late 1800s--

making homeschooling illegal; I can remember when innocent parents were killed by federal officials for trying to teach their own, and they weren't even polygamists. There was a case in North Dakota and one in Nebraska in the 1970s--

most of these things aren't in the mainstream media, but if you meet someone who has been there . . . you find it hard to disbelieve--

I have, and I am saying no more--

Anonymous said...

sorry about the typos; hope it's readable--

--blush--

suzyq majored in English

tatabug said...

Rob,

I don't believe that socialism necessarily leads to evil. In all actuality, it is evil that leads to socialism, and then in turn, socialism breeds more evil and corruption.

We can apply many of these principles to BoM times when thety were free and not being the cause of their downfall- the king-men and gadiantons coming into power.

Yes, but can you show me exactly how these principles were applied? Were they government controlled and mandated or did these principles exist on the basis of capitalism or the law of consecration? Were their taxes grievous when they were free, or did their taxes only become grievous when they were ruled by unrighteous kings? They considered one fifth to be grievous. Are many of us not paying much more than that?

The fact is that the more socialist a country becomes, the more control government has over its citizenry. We have gained more freedom in some areas, but with every socialist program we adopt, we lose a little more of our freedom. Certainly Social Security is an example of that. Instead of investing our own money in ways that might be more productive than Social Security, we are forced to put our money into a very flawed program which has been used irresponsibly by governement and will not be able to support those who are now investing in it without taking it from someone else.

Socialism is grievous for all. It stifles freedom, it stifles industry, production, and invention, it does not promote charity, but rather selfishness. It does not reward work and productivity. Wherever it has been tried, it has failed. The ideals of socialism may be admirable, but the way to acheive those ideals is ill-conceived. Most importantly, it contradicts the prescribed form of the government of this country set forth by God in the D&C.

suzyq,

I'm not saying I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but I'm not a member of the black helicopter crowd, and I'm not sure I belive that the Council on Foreign Relations is the modern-day Illuminati. Not saying that these things don't possibly have some legitimacy to them, but I prefer to examine government action on its merits rather than make accusations that I can't substantially back up. I don't close my eyes to the possibilities, but I also don't want to make unfounded accusations. I have to be able to put some of my trust in the hands of the people I vote for rather than believing that they are all corrupt and conspiring to destroy our country. Otherwise, I might have to go live in a tent city. I prefer to wait for word from the brethren.

Anonymous said...

Hi SuzyQ,

What state do you live in where homeschooling is illegal? I'm not aware of any place in the country that it is illegal to homeschool your kids. I am aware of regulations being placed on homeschooling in some states, and I'm aware of some states where the public school teachers unions are so powerful, that there are attempts to outlaw homeschooling. But I've not heard of any successful attempts yet, so please enlighten.

I do think you are right about the bailout. And there is likely some truth to the conspiracy theories. In 20 years we may all find that Mr. Bush had prior knowledge that the 9/11 attacks were going to happen, and that he sat back and let them occur so that he'd have a catalyst to start a war. The conspiracies are all very possible but not likely provable. So what do we do about it.

What we do about it is take a chance on voting out the morons, and voting in good people. The problem is that the new campaigning laws are slanted in such a way that good people are discouraged from running. The mentallity is that one must have vast sums of wealth to run for office. Look at the media attention during the last six months. It wasn't about which candidate was better qualified, it was about which candidate raised more money. You want to fix the system, destroy the need for money in the world, and we'll likely be better off. But, we as a society, and as a nation are much of the problem here. We let the government make the rules, when in fact we have the power to make the rules ourselves. We've just abdicated our responsibilities for so long that we no longer know how to take back the control. Its simple, vote out the morons.

Catholic Defender

Aaron said...

I can understand the "king" comparison. It seems there are a lot of kingmen or government loving people in the country that would like our government in more control of our lives. Health Care has been a big discussion in America's politics lately. The thought of government being in charge of my Health Care makes me extremely nervous. This would be a handing over of my personal HealthCare coices to the government.

This country has more and more people that think government is the answer to everything. Bailing out our banks, bailing out insurance companies, Health Care, expected monthly welfare checks,... it seems just about everybody has their hand out to the government. Let's put the government in charge, and things will get better. I hope to teach my children much more self reliance. If you need something then figure out a way to get it. Don't rely on your Government to supply you with it.

Lars said...

I agree that it's our responsibility to make sure we don't support unrighteous rulers. However I'm not convinced that "voting out the morons" is quite as simple as that.

This election has been dominated by that very feeling-- whether or not you like Pres. Bush and/or Republicans, there's no denying that both major candidates campaigned on "change," and that Democrats by and large benefited from this feeling. And yet, wasn't it just recently that the Republicans benefited from "voting out the morons"? It's just a seesaw between the two money parties. You need money in order to get your ideas out there (which minor parties cannot get), and there's also a perception that you're a fringe candidate if you don't have an R or a D after your name. Obama and McCain combined for 98.7% of the popular vote (according to Wikipedia). Doesn't sound like much change to me, it's more of the seesaw tipping the other way.

