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David Bokovoy

The Sermon on the Mount and the LofC

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See Ibid.

Just this once, respond to, and engage the critical arguments directed against your own arguments, assumptions, and their implications.

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You know, it never ceases to fascinate me the degree to which a certain type of mentality is exercised to the point of near obsession over what various people have, materially speaking, and the endless comparison and contrast between different levels of having.

The insistence - and David is particularly fond of this approach - on interpreting scriptures such that virtually any pretext will serve as a legitimate goad to reduce a passage to a economic or political analysis that can be lifted and, with a little grooming and tidying up, deployed as a weapon in a personal philosophical or ideological mission, is indicative, in my view, of a situation in which the human tail begins to wag the gospel dog.

I don't know where this will all lead, but, like Lord Acton says in my sig line, the pedigree of this idea does not bode well for the general approach.

Ibid.

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Just this once, respond to, and engage the critical arguments directed against your own arguments, assumptions, and their implications.

Ibid.

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That's a silly question, Mola. If you've paid attention to anything I've written, you already know I wouldn't sell you for anything but would take you in, feed and clothe you, visit you when sick or imprisoned, and do everything I could to help you.

PS Where have I said anyone was selfish. To my recollection, I've only used the word once in reference to the telestial law.

Sorry MnG. Sometimes I like to bait. That was a baited response.

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Ibid.

Lol.

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Can we pinpoint the genesis of David's "social gospel"?

Perhaps Elder Wirthlin could inform us:

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And from Elder Pace:

I fear we have learned too much over the years about programs at the expense of insufficient understanding of principles. If we had learned more principles, priesthood leaders all over the world would be solving local problems with local resources without waiting for something to come from Church headquarters. Members would be helping each other without waiting for an assignment.

Programs blindly followed bring us to a discipline of doing good, but principles properly understood and practiced bring us to a disposition to do good.

I visited Ethiopia last year with Elder Ballard. We came home with vivid pictures of degradation and poverty etched indelibly in our minds. However, I am haunted more often with memories of the conditions under which some of our own members are living in other areas of the world. If every member could travel and observe these conditions, our fast-offering donations would increase substantially.

Moroni was prophesying of our day when he said:

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I don't like to brag, but ...... I took first place in Butt and second place in Ribs in one of our recent contests.

With the rate your comments have been misinterpreted in this thread, you need to choose your words with more care. ;)

Feel free to respond "Ibid" since I have not based my comments on anything but opinion, not a scripture to be found anywhere.:P

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With the rate your comments have been misinterpreted in this thread, you need to choose your words with more care. ;)

Feel free to respond "Ibid" since I have not based my comments on anything but opinion, not a scripture to be found anywhere.:P

You mean to tell me that he is going to redistribute his butt?

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If it is of any help, I can truthfully offer the last 15 years of my life as evidence that one can become decidedly poor (as to the things of this world), in part, by freely giving of their substance.

Had I been less free, and more prudent with my substance, I would more likely have been in a better position today to continue indefinately to assist those in need, whereas instead I have inadvertantly placed myself precariously close to needing assistance from others, myself, maybe even over the long term. Because of how I somewhat thoughtlessly applied the precepts in Mosiah and Matthew regarding the poor, I am now in far less of a position to apply and obey those precepts today and going forward. To my current mind, I seriously doubt this is what God intended.

Now, I would lack humility if I did not learn and impart the lesson I garnered from this experience--that being, in all good doing, get wisdom and understanding. (Prov. 4, particularly verse 7).

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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If it is of any help, I can truthfully offer the last 15 years of my life as evidence that one can become decidedly poor (as to the things of this world), in part, by freely giving of their substance.

Had I been less free, and more prudent with my substance, I would more likely have been in a better position today to continue indefinately to assist those in need, whereas instead I have inadvertantly placed myself precariously close to needing assistance from others, myself, maybe even over the long term. Because of how I somewhat thoughtlessly applied the precepts in Mosiah and Matthew regarding the poor, I am now in far less of a position to apply and obey those precepts today and going forward. To my current mind, I seriously doubt this is what God intended.

Now, I would lack humility if I did not learn and impart the lesson I garnered from this experience--that being, in all good doing, get wisdom and understanding. (Prov. 4, particularly verse 7).

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

In today's imperfect world where sources of help are uncertain and undependable (even the Church has its limits at this point in time), it is wisdom to 'fear' and prepare for the storms likely to come to a certain extent.

Is there any reason for such fear in a Zion society?

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Droopy (who has never in this or any other thread, ever attempted to provide a scriptural reading that supports his dissolute world views...

What is my worldview as you understand it, David?

and/or counters the arguments I have presented) has repeatedly denied the scriptural fact that Christ's kingdom will eradicate all poverty via a redistribution of wealth.

