Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

David Bokovoy

Mormonism and the United Firm

Recommended Posts

WARNING: In my mind, this is an extremely important religious topic and one of the great spiritual evidences for the authenticity of Mormonism. Hence, I'm going to insist that no one contributing to this thread violate board rules by posting contemporary political concepts regarding any specific parties, individuals, and/or platforms. I would like to hear from everyone interested in commenting, and/or correcting these religious views, but will ask moderators to ban anyone from the thread who cannot keep this discussion focused only upon modern revelation. Instead let's put forth a sincere effort to properly understand these important religious precepts within LDS theology. I'm especially interested in hearing some of the reasons (justified via scripture and/or LDS history) that some do not agree with the following interpretation of Mormonism.

LDS Church history and modern revelation has much to say regarding the economic Kingdom of God. The first modern revelation given by the Lord addressing the need for religious and economic equality among the Saints occurred in January of 1831:

Share this post


Link to post

I would regard the D&C quotes as doctrinal in the same way that statements about the Millenium are doctrinal: not for application in today's situation.

Statements which are not part of canonized doctrine are just that: not canonized doctrine.

I think it is clear that when we are not even able to do our home teaching consistently and actually hold callings and pay tithing, we are not yet ready for the law of consecration. When we are ready for it, I will embrace it enthusiastically, but until then it is clear to me we are not ready for it.

It is a bit like "milk before the meat".

Edit: I recall that when I was an ordinance worker, some had a tendency not to find substitutes when they could not or did not want to work as scheduled. The temple president told us that our failure to commit to what we had agreed to do was a measure - and an illustration- of how willing we were to "really" accept the law of consecration.

Share this post


Link to post

David, you are making a pitch for a socioeconomic system based solely upon your own interpretation of scripture.

Who, then, are you- to cry repentance unto this people?

Have the Prophets made this pitch? Has this been commanded by those with actual stewardship over this Church and this people?

It has not.

Who then are you, to proclaim this new Gospel?

You've run this sales pitch twice now, and it has been closed twice due to politics.

That's not simply the fault of those who responded to your sales pitch, but to the irretreivably, inescapable, and unavoidable political nature of the topic itself.

I'm especially interested in hearing some of the reasons (justified via scripture and/or LDS history) that some do not agree with the following interpretation of Mormonism.

The most simple reason- borne out by both Mormon doctrine and history is the one I've already pointed out.

You were not called, ordained, or set apart to proclaim an sociopolitical economic theory to this people.

Those given those keys do not and have not advocated your cause.

As for me and mine, we will follow the Lord and his prophets over a new messiah.

LDS Church history and modern revelation has much to say regarding the economic Kingdom of God. The first modern revelation given by the Lord addressing the need for religious and economic equality among the Saints occurred in January of 1831:

Share this post


Link to post
There is nothing at all allegorical about the fact that if the Saints of God are not equal in financial blessings, they will not be made equal in obtaining heavenly rewards.
And yet not all the Saints of God are equal in obedience even in the most basic elements of the Gospel.

We all fail to live up to the promise of the Gospel in various ways. Am I to receive the precisely the same eternal reward as Gordon Hinckley, despite the disparate offerings we've made at the plate?

If so, then there is no justice. Am I to receive precisley the same eternal reward as William B. Law? If so then God is a liar and a respecter of men.

Concerning this doctrinal concept, Elder Orson Pratt taught the Saints,

Share this post


Link to post

I would regard the D&C quotes as doctrinal in the same way that statements about the Millenium are doctrinal: not for application in today's situation.

Statements which are not part of canonized doctrine are just that: not canonized doctrine.

I think it is clear that when we are not even able to do our home teaching consistently and actually hold callings and pay tithing, we are not yet ready for the law of consecration. When we are ready for it, I will embrace it enthusiastically, but until then it is clear to me we are not ready for it.

It is a bit like "milk before the meat".

Thanks for your comments, Mfbukowski.

