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The Doctrine and Covenants and American Exceptionalism


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3 hours ago, Calm said:

And it took the Magna Carta and a number of other political developments over the globe to lead to the US Constitution.  It did not arrive in a vacuum, just as the USA is not something that exists and survives on its own, but from the beginning was interdependent with other nations.

I never said it “arrive[d] in a vacuum.” Nor did anyone else here, that I can tell. 
 

What I did was to quote the Lord to the effect that He established the Constitution by the hands of wise men whom He raised up unto this very purpose. 
 

I stand by that. 

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3 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

Which version of the Constitution? The one in 1833? So anything after the 12th amendment isn't part of it?

Or the constitution in general, which can be theoretically be amended to say anything.

290 in the house (for 2/3)

67 in the senate (for 2/3)

5 in the supreme court (to counter any legal challenges)

2429 for majorities in the smallest 38 legislatures.

In other words 2791 people total is all you need to turn the constitution into anything.

 

But the Lord didn't say anything more or less than the constitution is evil.

That's not talking about the constitution being perfect. It's talking about very specific aspects of it, and an expectation to follow it.

Plus as Calm hinted at with the Magna Carta comment. You can thank the British for the basis of a lot of what is claimed to be America's world leading constitution. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2486&context=byusq

And we can thank French thinker Charles de Montesquieu for identifying the importance of separation of powers by a distribution into executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

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10 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

You have this tendency to open political threads and goad people into political discussions, only to turn the blame for participating in political discussion on the person you goad. 

From the moment I saw this thread I expected it, so probably better to just close down this thread. Right?

The thread ought to be closed down.

I understand from the board guidelines that the purpose of this board is to “engage in substantive and civil discussion about topics related to the Church of Jesus Christ ... and Mormonism in general.” What I have done is to open a thread the purpose of which, as clearly stated, is to explore what is contained in the Doctrine and Covenants about the U.S. Constitution. That strikes me as falling well within the parameters of the above-quoted board guideline. 

But if that amounts to goading, that would rule out a good many of the topics that are brought up on the board. 
 

You are the second person in the past few days who has tried to get a thread I started shut down and has brazenly announced his intent to do so. It seems cancel culture is becoming as pervasive among us as COVID 19. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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4 hours ago, Calm said:

“Socialist dogma” already did that.

So expressing opposition against socialism is prohibited? What other trigger words must we be wary of? Will it now be verboten here, under penalty of being silenced, to express one’s disapproval of communism in the course of a discussion about a Church topic? Fascism? Antisemitism? Authoritarianism? Autocracy? Despotism?

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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6 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

Which version of the Constitution? The one in 1833? So anything after the 12th amendment isn't part of it?

Or the constitution in general, which can be theoretically be amended to say anything.

290 in the house (for 2/3)

67 in the senate (for 2/3)

5 in the supreme court (to counter any legal challenges)

2429 for majorities in the smallest 38 legislatures.

In other words 2791 people total is all you need to turn the constitution into anything.

 

But the Lord didn't say anything more or less than the constitution is evil.

That's not talking about the constitution being perfect. It's talking about very specific aspects of it, and an expectation to follow it.

Plus as Calm hinted at with the Magna Carta comment. You can thank the British for the basis of a lot of what is claimed to be America's world leading constitution. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2486&context=byusq

To me at least, the Lord’s endorsement of the Constitution, when read in context in the Doctrine and Covenants, is not to be understood to mean every bit of it is perfect. Obviously, that is not the case. Some of it permits slavery, for example, and some of it institutes and later repeals prohibition. 
 

It seems to me the Lord is giving His approbation to the broad and overarching principles of the Constitution as pertaining to “freedom in maintaining rights and privileges,” “moral agency” granted by God to all His children, and such. 
 

And, in a reply to Calm, I’ve already denied saying the Constitution emerged “in a vacuum.” One can believe it was divinely inspired without thinking it came about in that manner. It is well known that John Adams, in drafting the Virginia Plan that became the U.S. Constitution, consulted voluminous source material on government, incorporating the best of what he found from past societies and cultures. I recognize that. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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41 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

So expressing opposition against socialism is prohibited? Will it now be verboten here, under penalty of being silenced, to express one’s disapproval of communism in the course of a discussion about a Church topic? Fascism? Antisemitism? 

I didn’t prohibit it, did I?  I am not a mod and can neither prohibit or allow topics boardwide.  I merely commented your post had already violated the rules you were asking others not to break.  So ask the person who made the rules if you can bend the rules while you tell others not to. 
 

And it wasn’t opposition to socialist dogma that I think is partisan politics, but the implication of who was using socialist dogma and therefore is aligning themselves with evil. 

 

Quote

That’s why I detest the socialist dogma being foisted upon us by some currently in power
 

Bolded by me...

