Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Religious Liberty
By Alan on Jun 19 in Blog tagged Americans, apostles, beliefs, challenges of worshiping, conscience, convictions, faith, Joseph Smith, LDS, legal provisions, legal shifts, liberty, Mormons, organizations, priveliege, protection, religion, religious liberty, rights, social, statements, supress, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thomas S. Monson | 2 Comments
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have great reason to revere religious liberty. From a history that at times has involved religious persecution, Mormons have a special appreciation for the freedom to speak and live according to their convictions and faith. Religious liberty, in fact, has been significant for Mormons since the beginning. Church founder Joseph Smith was a strong and generous proponent of this principle, and he recognized that it was critical for all parties to reciprocate in upholding it. “I am bold to declare before Heaven” he said, “that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbytarian [sic], a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination.”
In a 19th-century Mormon settlement, Smith also underlined the importance of religious freedom by introducing a city ordinance that guaranteed religious freedom for inhabitants of all faiths. Freedom of conscience and religion were incorporated into the Church’s Articles of Faith, which explain, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”  Mormons are steadfastly committed to religious liberty and to its protection.
The mounting challenges to religious freedom
The condition of religious liberty and freedom of conscience in the United States is not as dire as it is in some areas of the world. Today, American people of faith and conscience do not generally face the physical violence or coercion sometimes experienced in other nations. However, freedom of religion and conscience in the United States are nonetheless at risk. Social and legal shifts are squeezing this liberty in new and deeply problematic ways. Americans who have long taken it for granted are being reminded of its value.
Challenges to religious freedom are emerging from many sources. Emerging advocacy for gay rights threatens to abridge religious freedom in a number of ways. Changes in health care threaten the rights of those who hold certain moral convictions about human life. These and other developments are producing conflict and beginning to impose on religious organizations and people of conscience. They are threatening, for instance, to restrict how religious organizations can manage their employment and their property. They are bringing about the coercion of religiously-affiliated universities, schools and social-service entities. They are also resulting in reprimands to individuals who act in line with their principles — from health practitioners and other professionals to parents. In these and in many other circumstances, we see how religious freedom and freedom of conscience are being subtly but steadily eroded. And of equal concern, the legal provisions emerging to safeguard these freedoms are often shallow — protecting these liberties only in the narrowest sense. In many aspects of public life, religious freedom and freedom of conscience are being drawn into conflicts that may suppress them.
Selected Beliefs and Statements on Religious Freedom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
SALT LAKE CITY —
We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life. . . . We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt, but never suppress the freedom of the soul. Doctrine and Covenants 134:2, 4 (1835)
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. Articles of Faith 1:11 (1842)
Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, that the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-day Saints, Quakers, Episcopals, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohammedans, and all other religious sects and denominations whatever, shall have free toleration, and equal privileges, in this city. Joseph Smith, Nauvoo City Ordinance (1841)
The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing before Heaven to die for a “Mormon,” I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbytarian [sic], a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. Joseph Smith (1843)
The Latter-day Saints proclaim their unqualified allegiance to the principles of religious liberty and toleration. Freedom to worship Almighty God as the conscience may dictate, they affirm to be one of the inherent and inalienable rights of humanity. . . . No person possessing a regard for Deity can be content if restricted in the performance of the highest duty of his existence. James E. Talmage (1899)
Nothing else in the great document, the Constitution [of the United States], is so important to this people as is this guarantee of religious freedom, because underneath and behind all that lies in our lives, all that we do in our lives, is our religion, our worship, our belief and faith in God.” J. Reuben Clark Jr. (1935)
Those who oppose all references to God in our public life have set themselves the task of rooting out historical facts and ceremonial tributes and symbols so ingrained in our national consciousness that their elimination could only be interpreted as an official act of hostility toward religion. Our constitutional law forbids that. As the ruling principle of conduct in the lives of many millions of our citizens, religion should have an honorable place in the public life of our nation, and the name of Almighty God should have sacred use in its public expressions. First Presidency Statement (1979)
Religious values and political realities are so interlinked in the origin and perpetuation of this nation that we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms. I maintain that this is a political fact, well qualified for argument in the public square by religious people whose freedom to believe and act must always be protected by what is properly called our “First Freedom,” the free exercise of religion. Dallin H. Oaks (2009)
Mormon Candidate Mitt Romney Spoke At Baptist Liberty University
By Alan on Jun 01 in Blog tagged Americans, Baptist, Billy Graham, Bonheoffer, by Oath, Catholic Online, champion for Christ, christianity, Chuck Colson, Culture matters, David Landes, different faiths, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Dr. Viktor Frankl, graduates, John Paul the Second, Judeo-Christian tradition, Liberty University, marriage, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney is correct, Mormon, one man and one woman, Presidential elections, protection, purpose-driven life, religious freedom, Rick Santorum, spiritual ideals, standards, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Family, US Consttution, Welsly, Wilberforce | 1 Comment
Governor Romney did not attempt to argue the compatibility of his own religious faith and that of most of the graduates. I was relieved. He told the graduates and their guests, “People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.” He is right. - Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
. . . . . . . .
