Saturday, April 14, 2012

Give the Lord's Way, Not the Government's

In ancient America a prophet/king whose name was Benjamin called his people together shortly before his death to deliver his final sermon to them. The event is recorded in The Book of Mormon in Mosiah 1-6. I have heard economists refer to his teachings in this sermon as the greatest discourse on human interaction ever recorded in human history.

There is a reason this profound sermon was preserved for our day in a book where only "a hundredth part" could be included. For example, King Benjamin taught:

And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the a love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just —
But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? 
And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.
And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give. 
And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.
And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you — that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God — I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
And I would that ye should remember, that whosoever among you borroweth of his neighbor should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin; and perhaps thou shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also.
And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.
But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not. (Mosiah 4:11-30, emphasis mine).

In this political season as never before in my memory we are being daily bombarded with false doctrine. At a young age I received a blessing under the hands of our stake patriarch. In part I was warned, "There will be those who profess to know and who will stand before you and will try to teach you false doctrine. I bless you that you will in this hour have courage to stand and say, 'I know that my Redeemer lives. He is my Savior and I am a child of God.' If you do this the Savior will light your pathway and the gift of the Holy Ghost will manifest itself in you." I have lived long enough now to see that promise fulfilled again and again.

It seems the POTUS and his minions would have us believe government - bigger, more bloated and expansive government - is and must always be the answer to every ill in society that besets us as a nation. It is simply a statist false doctrine. At a time when our national debt has escalated into the stratosphere and our debt as a percentage of our GDP is over 100%, we are being told the rich must pay more to help the poor. We are being told "that's only fair."

However, what we are being told is "only fair," is something very different as our freedoms erode day by day. Instead of a politician's idea of what is fair, what it is instead is uncloaked tyranny of the first rank. Americans today are asking the question, "Can America Be Saved From Tyranny?" My answer is yes, of course it can, but we must remember whom we serve as its citizens.

The truth is the fuzzy government math just doesn't add up, never has, never will. If all the President's proposed tax changes were actually enacted into law, including his now infamous "Buffet Rule," there would never be enough to even begin making a dent in our deficits, much less reducing the national debt.

False doctrine, indeed! I called it The Great Big Fat Lie in a previous post with an accompanying video to illustrate the absurdity of these tax the wealthy proposals. Even if you confiscated all that personal wealth rather than merely tax it, you would be woefully short. But sophistry knows no bounds. The lies continue to be spewed forth as President Obama continues the class warfare meme now that he has an avowed capitalist in Mitt Romney who is poised to be the nominee of the other party.

I also posted Let's Just Tax the Rich to give an accurate portrayal of who is actually paying the lion's share of the taxes collected in America today. In another post I explained Obama's Redistribution Wealth Debacle. I asked an avowed Democrat, one of the hardcore left, how he actually felt Obama was doing as POTUS, to which my friend exclaimed, "He is the greatest president this country has ever had!" Really? The thought makes reason stare.

Elections Cure Policy Misjudgments was another attempt by me to explain the merciful provision in the Constitution for backing up, recalculating and beginning anew. Every two years we can re-calibrate and correct ourselves as the electorate when we feel things have gone badly astray and we give power to those who abuse it to our detriment. As long as we remember that we'll be fine as a nation. But we have to do more than remember, we must act to continually suppress tyranny.

Arthur C. Brooks suggested that as we Give More, we Get More. But the implication is clear - we don't give to the government through mandated taxation so it can redistribute our giving to those they decide should be the recipients, rather we give voluntarily to one another as King Benjamin suggested.

President Barack Obama
Here's a stark contrast, if you may be tempted to think I'm just making all this up. First, from President Barack Obama:

“I think that one of the things that we all agree to is that the touchstone for economic policy is, does it allow the average American to find good employment and see their incomes rise; that we can’t just look at things in the aggregate, we do want to grow the pie, but we want to make sure that prosperity is spread across the spectrum of regions and occupations and genders and races; and that economic policy should focus on growing the pie, but it also has to make sure that everybody has got opportunity in that system.” (New York Times, April 28, 2009).

President Thomas S. Monson
That "system" he describes is something akin to totalitarianism and something very different than the one envisioned by today's living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson:

“I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish — and in effect save their lives.” (Ensign, November 2009, 85).

The choice before us this election year could not be more clear and well-defined than it is. We will either choose to continue down an unsustainable path to oblivion where government is our master, our dictator and the beast of tyranny it has become, or we will reverse course and undertake a correction in mid-course to restore America to the greatness it once knew. These are principles of freedom, agency and liberty that must be re-enthroned as we throw off the shackles of oppression that are closing off any future hope of deliverance from the tyrannical grip of the political class over the citizens.

Never before in our history has the right choice to serve the God of the land been more imperative than it is in this election season. We must either choose the God of Israel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, or succumb to an ongoing erosion of our individual rights as we cede them to the statism that will define who we are for us and will eventually enslave us.

The choice in the election of 2012 could not be more clear.


  1. A modern day Apostle and a former Prophet (your grandfather, Dave) has reassured us that America will not fail in the last days - until the Lord himself declares that "it is done." While I agree that the choice in the upcoming election could not be more clear, I feel that Elder Ballard's commencement address to the graduates of BYU-Idaho, April 6th, carries a message of hope and optimism for all who have ears to hear it and hearts to receive it. Church News, April 15, 2012, p. 6. Indeed, Russell Ballard is a modern day King Benjamin. Jon Goates