Many other countries have to put together coalition governments out of many competing parties with a vast range of ideas to debate on. Why don't we? I wish I were smart enough to figure out how to propose a good solution to this problem.

Anonymous said...

The big problem is that we have a large government, but not an efficient government. The feds are involved in too many things that the feds were never intended to be involved in.

Goldarn said...

The tax argument (we pay so much more than Noah's people! OMG!) is, and has always been, lame.

Noah took taxes to build himself statues, monuments, palaces, whatever. He didn't build roads, schools, fire departments, massive war machines, insert-your-favorite-expenditure-here.

There is no comparison between the tax rates, except the extremely simplistic one. I find it difficult that people who want to look intelligent would use such an argument.

Ryan said...

CD:

We may not always agree, but your comments about looking in the mirror are right on. Unfortunately, we have one other tidbit of wisdom from the Book of Mormon, though, which makes fixing the problem easier said than done:

21 And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.
22 For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God;
23 And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them


goldarn:

There is one thing to be said for Noah's tax code: it was nice and simple.

Seriously, though, I think if we actually knew (rather than merely suspected) where our tax dollars were being spent, the situation wouldn't seem so different from Noah's boondoggles... $200 toilet seats, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Toward the comment near the top, I would say that Jesus was NOT a liberal by modern definition. He didn't go around taking people's money to give to the poor. He went around encouraging people to give to the poor. Conservatives give more to charity than do liberals, according to the quote below, so in that aspect, conservatives seem to understand what Jesus was teaching.

Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks argues in Who Really Cares (Basic Books, 2006) that when it comes to charitable giving and volunteering, numerous quantitative measures debunk the myth of "bleeding heart liberals" and "heartless conservatives." Conservatives donate 30 percent more money than liberals (even when controlled for income), give more blood and log more volunteer hours. In general, religious people are more than three times more generous than secularists to all charities, 14 percent more munificent to nonreligious charities and 57 percent more likely than a secularist to help a homeless person. In terms of societal health, charitable givers are 43 percent more likely to say they are "very happy" than nongivers and 25 percent more likely than nongivers to say their health is excellent or very good.

J said...

While I appreciate Jeff Lindsay's column, I believe he draws the wrong conclusions about the Kingmen.

Brother Lindsay makes two broad arguments about the Nephite and American desire for a King. He points that some people wish to abandon personal responsibility of their own lives and hand it over to the government while others want a King for their own desires for power and freedom to sin.

I think the lesson and warning is about the evils of the "tyranny of the minority" over the majority.

In fact, Mosiah's warns his people about the "tyranny of the minority" and how the unrighteous minority will always want to do that which is not right. (see Mosiah 29:6)

Note the following facts about the Kingmen that supports Mosiah's teachings:

1) The kingmen were a minority group consisting mostly of "upper class" Nephites (see Alma 51:8) who had little respect for the (a) law and (b) the "voice of the people."

When there was a vote about changing the government from a Judgeship to a Kingship, (from what I understand, it was called "Propositon K") the Kingmen lost the vote and were forever bitter about it afterwards which led to the destruction of society before Christ's coming.

2) They were so bitter in losing at the ballot that they had no loyalty to the Nephite government and in their hearts, were supportive of the Lamanites. (see Alma 51:13, 59:13, Alma 61:8, Alma 63:14)

3) The Kingmen were so wroth with losing the vote on "Proposition K" that they were willing to engage in domestic strife/civil war even while the Nephite Government was in the midst of war abroad against the Lamanites.

Its worth stopping here to note that in Moroni's letter to Pahoran in Alma Chapter 60, Moroni points out that had the Kingmen not engaged in domestic strife and supported their government, the war against the Lamanites would have been much shorter (See Alma 60:16)

4) When we enter into the few chapters of Helaman, we find that, although they are not named specifically, it is the Kingmen who cause strife during the three way election campaign of Pahoran's sons.

5) I think the Book of Mormon makes the subtle suggestion that the Kingmen, (forever bitter for not being able to establish a Kinship) and their constant dissension are what gave rise to the Gadiation Robbers.

I think Book of Mormon wants you to have that sneaking suspicion that Kishkumen was a supporter of the Kingmen before establishing the group later known as the Gadiaton Robbers.

After reviewing these facts, I think the lesson we are draw from this is that the righteous majority cannot (1) allow the "tyranny of the minority" to grow unchecked and become the majority (Helaman 5:2)and (2) allow the unrighteous minority from incurring God's wrath (see Alma 10: 18, 22-23) and causing the downfall/destruction of society.