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March 19th, 2012
Joseph Smith, Habeas Corpus, Mitt Romney, and the 2012 NDAA
In the wake of a massive scandal rocking the young LDS Church and the city of Nauvoo its members largely inhabited, John C. Bennett resigned his position as Mayor (and was excommunicated from the Church). At a city council meeting two days later, the prophet Joseph Smith was overwhelmingly elected by the council to replace Bennett.
Just three days into his tenure as Mayor, Joseph read an article in the Quincy Whig announcing an assassination attempt on the life of former Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs. Based on mere rumor alone, the paper speculated that the Mormons, and specifically Joseph, may have been instrumental in the shooting. Joseph vehemently denied involvement, yet realized that his enemies would take advantage of such a situation to try and thwart God’s work.
Just over a week later, on July 5, 1842, in anticipation of such enemies seeking to arrest and extradite Joseph to another city or state (where those unfriendly to the Mormons would eagerly convict him), the Nauvoo city council passed an ordinance to protect him. Titled “An Ordinance In Relation to Writs of Habeas Corpus,” the council’s newly-adopted ordinance stated that “no citizen of this city shall be taken out of the city by writs without the privilege of investigation before the municipal court.” In other words, the officers of Nauvoo were pre-emptively nullifying any attempt to impose “justice” on Joseph or others elsewhere without first being reviewed by them, giving all their citizens “the right of trial in this city.” Mayor Joseph Smith quickly signed the ordinance which says the following in full:
Be it, and it is hereby ordained by the city council of the city of Nauvoo, that no citizen of this city shall be taken out of the city by any writs without the privilege of investigation before the municipal court, and the benefit of a writ of habeas corpus, as granted in the 17th section of the Charter of this city. Be it understood that this ordinance is enacted for the protection of the citizens of this city, that they may in all cases have the right of trial in this city, and not be subjected to illegal process by their enemies.
A “writ” is merely an official mandate by a legal authority, and a “writ of habeas corpus” is one which demands that a prisoner be released from an unlawful detention when insufficient cause of evidence exists to hold him. Habeas corpus allows a prisoner to have his case reviewed by a judge to determine if the executive authority is holding him with just cause. With their ordinance, the Nauvoo city council was simply mandating that any orders from other jurisdictions relating to anybody within Nauvoo must first be reviewed by its own court.
The foresight of this action was impressive, as the assumed power to review all such writs was used many times over the following two years, as Joseph’s enemies tried to arrest and extradite him on several occasions. One such enemy was ex-governor Boggs who had recovered from gunshots to the head and neck. Claiming in an affidavit that Orrin Porter Rockwell was responsible for the assassination attempt and that Joseph was an “accessory before the fact,” Boggs urged Missouri’s governor to demand that Thomas Carlin, the governor of Illinois, deliver up both men for extradition. Carlin agreed, and on August 8, 1842, a deputy sheriff from a neighboring county entered Nauvoo to arrest Rockwell and Smith.
Following the instructions and authority of the council’s ordinance previously mentioned, the Nauvoo municipal court issued a writ of habeas corpus demanding that the deputy sheriff bring his prisoners, who had not resisted arrest, before that tribunal. He refused to comply with the court’s order, however, arguing that they had no jurisdiction over him. He opted instead to leave the prisoners with a Nauvoo marshal while returning to Adams County for orders from the governor regarding what to do next. Both men were allowed to go free, and Joseph spent the next three months evading law enforcement officers.
Less than three weeks after the arrest of her husband, and while he was hiding from the Governor’s agents, Emma Smith wrote to Governor Carlin to defend her husband and ask that his rights be protected and due process be served. She further argued that the Nauvoo court’s writ of habeas corpus should be heeded, thus allowing a review of the allegations and evidence against Joseph by a friendly judge in the city over which Joseph presided both religiously and governmentally. The relevant portion of Carlin’s reply, written on September 7, 1842, reads:
I doubt not your candor when you say you do not desire me “to swerve from my duty as executive in the least,” and all you ask is to he allowed the privileges and advantages guaranteed to you by the Constitution and laws. You then refer me to the 11th Section of the Charter of the city of Nauvoo, and claim for Mr. Smith the right to be heard by the Municipal Court of said city, under a writ of habeas corpus emanating from said court, when he was held in custody under an executive warrant.
The Charter of the city of Nauvoo is not before me at this time; but I have examined both the Charters and city ordinances upon the subject and must express my surprise at the extraordinary assumption of power by the board of aldermen as contained in said ordinance! From my recollection of the Charter it authorizes the Municipal Court to issue writs of habeas corpus in all cases of imprisonment or custody arising from the authority of the ordinances of said city, but that the power was granted, or intended to be granted, to release persons held in custody under the authority of writs issued by the courts or the executive of the state, is most absurd and ridiculous; and to attempt to exercise it is a gross usurpation of power that cannot be tolerated.
I have always expected and desired that Mr. Smith should avail himself of the benefits of the laws of this state, and, of course, that he would be entitled to a writ of habeas corpus issued by the Circuit Court, and entitled to a hearing before said court; but to claim the right of a hearing before the Municipal Court of the city of Nauvoo is a burlesque upon the city Charter itself.
Clearly, the officers of government in other locales objected to Nauvoo’s claim of authority over arrests and extraditions ordered against its citizens. Carlin’s interpretation of the City Charter is not unique—many have likewise concluded that Nauvoo had no such power. Yet the City Council was indeed granted authority, under the charter, to pass any laws not in conflict with the constitutions of the United States or Illinois, effectively exempting the city officers from adhering to Illinois state (statutory) law when drafting city ordinances. Nauvoo is thus properly seen as a sort of state within a state, enjoying codified authority which included the municipal court’s power to issue writs of habeas corpus. It’s little wonder that Joseph called Nauvoo’s charter “one of the most liberal charters, with the most plenary powers ever conferred by a legislative assembly on free citizens”
With all the legal troubles he faced because of his enemies—including 48 criminal cases in which Joseph was the defendant (he was convicted in none of them)—Joseph availed himself of the writ of habeas corpus on numerous occasions.
One example occurred on June 23, 1843, when the sheriff of Jackson County, Missouri, and the constable of Carthage, Illinois, entered Nauvoo pretending to be Mormon elders wanting to visit the prophet. Finding their target, against whom had been issued a writ for “treason against Missouri,” both men pressed their pistols into Joseph’s chest to apprehend him—without having shown Joseph the writ ordering his capture or serving any process. Joseph’s journal records what happened next:
They then hurried me off, put me in a wagon without serving any process, and were for hurrying me off without letting me see or bid farewell to my family or friends or oven allowing me time to get my hat or clothes, or even suffer my wife or children to bring them to me. I then said, “Gentlemen, if you have any legal process, I wish to obtain a writ of habeas corpus,” and was answered,– “G— d— you, you shan’t have one.” They still continued their punching me on both sides with their pistols.
This abuse turned his skin “black for about eighteen inches in circumference on each side,” Joseph later recorded. As he was being carried away, Joseph saw a man passing by and cried out to him “These men are kidnapping me, and I wish a writ of habeas corpus to deliver myself out of their hands.” His description of their lack of legal process as “kidnapping,” despite being officers of government, shows how Joseph regarded their supposed authority. His request for habeas corpus having been denied, the prophet pressed for legal representation. The reply was like before: “G— d— you, you shan’t have counsel: one word more, G— d— you, and I’ll shoot you.”
