## The following email landed in my inbox a few hours ago.

Good Morning All,

I have spent some time working on these thoughts.  Please take some time reading them.  I hope you will feel inclined to pass them on to others not on this list.  The Brethren asked us to use the internet to share our thoughts and feelings during this election cycle.  This is my contribution.

Thank you in advance,

Brian L.
Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Citizen of the United States of America
On the night of Wednesday the 22nd of October the youth of our ward showed their willingness to follow their priesthood leaders by placing nearly 300 signs for the Yes on Prop 8 campaign.  Fifty more signs were placed that night by others.  Less than twelve hours later all 350 signs had been taken, stolen, vandalized or destroyed.  I have had 4 signs stolen from my front yard and feel the need to take them in at night to prevent further theft.  In my mind this election is no longer about gay marriage.  It is no longer about fancy commuter trains or open space preserves.  It is no longer about the Office of the President of the United States of America.  It is about FREEDOM and LIBERTY.  The freedom to speak, worship and teach the truth.  Who’s civil rights are being trampled on with the stealing of 350 expressions of free speech?  Who lacks tolerance?  None of this is new.  As the saying goes, “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”  Many voters this year will cast their votes based on misinformation and lies.  It saddens and angers me to think that so few have so much power to determine the future of our country.

When Elder Perry spoke in our last Stake conference he reminded us of the covenant we live under in this country.  He reminded us of the blessings promised, and the associated consequences.

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. . . . 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 . . . . 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.  Yea, He will bring other nations unto them, and He will give unto them power, and He will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and He will cause them to be scattered and smitten. . . And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence. (2 Nephi 1:9-12)

I am amazed and saddened as I learn of increasing numbers of the members of the LDS Church here and across the country who endorse candidates that do not stand for the ideals and morals of the gospel and deliberately and publicly speak out against the direction of the prophet.  In 87 B.C., only five years after King Mosiah instituted a system of judges to govern his people a man rose to power attempting to overthrow that system and the freedoms it provided.  Amlici was described as being, “. . . a very cunning man, yea, a wise man as to the wisdom of the world . . .”  He wanted to be king and he convinced many to follow him gaining much influence and power.

Now this was alarming to the people of the church, and also to all those who had not been drawn away after the persuasions of Amlici; for they knew that according to their law that such things must be established by the voice of the people.  Therefore, if it were possible that Amlici should gain the voice of the people, he, being a wicked man, would deprive them of their rights and privileges of the church; for it was his intent to destroy the church of God. . . And it came to pass that the voice of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people. (Alma 2:1-7)

The Nephites knew the question was not merely one of politics, but threatened their freedoms accorded them by God.  When instituting the system of judges King Mosiah said, “Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law–to do your business by the voice of the people.  And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.  (Mosiah 29:26-27)  The time has come to see which side the voice of the people chooses.

God has given us great blessings and freedoms.  It is not up to us to willingly give them up. In the early days of the LDS Church in Missouri during the height of persecution, some saints tried to sell their property rather than lose it to the mob for nothing.  Joseph Smith received the instruction that, Let not that which I have appointed be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent of those who call themselves after my name;  For this is a very sore and grievous sin against me, and against my people, in consequence of those things which I have decreed and which are soon to befall the nations.”  (D&C 101:97-98)

Prophets throughout history have spoken on the subject of government.  Each modern day prophet has spoken on Gods involvement in the creation of this country and its constitution.  President Ezra Taft Benson gave two addresses at BYU devotionals on the subject, one in 1977, and the other in 1986.  He said, “And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments.”  Lucifer uses perverted or counterfeit versions of Gods plan to accomplish this.  “Another notable counterfeit system to the Lord’s plan is collectivized socialism.”  Because a government derives its powers from the governed, “It cannot claim the power to redistribute money or property nor to force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will.  Government is created by the people.  No individual possesses the power to take another’s wealth or to force others to do good, so no government has the right to do such things either.”  The following are quotations taken from these two addresses.

1) “As citizens of this noble land, we have marched a long way down the soul-destroying road of socialism. If you question that statement, consider the recent testimonial from the Nobel prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman. He indicated that government spending in the United States at all levels amounts to over forty percent of today’s total national income. If we continue to follow the trend in which we are heading today, two things will inevitably result: first, a loss of our personal freedom, and second, financial bankruptcy. This is the price we pay when we turn away from God and the principles which he has taught and turn to government to do everything for us. It is the formula by which nations become enslaved.

