Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Gadianton Robbers Were Statists

In 3 Nephi 3:6-7, Giddianhi, the Gadianton robber leader, writes a letter to Lachoneus, governor over the free Nephites, stating:

6 Therefore I write unto you, desiring that ye would yield up unto this my people, your cities, your lands, and your possessions, rather than that they should visit you with the sword and that destruction should come upon you.

7 Or in other words, yield yourselves up unto us, and unite with us and become acquainted with our secret works, and become our brethren that ye may be like unto us—not our slaves, but our brethren and partners of all our substance.

These verses give some insight into the economic situation of the Gadianton secret combination. They are “brethren and partners of all [their] substance”. I would postulate that the Gadianton robbers practiced some type of statism. And they used deadly force to enforce it and to gain more land and riches as can be seen as it continues in verse 8:

8 And behold, I swear unto you, if ye will do this, with an oath, ye shall not be destroyed; but if ye will not do this, I swear unto you with an oath, that on the morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against you, and they shall not stay their hand and shall spare not, but shall slay you, and shall let fall the sword upon you even until ye shall become extinct.

I believe there is some confusion among some church members concerning the Law of Consecration and how this relates to statism. Perhaps Harry Reid believes he is bringing the Law of Consecration to America as he takes us further and further down the path of statism. Following is a chart of some of the differences between the Law of Consecration and communism that was compiled on http://www.fairlds.org/.  This is a foundation that researches and defends the LDS faith.

LDS Law of Consecration
1. Individual property ownership essential.
2. Right to discontinue participation.
3. Each person has his/her private stewardship, and surplus production goes into storehouses for the poor and needy.
4. Participation requires commitment to keep God's laws.
5. Voting rights to determine use of surplus in the Bishop's storehouse.
6. Right to draw upon management skill of leadership for personal training and consultation to run your private stewardship well.
7. Personal responsibility is expected.
8. Existence of God declared.
9. Organization exists for the benefit of the individual

1. Property ownership discouraged or forbidden.
2. Difficult if not impossible to not participate.
3. Most or all production controlled by state.
4. God's laws not involved at all.
5. No voting rights.
6. Leadership tells you what you have to do.
7. Decisions are determined by leadership.
8. Existence of God denied.
9. Individual exists for the benefit of the organization

The website continues, “The United Order is an LDS term sometimes used to describe cooperative economic programs of the Church during the early days of Mormonism. It perhaps is similar to what some biblical Christians practiced as stated in Acts 2:44. The term does not refer to the 'full government of God,' nor is the plan communistic at all.”

While church members are no longer asked to live the United Order, the actual Law of Consecration is something that we as church members are still asked to live. This commandment was never lifted. In communism, the state is worshipped (it is the great and abominable church), but in the Law of Consecration, God is worshipped. Our participation in the law is voluntary (free agency is always allowed – see my post entitled “Free Agency, Why Do We Need It?”). The Law of Consecration asks us to give all of our money as well as time and talents to God for His purposes. We will most likely retain ownership of our possessions for the use of our families, but we are asked to retain this stewardship wisely and help others with our surplus. The Law of Consecration is a system under God that is completely compatible with living under a capitalist government. In fact, I would argue that a capitalist government is necessary for us to live the Law of Consecration. How can we consecrate our property, wealth, time, and talents up to God via the Church if we have all of this taken from us by the state (government)?

Statism, including socialism, mimics the Law of Consecration under Satan’s plan. The subtlety of the devil! Of course it mimics it! The plan of the devil is to confuse us into following the devil without even knowing that we are. Statism, including socialism, is truly the teachings of God mixed with the teachings of man. If we are not careful, we can think that the Law of Consecration supports statism. The Gadianton Robbers lived under Satan’s plan of statism while the people of God lived God’s law or the Law of Consecration.

The Gadianton Robbers used weapons to coerce people into living under their form of statism. In our quasi-socialistic society today, people are forced into this socialism or spreading of the wealth via taxes by the threat of fines or jail time. This is a very important distinction between spreading the wealth under our quasi-socialistic society and the Law of Consecration God has asked us to live under voluntarily. God has simply not asked us to live under socialism. That is the devil’s plan. God does not force us.

As a nation, whether we are living completely under socialism or just taking large strides in that direction, the result is the same: we are not following God.