On Politics and Principles
By Loyal to the Word

 

We live in a day of shifting values, of changing standards, of will-o'-the-wisp programs that blossom in the morning and die in the evening. We see this in government; we see it in public and private morality; we see it in the homes of the people; we see it in the churches; and we even see it among some of our own members who are led away by the sophistry of men. Men everywhere seem to be groping as men in darkness, casting aside the traditions that were the strength of our society, yet unable to find a new star to guide them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Gordon B. Hinckley, Be Thou an Example, p. 11)

 

         The Church does not tell its members how to vote, that is, it does not tell them specifically who to vote for in regular elections, neither does it tell them which political party they should support. It does, however, outline some very specific values by which we should stand by, which happen to be opposed to certain identifiable elements of the political scene. This article will examine standards of the Church which are closely connected with political issues and make clear conclusions about the way members of the Church should properly approach politics and voting. Integral to considerations about political issues in this article will be two inspired documents: 1) The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and 2) The Constitution of the United States of America as drafted by the Founding Fathers. The Proclamation on the Family, commended to the Church by no less than the combined authority of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is a grand standard for all members of the Church regarding the sorts of values they should uphold in society. Likewise, the Constitution is a heavenly blueprint for freedom. The Prophet Joseph Smith declared, “the Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner” (Joseph Smith, History of The Church, 3: 304). Likewise, the Lord Himself has declared that the “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” (D&C 101:77). The Lord further declared that “for this purpose [of freedom] have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:80). Therefore, these two documents, the Family Proclamation and the Constitution, along with the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets, become our standards for good government. Like the Church, Loyal to the Word does not endorse particular political parties (although it is conceivable that Loyal to the Word might support a specific political candidate), and that is because political parties cannot be trusted to always adhere strictly to right principles, hence why parties are not endorsed. But rather, Loyal to the Word stands up for correct principles and values.

 

The Political Spectrum


         Before discussing specific political issues it will be helpful to discuss the political spectrum. The political spectrum is a sliding scale of political beliefs, in which every person has a place according to their beliefs about the role of government and social issues. It contains the ideologies of government and arranges them in relation to each other on a scale of right and left. Seen below is the political spectrum as it is commonly presented in school textbooks and as it is commonly considered among the general public. On the far left is one extreme ideology and on the far right is another extreme ideology, and between these are found ideologies which compromise on these extremes to varying degrees. Underneath the ideology names written in grey are some of the signature philosophies or tenets of each particular ideology:

 

Dictionary definitions of each of the above ideologies will be given for accurarcy:

Communism: “A hypothetical stage of socialism, as formulated by Marx, Engels, Lenin, and others, to be characterized by a classless and stateless society and the equal distribution of of economic goods and to be achieved by revolutionary and dictatorial, rather than gradualistic means” (Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition). Communists also seek the abolition of the family in a one-party, state-controlled dictatorship of absolute control.

Socialism: “A theory or system of social organization by which the means of production and distribution are owned, managed, or controlled by the govenment” (World Book Dictionary, 1971 Edition) and “the stage of society, in Marxist doctrine, coming between the capitalist stage and the communist stage...in which private ownership of the means of production and distribution has been eliminated” (Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition). Socialism is a slightly less extreme variation of communism. The two ideologies both involve a massive redistribution of wealth, abolishment of private property, and state control and ownership.

Liberalism: “A political philosophy advocating...gradual reform in political and social institutions” (Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition) and “belief in progress and reforms” (World Book Dictionary, 1971 Edition). Though the definition may not sound terribly sinister, in practical application what liberals seek to progress away from are traditional values, and what they seek to reform towards is iniquity, depravity, and increasing government encroachment on freedoms. Liberalism is sympathetic to many of the large government-control philosophies of socialism, and is an associate of socialism on the left wing of the spectrum. Liberalism seeks to reform the values of society away from the traditional family values, towards whole-hearted acceptance of sinful behavior such as abortion, homosexuality, women neglecting family for careers (feminism), and other vices.

Conservatism: “Of or belonging to a political party pledged to preserve established traditions and to oppose radical changes in national institutions” (World Book Dictionary, 1971 Edition, definition for “conservative”). Conservatism seeks to uphold the wholesome traditional values of family in society, as well as adherence to the ideals of freedom established by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.

Fascism: “A system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc.” (Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition). Fascists seek to control the family to the point of who is allowed to breed and what sort of children they should have (done through the means of eugenics), as well as the stifling of free enterprise to the point where it exists only on the government's terms.

 

         Upon analysis of these ideologies, it becomes apparent that communism and fascism, though considered to be opposites on the spectrum, are very similar to each other, both involving total government control, one-party rule, government meddling in the free market, destruction of normal families, spread of the ideology by militarisitic means, and a complete loss of freedom. It further becomes apparent that fascism is not very closely associated with conservatism, despite their being next to each other on the commonly accepted political spectrum. Ezra Taft Benson recognized this, and stated, “For Communism is just another form of socialism, as is fascism” (Ezra Taft Benson, “Stand Up For Freedom,” emphasis added). The First Presidency likewise considered fascism to be closely related to communism/socialism, as evidence by a letter they had written to the U.S. Treasury: “We believe that our real threat comes from within and not from without, and it comes from the underlying spirit common to Naziism, Fascism, and Communism, namely, the spirit which would array class against class, which would set up a socialistic state of some sort” (Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay, Letter from the First Presidency to the U.S. Treasury, Sept. 30, 1941, emphasis added). This makes sense when one considers the great similarities between socialism/communism and fascism, and ponders on the lack of similarity between conservatism and fascism. After all, the proper name of the fascist Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Another example from history is the fact that Mussolini, the fascist Italian dictator and ally to Hitler, was a known ardent socialist before his rise to power (Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, p. 31-36). And in fact, even Adolf Hitler as late as 1941 admitted publicly that, “basically National Socialism [i.e. Naziism] and Marxism are the same” (as quoted in F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, The Definitive Edition, p. 81 in footnote). There is only a small distinction, therefore, between fascism and socialism/communism. A more proper political spectrum, then, according to this understanding, would appear as below:

 

         On this new political spectrum above, there is a clearer distinction between right and left and the ideological opposites become more readily apparent. The spectrum shows GOVERNMENT CONTROL on the left versus FREEDOM on the right, with varying degrees in-between. The further right on the spectrum, the more freedom, and conversely, the further left, the less freedom provided. This spectrum can also be considered as DESTRUCTION OF THE FAMILY on the left versus WHOLESOME TRADITIONAL FAMILY VALUES on the right, with various insidious degrees of compromise for the family also found in-between.        

