There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding millennial government and the role Jesus Christ says He will play in world government after his 2nd Coming. I believe much of that…
[This essay is not yet finished, but it will likely be an ongoing project for many more weeks. Enjoy what is available so far!]
I’m writing this article in an attempt to clear up a prominent misunderstanding regarding the kingdom of God seen in dream by King Nebuchadnezzar and in vision by the young prophet Daniel (see Daniel 2). Verses 44 and 45 report:
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
It seems that the interpretation of this dream is falsely interpreted by a vast majority of the members of my Church. A correct understanding of this dream really matters because it affects how we prepare for the return of Jesus Christ and his Millennium of peace. I will use scriptures and statements made by church authorities to illuminate the truth of this "kingdom of God." (more…)
I began studying this issue because my heart breaks when I see relationships fall apart because of political beliefs or wild accusations made about people without even knowing who they really are. I am a conservative who has learned to really appreciate the talents and strengths liberals have. Please consider what I have learned.
What is liberal?
"Liberal" is a term that conservatives throw around loosely to describe anyone who disagrees with or opposes "conservative" ideals. I believe this term is used incorrectly and falls short of truly describing what it means to be liberal.
The word liberal comes from a 14th century word meaning "generous, selfless, magnanimous, admirable, willing, zealous, munificent, or gracious." From the 12th century, it also has a slight negative connotation: "extravagant, unrestrained." Also, "of freedom, pertaining to or befitting a free person" and "free, unrestricted, unimpeded; unbridled, unchecked, licentious." (more…)
I often find myself in conversations with people who advocate against legislating morality in an attempt to "preserve the agency" of others. They say, "I would never do [xyz wicked things], but it’s not my place to make it illegal for others to do it. We should preserve their ‘agency’ and let them choose on their own whether to indulge in those acts." I understand the logic of the argument, but through my studies I have come to strongly favor legislating morality.
In summary, I’ve learned that agency is the power God has given us over the bodies that He created, owns, and maintains by His priesthood power. Agency could be compared to keys to someone else’s car. We’ve been given the keys but we are in no way free to do whatever we want with that car, although once we have the keys we have complete control over how it will be used. God hasn’t given us the rights or permission to sin, but He gave us the power to do so. If God gave us the right to sin and then punished us for sinning, he would be unjust and would cease to be God.
A much more comprehensive discussion on this topic will soon be posted and linked here. In the meantime, here are some great quotes that have helped me to come to this position. (Update: I have found so many incredible quotes on this subject its overwhelming to try to either use all of them in an essay or to neglect to use any of them, so here’s the link to my archive of quotes while I work on the essay.)
LDS General Authorities
President Boyd K. Packer
"Life is meant to be a test to see if we will keep the commandments of God. (See 2 Ne. 2:5.) We are free to obey or to ignore the spirit and the letter of the law. But the agency granted to man is a moral agency. (See D&C 101:78.) We are not free to break our covenants and escape the consequences.”
Letter of the Danbury Baptists to Pres. Thomas Jefferson
The address of the Danbury Baptist Association in the State of Connecticut,
assembled October 7, 1801.
To Thomas Jefferson, Esq., President of the United States of America
Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office, we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyed in our collective capacity, since your inauguration, to express our great satisfaction in your appointment to the Chief Magistracy in the Unite States. And though the mode of expression may be less courtly and pompous than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, sir, to believe, that none is more sincere.
Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter, together with the laws made coincident therewith, were adapted as the basis of our government at the time of our revolution. And such has been our laws and usages, and such still are, [so] that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation, and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. And these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgments, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore, if those who seek after power and gain, under the pretense of government and Religion, should reproach their fellow men, [or] should reproach their Chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dares not, assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.
Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States is not the National Legislator and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each State, but our hopes are strong that the sentiment of our beloved President, which have had such genial effect already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and prevail through all these States–and all the world–until hierarchy and tyranny be destroyed from the earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and goodwill shining forth in a course of more than thirty years, we have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State out of that goodwill which he bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you–to sustain and support you and your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth and importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.