Word of this abuse got out quickly, and the local townspeople where the officers were staying with Joseph for the night demanded better treatment and legal process. Eventually Joseph was able to get the writ of habeas corpus he desired (though not in Nauvoo’s court). On the way to court, news of Joseph’s arrival had spread throughout the town and a crowd had gathered to hear Joseph preach. His kidnappers ordered the crowd to disperse, prompting one elderly man to confront the Jackson County sheriff and thunder:
You damned infernal puke, we’ll learn you to come here and interrupt gentlemen. Sit down there, (pointing to a very low chair,) and sit still. Don’t open your head till General Smith gets through talking. If you never learned manners in Missouri, we’ll teach you that gentlemen are not to be imposed upon by a nigger-driver. You cannot kidnap men here, if you do in Missouri; and if you attempt it here, there’s a committee in this grove that will sit on your case; and, sir, it is the highest tribunal in the United States, as from its decision there is no appeal.
Joseph preached on the subject of marriage for an hour and a half, and simply records thereafter: “My freedom commenced from that hour.” Joseph returned to Nauvoo, escorted by the Jackson County sheriff, who had become a prisoner of the Lee County sheriff as a result of his unlawful actions. The company returned to Nauvoo with much fanfare, and a feast was arranged at Joseph’s home, at which the Jackson County sheriff was guest of honor, sitting at the head of a table with roughly 50 people attending.
Nauvoo’s court immediately assembled to review the events—Joseph notified them that “the writ of habeas corpus granted by the Master in Chancery at Dixon was made returnable to the nearest court having jurisdiction; and you are that court.” The court began to review the evidence from all parties, and as the evening wore on, the court adjourned until the following morning. Joseph preached to the public in Nauvoo that evening on the issue of habeas corpus:
It is not so much my object to tell of my afflictions, trials and troubles as to speak of the writ of habeas corpus, so that the minds of all may be corrected. It has been asserted by the great and wise men, lawyers and others, that our municipal powers and legal tribunals are not to be sanctioned by the authorities of the state; and accordingly they want to make it lawful to drag away innocent men from their families and friends, and have them put to death by ungodly men for their religion:
Relative to our city charter, courts, right of habeas corpus, etc., I wish you to know and publish that we have all power; and if any man from this time forth says anything to the contrary, cast it into his teeth.
There is a secret in this. If there is not power in our charter and courts, then there is not power in the state of Illinois, nor in the congress or constitution of the United States; for the United States gave unto Illinois her constitution or charter, and Illinois gave unto Nauvoo her charters, ceding unto us our vested rights, which she has no right or power to take from us. All the power there was in Illinois she gave to Nauvoo; and any man that says to the contrary is a fool.
In another portion of his address, the prophet stated:
The constitution of the United States declares that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be denied…. If these powers are dangerous, then the constitution of the United States and of this state are dangerous; but they are not dangerous to good men: they are only so to bad men who are breakers of the laws. So with the laws of the country, and so with the ordinances of Nauvoo: they are dangerous to mobs, but not to good men who wish to keep the laws.
You speak of lawyers. I am a lawyer too; but the Almighty God has taught me the principle of law; and the true meaning and intent of the writ of habeas corpus is to defend the innocent and investigate the subject. Go behind the writ and if the form of one that is issued against an innocent man is right, he should [nevertheless] not be dragged to another state, and there be put to death, or be in jeopardy of life and limb, because of prejudice, when he is innocent. The benefits of the constitution and laws are alike for all; and the great Eloheim has given me the privilege of having the benefits of the constitution and the writ of habeas corpus; and I am bold to ask for that privilege this day, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, and all that is sacred, that I may have your lives and all your energies to carry out the freedom which is chartered to us. Will you all help me? If so make it manifest by raising the right hand (There was a unanimous response, a perfect sea of hands being elevated). Here is truly a committee of the whole.
The following day, on July 1, the Nauvoo municipal court resumed its hearing and decided that Joseph “be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said petition, and that the said Smith be discharged for want of substance in the warrant upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the merits of said case, and that he go hence without delay.” As was the case with previous arrests and kidnappings, Joseph was once again a free man.
Joseph Smith rightly loved the writ of habeas corpus. He had been made to suffer time and time again due to false accusations and trumped up charges, and thus took great comfort in the opportunity to stand before a judge and defend himself from his accusers. Half a year after this event, he initiated an independent presidential campaign. Explaining his reason for doing so, Joseph noted the need to ensure that the law protect and defend the innocent, as he had to do for himself so many times before:
I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on anywise as President of the United States, or candidate for that office, if I and my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious and civil rights as American citizens, even those rights which the Constitution guarantees unto all her citizens alike. But this as a people we have been denied from the beginning. Persecution has rolled upon our heads from time to time, from portions of the United States, like peals of thunder, because of our religion; and no portion of the Government as yet has stepped forward for our relief. And in view of these things, I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the protection of injured innocence.
Pondering the foregoing information, a clear contrast emerges with the first Mormon presidential candidate, Joseph Smith, and the latest one, Mitt Romney. Whereas the former was a champion of the Constitution and upheld individual liberty (in word and in deed—numerous deeds, even), the latter has made himself an enemy of both things.
The 2012 NDAA authorizes the President of the United States to indefinitely detain an American citizen without due process if suspected of being or aiding a terrorist. On the judgment and order of a single man, then, this “law” now allows for the legalized kidnapping of citizens with no opportunity for habeas corpus.
Recall that Joseph himself was accused on numerous occasions of engaging in activity which today would readily be deemed “terrorism,” including the assassination attempt on Boggs’ life. Further, the writs against him were signed by the judgment and order of a single man, such as the Governor, who in every case was later proven to have his information wrong, whether he acted in ignorance or with malicious intent. Imagine, then, what Joseph Smith’s life would be like if similar activities occurred today, under the NDAA. Without habeas corpus, Joseph Smith (or any other innocent individual) could be locked up with no recourse against his government-employed kidnappers.
What does Mitt Romney have to do with this? In a recent debate for Republican presidential candidates, Romney was asked if he would have signed the NDAA if he were President. “Yes, I would have,” he responded. One can only imagine the awkward conversation that might ensue between Romney and the founding prophet of his church once Romney dies and finds an opportunity to talk to Joseph. Extending him the benefit of doubt, one might presume that Romney’s support of such an offensive and constitutionally repugnant government edict stems not from malicious intent, but profound ignorance. Either way, the position he has readily embraced is at odds with the protections of law that Joseph Smith repeatedly enjoyed.
When those two officers kidnapped Joseph Smith, they refused to allow him a writ of habeas corpus to challenge their arrest. “G— d— you, you shan’t have one,” they told Joseph. This situation is eerily reminiscent of a statement made on the Senate floor by Senator Lindsey Graham, a sponsor and staunch supporter of the NDAA and the relevant provisions denying habeas corpus to American citizens suspected of terrorism. “It is not unfair,” said Graham, “to hold American citizens as long as it takes to find intelligence… When they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up! you don’t get a lawyer!'”
This is the sentiment behind those who support the NDAA, a list which includes Mitt Romney. We need not speculate as to what Joseph Smith might think of the NDAA and its supporters like Romney, for he is already on record: “Deny me the writ of habeas corpus, and I will fight with gun, sword, cannon, whirlwind, and thunder…” Good luck with that, Brother Romney.
108 Responses to “Joseph Smith, Habeas Corpus, Mitt Romney, and the 2012 NDAA”
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Thank you for writing this article. It is eloquent and to the point. Well said, Sir! Well Said.
Prior to the passage of NDAA 2012 and Romney’s response to it, I was on the fence as to whether or not I could “hold my nose” and vote for Romney if he becomes the Republican nominee. His response knocked me right off that fence. I can never vote for him.
It’s an interesting point you raise. I was also concerned by the provisions of the NDAA which you have cited above, especially those pertaining to the ‘indefinite detention’ of American citizens’. I wrote my Senator regarding that concern, although the law had already been passed, but not yet signed when I wrote the Senator.
He mentioned an amendment to the act, which was supported 99-1 in the Senate.