         It is clear that the problematic issues are generally found on the political left wing. What is wrong with voting for a left wing candidate? The answer depends on how opposed they are to the values we have pledged to uphold. Generally the standards the Church represents are not to be found on the left side of the political spectrum. And those politicians who claim to be right wing/conservative but fail to endorse the values promoted by the Church are not truly conservative, but only left wing or moderate masquerading as conservative. It therefore follows that right wing politics is in line with the principles of the gospel. It gives a whole new but no less appropriate meaning to the phrase, “Choose the Right.” However, it is not political parties that we should be unquestionably loyal to, but rather to principles and values, and when a so-called conservative political party is not acting in accordance with correct principles and values, they should be called to account. In regards to such values, various topics will herein be discussed that ought to resonate with any LDS readers.

 

Homosexuality

         Political candidates who support so-called “gay marriage,” a left wing/liberal notion, are opponents to the family. By supporting such candidates with our vote, we are allowing and enabling the disintegration of the family. President Hinckley told Larry King during an interview in response to a question about civil unions for homosexuals, “Whatever may lead to gay marriage, we [i.e. the Mormon Church] are not in favor of” (Larry King Live, Dec. 26, 2004). That is because the family, which has its foundation of a married husband and wife, is “the fundamental unit of society” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, para. 9). Homosexuality is one of the most serious and awful desecrations against family life. Spencer W. Kimball said, “Let it therefore be clearly stated that the seriousness of the sin of homosexuality is equal to or greater than that of fornication or adultery” (Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 81). Does any member of the Church find it a scrupulous act to encourage fornication or adultery? Then they should be much less inclined to support in any way the even more dreadful sin of homosexuality, a crime against God, nature, and family. God certainly loves all his children, but not all their deeds, and God hates the sin of homosexuality. This is apparent from scripture. In ancient times God destroyed the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18:20-21;19:5,24), principally because of the sin of homosexuality (Jude 1:7). This destruction is symbolic of the spiritual destruction of any who support such a lifestyle in any age of the world, since “Sodom and Gomorrha… are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7).
         There is no place for homosexuality in the family or the gospel. God himself lives in the family unit and has commanded mankind to also live after that pattern, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife” (Moses 3:24). It was within this holy institution of marriage, a natural and legitimate union between man and woman, that God commanded, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [fill] the earth” (Moses 2:28). A union between two people of the same sex is never legitimate, and never can be, because it is never possible to produce children. Even infertile heterosexual couples may have children in the eternities, or “a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19). Not so with homosexuals. Their fate is not the celestial kingdom, but to go to hell and suffer for their perverse sins, and only eventually inherit the telestial kingdom (D&C 76:103-106). Even if they could escape their fate of going to hell and then remaining in the telestial kingdom forever (which they cannot without awful repentance), and go to the celestial kingdom by some bizarre infringement of God’s justice, they could not have children in the eternities, thus completely frustrating the purpose of their exaltation.
         It has been argued that homosexuals cannot help being homosexuals, and they are “born that way.” Whether this is true or not doesn’t matter, for all people have the ability to choose to overcome the evil tendencies of the natural man, whether those tendencies are inherent in their birth or developed over their lifetime. The solution to homosexuality is no different than any other sin: “the natural man is an enemy to God…unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint” (Mosiah 3:19, emphasis added). As this scripture clearly indicates, evil tendencies must be fought and overcome, not succumbed to. Succumbing to homosexual tendencies is the exact wrong thing to do, and rather than showing courage, displays a weakness of character. Everyone struggles with some kind of sinful behavior. Is the answer to this problem to simply give in to their temptation? Never. The sin of homosexuality is no exception. If it were, then any and every sin that a person might struggle with would also be admissible before God, and soon there would be no such thing as sin at all. Anyone who declares that God will accept homosexual behavior does not understand Christianity.
         It is interesting to note that the Church has encouraged citizens of California to support Proposition 8, the amendment to the California constitution that defines marriage as between man and woman only. While the Church does not dictate specifically how we should vote in regular elections, this is a clear example showing that the Church wants people to use their voting power to fight against these sorts of threats to the family. The Family Proclamation says,

 

                  [M]arriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and…the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal
                  destiny of His children…We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures
                  designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

 

         From this quote we are definitely told that we should be active, politically and otherwise, in defending the integrity of the family. By voting for a candidate or party that supports gay marriage, we put ourselves in opposition to the Family Proclamation. If a member of the Church votes for such a candidate, they might as well go to their wall, take down the Family Proclamation, tear it into shreds, and throw it in the garbage, because they have just demonstrated that they are not willing to uphold it “at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in” (Mosiah 18:9). Those who vote for or support candidates who promote homosexuality in reality themselves become enemies to the family. And if a person is an enemy to the family, they are an enemy to God, the author of the family. “He that is not with me is against me,” Christ said, “and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30).
         It has been said by some that it’s okay for the government to allow homosexuals the “right” to marry. But we have to keep in mind that it was not the government that gave us the institution of marriage – it was God (Genesis 2:22-24). Therefore, only God can modify marriage. And until he does, we are duty bound to stand up and fight for the integrity of the family, just like the Family Proclamation calls us to do. Just because homosexuals want to live a perverse lifestyle, doesn’t give them any right to hijack and desecrate the sacred institution of marriage established by God Almighty himself.

 

Abortion

         Another attack on the family perpetrated and supported by the liberals, which is equal to or even worse than homosexual abomination, is the abortion of innocent children. The Family Proclamation says,

 

                     We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan. Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility
                     to love and care for each other and for their children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord’ (Psalm 127:3). Parents
                     have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs,
                     and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever
                     they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these 
                     obligations…Children are entitled to birth… (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

 

          Some people get extremely upset over the loss of life in wars, past or present, and use that as a guide by which they vote. However, the biggest loss of life is perpetrated by the liberals, since the number of deaths by abortion dwarfs the number of deaths by war, and it is occurring right under our noses, in our own lands, and has virtually no media coverage to speak of. While death in war is tragic and should not be minimized at all, we should be more concerned about the systematic, holocaust-like slaughter of innocents in our own nations, perpetrated by liberal-thinking people. As Elder Russell M. Nelson pointed out, “More than 40 million abortions are performed per year,” which is more than all the soldiers who died during the years of World War I and World War II (Ensign, Oct. 2008, p. 32).
         The deceitful argument is often made that a “fetus” is not a person. This is scientifically false. At the moment of conception, a new human being is created, since the 23 chromosomes from the father join with the 23 chromosomes of the mother to create a third completely new person with their own unique genome (or gene code). Note that the genome of the fetus, or the unborn child, is separate and distinct from that of the mother. So the Satanic argument of “my body, my choice” is based wholly on a false concept. It is not the mother’s body at all - it is someone else’s body with their very own unique and distinct genome. This is established at the very point of conception. It is as Elder Russell M. Nelson, a former medical doctor by profession, taught in General Conference:

 

                      It is not a question of when “meaningful life” begins or when the spirit “quickens” the body. In the biological
                      sciences, it is known that life begins when two germ cells unite to become one cell, bringing together twenty-three
                      chromosomes from both the father and from the mother. These chromosomes contain thousands of genes. In a marvelous
                      process involving a combination of genetic coding by which all the basic human characteristics of the unborn person
                      are established, a new DNA complex is formed. A continuum of growth results in a new human being. The onset of life is
                      not a debatable issue, but a fact of science.  
                      (Russell M. Nelson, Conference Report, April 1985)

 

         All that is required, from the point of conception, is nourishment and proper environment, and the fetus will grow to term. This is no different from adults - we also require nourishment and proper environment or we will also die. It is also argued that a lack of body systems and organs gives justification for not considering a fetus as a human person. But this is faulty logic. Consider, for instance, a person who had a lung or a kidney removed due to surgery - are they somewhat less human now because they do not have all their parts? What of a person born without legs or arms - are they not as human as the rest of us? Of course they are. Fundamentally, there is no substantial difference between an unborn person and an adult person that makes the former not human. 
         Any person who votes for a political party or candidate who openly advocates abortion will have that children’s blood on their hands. How could it be otherwise? When we cast our vote, we are essentially saying, “Yes, I’m okay with this,” or “Yes, I support this,” or “Yes, I consent to this.” The scriptures say that when a person consents to the death of an innocent person they are guilty. For instance, “The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost…is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto [Christ’s] death” (D&C 132:27). What sort of punishment will a person receive who willingly consents to the death of an innocent child? Jesus said, “It is impossible but that offences will come: but wo unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:1-2). The scriptures say, “These six things doth the Lord hate: …hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17). As Elder Russell M. Nelson declared, “Scripture declares that the ‘life of the flesh is in the blood.’ (Lev. 17:11.) Abortion sheds that innocent blood” (Russell M. Nelson, Conference Report, April 1985).
         Some members of the Church who voted for pro-abortion candidates or parties have said that they don’t agree with abortion, but that they think other people ought to have the “right to choose” whether they want to have one. This is ludicrous. Abortion is a murderous act. Do you have the inherent right to kill someone purely as a matter of convenience? What government on earth has authority to authorize anyone to kill their child? Government is meant by God to secure the right to life. The Declaration of Independence declares, “all men are...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men” (Declaration of Independence, emphasis added). The Doctrine & Covenants affirms this axiom and likewise declares that, “We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual...the protection of life” (D&C 134:2). The Declaration of Independence also indicates that government is a creation of the people which “[derives its] just powers from the consent of the governed” (Declaration of Independence), that is, its powers are delegated to it by the people; since the government has its powers given to it by the people, it therefore cannot justly operate in a function or exercise a right that the people do not inherently possess themselves. Since killing should be lawful only in cases of self-defense, criminal punishment, or war, it follows that killing out of convenience, especially killing children out of convenience, is something that the government can never rightfully authorize. And since it is clear from the discussion above that human life begins at the point of conception, it should be axiomatic that governments are morally bound by just and true principles to protect the unborn’s unalienable right to life - regardless of what evil left-wing pressure groups may say about the preferences of the mother. But if we consider that it should be lawful to to kill children for purposes of convenience, then at that point we have entered onto a slippery slope. If killing for convenience is morally permissible or legal, then what in principle is wrong with killing handicapped people, or our noisy next door neighbor, or our boss, since they also interfere with the convenience of our lifestyles? The government does not have authority to authorize murderous killing, since the people themselves do not have that right. 

         Of course the Church’s teachings against abortion have political implications! As Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught in General Conference: “Although I do not speak in terms of politics or public policy, like other Church leaders, I cannot speak for the welfare of children without implications for the choices being made by citizens, public officials, and workers in private organizations. We are all under the Savior’s command to love and care for each other and especially for the weak and defenseless” (Dallin H. Oaks, Protect the Children, General Conference, Oct 2012). It is not right for anyone, particularly members of the Church, to bloody their hands by supporting abortion with their vote. All such people will one day have to answer to Jesus Christ for this.

 

Feminism, an Assault on the Family

         The next assault on the family from the liberal/left wing to be discussed is the popular philosophy called feminism. Feminism is the liberal idea of making women comparable to men in society. While there is obviously nothing wrong with good developments such as women's suffrage (voting rights), and bringing respect to womanhood, this is not the ultimate motive behind feminism. The motive is to erase the God-ordained distinction between men and women as much as possible, so that women will be every bit as much like men as possible. The reason for this movement is the false and deep-rooted belief in the minds of deceived women that men’s roles are greater than women’s roles. Feminism is a blatant assault on the family, since it seeks to take women out of the home where they would nurture their children, and place them into the workforce, where they are told they will find their ultimate fulfillment.

         The philosophy of feminism is based on utter lies. As the Family Proclamation states, there are differences between the roles of man and woman which God has put in place by “divine design” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). The lines between these roles were never meant to be blurred. Furthermore, men’s roles are not greater than women’s roles. The First Presidency has taught, “Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind” (Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, David O. McKay, Messages of the First Presidency, 6:178). The fact is that women are equally as important as men, and that acting in their distinct and respective roles, “fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). While being equal in the marriage partnership, it is the woman’s specific responsibility to be in the home as nurterer, as the Family Proclamation states: “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children” (ibid). For women to neglect these duties out of a sense of feminist ideological liberation is sin. The Proclamation warns, “mothers...will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these [family] obligations” (ibid). Likewise, President David O. McKay stated, “a married woman who refuses to assume the responsibilities of motherhood, or who, having children, neglects them for pleasure or social prestige, is recreant to the highest calling and privilege of womankind” (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 477). 