Then there is the whole implication that a good Saint would never be a good socialist, when I know Saints and their leaders who would very much disagree. 

Edited by Calm
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57 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

seems cancel culture is becoming as pervasive...

You mean like trying to shut down fellow Saints by using the scare label “socialism”, no right thinking Saint would dare to be associated with that!

Edited by Calm
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8 hours ago, rchorse said:

I don't know anyone that has a problem with the constitution being inspired or New Jerusalem being in America. I think the problem people have is with American Exceptionalism. The idea that Americans or the American way of life and culture are superior or that somehow Americans are favored of God just by virtue of being American. That idea goes against doctrine taught in the scriptures and is what offends many non-Americans.

After all, "the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God...And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked. And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes."

I don't think anyone individually or any nation gets a free pass merely by virtue of geography or where they live.

I don't think anyone has ever said that American Saints get a free pass merely by virtue of geography. In my view, those who run down (even to the point of celebrating) what they see as the decline of "American Exceptionalism" don't like the extreme focus on America in the Restoration, and they want this to be de-emphasized as quickly as possible. 

I think there is embarrassment on the part of some in the Church about what they perceive as the "weirdness" of things like Adam-ondi-Ahman (e.g., how Mitt Romney refused to answer when asked about Adam and Missouri. It would have been less awkward and embarrassed-looking to have simply answered), New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Founding Fathers visiting Wilford Woodruff, etc. To them, the sooner we give up these silly traditions and fables, the better --- they are humiliated by them. 

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20 minutes ago, Calm said:

I didn’t prohibit it, did I?  I am not a mod and can neither prohibit or allow topics boardwide.  I merely commented your post had already violated the rules you were asking others not to break. 
 

And it wasn’t opposition to socialist dogma that I think is partisan politics, but the implication of who was using socialist dogma and therefore is aligning themselves with evil. 
 

Then there is the whole implication that a good Saint would never be a good socialist, when I know Saints and their leaders who would very much disagree. 

No, you didn’t, prohibit, you denounced. 
 

I don’t concede that I violated any rules, but I suppose that’s a matter for others to adjudicate. 
 

Who, specifically, did I say was “using socialist dogma” and aligning himself with evil? I said I didn’t like it that some in positions of power right now are trying to foist socialism on us. I think I’m entitled to express that opinion. 

I never said “a good saint would never be a good socialist” but I do believe socialism in more or less it’s pure form is unwise and potentially harmful and oppressive, as we have seen in the past. Is it now forbidden to say so on here, even as an aside in the course of a discussion about Church-related topics?  
 

I had understood the rule against politics on the board to pertain to partisan politics. Am I now to understand it relates more broadly to ideologies and philosophies? 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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50 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

So expressing opposition against socialism is prohibited? What other trigger words must we be wary of? Will it now be verboten here, under penalty of being silenced, to express one’s disapproval of communism in the course of a discussion about a Church topic? Fascism? Antisemitism? Authoritarianism? Autocracy? Despotism?

Look, I've been banned for less. "Thank you Mitt" is apparently a verboten phrase for some. So I don't know the rules, I think each mod has different levels of tolerance. 

I just assume that I don't have as much wiggle room as you do to discuss political topics like American exceptionalism and socialism here.

It's not that I'm trying to get you cancelled, good grief, its more that I'm trying to avoid getting cancelled myself.

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11 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Not clear what is meant by “the American myth” here, but there are aspects of American exceptionalism that are baked into latter-day Restoration scripture and doctrine, namely the role of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights as pertaining to preserving the principle of moral agency, not just for Americans, but “for all flesh.” 

While our salvation is not tied to the fate of America or one economic or political ideology over another, America as a location and a protector of religious (and other) freedom is definitely tied to the Restoration as prophesied in the Book or Mormon and reiterated in the D&C.

People may believe differently over what that specifically means, but discipleship will prevent contention and violence over their diverse economic and political applications.

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9 hours ago, rchorse said:

I don't know anyone that has a problem with the constitution being inspired or New Jerusalem being in America. I think the problem people have is with American Exceptionalism. The idea that Americans or the American way of life and culture are superior or that somehow Americans are favored of God just by virtue of being American. That idea goes against doctrine taught in the scriptures and is what offends many non-Americans.

After all, "the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God...And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked. And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes."

I don't think anyone individually or any nation gets a free pass merely by virtue of geography or where they live.

As I indicated above, I think the belief itself (there are also brands and semantics of exceptionalism) is not a problem, but preference or priority over discipleship, and contention and violence in its applications.

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5 hours ago, JustAnAustralian said:

Which version of the Constitution? The one in 1833? So anything after the 12th amendment isn't part of it?