I’ll include, below, part of his response:
“The amendment states, ‘Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.’ This is a point of great importance. Despite various experts having different opinions as to what constitutes existing authorities relating to the detention of American citizens, there can be agreement that those authorities, whatever they may be, are not expanded or limited by this bill.”
“The detainee provisions in the legislation were thoroughly debated, resulting in specific language that received overwhelming bipartisan support. It is imperative to note that despite all claims to the contrary, the legislation as passed makes no changes to detainee authority as it relates to American citizens. This fact is made clear in the legislation, which specifically states that nothing in the bill can be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens.”
I searched for that wording in the Final version of the Bill — it’s there. Under Section 1021, Subtitle D, regarding Counter-Terrorism.
In light of the wording of that amendment, I wonder how you construe Romney’s support of NDAA 2012 as a flouting of Habeas Corpus?
I certainly agree with you that Joseph’s regard for Habeas Corpus is well placed — but I don’t agree that your interpretation of Romney’s support of NDAA (which, as I’m sure you are aware, contained far more than a simple “detention” provision) constitutes a contravention of Constitutional principle.
You’ve done a great deal of research, Connor! It appears you are trying your best to be an honest broker of information — and in the case that you might not have been aware of that amendment, and the ramifications of it, I thought it appropriate to bring it to your, and your reader’s attention.
Alan M. Taylor
I am aware of that amendment. Your Senator is wrong. For contradicting explanations, see here, here, here, and a litany of other sources you can either google or request me to further provide if you’re not convinced.
The failed amendments in the Senate that would have explicitly limited such a presidential power also suggest that the prevailing interpretation by the NDAA’s proponents supports the detention of citizens without due process. Its sponsors said as much in their arguments on the floor of Congress.
Given the backlash, it’s unsurprising to see those who voted for it employ vague (though incorrect) arguments to justify their support of the bill and claim that it’s rather innocuous. This bill, at a minimum, codifies the existing practice (done through loose interpretation of the Authorization for Use of Military Force and court cases since 9/11) into statutory law.
So yes, Romney’s support of NDAA constitutes a contravention of constitutional principle. Whether this power is a new/radical one, or one which has legislative precedent prior to its enactment, it violates the clear language of the Constitution, specifically the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments.
I read the links you provided – *thank* you for that. I appreciate it – and it definitely provides a different perspective on the issue.
If those writers are correct, that the Patriot Act (and its less than savory provisions) are in fact considered “existing law / authority” – then the Amendment referenced above would make little difference.
I still disagree with your interpretation of Romney’s claim that he would have signed the bill into Law.
Claiming that Romney is upholding un-Constitutional principle in that statement, almost seems like claiming that Joseph Smith upheld the 3/5ths compromise (still enshrined in the Constitution during Joseph’s time) by invoking his Constitutional right to Habeas Corpus. I don’t think that would be a fair assumption to derive from Joseph’s words, and I don’t think it fair in the case of Romney.
I don’t regard the statements of either as an all-embracing endorsement of every last word in either document.
It comes across as a false dichotomy: — either Romney rejects the NDAA 2012 Bill in its entirety, or he embraces it in its entirety (including the ability to indefinitely detain any American Citizen).
Similarly: Either Joseph rejects the entire Constitution (due to its containing wording on the 3/5ths compromise), or embraces the entire Constitution (including the 3/5ths compromise).
Neither statement would aid someone trying to get to the bottom of either Issue. I wouldn’t believe for a minute that Joseph Smith thought that the 3/5ths Compromise was making the country a better place for everyone. Nor do I think Romney is blithely whittling away at Liberty by supporting a multi-faceted piece of legislation.
I would readily suppose that both Joseph, and Romney could be rational men who embraced those portions of the Constitution which they thought to be inspired, and oppose those portions which they believe were/are not. I’d like to believe that I wouldn’t do either of them the injustice of being subjected to a dichotomous verdict.
Rhetoric aside, I am still willing to be convinced either way. Currently, with the information I have before me, I don’t believe that Romney’s endorsement of NDAA 2012 is a specific endorsement of the suspension of Habeas Corpus. Is that what you have been trying to communicate?
Alan M. Taylor
Do you suppose the prophets and apostles would label Mitt Romney an “enemy” of individual liberty and the constitution?
I think your rhetoric goes much too far. It’s very easy to get pulled down the patch of extreme rhetoric when you eat, drink, and breathe these issues on a regular basis.
But I’m quite certain, you’ll not find a member of the 12 or FP that would feel comfortable in public or in private labeling Romney an enemy of liberty and an enemy of the constitution.
With that in mind, regardless of your disagreement over the issue, perhaps it’s a good idea to seek to emulate the closest servants of the Lord.
I know none of us are perfect, but I do believe all of us are trying to emulate Jesus Christ. Might I suggest that the prophets and apostles who have consecrated their lives in both word and deed to the Lord known him best. (it doesn’t make them infailable by any means)
I do not think we can go wrong on our path to emulate Christ and grow from grace to grace by looking to his servants and seeking to emulate their best natures, examples, etc. into our own practice as we seek to become more like the Master.
Chris – yes, emulate the Savior. Evict the money changers from the temple. All is NOT well in Zion if its members passively allow our Constitution to be trampled underfoot, or help with the trampling.
I remember during General Conference 2004, our leaders warned us about Gadianton Robbers and secret combinations happening in our day.
In 2008, our leaders said that every party/political philosophy had gospel principles in it, so vote according to your conscience.
Our leaders have a very, very specific mission, to be witnesses of Christ. It is their authority to fulfill that mission above all else. We have the scriptures, and we have words of our past prophets. We have been commanded to not be slothful servants, but to be active in learning the gospel and applying it and God’s will to our lives, including in politics. Our church leaders, in focusing on their mission to stand as witnesses of Christ to the whole world, cannot and should not be expected to tell us what to do in every aspect of our lives.
May I suggest, that instead of writing Connor off as someone who’s view is unbalanced, that you appreciate his focus and consider him an expert in his field. He isn’t focused on just one isolated incident: he’s studied just about everything related to freedom, and how it relates to the gospel.
May I give you a few examples of other gospel heros who stood adamant against slavery and didn’t say that all was well in Zion: Captain Moroni, Mormon, Alma, Helaman, Ezra Taft Benson, Joseph Smith Jr., Joseph mith Sr., Hyrum Smith, Paul (in insisting that his rights as a Roman citizen be recognized), and so on. I know there are many more modern-day examples, which I’m sure Connor can give you.
None of that refutes what I just said. You just claimed to agree with me (emulate the Savior) and then suggested the way to do that is to act (speak) in a manner contrary to how we hear his special witnesses act.
I’m more focused on my relationship with Christ than throwing the money changers out of Washington — I sincerely hope you do not imply that a corrupt government is the same as a corrupt religious class working out of the temple.
I do not disagree with any of the exemplary people you highlighted.
I disagree with the tone and nature of language used. It undermines civil discourse. It’s contrary to the nature of discourse that the modern day prophets and apostles use who are special witnesses of Christ. (perhaps some assume that “Trying to be like Jesus” means acting less like his prophets?) I’ll have no part of it for myself and I quickly lose respect for political allies whom I’m sympathetic to when they do it.
Claiming that Romney is upholding un-Constitutional principle in that statement, almost seems like claiming that Joseph Smith upheld the 3/5ths compromise (still enshrined in the Constitution during Joseph’s time) by invoking his Constitutional right to Habeas Corpus.
I disagree. As an officer of government, as President, Romney would be required to take an oath to support/uphold the Constitution. Thus, to fulfill his office honorably, he would have to sign and enforce only those laws which are reconciled with that document.
Supporting the Constitution or praising its protections of certain rights does not inherently imply that every last word is important, inspired, or necessary. Thus, I do not believe it is a false dichotomy, as you suggest. One can praise the Constitution while objecting to certain of its provisions (as I do often). Yet Romney would be held to a higher standard, in being required to reject any unconstitutional law.
