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Defending Our Divinely Inspired Constitution


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I apologize if this violates the board's policy of "no politics" but I think its ok since I don't
focus on specific political parties and their beliefs.

I read this article in the recent General Conference talk.

Without a Bill of Rights, America could not have served as the host nation for the
Restoration of the gospel, which began just three decades later.

How so?  How does the gospel spread in communist countries where there is no Bill
of Rights?

What else are faithful Latter-day Saints to do? We must pray for the Lord to guide
and bless all nations and their leaders. This is part of our article of faith. Being
subject to presidents or rulers (7) of course poses no obstacle to our opposing
individual laws or policies.

Point 7 refers to Articles of Faith 1:12 - We believe in being subject to kings, 
presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Is there a difference between law and policy and that is why "policy" is excluded
from the article of faith?

Are there examples of laws or policies that a person can be subject to a President
or King in obeying, honoring, sustaining them but at the same time opposing said
laws or policies?

Jim

Edited by theplains
added last paragraph
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1 hour ago, theplains said:

How so?  How does the gospel spread in communist countries where there is no Bill
of Rights?

What does communism have to do with it? Lots of democratic nations with predominantly capitalist economic systems have no equivalent to the US Bill of Rights.

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2 hours ago, theplains said:

I apologize if this violates the board's policy of "no politics" but I think its ok since I don't
focus on specific political parties and their beliefs.

I read this article in the recent General Conference talk.

Without a Bill of Rights, America could not have served as the host nation for the
Restoration of the gospel, which began just three decades later.

How so?  How does the gospel spread in communist countries where there is no Bill
of Rights?

What else are faithful Latter-day Saints to do? We must pray for the Lord to guide
and bless all nations and their leaders. This is part of our article of faith. Being
subject to presidents or rulers (7) of course poses no obstacle to our opposing
individual laws or policies.

Point 7 refers to Articles of Faith 1:12 - We believe in being subject to kings, 
presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Is there a difference between law and policy and that is why "policy" is excluded
from the article of faith?

Are there examples of laws or policies that a person can be subject to a President
or King in obeying, honoring, sustaining them but at the same time opposing said
laws or policies?

Jim

Absent the religious freedom and antiestablishment guarantees, how would the Church have been established in the USA in fulfillment of Book of Mormon prophesy, given the exclusive government power held by the extant churches? Theoretically it could have become established anywhere else, but that wasn’t the prophesy.

The word “policy” is excluded from the article of faith for any number of reasons, but that doesn’t preclude opposing policy (or rule, regulation, platform, court decision, executive order, etc.) any more or any less than opposing laws, given that we do it in ways that sustain the government in line with D&C 134.

This is how you can be subject to and sustain the laws in general while advocating for their removal, improvement or alteration. That is why the Bill of Rights was so important to the Restoration. Obey the law or policy you disagree with until you can change it in good faith. rather than risking the personal and collective  consequences in bad faith.

Edited by CV75
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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

What does communism have to do with it? Lots of democratic nations with predominantly capitalist economic systems have no equivalent to the US Bill of Rights.

The point is that non-restored Christianity has spread in the absence of bills of rights.  

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

There are all sorts of laws we can "obey" and yet oppose.  But I think that opposition generally comes in the form of lawful means.  Repeal the law, rather than flagrantly disobey it.

I appreciate that you said generally. Civil disobedience does have its place. It gave India her independence and helped end Jim Crowe.

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4 hours ago, 3DOP said:

The point is that non-restored Christianity has spread in the absence of bills of rights.  

Yes, and by definition (of the bill of rights, that is) if continued unchecked, only certain kinds of non-restored Christianity would retain their footing.

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2 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

The church would not have survived had the early Saints remained in the United States.

They literally left because they had no religious freedom or rights.

Rather, their rights were not honored or protected after the bill of rights ensured the organization of the Church as part of the initiation of the Restoration. 

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9 hours ago, CV75 said:

Rather, their rights were not honored or protected after the bill of rights ensured the organization of the Church as part of the initiation of the Restoration. 

That's right, so not much substance to the argument that the Church could not have been established anywhere but the United States in the mid-19th century. The Church as we know it today was practically established in the middle of the desert of Mexico by European immigrants.

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On 9/18/2021 at 7:12 PM, CV75 said:

Yes, and by definition (of the bill of rights, that is) if continued unchecked, only certain kinds of non-restored Christianity would retain their footing.

Hi CV75.

What was different in the first centuries after Christ, that allowed the "Former-day Saints" to eventually emerge from the catacombs after three centuries of bloody persecution victorious over arguably the greatest pagan empire in human history...without the divinely inspired US Constitution and its bill of rights, in contrast with the Latter-day Saints who, according to what The Plains quoted, could not have survived, or according to your words to "retain their footing"? 