LYNCHBURG,VA (Catholic Online) – On Saturday May 12, 2012, Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party who will contend with President Barack Obama in one of the most important Presidential elections in the history of the United States, surprised many, including me.
The fact that a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, would be the commencement speaker at the Baptist University founded by Dr Jerry Falwell speaks to the urgency of the hour. Add to this the fact that this Catholic Editor in Chief of Catholic Online would consider the speech important enough to make it the lead article, and the point is made even clearer.
Governor Romney addressed a graduating class of 14,012 and a crowd estimated at over 30,000 people. That made it the largest crowd of the 2012 campaign. His speech was deeply respectful. He affirmed the founder of the University, the late Dr Jerry Falwell:
“The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one. Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary. Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness”
He affirmed the Liberty graduates noting, “You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.”
“That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration. In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonheoffer, John Paul
the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ. May that be your guide.”
Mitt Romney even managed to weave in an affirmation of his former rival, my friend and preferred candidate, former Senator Rick Santorum. In his emphasis on the importance of the culture, he told the graduates, “You enter a world with civilizations and economies
that are far from equal. Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter. His conclusion: Culture makes all the difference. Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian
tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.”
“The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family. The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Sen. Rick Santorum brought to my attention. For
those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%. But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor. Culture matters.”
Then, in the line quoted most from the speech by the media, Romney stood firmly and squarely for marriage and the family and free society founded upon it noting, “As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between
one man and one woman.”
He was equally firm on the vital issue of religious freedom noting, ”The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate. It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with. Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.”
“But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man. Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution. And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there
is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.”
“Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world. But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us. Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is
always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life. We’re not alone in sensing this. Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.”
This was a well delivered speech filled with excellent content which the Romney campaign should use more frequently in the campaign ahead. The signal was sent to many who, like me, who are deeply concerned that the moral issues not be separated from the economic issues. It appears that the presumptive Republican candidate has listened. Governor Romney did not attempt to argue the compatibility of his own
religious faith and that of most of the graduates. I was relieved. He told the graduates and their guests, “People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview. The best case for
this is always the example of Christian men and women working and witnessing to carry God’s love into every life – people like the late Chuck Colson.”
“Not long ago, Chuck recounted a story from his days just after leaving prison. He was assured by people of influence that, even with a prison record, a man with his connections and experience could still live very comfortably. They would make some calls, get Chuck situated, and set him up once again as an important man. His choice
at that crossroads would make him, instead, a great man.”
I will attend Chuck’s memorial service this week. He had a great influence on my own life when I was a younger man. I was moved that the Governor included him in the commencement address. Chuck deserved the honor and, frankly, I think he would have approved. What I discovered in this speech and the venue was the importance of our
exercise of faithful citizenship at this critical moment in our history as a free people – a Nation conceived in liberty.
The Governor concluded with these remarks: “The call to service is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen. Sometimes, as Dr. Viktor Frankl observed in a book for the ages, it is not a matter of what we are asking of life, but rather what life is asking of us. How often the answer to our own troubles is to help others with theirs.
“In all of these things – faith, family, work, and service -the choices we make as Americans are, in other places, not choices at all. For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have. All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.”