The fact is, however, that as Mercyngrace pointed out, a Fast Offering is very much a redistribution of wealth. Those who have the means give some of their wealth to those who lack. Moreover, the United Order described in the D&C requires that the wealthy and the poor consecrate their means to the Lord who then redistributes the substance to each individual according to their wants and needs. Under this system, the wealthy may not have as much as they did prior to consecrating their substance. This is the way God has ordained for the Saints to take care of the poor, and it most certainly is a

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Well, wonder no more! Wealth can bring souls to Christ, for it allows those with riches to become like him, preaching good news to the poor and liberating those held captive by poverty (see Luke 4:18-19). Wealth can create nice homes, buildings, and churches for the righteous to gather as families and communities to increase the bonds of love and fellowship.

As a child and a teenager, I lived and worked at the somewhat famous amusement park ("Lagoon") in Farmington, Utah, where I grew up. I say it is somewhat famous, because, IIRC, it is the third oldest amusement park in the country, dating back to 1896.

It was different back in the late 60s and 70s than it is now. It was a much "rougher" place. There were two or three beer taverns, lots of military types from Hill Air Force Base on the weekends, lots of, shall we say, shenanigans of various types going on under cover of darkness in the various picnic pavilions around the perimeter of the park. Only the inexplicable naivete of my mother can explain why I was permitted, from a very young age (9 - 10 years old) to head to Lagoon on my bike at about 10:00am and not return until about 10:00pm--pretty much every day of the summer. Just about everything I understand about the nature of the world in which we live I learned between the ages of 9 and 17 while hanging out at Lagoon.*

Anyway, with that preface, there is one thing of value--perhaps above all others--that I learned during my experiences at Lagoon as a child and adolescent. The primary share holder (owner) of the park was a man who lived in a rather palatial house in Farmington. I won't bother to to name him. It's really not important. He was a descendant of Mormon pioneers, but had never been, to my knowledge, an active Latter-day Saint. He reminded me of portrayals of Ebeneezer Scrooge, with his sunken cheeks, leathery skin, and bony fingers. In any case, suffice it to say that I knew him and observed him for many years as he would arrive at the park in his "new-year-model" Mercedes Benz sedan and steer it into the special parking place reserved just for him. He was always dressed very finely and had an air of self-anointed royalty as he would, from time to time, stroll about his "kingdom."

And yet, as I mentioned above, the kingdom of Lagoon during the time period in question was more on the order of the seedy end of the Las Vegas Strip than it was the more family-friendly place it is today. Still, it produced wealth, and quite a bit of it. During the late 60s and early 70s, all the big name rock bands played there. I have a list of the bands and the dates they played. The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, and many, many others.

Anyway, although to this day I remember all of the tawdry and shady aspects of the place, the one thing that I always appreciated the most and which remains in my memory to this day were the gardens. They were on a par with the gardens at Temple Square today. They were phenomenal! Stunning! Immaculate! I used to sit on one of the benches surrounding the gardens (which formed the center of the "midway" of the park, in several large, long, rectangular plots) and watch the old gardener as he lovingly tended his flowers, ferns, and shrubs. I became fascinated with the old man. He never said much, but when he did, it was worth listening to. In retrospect, he was kind of like a "Yoda" to me.

Eventually, I learned where he lived--in a very modest pioneer-era house in the old part of Farmington. I visited him on occasion at his house. Turns out, he wasn't just a gardener. He was an artist. A painter. And a very, very good one at that. The walls of his house were covered with his paintings. I don't know if he ever sold them to anyone. And I really don't know if they would pass muster with a bona fide art critic. But to my untrained teenage eyes, they were beautiful.

At any rate, in order not to belabor this story unduly, I will get to my point: you see, the owner of the amusement park and the gardener were brothers! The gardener was the eldest, the owner the younger. They were estranged, for reasons I never learned, and they never, to my knowledge, spoke to each other in passing at the park. The old gardener eventually found a willing candidate and passed on his gardening artistry to an apprentice, who has since passed it on to another. The owner eventually died and his heirs fought bitterly over his substantial portfolio.

Now what relevance does all this have to the present discussion? Only that, from my perspective, "wealth" has no real relationship to money. That is what I learned from the old gardener. Of the two brothers, it was the gardener who was, by several orders of magnitude, more wealthy than the rich man of business. And it was wealth that did not rust, nor dissipate over time, but which could be multiplied, as indeed it was and continues to be.

Frankly, I do not believe anyone is "held captive by poverty." From what I have observed in my life, poverty is merely a state of mind; a habituation and accommodation to living beneath our privileges. I fully expect that, before long, "impoverished" will come to be regarded by many as the equivalent of an ethnicity: "God made me poor and poor I must remain."

