The Political Kingdom of God

[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…)

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What is Liberal? What is Conservative?

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…)

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Free Agency vs. Moral Agency

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.

A much more comprehensive discussion on this topic will be posted and linked here before January 2020. In the meantime, here are some great quotes that have helped me to come to this position.

LDS General Authorities

President Boyd K. Packer

"Covenants"

"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.”

(more…)

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Rights, Agency, and Free Will

Unalienable Rights vs Vested Rights

The concept of human rights is widely misunderstood. Humans have two kinds of rights; unalienable rights come from God and are eternal while vested rights are civil agreements that have no eternal significance (however, our obedience to civil laws do have eternal significance—a topic for another article).

Unalienable rights establish the freedom to own weapons, such as guns, for use in defense or sustaining of life, but vested rights allow us to use the guns recreationally in designated ranges or to hunt on land we don’t own.  Vested rights are applications of unalienable rights, meaning that we can only claim rights we first received from God and then gave to the government.  The government can’t exercise any power or use any rights the people don’t have individually.  Let me restate that: The government cannot do anything the people cannot do individually.  Something doesn’t become moral or just simply because a group of people created a government to do it for them.

Now, when we talk about unalienable rights, we usually refer to the three main categories, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".  This phrasing in the Declaration of Independence came from Thomas Jefferson.  Thomas Jefferson took only one day to write down the list of the 27 complaints against the King. However, he spent 16 days studying what rights mean in Deuteronomy and Exodus.  He came up with a great list of unalienable rights which found fit well into the three aforementioned categories or themes of rights. (more…)

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