The Romney candidacy raises a certain irony. Here we had a Mormon candidate who went to Liberty University and addressed a crowd which has major disagreement with his religious faith. However, it was this candidate who affirmed the fundamental moral values which inform the foundations of the American experiment in ordered liberty. He did so in a way which even made this Catholic Editor look twice at his candidacy.
I contend that I have more in common theologically with Liberty’s Baptists as a Catholic Christian – though I am sure some present in Lynchburg on Saturday would disagree. However, Mitt Romney hit a home run in Lynchburg, Virginia on Saturday. That commencement address was not only a great speech, it also inspired me at an important moment. Article VI, Paragraph 3 of the US Constitution includes these words, ”The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
This Mormon candidate who spoke at that Baptist Liberty University is looking better and better to this Catholic citizen as the fall Presidential race approaches. The future of the American experiment in ordered liberty is at risk. We do indeed share common values which are essential for our future as a free people. Mitt Romney is correct, “we
can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.”
Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Note: Dr. Jerry Falwell was a previous recipient of The Family Award, “for standing up and speaking out to the world with his strongest voice …a message to defend and maintain family values.”
The First Amendment Has Been Dismantled. America Is Now At Risk.
By Alan on Mar 08 in Blog tagged Americans, bailed out irresponsible banks, Catholics, conscience, curtail religious freedom, decisions by Obama Administration, federal government under Obamacare is boundless, for abortion, freedom of religion, hard working person, have not been silenced, liberties are in jeopardy, mandate, not at peace, our country was founded on certain freedoms, prepare for tough-times, provide health care coverage, the call for liberty, The Government, thomas jefferson | Comments Off
Call it what you want — a circus, a sideshow, or just plain old political rhetoric — but for the past week America has watched the media elite and some in Washington bend over backward to turn attention away from an issue that is fundamental to the future of this country: Obamacare’s attack on individual liberty. While those who favor its mandates may think they have changed the debate and quelled opposition, they are sorely mistaken.
It all stems from a decision by the Obama Administration to mandate that religious employers, including schools, hospitals, and charities, provide health care coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and contraception despite the fact that such coverage is in total contradiction of many of these groups’ core religious beliefs. Some have attempted to make this a debate about other issues, but despite their efforts, the core complaint about this anti-conscience mandate remains: The President’s policy is an unprecedented attack on all Americans’ rights as protected by the First Amendment. And those who prize religious liberty aren’t backing down.
In a letter last week to Catholic bishops in the United States, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, described his resolve to continue opposition to the mandate, despite the White House’s call to come to the table of so-called “accommodation”:
We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we cherish as Catholics and Americans. We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it . . .
At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom — that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption — are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for ‘working out the wrinkles.’ Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation . . .
Given this climate, we have to prepare for tough times.
Our country was founded on certain freedoms, the first of which is the freedom of religion. The ability of a religious person to follow their conscience without fearing government intervention has long been a protected right for Americans. It is unfathomable to picture a country that would deny religious freedoms.
. . . Thomas Jefferson drafted the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1779, which passed in 1786, and set the stage for the First Amendment. In it, Jefferson states: “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.” Consequently, we ask that you would reverse this decision and protect the conscience rights of those who have biblically-based opposition to funding or providing contraceptives and abortifacients.
But it’s not just religious institutions that will feel the brunt of the mandate. As Dolan points out, individual believers will be forced to pay for measures that violate their religious freedom and conscience. He writes, “We can’t abandon the hard working person of faith who has a right to religious freedom.” Individual liberties are in jeopardy, and the assault on freedoms is not limited just to the right to practice one’s faith. Indeed, the power granted to the federal government under Obamacare is boundless, and Washington will have growing leverage to make decisions that alter our lives in ways that can’t even be predicted.
Billie Tucker, a leader of Florida’s First Coast Tea Party, says that this is but the next step in a troubling trend:
First they came for our money when they bailed out irresponsible banks, companies and individuals. Our personal and national financial security is now at risk.
Then they took away the ability to choose our own doctors, insurance carriers, and treatments. “It is only fair,” they said as they rammed down our throats the most intrusive legislation ever in our lifetime. Our personal health is now at risk.
And now they come for what drove so many of our founding fathers to America’s shores. They want to mandate religious institutions, schools, and people of faith by forcing them to pay for morally objectionable services that run counter to their religious beliefs. Freedom of religion is now at risk.