I don't get this apparent LDS idea of submissive obedience to godless state authority if it opposes the Gospel. If the Former-day Saints had done that, we wouldn't have any kind of Christianity today, nor a bill of rights! However you would identify them by name, I am with the Former-day Saints who disobeyed man. I identify them as Catholics. We should both agree that they were certainly not modern LDS Restorationists. They did not accept that "Without a Bill of Rights, [the Roman Empire] could not have served as the host nation for the [Proclamation] of the gospel..." They would not obey Caesar when Caesar opposed Christ. "But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men". (Ac. 5:29)

Maybe you agree that if it comes down to a conflict we obey Christ rather than Caesar. But at times it seems like your beliefs seem to be that there will never be such a conflict. What do you say about the early church. Should those Christians have sacrificed to idols in obedience to the State? 

I suggest that there are times when God makes his children choose between state and church, between man and God. Certainly in the the first three centuries. Maybe in the next few?

Rory

Edited by 3DOP
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>Divinely inspired.

I don't think the Founding Fathers were the devout Christians some people think they were, many were Deists.  Jefferson sure did write a cool bible lol.  Anyway,  I stand with the LDS faithful on this, we need to defend our Constitution.  I also like to credit pic related for having a huge influence on it's creation.  

1f1462_5840b96dfbcf445da54cea59b74d0605~

 

Edited by poptart
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15 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

That's right, so not much substance to the argument that the Church could not have been established anywhere but the United States in the mid-19th century. The Church as we know it today was practically established in the middle of the desert of Mexico by European immigrants.

The quote from the OP goes like this: "Without a Bill of Rights, America could not have served as the host nation for the Restoration of the gospel, which began just three decades later."

The organization of the Church occurred at least 10 years after the initiation of the Restoration of the gospel. So it depends on what you mean by "established," which gets to the Bill of Rights context. We can consider the movement which preceded the Church to be a religion, and there would be no movement or subsequent Church unless the original government-supported, established churches (absent the Bill of Rights) permitted it. The Bill of Rights removed that obstacle.

The Church as we know it today needs to be established globally by anybody anywhere.

I understand the desire to minimize the Church as as "American" Church, as well it should be, and not to politicize the spiritual principles of the constitution of the land called USA (as well it shouldn't be), or nationalize the prophecies of the Book of Mormon to appropriate their fulfilment to other locales as a scholarly exercise (which is neither here nor there since it will fill the earth anyway).

Edited by CV75
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13 hours ago, 3DOP said:

Hi CV75.

What was different in the first centuries after Christ, that allowed the "Former-day Saints" to eventually emerge from the catacombs after three centuries of bloody persecution victorious over arguably the greatest pagan empire in human history...without the divinely inspired US Constitution and its bill of rights, in contrast with the Latter-day Saints who, according to what The Plains quoted, could not have survived, or according to your words to "retain their footing"? 

I don't get this apparent LDS idea of submissive obedience to godless state authority if it opposes the Gospel. If the Former-day Saints had done that, we wouldn't have any kind of Christianity today, nor a bill of rights! However you would identify them by name, I am with the Former-day Saints who disobeyed man. I identify them as Catholics. We should both agree that they were certainly not modern LDS Restorationists. They did not accept that "Without a Bill of Rights, [the Roman Empire] could not have served as the host nation for the [Proclamation] of the gospel..." They would not obey Caesar when Caesar opposed Christ. "But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men". (Ac. 5:29)

Maybe you agree that if it comes down to a conflict we obey Christ rather than Caesar. But at times it seems like your beliefs seem to be that there will never be such a conflict. What do you say about the early church. Should those Christians have sacrificed to idols in obedience to the State? 

I suggest that there are times when God makes his children choose between state and church, between man and God. Certainly in the the first three centuries. Maybe in the next few?

Rory

The quote is about the Restoration of the gospel in fulfillment of Book of Mormon prophecies, not its initial promulgation. I see that as the main difference, and so addresses the specifics of time, place and circumstance rather than applying a general principle to all times, places and circumstances. Similarly, the latter-day revelations concerning “America” in the D&C also address the time, place and circumstance of the Restoration. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and very attentive to what is going on with His children’s agency.

I feel that the “Former-day” saints did the right thing inasmuch as they followed what the Lord revealed through His servants.

Collectively, Article of Faith 12 prevails for the Restoration’s “Latter-day” saints, but individual circumstances may certainly allow exceptions to that – thankfully not my call!

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12 hours ago, CV75 said:

The quote is about the Restoration of the gospel in fulfillment of Book of Mormon prophecies, not its initial promulgation. I see that as the main difference, and so addresses the specifics of time, place and circumstance rather than applying a general principle to all times, places and circumstances. Similarly, the latter-day revelations concerning “America” in the D&C also address the time, place and circumstance of the Restoration. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and very attentive to what is going on with His children’s agency.

I feel that the “Former-day” saints did the right thing inasmuch as they followed what the Lord revealed through His servants.

Collectively, Article of Faith 12 prevails for the Restoration’s “Latter-day” saints, but individual circumstances may certainly allow exceptions to that – thankfully not my call!