Or the constitution in general, which can be theoretically be amended to say anything.

290 in the house (for 2/3)

67 in the senate (for 2/3)

5 in the supreme court (to counter any legal challenges)

2429 for majorities in the smallest 38 legislatures.

In other words 2791 people total is all you need to turn the constitution into anything.

 

But the Lord didn't say anything more or less than the constitution is evil.

That's not talking about the constitution being perfect. It's talking about very specific aspects of it, and an expectation to follow it.

Plus as Calm hinted at with the Magna Carta comment. You can thank the British for the basis of a lot of what is claimed to be America's world leading constitution. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2486&context=byusq

Isn’t it obvious it’s the Constitution of the United Stated as it existed and was generally understood and interpreted in 1833, the year the revelation was given? In the year the revelation was given the people and politicians of the United States still believed in a very limited and strictly proscribed role for the central government.  But since then the voters and politicians have long since given up on the originalist idea of a small central government with very limited enumerated powers, as clearly and unambiguously set forth at the founding, in favor of a very powerful and intrusive central government that’s on a trajectory to soon control every aspect of our lives through high tech means.

Why else do you think the United States is now hopelessly in debt to the tune of 29 trillion dollars, with another 150 trillion dollars in unfunded government liabilities? At long last, the United States appears to be doomed to despotism, mob violence and ultimate destruction after fully ripening in iniquity, which is why Zion must arise. It’s all been prophesied: Babylon the Great and the whore of all the earth will fall into the pit they digged for the destruction of the saints.

Edited by teddyaware
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14 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Look, I've been banned for less. "Thank you Mitt" is apparently a verboten phrase for some. So I don't know the rules, I think each mod has different levels of tolerance. 

I just assume that I don't have as much wiggle room as you do to discuss political topics like American exceptionalism and socialism here.

It's not that I'm trying to get you cancelled, good grief, its more that I'm trying to avoid getting cancelled myself.

You didn’t provide the context for your “thank you, Mitt” remark, but I don’t want to get into that; it’s between you and the moderators. 
 

It might interest you to know, though, that I’ve been suspended as well, for politics. I gather that bannings are usually not publicly announced, so in most cases, we wouldn’t know if one had occurred. Don’t assume that if you never hear about it, it doesn’t happen. 

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22 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

don't know the rules, I think each mod has different levels of tolerance. 

Probably depends on how much time they have as well. 

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8 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

 

Scott, your computer seems to have been infected with an apostrophe virus ... :P

😝 

Mea culpa! 
 

Some of it (the “it’s”) I can partially blame on an overzealous auto-correct function. But I accept that I’m ultimately responsible. 

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6 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

You didn’t provide the context for your “thank you, Mitt” remark, but I don’t want to get into that; it’s between you and the moderators. 
 

It might interest you to know, though, that I’ve been suspended as well, for politics. I gather that bannings are usually not publicly announced, so in most cases, we wouldn’t know if one had occurred. Don’t assume that if you never hear about it, it doesn’t happen. 

Yep, I was shut off for a day and the post removed for making a joke that I thought was really funny for being ridiculous in the extreme (Oh that I were an angel, and I would tell it again!). No harm, no foul.

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3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No, you didn’t, prohibit, you denounced. 
 

I don’t concede that I violated any rules, but I suppose that’s a matter for others to adjudicate. 
 

Who, specifically, did I say was “using socialist dogma” and aligning himself with evil? I said I didn’t like it that some in positions of power right now are trying to foist socialism on us. I think I’m entitled to express that opinion. 

I never said “a good saint would never be a good socialist” but I do believe socialism in more or less it’s pure form is unwise and potentially harmful and oppressive, as we have seen in the past. Is it now forbidden to say so on here, even as an aside in the course of a discussion about Church-related topics?  
 

I had understood the rule against politics on the board to pertain to partisan politics. Am I now to understand it relates more broadly to ideologies and philosophies? 

I come asking for help Scott. I hear over and over the scare word "socialism". What exactly does that mean to you? I believe socialism is better than capitalism. Capitalism has now been shown that it stays at the top, the tax breaks etc. stay at the top and none are trickling down like so many said would for years. Capitalism, to me, is what's hurting our country, not socialism, which to me, is good roads, help for the unemployed, good affordable health insurance, social security for seniors, disability insurance, medicaid/medicare, free lunch program for students...there's too many to list. Is this wrong? Because in my eyes, it's the most Christlike behavior. The capitalist's ways, seem more like tyranny to me, those at the top will get their way, by use of money. The little people will pay more taxes than they, we've seen that in action with our own eyes. I am sincere in asking this, I know I'm naive when it comes to things like this. I hope this can not be taken in context of being political. I just need a good answer to the question I've asked over and over in my mind, but haven't been able to get an answer. I guess I should go back to school. 