We should all pursue wealth and we should do so just as the Book of Mormon defines, in order "to do good

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With the rate your comments have been misinterpreted in this thread, you need to choose your words with more care. ;)

Feel free to respond "Ibid" since I have not based my comments on anything but opinion, not a scripture to be found anywhere.:P

You have no idea how much joy it brings to display my award that reads, "First Place Butt"!!

For those wondering, the butt is a shoulder cut that is used to produce pulled pork. It does not refer to the lower region of the pig (though I'd happily smoke that too!)

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MercynGrace, who are you arguing with and for what purpose? Nothing you've quoted has any relevance whatsoever to the longstanding debate going on here between David and other LDS in this forum.

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You have no idea how much joy it brings to display my award that reads, "First Place Butt"!!

I imagine it's a great source of pride for your wife. :P

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What is my worldview as you understand it, David?

Now you're hedging and backpedaling, making very general, standard doctrinal statements less the eclectic interpretations you normally attach to them. Nobody is or has been arguing with you on these general principles. Its when your idiosyncratic exegesis begins that the problems poke their heads out of the sand. This is all rather telling, I would not hesitate to say, as you have clearly articulated you belief that the UO requires the virtual abolition of private property, equality of economic condition, and that it is contradictory to something you call "capitalism".

Let's go back to the famous "United Firm" thread and look again at what you have actually claimed"

You approvingly quote an utterly obscure statement by Orson Pratt that:

You state:

You then claim:

You then contradict both every modern General Authority of which we have rocord, and the D&C itself, by claiming:

Of course, if property is not private, then it is public, God's ultimate ownership having nothing to do with it.

You then confuse, misrepresent, and distort the doctrines involved by stating:

Now you seem to be jumping back and forth from your original radical communitarian interpretation to a normative LDS understanding of the LofC.

No one is or ever has argued with you that:

These are not the issues and problems you have traditionally raised, and I myself, in this very thread, have stated that there is a kind of redistribution of wealth in the UO, though one with severe caveats regarding their secular counterparts.

You have long proposed the abolition of private property, inveigled against the "unequal possession of wealth", supported a concept of "financial equality" that, left undefined, would entail nothing different than anything I, bc, USU, Will, or anyone else has ever said regarding the subject, but which you, in your insertion of a grand design to "eradicate poverty" and to achieve "financial equality" through "redistribution of wealth" have clearly interpreted in a novel manner.

You admit that property remains in private hands as a stewardship, and yet you refuse to call this precisely what it is - private property. The caveat that all things belong to the Lord is not relevant to the privateness of property, only to the attitude and perception we have regarding it.

Your preoccupation with financial equality has clearly been implied to be a preoccupation with, following Nibley, a uniformity of economic condition in which redistribution of wealth becomes the primary means of redressing poverty, while in point of fact, for the gospel, it is work and production that are primary, any redistribution being but a necessary appendage.

Continuous preachments about the evils of "capitalism" and "inequality" have not helped your case.

Will asked you, in that thread, over and over again, to engage in a discussion of how wealth was created in an economic system in which there was no private ownership of property and in which most of the "surplus" was disbursed to a welfare system, thus leaving little or nothing for investment and productive endeavor.

You evaded, avoided, danced, pranced, bobbed and weaved around it, page after page, finally offering the nebulous bromide,"...wealth is generated through unity of individuals and resources".

You have clearly stated your belief that capitalism "does not allow" humans to be "equal in all things", as if the free play of agency through which we can rise to the economic/material level (where there is one spirit with such and such capacities and talents, there will be another with more or different, and so on) that our talents, abilities, aptitudes, and unique capacities allow us, is to be seen as an obstacle to the full living of the gospel and as if "capitalism" is a restraint upon our ability to support and relive the suffering of the poor.

To any educated, unbiased observer, "capitalism" is the greatest material blessing to mankind that has ever existed on earth, and is the very means (indeed, in some form, the only means) by which abundant wealth is created that can be abundantly shared with the needy poor.

Only, however, when material "equality" becomes the standard, and not compassion itself, does "capitalism" become a bogey.

Droopy, it's not that difficult to understand the doctrine and historical application of the LofC. Private property exists under the United Order taught by Joseph Smith. Private ownership does not. Instead of owners, those who hold property are identified as stewards.

Hope that helps.

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Now what relevance does all this have to the present discussion? Only that, from my perspective, "wealth" has no real relationship to money.

I wished to comment on this. I was thinking just about this. The phrase "A wealth of knowledge" comes to mind.