CV75, I think that is fair. Thank you for a satisfactory answer.

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On 9/19/2021 at 4:29 PM, Rajah Manchou said:

That's right, so not much substance to the argument that the Church could not have been established anywhere but the United States in the mid-19th century. The Church as we know it today was practically established in the middle of the desert of Mexico by European immigrants.

Hugh Nibley argued that it set up perfect conditions for the martyrdom of the prophet and his brother. They broke no law but were still killed. Would be hard to find a European nation where that would have been as clear-cut.

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On 9/19/2021 at 7:42 PM, 3DOP said:

Hi CV75.

What was different in the first centuries after Christ, that allowed the "Former-day Saints" to eventually emerge from the catacombs after three centuries of bloody persecution victorious over arguably the greatest pagan empire in human history...without the divinely inspired US Constitution and its bill of rights, in contrast with the Latter-day Saints who, according to what The Plains quoted, could not have survived, or according to your words to "retain their footing"? 

I don't get this apparent LDS idea of submissive obedience to godless state authority if it opposes the Gospel. If the Former-day Saints had done that, we wouldn't have any kind of Christianity today, nor a bill of rights! However you would identify them by name, I am with the Former-day Saints who disobeyed man. I identify them as Catholics. We should both agree that they were certainly not modern LDS Restorationists. They did not accept that "Without a Bill of Rights, [the Roman Empire] could not have served as the host nation for the [Proclamation] of the gospel..." They would not obey Caesar when Caesar opposed Christ. "But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men". (Ac. 5:29)

Maybe you agree that if it comes down to a conflict we obey Christ rather than Caesar. But at times it seems like your beliefs seem to be that there will never be such a conflict. What do you say about the early church. Should those Christians have sacrificed to idols in obedience to the State? 

I suggest that there are times when God makes his children choose between state and church, between man and God. Certainly in the the first three centuries. Maybe in the next few?

Rory

Rome was also an ideal time to spread the gospel. While there was no Bill of Rights there was religious toleration under very liberal (for that time) conditions. The Jews even had an exception to venerating Roman gods and, viewed as a Jewish heresy, the Christians could skate by a for a little while under it. The common trade language and developed infrastructure of the time moved Christianity in a way no other ancient era that we know of could. I would argue it was chosen as carefully as the site for the Restoration.

Or you can just say it went apostate early and that made it acceptable to the evil world…… :vader:

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Hugh Nibley argued that it set up perfect conditions for the martyrdom of the prophet and his brother. They broke no law but were still killed. Would be hard to find a European nation where that would have been as clear-cut.

It was my understanding that the destruction of private property was illegal. No? (Not saying it was a capital offense regardless)

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1 hour ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

It was my understanding that the destruction of private property was illegal. No? (Not saying it was a capital offense regardless)

It wasn't until the early 20th century that the Supreme Court first interpreted the 14th amendment to incorporate the Bill of Rights against the states.  In other words, prior to that, the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights only applied to actions taken by the Federal Government.  It's why Joseph Smith was told, "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you."  It's why the Nauvoo City Council was able to legally vote on a measure that shut down a printing press that had been critical of the prophet. 

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Rome was also an ideal time to spread the gospel. While there was no Bill of Rights there was religious toleration under very liberal (for that time) conditions. The Jews even had an exception to venerating Roman gods and, viewed as a Jewish heresy, the Christians could skate by a for a little while under it. The common trade language and developed infrastructure of the time moved Christianity in a way no other ancient era that we know of could. I would argue it was chosen as carefully as the site for the Restoration.

Or you can just say it went apostate early and that made it acceptable to the evil world…… :vader:

There's an arguable case that the early Christian church was only hanging on by its fingernails until the timely intervention of Constantine.  I think the restored Church has had considerable success even without a God-emperor sheltering it from persecutions or making it the official state religion.  That success could be attributed to the religious pluralism encouraged by the Bill of Rights.

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22 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

It wasn't until the early 20th century that the Supreme Court first interpreted the 14th amendment to incorporate the Bill of Rights against the states.  In other words, prior to that, the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights only applied to actions taken by the Federal Government.  It's why Joseph Smith was told, "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you."  It's why the Nauvoo City Council was able to legally vote on a measure that shut down a printing press that had been critical of the prophet. 

I said nothing about destroying the print or shutting down the press. I'm talking about the destruction of the printing press itself. 

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33 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

It wasn't until the early 20th century that the Supreme Court first interpreted the 14th amendment to incorporate the Bill of Rights against the states.  In other words, prior to that, the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights only applied to actions taken by the Federal Government.  It's why Joseph Smith was told, "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you."  It's why the Nauvoo City Council was able to legally vote on a measure that shut down a printing press that had been critical of the prophet. 

Too bad the guy lost his newspaper because the prophet lied about the truthfulness of the allegations made in the paper. 

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