The First Amendment has been dismantled before our eyes.
America is now at risk.
No matter the direction the debate has taken, the deeply flawed policy remains, as does the opposition. Fortunately, Americans are not powerless to take action against this continuing encroachment on liberty.
To begin with, Congress can and should take action now to stand in opposition to this anti-conscience mandate and ensure that the liberties guaranteed under the First Amendment remain intact.
As Obamacare’s two-year anniversary approaches, we’ve already seen two monumental reasons it must be repealed: the individual mandate and the anti-conscience mandate. But these are by no means the last of Obamacare’s attacks on Americans’ liberty.
The anti-conscience mandate must go. Obamacare must go.
Show Your Support For The U.S. Economy
By Alan on Sep 02 in Daily Inspiration tagged Americans, create jobs, fight poverty, jobs, prosperous country, quality of life, successful economy, sweat, the U.S. Economy, work | Comments Off
Download with Vixy | Convert YouTube to MP3
This data is fascinating. Send this two-minute video to FIVE friends and family. Remind them of the amazing quality of life we have in this great, free country — and what helped us get it.
Let’s get 500,000 views for the video by Labor Day (Sept 5th) to educate as many Americans as possible about the keys to creating jobs, fighting poverty and improving human well-being. If we get enough views, the video may be turned into a TV commercial seen by millions.
We don’t have a lot of time to spare: years of government overspending and growth are catching up to us. To ensure our quality of life remains strong we need to understand and promote the drivers of a successful economy (as shown in the video).
We live in the most free and prosperous country in the history of mankind. Please watch the video and send it to five people to help others understand the pillars of a strong economy. Let’s get this economy going again!
“And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.” Moses 5: 1
Only 31 Words – Think About It!
By Alan on Jun 22 in Blog tagged Americans, In Gid We Trust, muslims, Pledge of Alegience, The Family, thefamily.. Only 31 words, Under God | Comments Off
Only 31 words — Think about it!
Isn’t life strange? I never met one Veteran who enlisted to fight for Socialism!
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
If Muslims can pray on Madison Avenue, why are Christians banned from praying in public and from erecting religious displays on their holy days?
What happened to our National Day of Prayer?
Muslims are allowed to block off Madison Ave. , in N.Y.C., and pray in the middle of the street! And, it’s a monthly ritual!
Tell me, again, whose country is this? Ours or the Muslims?
It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.
Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having
‘In God! We Trust‘ on our money and having
‘God‘ in the Pledge of Allegiance.
I believe it’s time we stand up for what we believe!
One Year Ago Today. A Turning Point For Conservatives.
By Alan on Mar 24 in Blog tagged Americans, government, health care, Obama, one year ago, turning point | Comments Off
|One year ago today, President Obama signed into law the Obama/Pelosi/Reid health care takeover legislation. It was abitter, tough defeat but looking back it was also a turning point for our conservative movement and our nation.
Most Americans watched the debate and the grassroots activity. They heard our message:
- A government takeover of one-sixth of our economy would mean higher costs, bigger deficits, and more waste.
- Government-run health care would mean federal bureaucrats making health care decisions instead of patients and their doctors.
- Government health care would stifle medical innovation, limit health care choices, and raise insurance premiums.
Our fellow citizens made their voices heard – pouring into town hall meetings by the thousands, attending rallies like Americans for Prosperity’s Hands off My Health Care bus tour events, calling and emailing their members of Congress, reaching out to their friends and neighbors to ask them to get involved.
Of all the articles and pieces written today on the unhappy anniversary of Obama/Pelosi care passing, the best in my opinion comes from Senator Ron Johnson – a freshman from Wisconsin. CLICK HERE to read his moving story and reasoned argument for repeal of this legislation.
We lost the health care battle in Congress. We won, and we won decisively, with the American people. The American people then dramatically changed the Congress that ignored their will on health care.
To bring the change we want to Congress we need and we have to be on offense. Last fall, our November is Coming effort got on offense – taking our message to the American people.
Only 31 Words To Think About.
