Monday, October 26, 2009

Religion and Politics revisited.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I found something today that I really like and can't wait to share. The source was a little surprising but I have verified this and think it sheds some light on the discussion of religion and politics. I was reading

Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith and he offered the following quote:

"Our government rests

upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberality, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. There are only two main theories of government in the world. One rests on righteousness and the other on force. One appeals to reason, and the other appeals to the sword. One is exemplified in the republic, the other is represented by a despotism.

"The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man. Of course we endeavor to restrain the vicious, and furnish a fair degree of security and protection by legislation and police control, but the real reform which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all. Peace, justice, humanity, charity-these cannot be legislated into being. They are the result of divine grace."
(Speech at the unveiling of the equestrian statue of Bishop Francis Asbury, 15 October 1924)

The author of the above is none other than Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States. President Smith was using this to teach about the events that are coming in the near future for our nation. In fact, the above quote was followed by this statement from Pres. Smith:

Well, words like that, I believe are spoken by inspiration. This is a warning to the people of this nation, coming from a former president of the United States. It is in full harmony with the word of the Lord in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon (Ether 2:8-12),
in regard to this land. We cannot get away from the God of this land, without dire consequences following.

(Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, p. 317-18, emphasis added)

Amazing how far we have come in the leadership of our nation. Just this year we had our current President telling the world that we are no longer a Christian nation. I know that he was trying to illustrate the diversity of our country but his actions and ideals seem to support the other interpretation. And lest some think I am picking on one particular party, I have just as many qualms about the leadership of the Republican Party as I do the Democrats. Neither is in line with the things God has directed us to do. I believe Pres. Smith envisioned this when he said:

Notwithstanding all the warnings the Lord has given us, we are rushing madly, headstrong to destructions, preparing ourselves if you please for the burning…. I can see evil in the trend of the times. I can see anarchy ahead of us. If we are going to permit men, in organized form, to desecrate the sacredness of the laws of this country and the Constitution…without protest, we are going to reap the whirlwind, just as surely as we live.
(ibid, 316-17)

Take all this in the context of the furor created by Elder Oaks message (see below) and we begin to see that things are not well in zion (small z meaning America because I hope we are working hard for the Zion experience within the structure of the Kingdom). But, even some who are searching for truth find themselves distracted (look at the last part of 2 Nephi 28:14 for a hint how this happens) and helping the other side (link to Harry Reid comments).

This is not to say that we are doomed because I do not believe that is true. We have strong people in the gospel and out in the world. And the truth, the Priesthood and the Prophets are with us and will guide us if we listen. But that means we have to do our part and protect those rights we have won with the blood of our ancestors. Sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option. Stand and speak out for the truths of God and let the world have their fits.

OK, that was a bit longer than expected but when I get going, WHEW, it is hard to stop. No offense was intended except to those who take the truth to be hard, so if you feel it, let it go. Until next time, adieu.

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