Friday, October 31, 2008

An LDS Perspective on Socialism

Today is Halloween.  Traditionally it's the day we're supposed to get dressed up and scare people. Frankly, my fear is not of the little kids asking for candy, my fear is for them.  What are we creating now politically that we're going to pass onto them in the future?

I'm amazed how quickly we've forgotten our history.  

Too often in conversations with others, they speak nonchalantly about the redistribution of wealth.  I've been told this redistribution through taxing is patriotic.  I wonder what George Washington would say to that.  I've read in an opinion column by a dear friend that says it is very similar to the United Order.  If you don't take the time to learn about the United Order, let me clarify and say, it is nothing like it.  

Let me ask these questions of things that are acquired and developed.  Can you redistribute knowledge?  A grade point average? Experience? Love and/or charity?  Beauty?  Can you divide up and redistribute somebody's home?  Somebody's children or family?  

I hope you agree the questions above are ridiculous, but why do so many think it's okay to redistribute wealth?  

I've heard others say, "Well we're not taking the money from the people, we're just going to tax the businesses." Or, "Well, the money is coming to you isn't it?"

Really?  Come on!!!  Do we not believe in standing for something? That way of thinking is robbing America of her and us of INDEPENDENCE.

Did we learn anything from the American Revolution.  Anything about the Boston Tea Party?  The Tea Party was mostly about "Representation" but about taxes nonetheless. 

Take a look at the definition provided through Wikipedia about "Redistribution of Wealth."
All political and economic systems facilitate the redistribution of wealth including capitalism, communism and socialism; however the favored method of redistribution vary from system to system.  Capitalism relies primarily on the more or less voluntary purchase of sale of goods and services, whereas communism and socialism typically use involuntary methods such as taxation and nationalization of property.
Did you notice the two keywords? Voluntary and Involuntary.

On the 4th of July we celebrate our country's Independence day.  I believe this country was made Independent by volunteers, not by all of the involunteers. (My spell check tells me "involunteers" is not a word, but yet we're so excited about "involuntary methods".)

If you don't know me, let me quote a friend of mine that describes me as well. "I have chosen religion as my guiding precept to which I adhere in this life." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) specifically.

Here's an LDS perspective on Socialism and another explanation as to why I'm so scared of these "Involuntary Methods". This is only a portion of President Marion G. Romney's “‘In Mine Own Way’,” Ensign, Nov 1976, 123.  If you're curious of his last name, Mitt Romney is in fact related to him.

"As our modern societies follow the course which led to the fall of Rome and other civilizations which succumbed to the deceptive lure of the welfare state and socialism, I think it not inappropriate for me to emphasize again the Lord’s plan for the temporal salvation of His mortal children.

To emphasize the contrast between the Lord’s plan and some of the absurd practices of our day, I shall read a clipping or two from my miscellaneous file.

The first concerns a hippie couple who were walking down the street. They both had long hair and were dressed in typical hippie attire, complete with beads, sandals, and headbands. The fellow said to the girl: “I’m going over and pick up my unemployment check. Then I’ll drop in at the university to see what’s holding up my check for my federal education grant. After that I’ll pick up our food stamps. Meanwhile, you go over to the free clinic and check your tests, pick up my new glasses at the city health center, then go to the welfare department and apply for another increase on our eligibility limit.

“Then I’ll meet you at five o’clock at the federal building for the mass demonstration against this rotten establishment.

”I clipped the following from the Reader’s Digest some time ago.

“In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …  

“The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.

“Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a hand-out.

“A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s ‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come?

“Let’s not be gullible gulls. We … must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence.” (Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1950, p. 32.)

Now a contrasting clipping entitled, “It’s a Good Thing There Wasn’t Anybody Around to Help the Pilgrims”:

“They landed in a forbidding wilderness. No Federal Housing, so they went to work and built their own. No Free Stamp Program, so they raised what food they ate, and when they didn’t raise enough, went without.

“No Free Schools, so mothers taught their children. No Recreational Programs—they were too busy working. No anti-draft riots—everyone was expected to share in the protection of his country. No Social Security—no security at all, except what each provided for himself.

“But there were compensations. No rioters demanding something for nothing. No unwashed ‘students’ telling their mothers what to teach. No wasteful bureaucrats paying themselves out of the workers’ production.

“Nothing, really, for the Pilgrims but hard work and a lot of it.“Did it pay off?

“Our standard of living proves it.” (Christian Economics, Nov. 1972, p. 25.)Now to the Lord’s plan.“I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth,” He said, “… and all things therein are mine.

“And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine.

“But it must needs be done in mine own way; and behold this is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.

“For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.” (D&C 104:14–17.)

The underlying principles of God’s economy for the temporal salvation of His saints are clearly revealed in this scripture. Proclaiming Himself the creator of the earth and all things therein, He speaks of Himself as supreme landlord. He announces that it is His purpose to provide for His saints, at the same time declaring, “The earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.” He warns, however, that providing for His saints “must needs be done in mine own way.”

“And … this,” He continues, “is the way that I, the Lord, have decreed to provide for my saints, that the poor shall be exalted, in that the rich are made low.

”Following His way is indispensable to a well-ordered society.

We Latter-day Saints know that all men are brothers and sisters—“begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:24)—that we are responsible for the welfare of one another. These concepts are inherent in all the doctrines of the gospel.

We know that the ills of this troubled world have come about because men have failed to do what the Lord has commanded them. This applies to economic problems as well as to all other ills. We know also that the only cure for them is to do all things whatsoever the Lord our God commands us.We know that the day will come when “every man” shall share equally in the good things of earth, “according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs.” (D&C 51:3.) We also know that attaining such equality must await the time when all men willingly work to sustain themselves and, motivated by love for their fellowmen, liberally “impart” of their substance unto the poor and the needy, “according to the law of [the] gospel.” (D&C 104:18.)

It is the responsibility of every Latter-day Saint to work and so impart of his substance, regardless of the shifting standards of this world. We must uphold these principles and oppose every derogation of them. We must be careful not to adopt the commonly accepted practice of expecting the government or anyone other than ourselves to supply us with the necessities of life.

The practice of coveting and receiving unearned benefits has now become so fixed in our society that even men of great wealth, and possessing the means to produce more wealth, are expecting the government to guarantee them a profit. Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens.

We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even though we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice in self-respect and in political, temporal, and spiritual independence.Let us work for what we need. 

Let us be self-reliant and independent. Salvation can be obtained on no other principle. Salvation is an individual matter, and we must work out our own salvation, in temporal as well as in spiritual things."


Tammy said...

Well Kempe that really is an awesome summary there. I couldnt agree with you more! I saw your blog adress on your facebook. Good Job! -Tammy-

Jen said...

I added your name as thx for the pic:)
P.S. Thx for them!!!