By Alan on Mar 23 in Blog tagged Americans, believe, defending, God, liberty, muslims, pledge of allegiance, socialism, United States of America, vetrans | Comments Off
Isn’t life strange? I never met one Veteran who enlisted to fight for Socialism!
86% will share this with friends.
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
If Muslims can pray on Madison Avenue, why are Christians banned from praying in public and erecting religious displays on their holy days?
Tell me again, whose country is this? Ours or the Muslims?
I was asked to share this if I agree, or delete if I don’t.
It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having ‘In God! We Trust’ on our money and having ‘God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Randy and Deb Thoman
For The Famiy
The Christian Case For Mormon Values. – Washington Post.
By Alan on Mar 21 in Blog tagged Americans, Christian, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jon Huntsman, Dallin H. Oaks, Family, Glenn Beck, God, history, inspiration, jews, Joseph Smith, LDS, LDS Church, media, member, Mitt Romney, Mormon Church, Mormonism is solution, politicians, prophet, public opinion, religious liberty, respect, The Christian Case For Mormon Values, truths, values, vote, Washington Post | 4 Comments
Here is an interesting perspective on the Mormon Church by a Washington Post writer…
The Christian Case For Mormon Values.
With former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney both believed to be gearing up for a run for the presidency, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has again found itself answering questions about what these two prominent members believe.
Post reporter Sandhya Somashekhar wrote in a story published Tuesday that Mormon leaders see the ascendancy of these and other Mormons (such as convert Glenn Beck) as a sign “that the community has finally ‘arrived,’” but added “researchers say there remains a deep mistrust of Mormons and that little has changed in public opinion to suggest that voters will be more open this year than they were in 2007.” If conservative Christian and Mormons share a political agenda, why do suspicions still plague Mormon politicians? Do media personalities such as Glenn Beck help or hurt the cause?
God works in mysterious ways to perform his wonders. Old testament prophets complained about the instruments God chose, but God went on being God despite their complaints. 2012 is likely to give Americans two serious candidates for President that are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Many conservative Christians, for good and bad, get inspiration and information from Glenn Beck, who is also a member of the church.
Should Americans be concerned? Bluntly, no, though those of us who are not Mormon should be depressed that such a small group has outworked, out thought, and out hustled us. Mormon success should spur traditional Christians, who outnumber Mormons by tens of millions, to do better.
Sadly ignorance of the LDS Church is widespread in our culture. Despite over a century of faithful citizenship and embracing family values, stupid stereotypes remain. Magically much of the media easily remembers Glenn Beck is Mormon, but keeps forgetting that Harry Reid is as well. Sacred garments on Christians and Jews are normal, but sacred garments on Mormons?
Of course, there is a vocal fringe of Americans who think any religious person is nuts. These equal-opportunity offenders can be ignored as invincibly ignorant. They don’t respect Mormons, because they don’t respect Christians, Jews, Muslims, or anybody who thinks we are more than computers made out of meat.
There is another group, sadly not so tiny, that cannot be friends or co-laborers with anyone who does not share their theology or ideology. This sectarianism is the bane of any movement, but most Americans know we can learn and work with almost anyone if they share our values in some area.
There are no good reasons not to consider voting for a Mormon. Theologically, I disagree with the faith’s teachings. My professional speaking has included pointed academic encounters with LDS professors about our areas of disagreement. Simultaneously, serious disagreements have not prevented our making common cause on many issues.
Studying Mormonism closely did not make me a Mormon, to the contrary, but it did give an abiding respect for certain things the LDS church gets right. They have demonstrated things worth knowing. If this is a Mormon moment in American history, there is a reason for it. Their virtues have particular civic relevance today and their theological vices (from my point of view) do not. The LDS I know love America, urge good behavior on their members, and promote many traditional American values. If that bothers you, vote for somebody else–the LDS will fight and die in the American forces for your right to do so.
TheLDS church made North America sacred space. With native Americans and spanish mission builders in California. They have loved this land and made it part of their story. The Mormon revelation, whatever its origins, is centered in North America .
Part of that epic is actual Mormon history: born, bred, and thriving in the United States of America . Mormonism is old enough by American standards to feel “ancient,” but young enough to make the founding stories easy for Americans to understand. Joseph Smith received his revelations closer than four score years after the American founding. Any literate english speaker can read founding Mormon documents without the need for much translation or scholarly explanation, but knowledge of American history is vital. Most Americans look abroad for ” Holy Land ,” but Mormons look here.