I'm not so convinced that the precepts cannot be implemented in today's situation. Though highly personal, I believe that the Law of Consecration is still very much enforced in terms of one's religious obligations. But, from my perspective, one of the interesting issues to consider in terms of contemporary application is how the agricultural system developed via modern revelation by Joseph and Brigham as a means of accomplishing these commandments will eventually be applied to a non agrarian society. That seems like an extremely difficult transition to me.

Share this post


Link to post

I would regard the D&C quotes as doctrinal in the same way that statements about the Millenium are doctrinal: not for application in today's situation.

Or those about polygamy.

Until we are called by those in authority to obey, they are not applicable.

Statements which are not part of canonized doctrine are just that: not canonized doctrine.

I think it is clear that when we are not even able to do our home teaching consistently and actually hold callings and pay tithing, we are not yet ready for the law of consecration. When we are ready for it, I will embrace it enthusiastically, but until then it is clear to me we are not ready for it.

It is a bit like "milk before the meat".

Amen.

Share this post


Link to post
David, you are making a pitch for a socioeconomic system based solely upon your own interpretation of scripture.

Who, then, are you- to cry repentance unto this people?

Have the Prophets made this pitch? Has this been commanded by those with actual stewardship over this Church and this people?

It has not.

Who then are you, to proclaim this new Gospel?

It may be new to you, but I can assure you, this is not a new Gospel. One of the reasons that I have relied upon early LDS sources is to show how the statements on this topic in the D&C were understood by Joseph and his contemporaries. Moreover, one can easily turn to both the Old and New Testament to illustrate the same precepts appearing all throughout the Bible.

And yet not all the Saints of God are equal in obedience even in the most basic elements of the Gospel.

We all fail to live up to the promise of the Gospel in various ways. Am I to receive the precisely the same eternal reward as Gordon Hinckley, despite the disparate offerings we've made at the plate?

If so, then there is no justice. Am I to receive precisley the same eternal reward as William B. Law? If so then God is a liar and a respecter of men.

I believe that the systems implemented by the Prophet Joseph are designed for those living a celestial law who will become "equal with Christ" in terms of spiritual rewards (D&C 88:107).

Again- the Journal of Discourses is NOT doctrine of the Church.

Huh. This one's not in the canon of Scripture either.

Nope. Not doctrine. Not scripture.

Thank you for sharing your opinion, but can you show scripturally and/or historically how these claims are problematic?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for your comments, Mfbukowski.

I'm not so convinced that the precepts cannot be implemented in today's situation. Though highly personal, I believe that the Law of Consecration is still very much enforced in terms of one's religious obligations. But, from my perspective, one of the interesting issues to consider in terms of contemporary application is how the agricultural system developed via modern revelation by Joseph and Brigham as a means of accomplishing these commandments will eventually be applied to a non agrarian society. That seems like an extremely difficult transition to me.

Well clearly, covenants have been made, they must have some application today. I think it is something to think about every time we fudge on tithing, do not accept a calling, do not do our home teaching, do not do everything we possibly can to further the kingdom in every possible way.

Can you really imagine someone else living in "your" house, or driving "your" car because your dear bishop has decided that is the way it should be? Or sharing your home or your car or property with another family?

Not to mention turning over all your paycheck.

That is the kind of thing we may be called to accept

If we find it hard to have another family in to have the missionary discussions taught, or the missionaries over for dinner, I would suggest there might be a problem.

Share this post


Link to post

P.S.

And the Seer was roundly repudiated by the Brethren, including Pratt himself, if I recall correctly. It is NOT doctrine.

Indeed, the entire affair is well-documented in Gary James Bergera's Conflict in the Quorum: Orson Pratt, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith.

Now, do you know specifically what Brigham Young found objectionable in the Seer? Trust me, it wasn't Orson's views regarding the need for living the Law of Consecration in its fulness. Remember, Brigham is the Church President responsible for putting into place the inspired co-opts that turned the salt flats of Utah into an fertile state by means of the "Deed of Consecration," April 11, 1855, the Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, etc. etc. For this topic, I would highly recommend reading Leonard J. Arrington, Feramorz Y. Fox, and Dean L. May's Building the City of God: Community and Cooperation Among the Mormons.