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

You mean like trying to shut down fellow Saints by using the scare label “socialism”, no right thinking Saint would dare to be associated with that!

As we use the term socialism, I would say that you are right, but I would submit that Christ instituted the only truly communistic government the world has ever known, but it got stamped out with early Christianity when it was replaced with the Roman state religion. One could argue that Christ tried to reinstitute it with the United Order, but the Church couldn't live it sufficiently so now has reverted to living the lesser Mosaic law of tithing.

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15 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

On another thread, Ralph Manchou posted this (I’m pasting in the whole post so as to avoid taking it out of context):

“Always a difficult subject, because the American myth is so deeply seated in Mormonism: The American Religion.

“At some point we have to let go of it. Our salvation is not at all tied to the fate of America or the victory of one economic or political ideology over another. When you look at conflicts or tensions between faiths, it's almost always a conflict between economic or political ideologies or a battle for geography.

“I once had the opportunity to spend two weeks with the Prime Minister of the Exiled Government of Tibet. He's also a devout monastic. I attended a film festival with him about the conflict between Tibet and China and one of the scenes was the tank man in Tiananmen Square. I was floored when he later told me he had never seen that clip before. He explained to me that, even though he was the elected Prime Minister of an exiled and oppressed nation, he avoids political media and political debates as much as he can. His reasoning was that if you become attached to the political or economic ideologies of a "homeland" you will eventually be consumed by those attachments and your spirituality will suffer. In his mind, TRUTH is not dependent on place or time.  

“Before we can reconcile, we need to extract politics and economics from our faith, to the point where we can stand together without hard feelings or ill will towards each other.”

End of the quote from Ralph

Not clear what is meant by “the American myth” here, but there are aspects of American exceptionalism that are baked into latter-day Restoration scripture and doctrine, namely the role of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights as pertaining to preserving the principle of moral agency, not just for Americans, but “for all flesh.” 
 

This is so explicitly stated in the Doctrine and Covenants that it cannot persuasively be denied. 
 

Consider:

5 And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
 

Elsewhere:

 

77 According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

78 That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.
79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

 

And further:

54 Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.

I think Ralph M has made it pretty clear that his point was that the constitution itself does not have to stand in its present form for the Church to survive. I have to agree with this. At the least in order  for the constitution to survive it needs an additional amendment so that the type of politics I disdain will be (mostly) eliminated. What we now see is a result of lobbying with large donations to back them up. Eliminate these large donations by single entities, and most of our problems with "politics" would dissipate. The money drives the politics when it should be the people driving the politics. That last verse, although scripture, was a prayer, and not necessarily the will of the Lord BTW. I think certain principles of self-governance and freedom are worth preserving, but I don't think it is necessary for our constitution our even our country to stand indefinitely for scripture to be fulfilled. In the end all nations shall fall in favor of Christ's government. What we are now seeing is only the beginning of the image of the beast prophesied in  Revelation.

10 hours ago, teddyaware said:

I most certainly was not referring to the White Horse Prophecy. What I was referring is statements made by several of the leaders of the Church who, throughout the years, have said the specific, narrow prophecy about the Constitution being saved by the elders of Israel is true and will be fulfilled. In fact, it was President Brigham Young who testified that at the time of the Second Coming the flag of the United States of America will be flying over the city of the New Jerusalem.

I have to disagree with BY. What we are seeing is the fulillment of the time of the Gentiles. This will end at the time of His coming in the clouds. I guess it may depend on what one considers the time of His second coming. If one considers that to be the time of the next resurrection, then BY is wrong. The New Jerusalem will be built after the prophesied resurrection in 3 Nephi 21.

10 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Personally, I believe the way the Constitution is going to be saved is that it will be sustained and held inviolate by the kingdom of God and will be the law of earthly government found in the city of Zion. And why not since God is its author?

Additionally, I think it’s now fairly obvious that the Constitution is going to be overthrown and scrapped throughout the rest of the former United States in favor of a freedom destroying system of “government” that will be set up by the set of modern-day Gadianton robbers prophesied to infect the nations of the entire world in Ether chapter 8.

Bottom line? The dream of the Founding Fathers’ American city of freedom and righteousness set on a hill will finally find its glorious fulfillment in the people and city of Zion.

If that city is the City of the New Jerusalem, I can agree with you. Yeah, I think the immediate future will see the image of the beast which will be constitution and freedom destroying. I have to agree with you there. But the basic principles of the constitution at least will be preserved in the New Jerusalem. Whether one wants to call this the constitution hanging by a thread doesn't really matter to me. That point is basically irrelevant to me. If it does survive in its present form at all, it will have to at least be amended significantly.  The courts have read all too much into it. 

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