(In the interest of full disclosure, for today’s topic I have drawn heavily from the scriptures, H. Verlan Anderson’s book “Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen” and President Benson’s talk, “The Constitution—A Heavenly Banner.”)
In Doctrine and Covenants 104: 17 it reads “For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea I prepared all things, and have given unto children of men to be agents unto themselves.”
There is so much in this one verse that is relevant to many of the policies and laws that we are seeing today. And as they relate to the Constitution I felt that it was important to discuss.
The elements of freedom which we must possess in order to accomplish our purposes are 1) life, 2) liberty, 3) property and 4) knowledge.
Wealth, or organized raw materials, is an essential ingredient of freedom: First, because our very survival depends upon access to such things as food, clothing, and shelter; secondly, because the right and control of property permits us to increase our physical and mental powers almost without limit. By utilizing tools, machinery, equipment, and harnessing electrical, nuclear, and other forms of energy, our ability to achieve our purposes is raised to the ‘nth’ power.
If you deny a person access to the necessities of life, of course he will die. If you deny him these necessities unless he does what you say, you can make him your slave because most of us will obey nearly any command to remain alive. As Alexander Hamilton has said: “A power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power of his will.” –Federalist Papers No. 79
The Lord makes it clear that we have plenty on this earth for ALL and even some to spare. Considering that our Creator loves us more than we can ever fathom, has unfathomable mansions and kingdoms prepared for us, and desires us to be happy, stating that He has enough for us ALL and them some is not to be taken lightly. It is clear that the right to and the control of property is a basic element of freedom and is vital as life and liberty, neither of which are of any value without it.
When we deprive another of this element by stealing, destroying, or otherwise denying him the right to control what he owns, we have to this same extent diminished his freedom and violated the laws of God and man. On the other hand, when we use the strength of our minds and bodies to organize wealth and provide ourselves and others with the necessities of life, or the means of achieving life’s goals, we are obeying God’s commandments to work and be charitable with what we produce.
So, do WE as members of the Church of Jesus Christ deprive another of one of the most basic elements of freedom, that of the control of that which he owns? As stated in my post this past Monday, the prophets have made clear that we cannot be neutral with regards to the behavior of our government. If we can elect our leaders then we are responsible for their actions which protect and endorse freedom or destroy it. As such, if there are actions which we do not endorse, we must use “all our influence” to wash our hands clean of such actions. So, as long as our government is not stealing, destroying, or otherwise denying our citizens the right to control and protect what he owns, we’re innocent. The problem, such actions are being perpetuated by our elected officials, and unless each and every one of us has made it perfectly clear with all our influence that we do not endorse such actions, then the sin is upon our individual heads. In fact freedom IS the power and opportunity to affect the freedom of others.
I realize that this is indeed an inconvenient truth for us to embrace. There is so much that we would rather be doing other than “babysitting” our government. But who will contend that the Lord uses one moral law when the individual acts alone and still a different law when he acts jointly with other whether in a gang, a mob, OR a government.
Doctrine and Covenants 134: 2 reads: “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”
Property is derived from labor. Moral man has always recognized that the wealth produced by a person belonged to him. (At least that’s what Apostle Verlan Anderson says, but I’m afraid that there are very few government leaders who truly believe that now.) Theft, robbery, arson and all other forms of TAKING or DESTROYING another’s property have always been regarded as both evil and criminal. If government uses force to accomplish the immoral purposes of depriving another of his property, and we do not stand up to promote an act to the contrary, then our hands are not clean before our Lord.
While I had intended to explore some examples of our government leaders stealing and plundering, I found that each instance required an entire synopsis on it’s own. Thus it was far too lengthy to be a “part” of this exploration. Instead I have chosen to provide you with the fundamental counsel from our prophets and simply allow you to connect the dots. As you do so, consider this… If there is an instance in which the lawful possession and protection of property of any kind is being compromised, then it is indeed a criminal act. So consider certain taxes, threats to eliminate possession of guns or any other like property, actions of The Federal Reserve, funds allocation for “bail outs,” not protecting our borders from incoming criminals which would rob us of our safety, property or lives, etc. Decide what you need to voice your opposition or support on an issue and then “go and do” in order that your hands may be clean.
The right and duty of self-government provides a rare opportunity to labor for the cause of freedom, to learn firsthand the operation of the law of retribution and to cooperate with the Lord in enforcing it.
If the Lord is going to hold each of us morally accountable for every coercive act of government of which we approve, it is of the utmost important the we be able to accurately discern the good from the evil in government action. We accomplish this through a test of conscience.
On of the most approved and righteous of all callings is to INCREASE freedom by disseminating truth, thereby increasing men’s ability to reach their goals. Are you willing to accept such a calling?
Yours In Freedom,
|Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.|
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