Share this post


Link to post

Well clearly, covenants have been made, they must have some application today. I think it is something to think about every time we fudge on tithing, do not accept a calling, do not do our home teaching, do not do everything we possibly can to further the kingdom in every possible way.

Can you really imagine someone else living in "your" house, or driving "your" car because your dear bishop has decided that is the way it should be? Or sharing your home or your car or property with another family?

Not to mention turning over all your paycheck.

That is the kind of thing we may be called to accept

If we find it hard to have another family in to have the missionary discussions taught, or the missionaries over for dinner, I would suggest there might be a problem.

Indeed, I honestly look forward to the day when this system is implemented by the Church and I have an opportunity to contribute my share to Zion under the inspired direction of our Church leaders, assuming, of course that this opportunity takes place in my life time.

Share this post


Link to post

The division of property seems to be a one time cost of entry into the LoC. After that, the Bishop would determine what was needed and who would give it and you had your agency to agree or disagree and to determine exactly what was your surplus. Of course the Bishop could apply his own authority if he disagreed.

There aren't any price controls or command economies under the LoC. There was nothing to prevent you from holding profits and private property (in trust) even more than you originally ended up with. There is no one telling you what to produce, or how. You could enter or leave the system as you pleased. In order for it to work, of course everyone or most everyone had to be on the same page and living the principles of the gospel. So the mechanics of the system, not suprisingly, closely resembles capitalism which is a moral neutral system that allows agency to prosper or not as you choose or learned from your choices. See Enrichment section L6 of the D&C Institute manual for some good starter information on the topic.

Share this post


Link to post
I think it is clear that when we are not even able to do our home teaching consistently and actually hold callings and pay tithing, we are not yet ready for the law of consecration. When we are ready for it, I will embrace it enthusiastically, but until then it is clear to me we are not ready for it.

It is a bit like "milk before the meat".

I think we're living it already to a large degree. The difference is that the rich have not learned to freely give and the poor have not learned to stop lusting after other men's goods or do their own work.

Share this post


Link to post

The division of property seems to be a one time cost of entry into the LoC. After that, the Bishop would determine what was needed and who would give it and you had your agency to agree or disagree and to determine exactly what was your surplus. Of course the Bishop could apply his own authority if he disagreed.

There aren't any price controls or command economies under the LoC. There was nothing to prevent you from holding profits and private property (in trust) even more than you originally ended up with. There is no one telling you what to produce, or how. You could enter or leave the system as you pleased. In order for it to work, of course everyone or most everyone had to be on the same page and living the principles of the gospel. So the mechanics of the system, not suprisingly, closely resembles capitalism which is a moral neutral system that allows agency to prosper or not as you choose or learned from your choices. See Enrichment section L6 of the D&C Institute manual for some good starter information on the topic.

Please, let's keep this thread open by not focusing on what worldly -isms do or do not reflect certain aspects of the Lord's vision. As far as I'm concerned, they are all the philosophies of men and I would like to solely focus on the meaning of LDS scripture/history.

When analyzing the official LDS practices of economic harmony, it is essential to keep into perspective that the Prophet

Share this post


Link to post
Please, let's keep this thread open by not focusing on what worldly -isms do or do not reflect certain aspects of the Lord's vision. As far as I'm concerned, they are all the philosophies of men and I would like to solely focus on the meaning of LDS scripture/history.

The gospel requires us to bring our philosophies into harmony with God AND requires us to develop any others that are necessary (D&C 58:26-29).

(L-4) The Fundamentals of Stewardship

Receiving a stewardship. Once consecration of all things was made to the Church, the individual was ready to receive a stewardship and accept complete accountability for it. President Romney described this process:

Share this post


Link to post

Under this system, the man was a

Share this post


Link to post

The gospel requires us to bring our philosophies into harmony with God AND requires us to develop any others that are necessary (D&C 58:26-29).

In other words (among other things), those of you with prized fishing rods, personal computers, expensive telescopes and cameras, and souped-up hot rods will probably get to keep these things for your own personal use and enjoyment and not have to share.