         Feminists claim that the traditional roles of womanhood are inherently demeaning to them. But they have it backwards. What most women do not realize is that the philosophy of feminism is demeaning to women, because it teaches them that unless they do what men do, they are simply not important. As has already been established, nothing could be further from the truth. The family, the Church, and the world desperately need women of integrity and honor who will rise up and accept their God-ordained role as nurturers in the home. The future of the human race depends on the sacrifice of such selfless and honorable women.

 

Socialism, the Enemy to Freedom

         The Book of Mormon, which is meant to be a parallel for our modern times, warns us against “king men” (Alma 51:5-6) who sought to establish a rule by kingship in the land. Throughout most of the world’s history, mankind has been under the yoke of oppressive kings who owned and controlled virtually everything. Whenever there has been government ownership and control pervading the lives of individuals it has led to a loss of freedom. The Founding Fathers, on the other hand, rejected the doctrine of kingships and placed men on equal footing, with a chance to prosper according to their willingness and work ethic. This is the foundation of freedom – private ownership and private enterprise. Since the time of the Founders, unfortunately, king men have sought to penetrate into free lands with their age-old philosophies of government ownership and control. Today, the king men’s political philosophies are known as socialism and also communism, its slightly more extreme counterpart. But no matter the names, the movement is at its core the age-old fight between those who support freedom and those who are king men.  It has always been about the redistribution of wealth and excessive government control.        
         Therefore the next evil of the liberal-socialist movement to be mentioned is the redistribution of wealth. Monetary policies in politics are not usually thought of in a good vs. evil sense, but in reality there are fundamental principles of good and evil which lie at their core. Elder Reed Smoot of the Quorum of the Twelve, in speaking of socialism, said in General Conference, “The Church of Jesus Christ has never ceased its opposition to organizations such as I have mentioned [i.e. various forms of socialism and communism] and never will” (Elder Reed Smoot, Conference Report, April 1933). This statement has never been contradicted, but rather it has been reinforced time and time again throughout the years by Apostles, Presidents of the Church, and the united voices of the First Presidency. Both David O. McKay and Ezra Taft Benson referred to socialism as “soul-destroying” (see David O. McKay, “Message For LDS College Youth”, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1952, and Ezra Taft Benson, “Stand Up For Freedom”). President McKay referred to America’s advance towards socialism as a “retreat from freedom” (ibid). Likewise Ezra Taft Benson lamented, “many liberals have claimed to see virtues in socialism and communism which I, for one, have not been able to find,” and as a result of this, “We Americans have strayed far from sound principles – morally, Constitutionally and historically.” He also declared, “No matter whether they label their bottle as liberalism, progressivism, or social reform – I know the contents of the bottle is poison to this Republic and I’m going to call it poison” (ibid). 
Socialism, or the redistribution of wealth, usually manifests itself in the form of high taxes and heavy, inefficient social programs. The fundamental idea behind socialism is to take by force from the “haves” and give it to the “have nots,” or in other words, to forcefully take that which a person has honestly earned through their labor or genius and give it to someone who has not worked for it. It is dishonest and fundamentally wrong, furthermore it is destructive to incentive, the basis for success and prosperity. It destroys the freedom of the common person to distribute the fruits of their labors in the way that they feel best, by replacing the prosperous person’s ability to choose with a forced compliance to contribute to programs mandated by the whims of a faceless government. Howard W. Hunter put socialism into this perspective: 

 


                     The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have lost their freedom. Those who “have,” 
                     lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost
                     their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither 
                     appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift. Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and
                     to the vital freedoms which they have lost.
                     (Howard W. Hunter, Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p. 169
)

 

         Some wonder with amazement at the Book of Mormon peoples when they became “desirous to have a king” (Mosiah 29:5), or that they should have “a king or kings to rule over [them]” (Mosiah 29:16). And yet the same thing is happening in modern society - the people are willing to give up their freedoms so that government officials can step in, take control, and “take care” of them. In effect, they are asking for kings to rule over them. They trade in precious freedom for the security of welfare programs, government subsidy, and wealth redistribution. In seeking security people are all too often and unwittingly willing to give up precious freedoms that are so rare in this world.

         When discussing the sinister evil that is at the root of socialism, it is important to think about the principles involved in such a thing. Let us bring it down to a smaller scale: Do you have the right to take money from your hard-working neighbor, simply because you don’t have as much? If your neighbor worked hard and had two cars and you had none because you were not as industrious or motivated, would it be equitable to take his car from him, for your own use, without his consent? For a not-so-hard-working person to take money by force from a hard-working individual is simply stealing, is it not? Then how is it a scrupulous act when the government takes money rightfully earned by a hard-worker and gives it to one who will not work? It is in this line of thinking which Ezra Taft Benson called the redistribution of wealth “legalized plunder” (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Proper Role of Government”, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1968).
         Other than the reprehensible stealing and dishonest taking which are at the foundation of socialism, what else does our religion teach in regard to the principles on which socialism is based? As Mormons we are required to believe in the standards for government set out in the Doctrine & Covenants: “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” (D&C 134:2, emphasis added). The “right and control of property” is a sacred right, according to this scripture. Yet, “the right and control of property” is exactly what socialism seeks to wrest from the individual, whether it be through heavy taxes on their income, or other infringements on a man’s earnings or possessions. Likewise, the Constitution of the United States, which God himself “suffered to be established…according to just and holy principles…by the hands of wise men whom [God] raised up unto this very purpose” (D&C 101:77, 80) guarantees all men the right to property. The Fifth Amendment states “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” And so socialism is an infringement upon the Constitution of the United States itself, which is a sacred God-inspired document of just and true principles. It was not Karl Marx that made America great - it was the Founding Fathers with the Constitution that they drafted which guarantees such rights as property, and is built on the premise of a free market economy. Furthermore, the inconsistency of socialism and Mormonism becomes apparent when we consider that our religion teaches us to value thrift, independence, and hard work. The fruits of socialism, however, are waste, dependency, and laziness. Howard W. Hunter taught, “What is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness” (Howard W. Hunter, Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p. 169). Howard W. Hunter also observed, “In this shift [towards socialism] there is a basic violation of the law of the harvest, or the law of justice. The attitude of ‘something for nothing’ is encouraged. The government is often looked to as the source of wealth. There is the feeling that the government should step in and take care of one's needs, one's emergencies, and one's future” (ibid, p. 167). 
         Many people fault capitalists for being greedy, because they are seemingly always trying to labor for more, more, more. While greed is certainly wrong, there is nothing wrong with prosperity. But it is socialism itself which represents a whole other and baser kind of greed - the desire to take something for nothing, an unholy sense of entitlement to the goods and property of other hard-working men. Which greed is worse, the kind that involves hard work and contribution to society and the economy or the kind that seeks to prosper without work? The Lord has said, “Wo unto you poor men, whose hearts are not broken, whose spirits are not contrite, and whose bellies are not satisfied, and whose hands are not stayed from laying hold upon other men's goods, whose eyes are full of greediness, and who will not labor with your own hands!” (D&C 56:17).