Thus, I do believe that Romney would have to reject the NDAA 2012 bill in its entirety in order to be consistent in upholding the Constitution. It’s like saying that it’s okay for a married man to commit adultery one day, so long as he doesn’t do it the other 364 days of the year. Fidelity to the marriage contract requires an unwavering commitment. So, too, with the Constitution.
Recall that Romney was directly asked by the debate moderator if he would have signed NDAA with the indefinite detention provision included. He wasn’t simply saying he supported the bill—he was expressing support of the bill even when it was clarified what exactly was in it. Further, he went on to defend the unconstitutional provision by justifying its need and castigating those who supposedly are treasonously aiding the enemy.
Do you suppose the prophets and apostles would label Mitt Romney an “enemy” of individual liberty and the constitution?
I’m not concerned with whether they would do so. I don’t use the term lightly, nor is there anger in my usage of it. It is a logical application of the positions he holds in contradiction to the Constitution. For more on my stance on this, see here.
Ok, here is what an a special witness of Christ, Ezra Taft Benson has to say about our government. Time to wake up! Watch this video.
“will we be among those…could we defend it(constitution)? the church will not tell us how to do this, but we are admonished to do this…”
I am glad we have citizens like Connor who are willing to take a stand and fight for what’s right – even when it’s not the most popular.
We have to look at the broad picture of what this means. The slow breach of our liberties is NO COINCENDENCE, Mitt Romney appears to be going with the flow on so many anti-constitutional issues like the NDAA 2012, that it becomes clear that he is NOT taking a stance for true liberty and freedom.
(Ezra Taft Benson – none dare call it conspiracy)
Thanks for the article! For quite some time, I’ve found Romney to be completely unpalatable when I measure him against the standard of Constitutional government, and the principles of freedom and liberty; in my estimation should be prized above any other political ideal for LDS voters. Unfortunately, LDS voters have become as ignorant to the Constitution as the rest of America. It’s very sad, but understandable at the same time. You cannot love or protect something that you are ignorant about.
Which brings me to my next point. I completely agree with you Connor that “Romney’s support of such an offensive and constitutionally repugnant government edict stems not from malicious intent, but profound ignorance”. Romney seems like a nice guy. I don’t believe for a second that he is out to do harm. However, he has proven time and time again that he is unfamiliar with the principles that the Constitution was founded on, as well as the tyrannies that can happen if those principles are not protected. And that ignorance can be just as dangerous to our liberties as a leader with malintent.
It sounds like you are suggesting that Mitt Romney claimed he would have signed NDAA into law *despite the indefinite detention provision. Did you hear the actual dialogue that took place? The fact of the matter is that his response makes clear that he actually supports that provision. Your comparison to Joseph Smith supporting the Constitution, and therefore by default, supporting the 3/5ths compromise falls flat on its face.
I think you should do as you suggested that Connor do, and admit that you were wrong about that. Here’s what Mitt said specifically about the detention provision:
“Yes, I would have. And I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of al Qaeda.”
This is a cowardly response. What he is really saying is that he believes the President should have the authority to detain American citizens (indefinitely and without charges or habeas corpus rights) if they are so much as suspected as being terrorists or of supporting terrorists. This is what the provision allows. But he does not have the courage to actually say that. He hides behind the false cloak that these potential detainees are necessarily “members of al Qaeda.”
There is nothing in the provision that applies only to members of al Qaeda. What is he even talking about?
Further, your claim that the act might not even provide for those Presidential powers is completely irrelevant because the point is that Romney believes that it does provide those powers AND he supports that provision.
Oh, but don’t worry. He assures us that he would never abuse that power (after stating “I recognize that in a setting where they are enemy combatants and on our own soil, that could possibly be abused.”) and that he doesn’t believe Obama would either. You can’t make this stuff up. The whole point is that these potential detainees might not be members of al Qaeda, might not be terrorists, might not have done anything wrong at all. That’s the WHOLE POINT of habeas corpus. Of course, once again, his statement was cowardly. He made pretense that the “abuse” of power would occur with respect to “enemy combatants.. on our own soil…” Don’t you see the silver-forked tongue at work here? Are we to believe that Romney really doesn’t understand these most basic concepts? Does he really believe that the fear is that an actual “enemy combatant” or an actual “member of al Qaeda” might be the victim of abuse?
But again. Nothing to worry about here, right? In fact, according to his response he would see nothing wrong with a complete dictatorship as long as the dictator was elected by the people (yea, right). He said, “And I can also tell you that in my view you have to choose people who you believe have sufficient character not to abuse the power of the presidency and to make sure that we do not violate our constitutional principles.”
So, let me get this straight. He supports a clearly unconstitutional “law” (which by its nature is no law at all), and his reasoning is that you can simply elect someone that will not violate their constitutional principles. Well, that obviously wouldn’t be him.
If we as a people ‘molly-coddle’ (i think that’s what it’s called?) our freedoms by worrying if we’re going to hurt someone’s feelings, we’re going to end up with more of what we are getting. It’s not a matter of hating Mitt, it’s a matter of requiring “any” potential leader of this country to hold to the standards of the Constitution and the Oath of Office each of them make upon taking office. It’s a matter of sending the same message in many different ways until the people realize that defending our freedom is more serious that they have taken it in the past AND it will take “way” more vigilance to get it back now that most of it’s gone. I challenge anyone to “actually” read the bill they seem to support without getting scared and/or angry. We have priesthood holders in offices that are ignoring their Oaths as well as the words of the prophets and the scriptures. These things need to be shouted from the rooftops and the public needs to become righteously angry enough (there’s a challenge for us all) to make the change required before our choices are taken from us completely. So Connor, keep on keepin on.
Thank you for writing this, Connor. This has dominated my thoughts recently and I’m glad that I’m not the only one thinking about it.
I think it’s important to note that Orrin Hatch, along with almost every other senator, voted in favor of the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA not only once, but twice last year. Not only did they vote to pass the NDAA, but they also voted down an amendment to the bill that would specifically remove the indefinite detention wording from it.
It’s unfortunate that Romney supports the provision, but we should remember that another prominent LDS politician specifically voted for it.
May I suggest something to you, in the spirit of brotherly love? Attach your full name to whatever you write — or at least write as if you were going to do so. I find that it does wonders for keeping one civil in responses. Anonymity quickly renders us one into a ‘mob mentality.’ I wonder, after reading your post, if you would be as likely to say the same thing in person to Romney – or if you, being thus unable to detach your identity from your rhetoric, might find yourself searching for different words? I hope your behavior does not alter by circumstance – that would be a most unfortunate discovery.
I don’t assume that, meeting Romney, you would feel any differently – only what you would say to him might be otherwise “toned down.” I would suggest the same conduct is worthy of online commentary, don’t you think?
Yes, I actually heard the dialogue that took place. Yes, I heard Romney’s response. I don’t see, with the same clarity, his out-of-hand support of indefinitely detaining American Citizens. It may be that you are laboring under the assumption that Romney’s expression of support was given against the same backdrop and interpretation which *you* have of NDAA 2012, The Patriot Act, etc. There are many who don’t agree with this interpretation, for good or ill. To judge another’s actions by one’s own understanding is a perilous business. Here, I make no claim as to anyone being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – only that they see the same set of words through different eyes.
For the record, I never asked Connor to admit anything, least of all to being ‘wrong.’ He may very well be right – and I, for one, would like to know *WHAT* is right – caring less for *who* is right.
I was, in fact, volunteering information, that I wasn’t sure he had. That truly was all there was in it. You may have ‘read in’ to my words and saw something more than I intended?