2) “Today, two hundred years later, we must sadly observe that we have significantly departed from the principles established by the founders of our country. James Madison opposed the proposal to put Congress in the role of promoting the general welfare according to its whims in these words:  ‘If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasure; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor. . . . Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for [and it was an issue then], it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.’ [quoted in Donald L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles, and National Survival, p. 342] That statement, given as a warning, has proved prophetic. Today Congress is doing what Madison warned about. Many are now advocating that which has become a general practice since the early 1930s: a redistribution of wealth through the federal tax system. That, by definition, is socialism!

3) The constitution was designed to work with only a moral and righteous people. “Our constitution,” said John Adams (first vice-president and second president of the United States), “was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

4) I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith.  But it will not be saved in Washington.  It will be saved by the citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom.  It will be saved by enlightened member of this Church–men and women who will subscribe to and abide by the principles of the Constitution.”

If only we could follow the example of Captain Moroni and Chief Judge Pahoran as they met the crisis of freedom in their day by standing up for their principles as they raised the title of liberty.  “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children. . .and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land . . . And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored. . .  And he said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions. (Alma 46:12-20)

Many did not respond to this call to freedom.  Of these we read, “And now, when Moroni saw that the city of Nephihah was lost he was exceedingly sorrowful, and began to doubt, because of the wickedness of the people, whether they should not fall into the hands of their brethren.  Now this was the case with all his chief captains. They doubted and marveled also because of the wickedness of the people. . . And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.  (Alma 59:11-12)  In a letter to Pahoran Captain Moroni further condemns this attitude of apathy, “Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your thrones, and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver you? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain.  And now behold, I say unto you, I fear exceedingly that the judgments of God will come upon this people, because of their exceeding slothfulness, yea, even the slothfulness of our government, and their exceedingly great neglect towards their brethren, . . . For were it not for the wickedness which first commenced at our head, we could have withstood our enemies that they could have gained no power over us.” (Alma 60:11-15)

There are only two sides to take.  Fence sitting is no longer an option.  It is raining.  Are you going to get on the boat?  We cannot be lukewarm on the issue of freedom and liberty.  I do not presume to tell anyone how to vote.  I only implore that you do vote, and that you use as your guide the cause of freedom and the morals and teachings of the gospel.  Do not pick your candidates because of what they promise to give you, the size of their health plan or any other insincere platitudes they may give to convince you of their worthiness.  Instead seek out those who best stand for the God given ideals of freedom and agency.  If we all stand together we can say as Mosiah did, “I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.” (Mosiah 29:32)

Thank you for taking the time to read.  Along with Captain Moroni I say, I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country. And thus I close mine epistle.”

## My reply to the author of the above email

Good Morning Brian,

When I saw where you were going with your rant (Prop 8 is no longer about marriage equality, but rather is now all about defending FREEDOM and LIBERTY against TAXES and SOCIALISM), a name popped into my head:

Timothy James McVeigh


In McVeigh’s own words:

Taxes are a joke. Regardless of what a political candidate “promises,” they will increase. More taxes are always the answer to government mismanagement. They mess up. We suffer. Taxes are reaching cataclysmic levels, with no slowdown in sight…Is a Civil War Imminent? Do we have to shed blood to reform the current system? I hope it doesn’t come to that. But it might.

I know in my heart that I am right in my struggle. I have come to peace with myself, my God and my cause. Blood will flow in the streets. Good vs. Evil. Free Men vs. Socialist Wannabe Slaves. Pray it is not your blood, my friend.

I’m very concerned, Brian, by the lack of daylight between what you’ve written above and the words Timothy McVeigh used to describe the “why” behind his hatred of our country.

And it pains me that the LDS church has allowed thugs like you such free rein to intimidate your fellow church members during this California election cycle.  You should know that it’s guys like you who’ve forced many Mormons to sadly admit that “the church has gone and unleashed its most fanatical, proud, boastful and ignorant California members on the rest of us.”  In the past, theocratic bullies like you, Brian, could be safely ignored at LDS church meetings, but now you hector and hound your fellow saints into submissive compliance with the Prop 8 program.  You apparently see it as your job to keep other members in line, presumably so as to achieve some kind of united Mormon front on the issue of Prop 8.  It would also seem that you enjoy your job very much.

And frankly, Brian, I worry about Mormons like you becoming a danger to yourself and to others if your leaders don’t step in soon and explain to you the reasons how and why your above email crosses the line.

And make no mistake, Brian, it does cross the line, but I also think that’s for your church leaders to make clear to you.

## My message to the LDS leadership about this email

To the Brethren in Salt Lake City and the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California:  

Many members have become increasingly disturbed by the tone and rhetoric that’s being adopted in Mormon email forwards like the one above, but so many members feel so browbeaten at this point that few bother to mount a challenge.  

I believe it has become your responsibility to address the problem of paranoid and bellicose email forwards like Brian’s that are now in such heavy circulation among your members.

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