         Many profess that socialism is the charitable way, and that it is therefore good. And so a socialist government seeks to force its people into being charitable. But in doing so, the individual’s freedom to choose, their most fundamental right since before the foundation of the earth was laid, is taken away. In robbing individuals of their free agency and stifling free enterprise, socialism makes the individual “a thing to be acted upon” rather than “a thing to act” like is meant for mankind (2 Ne. 2:14, 26). It is impossible to force someone to be charitable if they do not wish to be. To do so is to simply steal their property. “Thou shalt not steal,” the Lord said (Exodus 20:15). Contrastly, the true spirit of giving is a voluntary thing: “And thus they should impart of their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God” (Mosiah 18:28, emphasis added).

         Socialism breeds an unrighteous sense of entitlement without work. But if a person wants to live in comfort then, according to God, they must be willing to work for that privilege. “Thou shalt not be idle;” the Lord said, “for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer” (D&C 42:42). In the beginning, the Lord told Adam, “By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Moses 4:25). In other words, the Lord’s standard was that if Adam wished to eat he would have to work. In contrast to this, Satan told Cain that there was a secret by which Cain could take his brother’s possessions by force and without earning it (Moses 5:29-33). These secret combinations which were taught to Cain continue to this day, and are found in government when the people of the nation are not vigilant (Ether 8:15, 20-25; Hel. 6:38-39; 7:4-5).
         It is also significant that the Book of Mormon mentions taxes many times, but never in a positive light. Indeed, heavy taxes in the Book of Mormon are considered “grievous to be borne” (Mosiah 2:14, 7:15; Ether 10:5). The Book of Mormon conveys to us that high taxes are never good. How much is too much taxes? Again the Book of Mormon gives us an indication here: “And [wicked and oppressive King Noah] laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed, a fifth part of their gold and of their silver, and a fifth part of their ziff, and of their copper, and of their brass and their iron; and a fifth part of their fatlings; and also a fifth part of all their grain” (Mosiah 11:3, emphasis added). Therefore, a tax of 20% is far too high. Most North Americans, incidentally, pay far in excess of 20% tax, and this is not right. Why are heavy taxes so “grievous” or burdensome? It is because they take from the individual what is rightfully theirs and destroys their incentive and hinders their hope for prosperity. These taxes then go to support causes which the people do not necessarily approve of, “and thus [the recipients of taxes] were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity” (Mosiah 11:6).
         It is said by others that socialism is what Christ would want in order for people to care for the needy. But would Christ really want to leave something so important as caring for others to a faceless bureaucracy like the federal government? Hardly. Giving is a personal matter, with personal rewards. Notice that Christ said, “For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty and ye gave me drink…Naked, and ye clothed me” for which the reward is “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you” (Matthew 25:34-36). He did not say, “For I was an hungered and the government gave me meat…Naked, and the government clothed me...” and so on. And the government does not inherit God’s kingdom for its socialist policies, either. Also, it is a scary thing to entrust the government to spend the money in the right places or on the right needs. Only a naïve or stupid person would believe that the government “knows best” about this sort of thing. Also, think of all the wasted money going towards paying the workers involved in all the levels of such social programs, doing things that might have been done for little or no money had it been done in the spirit of Christian service.
         But what of the United Order, or the Law of Consecration, some will surely ask. Is not the Law of Consecration which we all have covenanted to obey simply socialism? Nothing could be further from the truth. Any resemblance between the two systems is only superficial, and certainly not fundamental. In socialism, the government takes money from a hardworking public and redistributes it according to their own desires. It is contrary to the principle of freedom, wherein a man chooses what he will do with his earnings. There is no choice in socialism, only force. Where choice is not, freedom is not. In contrast, the Law of Consecration does not compel anyone to give – it is completely voluntary. No one has a right to force another into being charitable. This was the way of Satan (Moses 4:1). If a man makes a lot of money through his industry or his genius, then he is entitled to it. If he wishes to be charitable with his money then he can be, and he can spend it in ways that he thinks wiser than what the government would do with his money, which it wrests from him through excessive taxes. And the idea of another man being automatically entitled to the rich man’s money, when he was not willing to put in the work like the rich man, is a lazy, evil, and unproductive attitude.
         The United Order should never be confused with socialism. All such people who make that mistake are ignorant of both the nature of the United Order and the official teachings of the Church. In General Conference in 1966, speaking on the subject at the request of the First Presidency, Elder Marion G. Romney assured the Church membership, “No, brethren, socialism is not the United Order” (Elder Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1966). Of course, this assurance had already long been established. In 1942 the First Presidency spoke out against Communism, which is really only an extreme form of socialism, and dispelled forever the myth that it is analogous to the United Order:

 

                        Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy
                        counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan. Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved
                        tool of the state to whom he must look for sustenance and religion; the United Order exalts the individual, leaves him his
                        property, “according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs,” (D&C 51:3) and provides a
                        system by which he helps care for his less fortunate brethren; the United Order leaves every man free to choose his own
                        religion as his conscience directs. Communism destroys man's God-given free agency; the United Order glorifies it.
                        Latter-day Saints cannot be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false
                        philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet.
                        (Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, David O. McKay, Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of
                        Latter-day Saints
, 6: 151., emphasis added)

 

         And so we find some very clear distinctions between socialism and the United Order as mentioned by the First Presidency, not least of which is the sacred right to private property in the United Order. Elder Romney also certified that “the United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and individual management” (Elder Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, April 1966). Harold B. Lee likewise maintained this truth in General Conference, declaring that “contrary to the belief and mistaken ideas of some of our people, the United Order will not be a Socialistic or Communistic set-up: it will be something distinctive and yet will be more capitalistic in its nature than either Socialism or Communism, in that private ownership and individual responsibility will be maintained” (Elder Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1941). Also, President J. Reuben Clark, an outspoken opponent of Communism/Socialism, taught during General Conference, “basic to the United Order was the private ownership of property, every man had his own property from which he might secure that which was necessary for the support of himself and his family” (President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, October 1942). President Clark further declared, “The fundamental principle of this [United Order] system was the private ownership of property. Each man owned his portion, or inheritance, or stewardship, with an absolute title, which he could alienate, or hypothecate, or otherwise treat as his own. The Church did not own all of the property, and the life under the United Order was not a communal life, as the Prophet Joseph, himself said, [History of the Church, Vol. III, p. 28]. The United Order is an individualistic system, not a communal system” (ibid). Without private ownership, there is no incentive for work and progress.
         Continuing in this vein of discussing the stark differences between the United Order and socialism, the following is a comparison of the United Order and Socialism/Communism as adapted from the book The First 2,000 Years by W. Cleon Skousen:

 

 

      United Order/Law of Consecration                                   Socialism

Property is privately owned.