This gives them a passion for this place difficult for anyone else to match. Other religious groups must work harder to match this sense of place that the LDS Church has naturally.
A great weakness of our lives today is isolation and loneliness. Mormonism is one solution to that problem for many. LDS Church services to members and communities are a free market model for private charity. I have personally seen LDS charity help families that were not LDS, but related to a member. The charity gave work-centered help that met needs without sacrificing dignity. The commendable community found in Mormonism should be imitated not attacked.
For good and bad, Mormonism is deeply American. Born on our frontier and nurtured in our wilderness, American values are Mormon values. And yet, no LDS swaggers into the culture assuming he will be accepted. Mormons know the imperfections of American life. An American mob murdered their founder. As a result of their history, Mormons have a thoughtful and subtle take on religion in the public square. This last week Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave an important speech at the Chapman University School of Law in California on religious liberty.
I am sure Glenn Beck would agree that more Americans should read that speech, even if it meant turning off his program. Oaks, a professor and judge, not Beck, represent the best civic face of the LDS Church .
If this is, as the Washington Post suggests, a Mormon moment, it is because Mormons clung to truths now unfashionable and addressed questions others ignore. They suffered exile in their own land, persecution, and the need to change important ideas to be part of the broader culture. This American experience taught them good lessons about America . Being right is powerful and most LDS are right on many of today’s big issues: the nature of family, the protection of life, defense of religious liberty, and republican values.
Traditional christians should learn from their example and patriotic Americans should celebrate their effective service. Mormons like Harry Reid will never get my vote, because his policy ideas do not match with mine, but a Mormon like Mitt Romney could, because I support his good ideas.
Providence works in peculiar ways and it is particularly odd for an evangelical and orthodox Christian to be grateful for this Mormon moment in American history. But if a biblical prophet could celebrate the pagan emperor Cyrus for being God’s man to free his people, surely we can praise our Mormon countrymen for sounding a trumpet call to rally America to life and liberty .
Washington Post article written by John Mark Reynolds | February 9, 2011; 7:29 PM ET
“Vote for the Man and for the Values he stands for, regardless of his religion.”
For The Family
This Nation Shall Endure! We The People, Say So!!!
By Alan on Jan 13 in Blog tagged adhere, America, Americans, blessings, choice, choose, church, constitution, create, depend, elder, endure, free agency, Get NoiZ, God, government, heaven, Holy one, human nature, importance, independence, Israel, Jesus, land, Lehi, liberty, messiah, nation, principles, privelege, promised, reflect meaning, sacred, salvation, true, Zion | Comments Off
“We urge members of the Church and all Americans to begin now to reflect more intently on the meaning and importance of the Constitution, and of adherence to its principles. . . .
“In these challenging days, when there are so many influences which would divert us, there is a need to rededicate ourselves to the lofty principles and practices of our Founding Fathers.
“Let us not permit these admonitions of our living prophets to fall on deaf ears. Let us, as they direct, learn the meaning and importance of our God-ordained Constitution. Let us rededicate ourselves to the lofty principles and practices of those wise men whom God raised up to give us our priceless freedom. Our liberties, our salvation, our well-being as a church and as anation depend upon it.”
Next to life, we express gratitude for the gift of free agency. When thou didst create man, thou placed within him part of thine Omnipotence and bade him choose for himself. Liberty and conscience thus became a sacred part of human nature. Freedom not only to think, but to speak and act, is a God-given privilege. [Dedication of the London Temple by President David O. McKay]
Hear the words of President Wilford Woodruff:
Those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits . . . inspired of the Lord.
Everyone of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with George Washington, . . . called upon me, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George two consecutive nights and demanded at my hand that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the house of God for them. . . .
Would those spirits have called upon me, as an Elder in Israel, to perform that work if they had not been noble spirits before God? They would not. . . . Said they: “. . . We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.”
America Is A ‘Promised Land’. (Records of History)
And it came to pass after we had all gone down into the ship, and had taken with us our provisions and things which had been commanded us, we did put forth into the sea
and were driven forth before the wind towards the promised land
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land.