My implied comparison, involving the 3/5s compromise, was to highlight the fact that a man may express support for a thing, knowing that his support for part may not constitute support for the whole. Joseph Smith, invoking Habeas Corpus, was well within his just rights as a citizen. I don’t think someone could reasonably construe that he was, by association, in favor of every last line of the US Constitution as it stood in his time. Connor and I agree on this. The question to Romney, might in another time, have otherwise been put to Joseph Smith: “Joseph, would you still ratify the Constitution, knowing that it includes the 3/5ths compromise, practically an indirect legal recognition of slavery?” If he replied in the affirmative… would your reaction to it say more about Joseph Smith? … or more about you?
I share your concern about the erosion of Liberty – but Liberty, alone, I’m persuaded is not enough. Going back to Constitutional principles, is not enough. It was imperfect when it was ratified, it is imperfect now — it seems odd that imperfect people become so concerned with passing judgement on other imperfect people, based on an imperfect interpretation of an imperfect document. I have great faith that the Constitution, properly regarded and implemented, will yet endure a few more centuries – I’m convinced we face a far greater threat in President Obama, than we do in Romney, or any of the other candidates currently running.
I understand that you believe Romney’s response to be an endorsement of unlawful detention (with all of the Constitutional principle which that goes against). I, respectfully, disagree with you. There was more to that Bill than the detention provision, just as there was and is more to the Constitution than the 3/5ths compromise.
I agree with Roosevelt: “No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.” However, I don’t think that Romney is interpreting NDAA 2012 in its entirety, the same way that Connor, and others have. I don’t, therefore, believe that he is intentionally eroding a Constitutionally protected right on the grounds of expediency. There is something more to it, than simply being an “Enemy of the Constitution.”
Connor: Why do you say that Romney would be held to a different (higher) standard? I wouldn’t expect him to adhere to the Constitution any more than you or I — why a different standard for Presidents, than for the people?
Alan M. Taylor
I always love it when people write ridiculous articles. Mr. Boyack, you voted your government in. They enacted the laws on which they base their detainment of prisoners. Like it or not, these laws are not in violation of the constitution as judges, who are upheld by the constitution, have upheld this detainment. We have seen many ‘terrorists’ released upon innocence proven. None have been executed while imprisoned. The Constitution does give authorities the right to hold individuals until they are proven to be innocent. The Constitution also gives authorities the right to hold individuals based on imminent danger to the USA and it’s communities. Unfortunately, your argument that this is similar to the situation of Joseph Smith is false. Joseph Smith was harassed by gun toting Americans for his religious beliefs. The terrorists of this day, threaten the country as a whole, giving the country as a whole the right to detain a combatant to the way of free life we enjoy under our constitution. This situation ‘is’ similar to the reign of the judges in The Book of Mormon where individuals that threatened the way of free life and denied individuals the right to practice their religion, were subject to imprisonment and even death.
Joseph Smith was being persecuted for practicing his religion and should have been defended vigorously by the government. The terrorists we speak of today do not attack religion in our country, they attack the constitution of our country, and the Presidents and the judges use every power invoked by it to make sure the citizens covered by it are not threatened and their way of life (peace) is not threatened, which in fact is an eternal principle.
Connor, you are saying that you advocate letting all of these prisoners detained as terrorists go? Would you invite all of them to your home to have a barbeque and mingle with your friends and invite them to live with you?
Brother Romney also said, referring to the NDAA, that Obama or any president would not abuse this power. This is a perfect example of partisan hypocrisy: Romney doesn’t trust Obama to run his healthcare, but he trusts him with even more dangerous powers? Brother Romney must not read his scriptures.
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” (D&C 121:39)
And this is why the Constitution was implemented.
“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson
Brother “T” You are correct when you say: “The terrorists of this day, threaten the country as a whole.” Where I don’t concur is that you assume said “Terrorists” are over there, not internal. Our “enemies” are internal, just as they were for the Nephites of old. This 6 part series might start you thinking “internal” instead of “external.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHbL10Q8gRY
T. Durham – You said, “They enacted the laws on which they base their detainment of prisoners. Like it or not, these laws are not in violation of the constitution as judges, who are upheld by the constitution, have upheld this detainment.” You suggest that since a judge has not put an end to indefinite detention, that the law is constitutional and we should therefore accept it and live with it. I would suggest you study a little more about what the prophets and apostles have said regarding the constitution.
At Utah’s Constitution Day celebration in 2010, Dallin H. Oaks said, “We should, of course, always be vigilant to insist that our governments and their executives, lawmakers and judges stay within the limits prescribed by our constitutions. That is part of the rule of law, and all of the blessings enjoyed under our constitutions are dependent upon it.”
If we allow our government to pass and maintain laws that are explicitly against the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then we cannot legitimately call ourselves a law abiding people. The Constitution is the law. Anything that deviates from it is a broken law.
Alan, my name is Jeremy J Lyman, and since you don’t know me it wouldn’t make a difference what name I attached to my comment. JJL9 is a nickname I’ve had for over a decade and a “handle” I’ve used on the internet for over a decade. I’m not hiding my identity.
I apologize if my discourse wasn’t civil, but based on your response I honestly don’t think it makes any difference what I say.
You are grasping at straws as they say. I’ve accused Connor of the same thing in the past when he has had to twist the evidence to somehow fit a square peg into his preconceived round hole. I call it like I see it.
Your suggestion that the question posed to Romney about NDAA was somehow akin to the following being asked of Joseph Smith: “Joseph, would you still ratify the Constitution, knowing that it includes the 3/5ths compromise, practically an indirect legal recognition of slavery?”, is simply not a logical comparison. It would only be comparable if Joseph Smith’s on-the-record response to a question about the Constitution included a direct admission that he actually supported the 3/5th compromise, and not just for the sake of compromise, but because he supported the whole concept of the 3/5ths doctrine.
Be realistic for a minute. What exactly do you think Romney meant when he said, “I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country..”
Do you think he meant that he believes that people should be arrested and charged with a crime and afforded habeas corpus and basic due process? Is that why he said that?
And once again, you can’t play both sides of the field, one in which you make the 3/5ths compromise comparison (which would assume that NDAA did include a hideous provision for indefinite detainment of American citizens without charges, and without habeas corpus and basic due process), and then you follow that argument up with one in which you argue that no such provision exists.
You can’t possibly be serious. Please tell me you are someone who actually agrees with Connor, and is making a counter argument simply to show how absurd such an argument would be.
As for how we should deliver the message of liberty-this is something that has concerned me for a time as well. Many within the liberty movement lack tact. Many more could be persuaded to correct principles if the same message were delivered in a more loving manner. At the same time though, love shouldn’t stifle our boldness. It should magnify it.
I’m reminded of the boldness of people like John the Baptist, the fringe man who lived in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey. It was he who called the pharisees and sadducees a generation of vipers to their faces. He didn’t hold back. He feared God more than man.
I’m reminded of what Lehi told his sons regarding Nephi’s boldness:
I’m reminded of the word’s of Mormon to his son Moroni who experienced the debacle of persuading his fellow countrymen to repent:
Finally, I’m reminded of the words of Amulek when he was accused of speaking out “against the law”:
Not that Connor is a prophet but he is speaking the truth. He is speaking in favor of the law (the Constitution) to Romney’s condemnation. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Any honest person who watches Romney’s defense of the anit-habeas corpus provision of the NDAA bill will have to admit that his view is in contrast to Joseph Smith’s. And if there is any doubt about where Mitt Romney stands on denying Habeas Corpus that person should watch this video.
Glad to know your name – and you’re right, since I don’t know you personally, you could very well fabricate a name. I for one, am not intentionally fabricating anything about my writings.
“Be realistic for a minute. What exactly do you think Romney meant when he said, “I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country..”