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Frankly, I do not believe anyone is "held captive by poverty." From what I have observed in my life, poverty is merely a state of mind; a habituation and accommodation to living beneath our privileges. I fully expect that, before long, "impoverished" will come to be regarded by many as the equivalent of an ethnicity: "God made me poor and poor I must remain."

This is the required corrective to David's views of the nature of poverty, derived as they appear to be, from other sources than the gospel.

David has made the following comments in this thread:

There is nothing at all redeeming in the quality of mortal poverty.

Poverty is a vicious cycle in as much as it causes depression which can lead to increased/unwise spending habits.

From an LDS perspective, both these assertions are interesting in the way they treat poverty qua poverty as both, in the first instance, a condition having no redemptive or character refining attributes, and as a "viscous cycle", which, in relatively unhampered free market societies, and especially in America, it clearly isn't among most who undergo some seasons of poverty during their lives, except for one particular class, the underclass, a class whose salient features (in a nutshell, a body of cultural traits that militate strongly against any possible rise out of poverty) have been created precisely by the attempt to "eradicate" poverty on a culture-wide scale through redistribution of wealth irrespective, as Wade has engaged the subject, of how and under what conditions such welfare is dispensed.

And on we go.

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MercynGrace, who are you arguing with and for what purpose? Nothing you've quoted has any relevance whatsoever to the longstanding debate going on here between David and other LDS in this forum.

Not the scriptures. Or the Brethren.

Please feel free to put me on ignore if my posts bother you. All the quotes about our covenant to care for the poor are from lds.org anyway so anyone interested in a few keystrokes of research can determine for themselves what the relevant doctrine is.

PS Is this covenant a "dilution of the gospel from "the power of God unto salvation" to a 'social gospel'"? link.

2nd edit: Consecration IS the gospel. The good news is that one who has gave to a world of have nots. He willingly shares what He rightfully earns to redeem the otherwise eternally impoverished.

Temporal consecration is an exalting covenant that allows voluntary haves to become saviors on Mt. Zion and allows have nots to understand the glorious gift of grace and hopefully make the progression from receiver to giver.

How can temporal consecration can be considered a degradation of the true gospel? It is the true gospel in action! For this is pure religion.

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Private property exists under the United Order taught by Joseph Smith. Private ownership does not. Instead of owners, those who hold property are identified as stewards.

Hope that helps.

Its a distinction without any appreciable difference. All property already belongs to the Lord. We do not need to be living in a fully functioning UO to comprehend and live this principle. We already do and already are, if we are living as faithful, valiant Latter Day Saints.

I think your contrast here between private property and private ownership is a bit of a semantic quibble. All the core principles of the LofC that will apply in the UO already apply now. And yet, if you come onto my property at night and siphon gas out of my car, and I see you do it, I will call the police and you will go to jail.

For what? For theft David. You will be charged and held accountable for trespassing upon private property that I own because I legally transferred some of my property (money) to someone else for title to some other real property (my house and land). In a legal and moral sense, I "own" the property in the same sense we can be "married" to someone in mortality even though the contract has no legal force when we are "out of the world". The Lord respects and accepts the binding bonds, contracts and obligations we make here, but they are all stewardships and only relatively binding in an eternal context.

The reality is that "stewardship" is nothing more than a kind of private rental of what is ultimately God's. But renting is a form of ownership, differing from outright ownership only in that a rental is understood from the outset to be both impermanent and conditioned. The property itself always belongs to the renter, who is the final and ultimate owner, but this in no way detracts from the privileges and rights of ownership that attach to a rental.

Mortal ownership of private property does not logically foreclose or negate God's ultimate ownership. I see no reason to believe that the earthly legal and moral concept of "ownership" must necessitate conflict with God's eternal and underlying ownership. He allows us to own (to have and dispose of by earthly legal title, or by our application of labor to something), his property as a kind of mortal lease. We are accountable to him for the manner in which we use and maintain that property, as all of it ultimately belongs to him and transcends our brief connection to it.

We can own privately here on earth, but all things can still ultimately belong to God, just as we can be married here on earth, but not sealed.

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Please feel free to put me on ignore if my posts bother you. All the quotes about our covenant to care for the poor are from lds.org anyway so anyone interested in a few keystrokes of research can determine for themselves what the relevant doctrine is.

We have never argued about "the covenant", only about David's idiosyncratic interpretation of it, to which none of your quotations of late speak.

PS Is this covenant a "dilution of the gospel from "the power of God unto salvation" to a 'social gospel'"? link.

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Frankly, I do not believe anyone is "held captive by poverty." From what I have observed in my life, poverty is merely a state of mind; a habituation and accommodation to living beneath our privileges. I fully expect that, before long, "impoverished" will come to be regarded by many as the equivalent of an ethnicity: "God made me poor and poor I must remain."

Again, in historical context, Christ

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