And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land. 1 Ne. 18: 8, 22-23, 25
And he also spake unto them concerning the land
, which they had obtained—how merciful
the Lord had been in warning
us that we should flee out of the land
But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land
, a land
which is choice
above all other lands
; a land
which the Lord God hath covenanted
with me should be a land
for the inheritance of my seed.
Yea, the Lord hath covenanted
unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led
out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.
Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise
, that inasmuch
as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land
of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper
upon the face of this land
; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land
unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep
his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land
, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land
of their inheritance
; and they shall dwell safely forever.
But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief
, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land
—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them. 2 Ne. 1: 3, 5, 9-10, 24
IT’S TIME TO “GET NOIZ”…FOR GOOD!
THE TRUTH NEEDS NO AGENDA!
Let's Turn The World Around...Become a Zion People!
Special thanks to: Brian Mecham
“Of One Heart” For The Family
[Church News, September 22, 1973, p. 3]
[Church News, September 22, 1973, p. 3]
[Church News, September 22, 1973, p. 3]
[Improvement Era, October 1958, pp. 718–19]
Americans Are Optimistic About “The Family” Unit!
By Alan on Dec 06 in Blog tagged Americans, Family, marriage, Optimistic, Unit | Comments Off
Study reports Americans are optimistic about the family unit
Percentage of adults who are married shrinks
The deflated economy is not preventing prevalent optimism for the family unit, even though tough economic times are deterring some Americans from deciding to marry, a new Pew Research Center study finds.
Released early Thursday, the report “The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families” also shows that Americans feel more inclined in times of need to assist family members than best friends.
One of the study’s primary findings manifests that, despite the recasting of what constitutes “family,” Americans remain more positive about the joint institutions of marriage and family (67 percent say they are optimistic) than the country’s education system (50 percent optimistic) or its economy (46 percent optimistic).
“I think a lot of people have the idea that families are falling apart,” said BYU family life professor David C. Dollahite. “But the research shows the vast majority of people report that they’re quite happy with their marriage and with their children.
“Even though they’re aware that there’s divorce, child abuse and other family problems, I think most people feel the part of their life that is most important to them — their family, their marriage and their faith — is something that they have more control over. They probably feel like they can’t do a lot to influence the school system and the economy and the general values and morals of society.”
The Pew study further reveals a shrinking percentage of adults who are married (52 percent in 2008, compared to 72 percent in 1960), and college graduates (64 percent) are significantly more likely to marry than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma or lower (48 percent).
“Marriage, while declining among all groups, remains the norm for adults with a college education and good income,” the study’s report details. “But (marriage) is now markedly less prevalent among those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. The survey finds that those in this less-advantaged group are as likely as others to want to marry, but they place a higher premium on economic security as a condition for marriage. This is a bar that many may not meet.”
Sean Brotherson, family science specialist at North Dakota State University, attributes the gap in the marriage rates carved along class and education lines to a phenomenon called marriageability.
“For a woman in a low-income situation, she wants to marry but she doesn’t want to marry just anybody,” Brotherson said. “Especially if she’s got kids, she’s interested in a man with a paycheck so he can be a provider rather than somebody she has to worry about providing a meal for as well.
“For men in particular, part of their marriageability includes their status in terms of employment and motivation to provide for themselves and someone that they would marry. … When (women) are looking for a marriage partner, one of the primary factors that enters into the equation of them making the decision about marriage has to do with the economic stability of the individual they might consider marrying.”
Additionally, the Pew Center study concluded that one’s sense of obligation to family members, even of those the non-nuclear variety, generally takes precedence over the strongest friendships.
“In response to a question about whom they would assist with money or caregiving in a time of need,” the report explains, “Americans express a greater sense of obligation toward relatives — including relatives by way of fractured marriages — than toward best friends.
“The ranking of relatives aligns in a predictable hierarchy. More survey respondents express an obligation to help out a parent (83 percent would feel very obligated) or grown child (77 percent) than say the same about a stepparent (55 percent) or a step or half sibling (43 percent). But when asked about one’s best friend, just 39 percent say they would feel a similar sense of obligation.”