Very well, realistically, I think that Romney expressed a desire to be able to detain people who are threats to this country. This, I find to be in harmony with the Constitution, and the Sedition Act of 1798. In essence, I believe he meant what he said, not what you apparently *think* he said. Based on your responses to my written comments, I wonder if you struggle with taking people at their word?
You implied that I had asked Connor to admit being wrong – I did no such thing, I even admitted he might be right. You imply that Romney’s response is endorsement of a principle which goes against (as Connor correctly pointed out) the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments – I think you are reading more into that response (as you have into mine) than should be done. I think Connor is right about indefinite detention of US Citizens being an affront to defenders of the Constitution – but I don’t think he is correctly apprehending Romney’s response.
I think it right, and Constitutional, that the United States be able to detain those (citizen or not) who are a legitimate threat to the national interests, and security of the US. In cases of Treason, or Sedition, I think detention (not, Jeremy, *indefinite* detention)of US citizens is a necessary power. Here, I will not play both sides. The Constitution guarantees due process of law to its Citizens. No abrogation of that right should brooked by any Citizen. Can I support the Constitution, and yet see a place where this Provision could buttress National Security? I contend that I, and Romney, can. This is why I think Romney did not, in a sentence, make himself worthy of being labeled an enemy of the Constitution.
Where the Law Enforcement agencies seek to protect the public by building a court case (often heavily weighted by events that have already happened), other elements of our government seek to protect the public by using anticipatory methods. In the former, Habeas Corpus protects us — I don’t believe it affords us as much protection in the latter.
I have, through Connor’s writings, considered the case of Joseph Smith. I’m curious what his analysis of the Anwar al-Awlaki case might be? What’s to be done in cases where lawmakers have failed to anticipate (and then criminalize) behavior that constitutes a legitimate threat to the US? I would much rather anticipate, and thus prevent, another major attack through the detention of a seditious, treasonous US citizen, than regard the victims of the attack as the price that must be paid in order to uphold one interpretation of Habeas Corpus. Here, I agree with Romney, that capacity should remain in place. However, in our early history, as now, that power should be watched like a hawk. Liberty is a good cause – but not sufficient to preserve a nation. As Victor Frankyl put it, “I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.”
Jeremy, I really to think you are defending what you believe to be right – and you have my respect for it. “Calling it like you see it” may seem like a clever, pithy justification for blunt, uncivil remarks, but I don’t think it will do much to persuade others to see things as you do.
– Alan M. Taylor
@Alan There is no justification for holding somebody while they await trial that can’t be backed up by evidence, otherwise the government has carte blanche to hold anybody indefinitely for any reason. That’s the minimum standard we demand. If a person is truly a “terrorist” (as selectively and vaguely that term is used), then we must have evidence that they’re implicit in attacks or plans to attack somebody, destroy some property, something.
One thing that holds America apart from many totalitarian nations is that the rule of law requires holding people for an actual reason, not “anticipatory” methods utterly dependent upon the biases or prejudices of whoever happens to be in charge at the moment. The utter insanity of holding somebody not for a crime, not for planning a crime, but because they were “suspicious” should be self-evident. Even worse is holding somebody indefinitely with no intention to either bring charges or release the individual, and asserting that the American people shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads because there’s a good reason for it all. While I definitely understand a little Constitutional flexibility in allowing certain clauses or passages to bend to fulfill its overall purpose, I can’t really abide by any action which overrides individual protection against unlawful searches, seizures, imprisonment or execution. Add the pretty obvious fact that going against our principles of human and civil rights creates enemies worldwide and I can’t abide the erosion, albeit the “pragmatic” and possibly well-intentioned erosion, of these rights.
The President of the United States currently has more dictatorial powers than the President (Paul von HIndenburg)or the Chancellor (Adolf Hitler) of Germany had in 1934.
Alan Taylor is a very worthy opponent, you have to give him that.
It’s definitely in vogue to either paint Romney as milquetoast, or an absolute demon bent on destroying freedom. Resist the temptation.
Eric, have your brilliant and lovely wife edit your comments before you post. A suggestion.
“There is no justification for holding somebody while they await trial that can’t be backed up by evidence, otherwise the government has carte blanche to hold anybody indefinitely for any reason.” – Clumpy
I agree – but the key word is “evidence.” What a court would consider ‘evidence’ is not was passes for evidence in trying to anticipate (and the counteract) terror attacks — which, I think was what the NDAA 2012 proponents were thinking of when they drafted the legislation. I don’t think it will serve us well to define “evidence” exactly the same way for Law Enforcement agencies, and Intelligence. To do so will see us no better off than we were before WWII. In retrospect, there were mountains of ‘evidence’ of Japanese intent to attack Pearl Harbor — in *retrospect*. However, at the time, none of it would have stood up in court. Pearl Harbor, and others, are some of the cases which I think of when I reason that we shouldn’t define (or use) “evidence” the same for both law enforcement, and intelligence (anticipatory) work. NDAA 2012, I think was aimed more at the anticipatory side of National Security. I, however, share the concern of Connor, and the rest that this could fairly easily be abused.
Please don’t misunderstand – I’m not making a case to support Japanese concentration camps during WWII, or even for Guantanamo. I listened to Romney say he would (instead of eliminating) double the size of Guantanamo. I think Romney is wrong, there (not just there – there are many issues where I find myself at variance with him). We should not be ‘growing’ that facet of our national security policy — and some of Ron Paul’s foreign policy input would go a long way to make Guantanmo less necessary. However, I don’t think it should be eliminated just yet.
“The utter insanity of holding somebody not for a crime, not for planning a crime, but because they were “suspicious” should be self-evident. Even worse is holding somebody indefinitely with no intention to either bring charges or release the individual, and asserting that the American people shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads because there’s a good reason for it all.” – Clumpy
Again, I concur — but I don’t think the provision was aimed at those who are just “suspicious.” Even within the US, ‘suspicion’ can be grounds enough for detention. In scripture, prisoners of war were customarily held, without trial, until the end of the conflict, and sometimes longer.
In one EXCEPTION, treasonous, seditious (perhaps ancient terrorist?) citizens of the Nephite nation were detained without trial – (Alma 51: ~7-21). This could reasonably be interpreted as a willful suspension of Habeas Corpus for the good of the country. Yet, Moroni, who implemented it, I don’t think would have any problem looking Joseph Smith in the eye.
The problem as I see it, given the nature of NDAA, becomes how one defines War. The “War on Terror” is one of the least well-defined, least-defensible examples of what constitutes War. To call the Guantanmo detainees “prisoners of War” and treat them thus would be to assume that they were captured as combatants of a declared war. That claim is debatable at best. However, the fact that our legal system has failed to anticipate and prepare against the relatively new threat of terrorism should not preclude unconventional means of mitigating it.
I repeat, I remain concerned that NDAA 2012 does *indeed* contain ambiguous, somewhat obfuscatory language regarding the ability to detain, without trial or charge, American citizens. I do not think that one’s supporting NDAA 2012, however, is grounds enough to label them an enemy of the Constitution – regardless of their political affiliation or candidacy.
I can’t help but think of “A Man for All Seasons” as I write this — and of Roper’s rash zeal to “flatten every law to get at the Devil” — to which Sir Thomas More replies: “What would you do then to defend yourself when the devil turns round on you, the laws all being flat! No, Master Roper, I would give the devil the benefit of law for my own safety’s sake!”
I think there is a balance to be struck between the two. I don’t think NDAA is flattening the law as much as some claim. However, I do think that many laws on the books do, in fact. “Eternal vigilance is the price of Freedom” as Jefferson said — we do need to keep an informed watch over our government, and be ready and willing to act when our liberties are legitimately threatened.
Alan M. Taylor
You stated, “I think Romney expressed a desire to be able to detain people who are threats to this country.” You may very well be correct. The place that I find a problem with this interpretation is that his motives don’t matter. If Romney gets elected, he will be President for 4-8 years and pass that power on to the next, who may have the same intent or not.