As much property is owned by the government as possible, taking incentive away from individuals.

Profits of labour are retained by individuals “according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and his needs” (D&C 51:3), and extra is voluntarily given up to others less fortunate but worthy of the order because they also work hard to contribute.

Profits are seen as the property of all others, whether the man who actually earned them has consented to it or not, and they go to those who did no work as well as those who may have.

Participation is completely voluntary.

Whether you consent to it or not, your money is taken from you in the form of high taxes.

The family is the basic unit of the United Order.

Socialists care little for preserving the family, and would rather see the children raised by the state in government-run daycares and the like.

Competition in the market place is encouraged as it is an inducer of hard work and innovation.

Competition, the driver of innovation, is the antithesis of socialism.

Each man is given his full range of agency regarding his development of his consecrated property (D&C 42:32).

The government owns most property and has control over it.

The participants in the United Order must be contributors to the same (D&C 42:42).

Those who do not care to work commonly and systematically slip through the cracks and are supported by socialism.

The Order is based in religion and religious principles.

Religion is alien to and discouraged by socialism.

 

Big Government

        Those on the left side of the political spectrum, from liberals and leftward, are advocates of big government. The liberals and socialists need big government to manage their over-grown social welfare programs. The further left on the political spectrum, the greater the desire for a large, controlling central government. Part of this is rooted in their convoluted view that government is the best means to solving most of society’s problems, and so the larger the government, the more efficient the society. But history has proven time and again that the opposite is true - there is seldom ever anything efficient about over-grown government. In fact, big government is dangerous. With big government always and inevitably comes waste, bureaucracy, encroachment into the private lives of citizens, and unjust usurpation of powers reserved to the state governments or the individual. The Founding Fathers understood this very well, and as a result intentionally designed the Constitution so as to ensure that the powers of government, especially the federal government, were limited. That is because the Founders well knew that limited government was necessary if there was any hope to secure and keep the freedoms rightly belonging to the individual.

         So much freedom could be preserved for the individual if the government would only adhere to its granted powers as established by the Constitution. In Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the just limits of the federal government are clearly demarcated and are known as the “enumerated powers” because there is only a certain number of them. Failure of the government to adhere to these God-inspired limits has a direct adverse affect on the liberty and freedom of the individual. Commenting on these limited powers of government and the Founders’ treatment of them in the Constitution, W. Cleon Skousen has written:

 

                     The powers delegated to the national government were highly important but carefully enumerated. The Constitution lists
                     only twenty. These are the powers relating to foreign affairs, war, peace, national security, managing interstate 
                     commerce, federal taxes, naturalization [citizenship], patents, bankruptcy laws, federal lands and property, handling
                     federal finance, coining of money, fixing weights and measures, establishing post offices, setting up federal courts, and 
                     handling crimes on the high seas or violations of the law of nations. The Founders knew that the federal government
                     officials would try to invade or control the activities assigned to the states. They therefore included the Tenth
                     Amendment to remind the federal government that it had no authority in any area not specifically described in the
                     Constitution.
                     (W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America, p. 182)

 

         In other words, in addition to the Founding Fathers specifically and carefully outlining the limited powers of the federal government, they also went so far as to include in the Bill of Rights as the 10th Amendment this stipulation: “The powers not delegated to the United States [i.e. federal government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” All this was done in a glorious effort to maintain the freedoms of individuals. Big government is directly counter to the inspired Constitution, God's pattern for freedom. Big government always usurps authority that does not rightfully belong to it.

 

Legalizing Vice

         Another common desire of liberals and their associates on the political left wing is to legalize awful vices to our society, vices which often include the likes of prostitution, abortion, gambling, drugs, and sometimes even child pornography. These vices strike at the very foundation of our society and work against the sacred goodness that should be found in the family. Therefore they must not be encouraged or enabled. The liberals will claim that their desire is only to regulate such vices, rather than continue in a costly fight in a war that cannot be won. While fighting the vices of society may be an uphill or even perhaps a losing battle, it is still incumbent upon faithful believers in God Almighty to fight against the darkness that seeks to overtake society. By legalizing these and other vices, liberals seek to make society embrace such darkness. But when societies embrace darkness they begin to ripen for destruction. The scriptures have proven this time and again, as the Book of Mormon relates: “For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted” (Hel. 5:2). Likewise the family proclamation assures us that failure to uphold its standards “will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). On the other hand, rejection of vice by society leads the people toward purity and therefore propserity, as is seen in the case the city of Enoch: “and they dwelt in righteousness....and did flourish” (Moses 7:16-17). 

 