:P

Thank you. I actually believe that President Romney's assessment represents a nice starting point for Latter-day Saints. Of course the actual historical process was much more complex than suggested in his brief summary of the matter. There's no doubt that in the separate LDS economic efforts to establish equality that the various stewards retained individual responsibility to care for their "inheritance." This is one of the fundamental features that distinguished Mormon attempts to create a communitarian system versus many similar 19th century efforts, including the "Family" living on Isaac Morley's farm near Kirtland, Ohio.

As I have illustrated via scriptural citations, absolute financial equality appears as a requirement for heavenly blessings. The confusion results in terms of specifying how the early Saints understood and applied the concept of

Share this post


Link to post

My favorite.

D & C 42:42

"Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread or wear the garments of the laborer."

I used to think that this meant that there should be strict care not to give too much or share too much to poor people that "wouldn't work".

However, I have come to see this verse as warning against causing laborers to labor for you in order to profit from the laborer, at least to the degree that one wishes to thereby live a life of leisure (idle).

In other words, this is not a way to view the down-and-out, but a way to view those who have profited.

But I'm very biased, I will admit, in looking at the matter through a certain economic lens that I have decided is right (but that decision was not come to lightly nor devoid of spirit or scripture, of course, but it is a bias).

Perhaps there is more than one way of being idle, and it isn't just either/or.

Edited to add: Btw, I'm ALL about a life of leisure, lol, disclosing that bias as well, LOL.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think that the LoC is possible without there being a great leveling of society first by both economic and physical catastrophies .We don't know what caused the City of Enoch to emerge but it was probably as a response to widespread wickedness.The people of Nephi at the time of Christ experienced massive physical change and probable economic collapse prior to the adoption of

a LoC. Few societies have willingly humbled themselves and been spiritually ready to live the LoC. Individuals yes but societies not so much.

Query. Am I somehow a lesser citizen of the Kingdom of God if I have neither the desire or ambition to run a company of 1000 employees?As such am I not deserving of access to good education and (dare I say it) health care. I speak now of the future millenial Kingdom during Christ's reign.This also assumes my willingness to work and provide for me and mine.

Share this post


Link to post

If you want evidence that the Lord indeed has ordained private ownership, look simply at the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham was provided a land for his inheritance. As did many other nations. The Jaredites recieved a land for their inheritance. They were eventually removed and the Nephites were given that same land.

When we consecrate our property to the Church, the Lord gives us back private property according to our need and desires. Not everyone needs the same amount.

It's interesting that Christ told His disciples that they would always have the poor among Him. Yet, we are trying to build Zion where all people are the same and there are no poor among us. How do we reconcile these statements?

I think it is found in our attitude. Will everyone have produce equal wealth? No. I don't see how that is physically possible (though with God all things are). I think what we need to do to have no poor among us is stop emphasizing class distinctions. We look at poor and rich equally. One is not better than the other.

When President Faust told stories of his youth, he often stated that he didn't really ever realize that his family was poor. That's because they weren't poor. They had the blessings of the Gospel. They had enough money to get buy and a home etc. They might not have had every fancy convenience of life, but they had sufficient for their needs. Is that poor? I'm starting to think not.

I know my family grew up few modern conveniences. My parents struggled to provide for us sometimes. The world would consider us poor. Would I? I dont think we are poor. we had a home. We had enough money for food. The fact is we live in a society where people who are poor have cell phones, bluetooths, computers, Televisions, Cars with nice rims, etc. Are they really poor? Or just living at the edge of their income and purchasing items they cant afford?

We need to stop looking at people through the prism of class and see them as people. There are people in my ward who are rich. You wouldn't know it by the way they act. There are people who are poor and likewise you wouldn't know it by the way they act. We are one in purpose. We help each other out.

I remember a few years ago when I made a comment that we aren't near being a Zion people because I didn't see the outpouring. A wise Bishop I had then heard that and told me that we were alot closer than I realized. I've gained experience since them to know that He was correct.

The key is we need to act as individuals and quorums to lift one another. We need to take care of the widow and the fatherless. But that work is work of individuals guided by the Spirit and Quorums guided by the Keys.