I think the question as to whether I agree with Connor or not is if I look at the next four years or the next forty years. I may not be in trouble in four years. Romney may not detain innocent people (and he may, if they seem connected to terrorism). His replacement, down the road, may view Libertarians as a threat or Conservatives as a threat. I don’t see the problem as what Romney believes, but that we are giving yet another power to what is fast becoming an elected dictator.
Sure, Romney might be well intended but…
Also, amen Brint! If history is any indicator it has shown time and time again that every government will abuse whatever power they are able to usurp. We may not believe our current government will abuse the powers they have but eventually they will. That is the beauty of the Constitution. It was written by good men who understood that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men to abuse whatever power they have. Whether ignorantly or blatantly, a person running for president of the United States should not receive our support when they don’t understand these crucial principles.
As I’ve read this blog it seems many of you are bright enough to do your own homework. Why do you continue to believe “Terrorism” is something other than an evil created by the those within our OWN government that benefit from State sponsored violence? When we understand the “pattern” (D&C 52:14) we need no longer argue if NDAA is or is not going to be used against us good citizens…it will.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHbL10Q8gRY
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E037qIofA1c
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOj-dPBa61I
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKZonNiMy14
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqevkKU6VN0
Isn’t it time we “wake up” as Moroni suggested we do?
I see your point – that NDAA 2012 is not of ephemeral concern – its effects will endure beyond a Romney administration. I disagree about whether motives matter – I think Romney’s (and Obama’s for that matter) motives and intentions DO matter – because it may determine how they interpret the laws they must enforce. Their interpretation is largely what is at issue — as well as the characterization of Romney.
Weighing the merit of a law on how it affects liberty/law alone is, I think, an incomplete analysis. The 3/5ths compromise is one example of that — it’s implications were repugnant to many who ratified it. The same could be said of the War Powers Act, the Patriot Act, The 16th Amendment, etc. In the case of the 3/5ths compromise, the ‘slave-owner’ states made it clear that no “Union” would materialize if that compromise, or one like it, were not included in the wording. For those who opposed slavery (defenders of liberty), that must have been a hard pill to swallow indeed. It was decided that the greater good was to first to make a strong Union, and resolve the issue of slavery at some future date.
If the ‘abolitionists’ had dug in their heels, insisting that any erosion of liberty set down in law was unacceptable, there’s a chance we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
For all you or I know, when Moroni was given (by the voice of the people) the power to summarily execute (or compel them to arms in defense of their country) dissenters, traitors — there may have been several who were deeply concerned by this extraordinary power in the hands of one man. Yet, it was Moroni, not Hitler, not Stalin, who was at the reigns. Alma says he was “… breaking down the wars and contentions among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization, and making regulations to prepare for war … ” Brint, I don’t know when that power ended, but I think it reasonable to assume that it concluded with the diminishing of the threat of annihilation by their foes.
With this precedent, meant for our time, I take heart in the fact that we may still choose our leaders.
I am persuaded that motives and intentions are significant, perhaps even more important than the wording of a law, or the Constitution.
“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.” – James Madison
I think James Madison wrote sagely here. Laws can be made to serve according to interpretation (hence, the growing concern about Judicial activism). The onus, then, is ours to intelligently choose men who will craft, interpret, and enforce them virtuously.
The powers given Moroni, had they instead been given to Amalikiah, might have been disastrous. It is not the law, then, in which the greatest danger lies, but in the man chosen to enforce them. Here, I agree with you Brint – Romney may have good intentions, but a successor to the Executive Office may not.
While I remain concerned with NDAA 2012, despite the assurances of the Senator I wrote to, I don’t think Connor’s depiction of Romney is a fair, or accurate one. It would be unfortunate to be justly accused of “tak[ing] the advantage of one because of his words.”
I haven’t reached a verdict, yet, on what I think of NDAA 2012 — but I think the weightier matter lies in who is chosen to lead, not in the wording of a law.
Alan M. Taylor
I find it interesting that you seem my view interpretation of what Romney said as being nothing but conjecture and assumption, but seem perfectly content to assume that your interpretation is more likely.
He responded to a question about NDAA, knowing that the objection to NDAA was the belief that the act authorized the President to detain American citizens indefinitely without due process (without charges, without habea corpus, without anything at all really other than a suspicion). You may not believe that NDAA provides this authority. Romney may not believe that (which is your claim). But if he doesn’t, why didn’t he say so? He obviously knew what the main objection to NDAA was.
Interesting that you claim that I apparently struggle with taking people at their word, but do so under the assumption that “their word” just meant what you thought it meant, but not what I thought it meant. I did take him at his word. He was questioned about NDAA because there is a belief that it provides for the virtual elimination of habeas corpus. He did not refute this. Instead he simply confirmed that he supported it. If he did not believe that the concern being raised existed he would have said so.
Alan, under the assumption that “who is chosen to lead” is more important than “the wording of a law,” then we are doomed.
My interpretation of Romney’s comments was arrived at by taking him at his word – which you quoted for me.
“I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country..”
If you choose not to take him at his word, then that is your choice. I don’t see anything in there about detaining US citizens indefinitely – I don’t know how you do.
Romney is not accountable to anyone for the beliefs of the person who asked the question – they may have asked it believing that NDAA was the precursor to Stalin’s Russia – but that doesn’t mean that Romney, or Paul, or Santorum, or anyone else had to answer the question in light of that belief.
Recall the last election cycle, when people were trying to sink Romney’s campaign by bringing up his beliefs: Huckabee, connivingly, brought up the fact that “he believes that Jesus and Satan are brothers” — which is true, assuming that Romney accepts all the Church’s teachings. However, how the evangelical crowd might interpret that, and how Romney interprets that belief are probably quite different. I see that as “taking advantage of another because of his words.” You, Jeremy, are free to interpret Romney’s response however you like – but I’d advise against interpreting them by the beliefs of the asker, not the asked.
Detaining people who are a threat to this country is not a new practice – it’s happened since before you or I were born – and Romney’s remarks, though against the backdrop of a new piece of legislation, seem to be in line with that.
Alan M. Taylor
Since “detaining people who are a threat to this country is not a new practice” (having “happened since before you or I were born”), and therefore has nothing to do with NDAA, why would he have responded that way when asked about NDAA?
“Romney may not believe that (which is your claim).”
I don’t remember claiming this… This is a rather one-side game — you putting words in my mouth, and me correcting you.
I have made no claim regarding Romney’s beliefs about the NDAA – only that interpreting Romney’s remarks as an endorsement of suspending habeas corpus seems to be an unfair extrapolation.
Again, you said I asked Connor to admit to being wrong. No where have I asked Connor to do that.
You say I claimed Romney believed the NDAA didn’t suspend Habeas Corpus — again, not true.
Jeremy, where (and why?) are you coming up with these false conclusions?
Alan M. Taylor
” . . . why would he have responded that way when asked about NDAA?”
Because I am an utter failure at mind-reading, I can only conjecture the WHY.
One option that comes to mind is that he, as many other church leaders have, answered “the question you should have asked.” I see public figures do that frequently, and it certainly hasn’t been the first time Romney has done it during this election cycle.
During a debate a few months ago, one of the moderators asked him point blank if he would “fire” Herman Cain (who had recently been under the gun for allegations of sexual harassment). Romney deftly declined to answer the question, and instead appeared to answer “the question she should have asked.” Again, I can only conjecture WHY he did that.
Alan M. Taylor
And what question should he have been asked?
If “detaining people who are a threat to this country is not a new practice” (having “happened since before you or I were born”), and therefore has nothing to do with NDAA, then why should he have been asked any question at all about detaining American citizens if the topic of discussion was NDAA?
“And what question should he have been asked?”