Crime and the Death Penalty

         Another signature tenet of liberalism/socialism is being soft on crime and having a general abhorrence for the death penalty. In stark contrast to this, the death penalty is sanctioned by Almighty God. Why is this important? It is important because God ought to know what the proper rules are for running a successful society. And if we wish to have a successful society as unburdened by crime as is possible, we should pattern it after God’s law. 
         In every age of the world, God has prescribed capital punishment or the death penalty for murder, and sometimes for other grievous crimes. To Noah God said, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Gen. 9:6). In the Mosaic dispensation, God prescribed death penalties for many crimes. These crimes were capital crimes inasmuch as the perpetrator was not willing to pay recompense or submit to exile. It is often assumed that God’s law was brutal because there are many declarations of the death penalty in the Old Testament, and that people were constantly being executed for trivial matters. But all of the crimes in the books of Moses which declare a penalty of death could be satisfied through alternate penalties, chief of which was monetary reimbursement called “satisfaction.” The one exception, however, was murder. “Moreover, ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall surely be put to death” (Num. 35:16, see also W. Cleon Skousen, The Third Thousand Years, p. 292-293, and Old Testament Student Manual: Genesis - 2 Samuel, p. 188). The Nephites’ law was clear in its punishment for murder. Jacob the brother of Nephi declared, “Wo unto the murderer who deliberately killeth, for he shall die” (2 Ne. 9:35). Later in the Book of Mormon, it is made clear that “the laws which have been given unto [the Nephites] by our fathers, which are correct…were given them by the hand of the Lord” (Mosiah 29:25, emphasis added). And these laws “which are correct” and revealed from God verily declared that, “he that murdered was punished unto death” (Alma 1:18).
         Now coming down to our own day, to our own dispensation – what has the Lord declared regarding murder in the latter days? God said, “And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die” (D&C 42:19). The First Presidency has declared, “The revelations of God to this Church make death the penalty for capital crime, and require that offenders against life and property shall be delivered up to and tried by the laws of the land” (Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, Messages of the First Presidency, 3: 185). In other words, it is God’s will and it is proper and correct that a murderer should die. It makes the world a better place when a murderer is destroyed, and it gives the victims and the family of victims justice for the perpetrator to be executed. What if the nation in which a person lives does not observe the God-ordained death penalty? There is a provision in God’s law that “if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land” (D&C 42:79). In other words, follow the law. But for a criminal justice system to forego the death penalty for mere jail time is not the preferred, nor the proper scenario.
         If Latter-day Saints are to be consistent and believing, they must accept the death penalty as a wise and God-ordained practice. If they believe the scriptures are true then they must believe that capital punishment is right. Those who are convinced that the death penalty is morally wrong are deceived and would accuse God himself of lacking morality. President Charles W. Penrose wrote, 

 

                     This divine law for shedding the blood of a murderer has never been repealed. It is a law given by the Almighty and not
                     abrogated in the Christian faith. It stands on record for all time—that a murderer shall have his blood shed. He that
                     commits murder must be slain. “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” I know there are some
                     benevolent and philanthropic people in these times who think that capital punishment ought to be abolished. Yet I think
                     the Lord knows better than they. The law he ordained will have the best results to mankind in general.
                     (Charles W. Penrose, Blood Atonement, p.25-26 as quoted in Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1: 189)

 

         With their soft stance on crime, liberals show more concern for criminals than for the victim. They show more concern for the pedophile’s rehabilitation than for the permanently damaged child or the children who may be at risk in the future. They show more concern for preserving the life of the malicious murderer than seeing that his victim receives justice. The liberals do not have the straightness of character to see that such crimes as these, which are surely guilty of death, have their proper punishment afforded to them. Such backward sympathy is not the Lord’s way.
         In our day God admonishes us to obey the laws of the land we are subject to (D&C 42:79, D&C 134:5-7, 12th Article of Faith). But when God was making the laws, there were stiff penalties in place if “satisfaction” or some form of recompense was not made. For instance, in the case of stealing, “If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Ex. 22:1). In this and similar cases, the harm done to the victim of theft was taken very seriously. And the penalty for the theft was stiff, so as to act as a deterrant for criminals. Moreover, rather than serving a debt “to society,” the criminal personally reimbursed the victim of his crime. People often make fun of or belittle God’s law in the Old Testament, but that is often because they do not understand the circumstances under which each rule was given and the ultimate purpose of such laws. God’s law was an equitable system with an emphasis on restoration and recompense to the victim, as well as keeping society pure and seeing that iniquity was not tolerated. Protection of one’s life and property was paramount, rather than that of the perpetrator. As another example, in the case of a night-time home invader, “If a thief be found breaking up [i.e. breaking in], and he be smitten that he die, there shall be no blood shed for him [meaning in the theif’s behalf, since the homeowner was justified]” (Ex. 22:2). There was also an appropriate amount of understanding and consideration given to the weight and seriousness of each crime. For instance, in the case of manslaughter, a place of exile was prepared for the perpetrator, but if it was intentional murder, the death penalty was unavoidable (Ex. 21:13-14).

         While it is true that the Church itself “neither promote[s] nor oppose[s] capital punishment” [1] in society today - presumably in order to avoid controversy over a fairly peripheral issue - there is enough information available from the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets that the faithful will readily see what the correct choice is. It is a case of the Church having taught us correct principles, and leaving its people to make the wise choice - who will they follow, the teachings of God in the scriptures or the sophistry of liberalism?

 

Euthanasia

         Another signature tenet of liberalism is the advocacy of euthanasia. Euthanasia, or “assisted suicide,” is just that - suicide. Liberals claim that euthanasia is honorable because it offers a person who is suffering a long, drawn-out and debilitating death to meet a “dignified” end. But there is nothing dignified about suicide. Anciently, King Saul, when finding that he was defeated in battle and would meet an undesirable end at the hands of the Philistines, “took a sword, and fell upon it” to end his life (1 Sam. 31:4). Is Saul remembered as a person of dignity and courage as a result of the act? No, Saul is remembered as a weak-willed coward and has gone down in history as such. To kill oneself to avoid an undesirable fate is cowardly. But to meet a natural, painful, and severely debilitating death with courage to the end is true dignity of the grandest kind.

         Euthanasia is a violation of what is right on many levels. Firstly, God is the giver of life, and therefore he should be the One to decide when and how it should end. Secondly, euthenasia is a direct contradiction to the physician’s honorable Hippocratic Oath in which they pledge to “do no harm.” And thirdly, legalization of euthanasia brings with it a whole can of worms of tricky problems for society. For instance, under legalized euthanasia, it is conceivable for unscrupulous doctors to pressure sick or older patients into early death in order to free up hospital space.

         It is very significant that the Church is solidly and publicly against euthanasia. The Church has stated: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life, and is therefore opposed to euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as deliberately putting to death a person who is suffering from an incurable condition or disease....Ending a life in such a manner is a violation of the commandments of God.”[2] Therefore, for a member of the Church to be sympathetic to euthenasia, or to vote for candidates or parties which advocate euthenasia, is terribly wrong. It constitutes a rejection of the truth and of the prophets.