Share this post


Link to post

If you want evidence that the Lord indeed has ordained private ownership, look simply at the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham was provided a land for his inheritance. As did many other nations. The Jaredites recieved a land for their inheritance. They were eventually removed and the Nephites were given that same land.

You are right that God's covenants always involve physical land. I think this is not understood by many people, as plainly as it could be, in reading the scriptures. I recall when I had an "a ha" moment about it myself. Land! I also think the element of land in the covenant is a type of the fact that we have a physical planet provided to us for our celestial kingdom. However, I think taking it into the concept of "private ownership" may OR may not follow. Obviously, you think it does. Me, I'm not so sure. And I mean that. I haven't fully decided what I think that kind of stuff all means in terms of "godly economics" so to speak.

I remember a few years ago when I made a comment that we aren't near being a Zion people because I didn't see the outpouring. A wise Bishop I had then heard that and told me that we were alot closer than I realized. I've gained experience since them to know that He was correct.

The key is we need to act as individuals and quorums to lift one another. We need to take care of the widow and the fatherless. But that work is work of individuals guided by the Spirit and Quorums guided by the Keys.

I agree very much. In my ward and in my extended family, the law of consecration is being kept. In my ward, we are one. And I mean that in the fullest possible doctrinal, spiritual, real way. There isn't a challenge or triumph that a person goes through that there isn't a posse of ward members to provide material and spiritual support. We are truly a ward family. Even right now, I tear up, thinking of the love and intimacy that flows between all of us. And to a degree, this type of bond and behavior and result is also present in my extended family.

My Relief Society sisters came over a few weeks ago and they and I planted flowers in planters for my front porch (I have a new house I haven't had a chance to do much in the yard with). Along with visiting, limeade, hard work, getting to know a couple of sisters I hadn't talked in depth with, and including my young son (age4) interacting with other adult women other than mom, as they helped him water and plant flowers. Why did they come to plant flowers? Because they are pretty!!!!! (Think about that for a long time.)

Share this post


Link to post

Some thoughts after reading much of Nibley's Approaching Zion:

What we need to focus on right now is a change of hearts, minds, and desires. We make covenants to sacrifice and consecrate all we have to the building up of the Kingdom of God on the Earth, and to the Establishment of Zion. That includes our mindset.

Until our desires in making money and accumulating resources are focused on two principles:

1) filling basic requirements of living for the family

2) Maintaining a surplus for the purpose of assisting others in doing the same

Without

a) - maintaining a surplus of Nice and Cushy Things Because They are Nice and Cool and Comfy

...We're just as far from being able to successfully enter into anything like the United Firm as were the early Saints. It should be a goal we are constantly striving to reach - just like the Sacrament covenant, that we are willing to take upon us the name of Christ, we must be willing in our hearts and minds to live up to the Covenants we've entered into, and to transform that into a converted way of thinking and living. Until then, there's nothing that can be implemented.

A Zion people need to be prepared before any sort of Zion Union would anything less than catastrophic.

Share this post


Link to post

If you want evidence that the Lord indeed has ordained private ownership, look simply at the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham was provided a land for his inheritance. As did many other nations. The Jaredites recieved a land for their inheritance. They were eventually removed and the Nephites were given that same land.

Very pleased that you brought up the Old Testament, since we can find some fascinating parallels on this subject between biblical views and modern revelation. Still, I'm afraid that I simply cannot accept your interpretation. In terms of the Latter-day denial of all private ownership, we find a direct link with the Psalmist

Share this post


Link to post

Any system, therefore, that does not allow for this to occur is not of God. Beginning with D&C 38, the Lord

Share this post


Link to post

Query. Am I somehow a lesser citizen of the Kingdom of God if I have neither the desire or ambition to run a company of 1000 employees?

Only if it is against God's will that you run the company and you refuse to, citing desire and ambition as your justification. I'm not sure if "lesser citizen" is the right term for it. But strengthening the feeble knees is incumbent upon all of us, and is something everyone is able to do, both for others and for themselves. In this way, the Lord sees that everyone in His Kingdom is offered what they need to receive.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...