And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.
Signed in behalf of the Association,
Neh,h Dodge }
Eph’m Robbins } The Committee
Stephen S. Nelson }
Righteousness Exalteth A Nation
Ezra Taft Benson
Provo Freedom Festival
Sunday, June 29, 1986, 7:30 pm
[Jacob’s note: As far as I can tell, the text of this speech is not on the internet anywhere in its entirety. I have only been able to find a few quotes from it. I used an OCR app to pull the text off some of my documents and then edited the speech to clean it up. Let me know if you find any errors! Enjoy!]
My fellow Americans. I would like to use as a text for my address this day a verse from the Old Testament. The book of Proverbs says: “Righteousness exalteth a nation" (Proverbs 14:34). This is the key to understanding our heritage and this is the key to maintaining it. The foundations of America are spiritual. That must never be forgotten nor doubted. Lest we forget, let us review those beginnings, looking for the spiritual moorings which underpin our nation. (more…)
AN ADDRESS GIVEN TO THE BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY STUDENT BODY
ELDER MARION G. ROMNEY
Member of the Council of the Twelve
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Mar 1, 1966
President Wilkinson, faculty members, students, brothers and sisters all. First I want to thank that choir. I am not sure it isn’t a body of angels-I can’t see behind this screen. That was a marvelous rendition. This last song (O My Father) is my favorite hymn.
I have been asked to talk this morning about socialism and the United Order. I assure you that I approach this discussion with a great deal of trepidation. I hope that my conclusions will be at least as sound as the researchers’ who had the project to determine how far and how long a flea would jump. They first trained him to jump when he heard the word "jump." Then they pulled off a pair of his legs and said, "Jump," and he jumped. They repeated that cycle and he jumped, until they came to the last pair of legs. When they pulled them off, they said, "Jump," but he didn’t jump. They concluded that when all the legs of a flea are pulled off, he becomes deaf.
What I am going to give you now is a statement I have prepared in answer to the question, "Is Socialism the United Order?" Some of you may have already heard it. This is the first time I have ever attempted to give a talk a second time. My excuse is that the Brethren have asked me to give this talk here tonight.
I suppose the best way to start a comparison of socialism and the United Order is with a definition of the terms. Webster defines socialism as:
Socialism defined (more…)
This has been a very interesting election, for all of us I’d imagine. We can safely say that one theme of this election has been: "Must we vote for ‘the lesser of two evils’?" Most say "Yes, in order to prevent the worse of the two evils from gaining an office of immeasurable power", and some simply say "Never".
This morning while mowing the lawn, instead of considering the candidates and the issues, I considered how people on either side of this theme have presented their arguments. Many people I’ve spoken with have expressed their confidence that they could gladly give an accounting of their vote to God at His judgment bar. That general statement has been on my mind a lot, and I have some feelings I’d like to share on what a comment like that means to me.
Accountability to God
I’ve been considering the differences between liberty and freedom recently. By talking with my good friend Carter about this, I was able, with plenty of help from him, to piece together my thoughts and hone my ideas into the visual depiction you see before you. I’ve come to believe that liberty is a really special, even sacred, experience within the spectrums of both government and freedom (Note that the government spectrum is not the freedom spectrum. Government influences freedom, obviously. But so do cartels and other forms of anarchist organizations.). I’ve come to understand through my study that freedom needs to be restrained, and when it is perfectly bridled, the people all experience liberty. But when powerful people have more freedom, the rights of others are trampled.
I was recently struck by the profound ideas contained in the incredible hymn, “America The Beautiful”. This is the chorus of verse 2:
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
(emphasis added, America the Beautiful)
Liberty is freedom restrained by moral self-government. It is the golden state of a nation that lives under People’s Law, where all people are guaranteed the full exercise of their unalienable rights and is based on discipline and personal restraint. Former LDS apostle Marion G. Romney said, “Obedience to the law of Christ is liberty” ("The Perfect Law of Liberty", Marion G. Romney, October 1981). This form of government is so good and just that the Lord has said: (more…)