 

Overpopulation/Population Control

         For years the political left-wing has been claiming that there are too many people in the world, and that people must abandon their Judeo-Christian values of large patriarchal families in order to save the planet, etc., as though children were a scourge on the world. This is directly contrary to the command of God, which is “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion” over the earth (Moses 2:28, Gen. 1:28). This command to multiply “remains in force” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph 4). The Book of Mormon also teaches us, “Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it” (1 Ne. 17:36). Much of the concern that comes with overpopulation alarmism refers to examples of starving people throughout the world. But these problems are no doubt the result of the ineffective use and distribution of resources due to short-sighted government policies, and not evidence of insufficient resources. President Henry B. Eyring has stated, “The ... cause of poverty and starvation is not the birth of children. It is the failure of people to do with the earth what God could teach them to do if only they would ask and then obey” (Henry B. Eyring, “The Family,” Ensign, Feb. 1998, p. 15). The scriptures indicate that the earth has “enough and to spare” (D&C 104:17), and that there is therefore no need for the left-wing alarm regarding overpopulation. In fact, there is great reason to be concerned that there are not enough children being born. Ensign magazine printed:

 

                      For many years we have heard warnings about overpopulation and the devastating effects it can cause. While some areas
                      of the world are experiencing a negative impact from extreme population density, the world as a whole is actually
                      moving in the opposite direction. Indeed, research indicates that by the year 2040 world population will peak and
                      begin to decline.
                      (“Strengthening the Family: Multiply and Replenish the Earth”, Ensign, Apr. 2005, 18–19)

 

         Likewise, President Boyd K. Packer warned,

 

                      Recently there was printed in an international publication an article under the strange title of “Babies Win Wars.” It 
                      chronicled several centuries of the history of countries that lost population. When they had difficulty in sustaining 
                      their population and themselves, they became vulnerable to invasion and occupation.
                      Now the birthrate is declining in every country in the world. In order for a nation’s population to remain stable, the
                      birthrate must be just over two children per woman of childbearing years.
                      In more than thirty countries in Europe, the birthrate is below the replacement rate. In several, it is hovering 
                      barely above half that replacement rate. The population of some countries is declining at an alarming rate.
                      The United States is barely above the replacement rate. Only because of immigration and the higher birthrate among the
                      Hispanic people do we maintain our population.
                      All East Asian countries are currently below the replacement rate.
                      Latin America has witnessed a dramatic decline in birthrate in the past thirty years.
                      Virtually every social security and medical system in the developed world is facing bankruptcy. An aging population 
                      can neither work to sustain the people nor fight to protect them.
                      (Boyd K. Packer, "Children of God", BYU Women’s Conference, 2006)

 

         Elder Dallin H. Oaks likewise testified:


                      From the perspective of the plan of salvation, one of the most serious abuses of children is to deny them birth. This
                      is a worldwide trend. The national birthrate in the United States is the lowest in 25 years,2 and the birthrates in
                      most European and Asian countries have been below replacement levels for many years. This is not just a religious
                      issue. As rising generations diminish in numbers, cultures and even nations are hollowed out and eventually disappear.
                      (Dallin H. Oaks, “Protect the Children,” General Conference, Oct. 2012).

 

         This low birthrate and impending population decline will prove to have devasting economic effects on the human family, as the prophets have warned us, “we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph 8). While mankind certainly has a stewardship to protect and preserve the earth (Moses 3:15, Gen. 2:15), this by no means implies that mankind must fight against the plan of God and the first commandment given to our primal parents, Adam and Eve, to multiply and fill the earth with children. Whenever an ideology or scheme is concocted which plans to stagnate or shrink the population of the world, we may know that it is the plan of the Devil.

 

Where Do Most Mormons Fit?

         Now having discussed the issues in light of the true doctrine, the question comes to mind of where most Mormons fit politically. Referring back to the political spectrum above, where do the majority of active Mormons place? Interestingly, there is a scientifically verified answer to this. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, whom Church spokespeople have considered to be “a major religious research organization, highly regarded by professional journalists and academics,”[3] has studied this very issue. In a report dated July 24, 2009, the Pew Forum has determined that, “Mormons stand out from the general population and other major religious traditions for their conservatism on both cultural and political issues.”[4] The study indicated that Mormons are more politically conservative than any other major religious group, including Evangelical Christians (ibid).

         According to the Pew Forum Study, 60% of Mormons identify themselves as “conservative,” while only 27% consider themselves as “moderate,” and only a mere 10% identify themselves as “liberal.” (ibid). Furthermore, there is a scientifically established correlation between Church attendance and political conservatism, that is, the more regular of a Church attender, the more likely that the Mormon identified themself as conservative (ibid). Not only that, but the more educated the Mormon in the study, the more likely they were to consider themselves as politically conservative (ibid). And so the study clearly shows that the educated, active members of the Church are much more likely to be conservative, while uneducated and inactive members of the Church are the ones that are more likely to identify themselves as liberals. Could all of these facts be coincidence? Could it be that the majority of active and educated Mormons are simply off track or do not understand what their Church is trying to teach them? Of course not, especially when considering the doctrine of the Gospel as it has been presented in this article.  

         The conclusion of this study, and of the discussion of this entire article, is extremely obvious. We simply cannot escape the conclusion that Mormonism is almost entirely in line with political conservatism, and that if a Mormon is politically liberal, there are only two possible explanations: 1) They do not understand the Gospel, or 2) They do not like what the Gospel teaches.

 

Conclusion

         Virtually every tenet of liberalism/socialism/the political left wing is directly opposed to the principles of the Gospel. It is very clear how members of the Church should be voting, which is according to the values of the Church, making a clear stand for right against wrong. This means that they should be gravitating toward right wing politics – true right wing politics that actually uphold the standards that have been discussed. Even so-called right wing parties occasionally fail at these standards, in which case they must be held to account. Pragmatic persons are aware that voting in politics is often a matter of choosing the lesser evil. We should, however, vote for whichever party mirrors the values which have been discussed the closest (i.e. right wing parties). That being said, loyalty to parties is not what the Lord desires, but loyalty to principles. If a member of the Church wishes to be considered a saint, then they should be willing to stand up for the values of the Latter-day Saints. This includes standing up for these values in our voting, and “at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in” (Mosiah 18:9). So the next time members of the Church go out and vote, they need to sincerely contemplate their membership in the Church, and what it means to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). They need to truly ask themselves what it means to stand up for the principles and values of the Proclamation on the Family, and the message of the scriptures. They need to think about the purpose and importance of the inspired Constitution, which God established “for the rights and protection of all flesh” (D&C 101:77). They need to think about being the kind of influence God wants them to have in the world: a force for good and what’s right, not part of the forces that are polluting the world.
 

 

[1] http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/capital-punishment on 04/30/10

[2] http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/euthanasia-and-prolonging-life on 04/30/10

[3] http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/pew-forum-interviews-church-leaders on 06/24/10

[4] http://pewforum.org/Christian/Mormon/A-Portrait-of-Mormons-in-the-US--Social-and-Political-Views.aspx on 06/24/10

 

 
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