Saturday, November 7, 2015

LDS and Liberal? I Say Unto You, Nay

Can a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be a liberal? Without answering that, let me say that many are. I have a hard time getting along with them. It is only because I am conservative in my thinking. I don’t care very much for either of the main political parties. I am independent because that’s how I feel it should all be, independent. I’d like to vote for someone because I think they will do the best job, or on their merits, or their stance on certain issues. Not because they are part of a party or lean in one way or another, it makes no sense to me.
Liberals are squeamish. Liberals are generally pansies in the making and I have a hard time dealing with that. I don’t think I’m that tough. I like cats and rain. I like to work in my garden and think babies are fun. But when I come upon a car accident I can jump in and act without thought. If I saw someone getting beat up by two other people I would probably draw my weapon and get them to stand down. I’m not sure you would find a liberal who could do that. They would call the police. Their inadequacy is what bothers me. There may be some that aren't but for the most part, liberals are wimps. Liberal Mormons cite Christ as their role model. I hope that is true. I do not feel Christ was a wimp. I think when he cleared the temple of money changers the changers were a little scared. Joseph Smith was not a big guy and he too was tough when he needed to be. Liberals are not known for being tough. Actually I think tough is the wrong word I’m looking for. Resolute may be a better word. I have worked with, and continue to work with, liberal Mormons. One is also one of my priesthood leaders. He is also a wimp. Don’t take that as a real insult. When he has to stand up for something he does, but if he was ever confronted with real evil he would shrink. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of conservatives that would shrink too. I’ve just found that liberals in general are uncomfortable with fighting, both with words and actions. They expect someone else to fight for them. Especially when it comes to defense of themselves or this country. The scriptures are clear on defense.
Alma 60:21-23
21 Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit upon our thrones and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for us?
22 Yea, will ye sit in idleness while ye are surrounded with thousands of those, yea, and tens of thousands, who do also sit in idleness, while there are thousands round about in the borders of the land who are falling by the sword, yea, wounded and bleeding?
23 Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.
Moroni was not a liberal. By his actions I can see that he was a man of action. Sometimes physical action.
Here is a statement from an LDS liberal.
"I'm a Democrat because I'm a Mormon," she said. "So much of what Jesus taught about in the New Testament was about caring for the poor, the fatherless, the oppressed, and not judging people who have less than us. I think those are things that are taught from the pulpit at church, and I see those beliefs reflected in the Democratic Party."
The problem that I have with this sentiment is that it’s misguided. If you talk with someone who has been involved in the Church’s welfare system you would learn that the liberal view of caring for the poor is off from the Lord’s view. Liberals like to give to the poor because they think that is the Lord’s way. Christ taught about teaching self reliance. (Teach a man to fish ring a bell?) Self-reliance is not the welfare system in the United States and many other countries. But democrats, liberals, and others think that you can fight poverty by giving. That is not the policy of the Church. As a Bishop I finally had to stop “giving” because some people will not follow counsel and will not try to help their situation. They want to be cared for and think that this was Christ's way. I have no problem with being generous and taking care of people's immediate needs. The misguided part is that liberal thinking people feel there should be no strings attached to their giving. Our Heavenly Father gives to us His children. But there are strings attached. We must follow certain principles and commandments to receive specific blessings. Do we receive “tender mercies” with nothing attached because of our Heavenly Father's love? Of course we do. But He too is bound by certain eternal laws and principles. So liberal “social justice” is really just mans idea of taking care of people. Also, the US compels by law the paying of taxes. I do not feel that citizens should be compelled to care for the poor. In essence that is what is happening. I am compelled to pay taxes and my taxes are used to give to others. But there is no end to my “giving”. Where is the self-sufficiency? Where is the keeping of a persons dignity?

The Church's welfare program is set up in the Lord's way. Here is what it says: (From the Church's manual “Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance (2009) 7-10)
“4. Provide commodities before cash.
Another basic principle that we generally use is to provide commodities before we provide cash. When possible, the bishop provides members with commodities instead of giving them money or paying their bills. Where bishops’ storehouses are not available, fast offerings may be used to buy needed commodities.”
This is the opposite of the governments handouts. This is where liberalism runs off the rails.
“5. Provide work and service opportunities.
One of the most important basic principles includes providing work and service opportunities. For individuals to retain their dignity during a time of personal distress, opportunities for service and work commensurate with the recipients’ circumstances should be found. The value of the work or service need not be equal to the assistance received but rather sufficient to avoid the evils of the dole and the fostering of an entitlement mentality. The ward council can assist by compiling and maintaining a list of meaningful work opportunities.”
Liberals seem to forget this important principle.
Here is another statement by an LDS liberal that they think justifies manmade “social welfare”.
Mosiah 4:13-24 is quoted
13 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.
14 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 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—
18 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.
19 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?
20 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.
21 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.
22 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.
23 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.
24 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.
“I think that this is one of the clearest religious admonitions against economic greed I have ever seen. It speaks out against the anti-poor viewpoint, it endorses social welfare, and I would say it endorses single-payer healthcare, or at least rails against fully private healthcare, on the grounds that denying someone their health is a sin. This is one of the passages that solidifies my faith, as I truly believe at least this part is divinely inspired.”

This is also what my friend Bill would call the “Burger King” gospel. Have it your way. Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. If it fits into your way of thinking then I find it “solidifies my faith”. Besides that, I don't see where this scripture matches what we have as “social welfare”.

Sometimes people are touched by evil. Should we fight a war over that evil? Yes we should. Is our government the best judge of what is evil enough to go to war over? Probably not. Only the Lord can direct that. So if I see someone getting beat to death by evil is it my responsibility to step in? I believe it is. I think there can be a moral responsibility. Could a liberal do this? They could and should, but because of their misguided ideas about Christ's attitude toward evil and violence they would not. You fail that person getting killed on a couple of levels. The first fail is failure to prepare. Having the means to help and training to help. The second failure is thinking someone else will help, such as the police. If you stand by and let it happen you are a witness, not your brothers keeper. This is just an example. I do not consider myself a first responder or someone out to save others. I am trained and armed to protect myself and loved ones. I do not go looking for another's fight. But if presented with the right situation, I would intervene. I am very careful about that. There are even some legal implications that accompany it. A liberal would not even consider it.
The President of the US and our Prophet have people who protect them with guns. I should have the same opportunity to protect myself. The Church's policy on concealed carry at church is “The carrying of lethal weapons, concealed or otherwise, within their walls is inappropriate.” I do not agree with this policy. But, I understand why it exists. In Utah the church has the force of the law behind that policy, in other states they do not. I encourage concealed carry everywhere it is legal. I do not break the law and neither should you.
To support liberal parties or ideologies is to condone the welfare system that is in place. That system has little to do with the Lord’s plan. Just because a system is close or has a name that matches the Lord’s system doesn’t mean it’s the same.
We know that man's ways are not God's ways yet many members continue to support man's ways.
Now let me answer the question that was asked at the beginning of this article.
Can a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be a liberal?
I don't see how they can. Just as socialism is toying with communism, social welfare toys with Christ's teachings. I wonder if LDS liberals ever ask themselves why so many members are conservative? Now, I repeat, I'm not really talking about parties here but ideologies. Also, to change your name and call yourselves “progressives” doesn't change what you support. As a rule the liberal leaning parties support gay marriage and abortion. These two things are clearly against God's laws and against church doctrine.
In this article I do not think I'm going to change anyone's mind and I know that I'll be preaching to the choir mostly anyway on a blog titled “LDS Gunsite”. But I only post this to give my own opinion which is what this whole blog is, opinion.

Semper Paratus
Check 6