Again, I’m not a mind reader – you are asking question which either require clairvoyance, or speculation. We are headed further afield than has any chance of moving this discussion forward.
I don’t know what Romney’s thoughts were – I don’t know what the asker’s thoughts were. All I have to go on is what both of them said, and I’d rather leave it at that.
If you want to press forward, and make judgements based on what you *think* people said, by all means, carry on.
– Alan M. Taylor
Alan, you keep going back to my statement and misconstruing something I said. I was ignoring the issue because I thought it was irrelevant, but you keep bringing it up, so I will indulge you with a response.
You said, “Again, you said I asked Connor to admit to being wrong.” I never said that, although I will admit that it was a perfectly reasonable interpretation of what I did say.
I said, “I think you should do as you suggested that Connor do, and admit that you were wrong about that.”
Here’s what I meant. “I think you should do as you suggested that Connor do….” You said, “It appears you are trying your best to be an honest broker of information…” and although you didn’t expound, I ineterpreted that to be a suggestion that Connor re-assess his position, or that he take into consideration the additional information you were providing him. So, when I said, “I think you should do as you suggested that Connor do”, I meant, I think you should consider this information (ie, the direct quote from Romney), and then the second part of my suggestion comes after that (ie, it’s not necessarily something that you suggested to Connor, but something that would be the consequence of you doing what you suggested Connor do), that you would admit you were wrong about that.
I know now that you aren’t going to do that. Since Romney didn’t come out and verbalize that is in favor of detaining American citizens without habeas corpus, you refuse to believe that he was essentially conceding this. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
As to the other issues, I took a few of your statements, such as “I contend that I, and Romney, can..” and “Here, I agree with Romney, that capacity should remain in place…” and extrapolated that you were claiming, or at least implying that both you and Romney supported NDAA and did not believe that it contained any provision that authorizes detainment of American citizens without habeas corpus.
Based on your most recent statements that you “made no claim regarding Romney’s beliefs about the NDAA” and that my claim that you had claimed that “Romney believed the NDAA didn’t suspend Habeas Corpus” was “not true”, then I guess it’s safe to assume that you support him without any belief that he does or does not support the suspension of habeas corpus?
I don’t have anything else to add, but though we retain disagreements, I thank you for the thoughtful response(s).
Thanks for your response. I can agree with you that Romney’s motives may be important in the short term. Perhaps more important than the law that gives him power. In the long term, I think the law is much more important because there are agendas deep within government that will abuse such power. I didn’t follow Eric’s links, but can agree with his premise from my own study. I’ve made my case at http://www.stateofmankind.com/tragedy-and-hope-review/. If you would care to review my study and agree or disagree with any points, I would appreciate it.
I disagree somewhat with your example of Moroni, as he took some special powers in a time when the Nephites were being invaded and they had to fight or be wiped out. We are not in that sort of a time right now. I would say that our main threat right now is the creeping tyranny of a growing and constantly more powerful Federal Government. In a time such as ours, in my opinion, the better, wiser, and more virtuous solution would be for a leader to want less power (such as Ron Paul) rather than more, such as just about everyone else.
That said, I agree with Madison on virtue. If there is no virtue, then governance is just a side show and we will fail no matter what we do. If there is virtue, then I believe it will best be shown by a leader who will see the upcoming tyrannies and willfully begin to dismantle the power we have invested in the President.
I don’t know if anyone has proposed this already as I did not read all of the posts. Nevertheless, does it not make sense that rather than speculating on and arguing about exactly where Brother Romney stands in support of habeas corpus (weak – strong) when he said he would sign NCAA into law, would one’s time be better spent trying to get a crystal clear explanation from Brother Romney and/or his campaign about the issue? If one is truly intent on knowing for certain.
Good post Connor. In my opinion, Romney has not been a rock solid defender of liberty and the constitution, nor does he seem to be ideologically consistent in word or deed on many issues.
All, good debate.
Really, will somebody contact the Romney campaign before they shake the etch-a-sketch and we’re no longer able to find out where Romeny stands on the issue…
If you want to know where Romney stands on most issue, read “No Apology” ….assuming you can get through the first for chapters without pulling your hair out wondering who’s going to nuke us first from as a reaction to his Military Dominance Mind-set.
Oh what a delight. It is so fun to see yet another article hitting it out of the ball park Connor.
Nothing about president lincoln in relationship to H.C.?
Brint, the example of Moroni was spot on, as was your conclusion. EVERY NEPHITE WAR (During the Republic) was started by Nephite Traitors, all 15 of them. The one you mention with Moroni, when he lifted he famous “Banner of Liberty” was against the capital city Zarahemla, against the King-men that took over the country.
1st Nephite Traitor War (NTW): Caused by the Nephite Traitor Amlici in the 5th year of the judges (YofJ) (~87 B.C.) (Alma 2:1-31)
2nd NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Ammonihah in the 10th YofJ (~82 B.C.) (Alma 8:3, 9, 16; Alma 10:27-32; Alma 16:1-11; Alma 25:1-8; Alma 49:3)
3rd NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Amalekites in the 14th YofJ (~86 – 90 B.C.) (Alma 21:3-6; Alma 23:7-14; Alma 24:1-30; Alma 27:1-3)
4th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Zoramites in the 18th YofJ (~74 B.C.) (Alma 31:8; Alma 43:3-17)
5th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Amalickiah in the 19th and 25th YofJ (~73 – 66 B.C.) (Alma 46; 47; 48; 49:1-25; Alma 51:9-12, 22-37) Some of the most instructive information is provided here. Note that over 50% of the Lamanite population rebels against their king, refusing to go to war with the Nephites. After Amalickiah’s treachery and ascendancy as King of the Lamanites he builds towers and hires men to incite the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites. I can’t help but think how CNN and Fox accomplish the same things for the elites today by telling us over and over again to “fear our enemy” regardless of who the enemy is….Russia, Saddam, or the ever-present yet nebulous Terrorist cells lurking down the street.
6th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Morianton in the 24th YofJ (~67 B.C.) (Alma 50:25-35)
7th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Kingmen in the 25th YofJ (~ 66 B.C.) (Alma 51:8, 15-21; Alma 60:14-18) In Alma 60:18 Captain Moroni uses the word “traitor” to describe the Nephites which have caused all the wars thus far.
8th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Ammoron in the 28th – 30th YofJ (~65 – 62 B.C.) (Alma 52:19-20, 33-36; Alma 59:7; Alma 62:33-36)
9th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor Pachus in the 30th YofJ (~62 – 61 B.C.) (Alma 61:3 – 20; Alma 62: 1-11)
10th NTW: Caused by Nephite “Dissenters” in the 39th YofJ (~53 B.C.) (Alma 63:10-15) Note that between 57 and 53 B.C. many “Nephites” left the nation with their families. Yet another “exodus” story in the Book of Mormon.
11th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitors Coriantumr & Tubaloth in the 41st YofJ (~51 B.C.) (Hel 1: 1-30) (This is when the Gadianton Robbers come into existence among the Nephites.)
12th NTW: Caused by the Rich Nephite Church Members in the 54th – 61st YofJ (~38 31 B.C.) (Hel 4:1-24) I’d suggest that American Gentile “Saints” that love to drink the “there will never be another apostasy,” “all is well in Zion” Kool-Aid, while ignoring the parables of the “unwise virgins” where 50% of the invited guests don’t make it (Matt 25); and the “wheat and the tears,” where we’re told the “Gentiles” are the tears (D&C 86); or Isaiah’s where he tells us only 10% will make it (Isa 6), might want to skip this one!
13th NTW: Caused by Nephite Traitor Gadianton Robbers in the 71st – 73rd YofJ (~23 – 19 B.C.) (Hel 10:18-19; Hel 11:1-10
14th NTW: Caused by Nephite “Dissenters” & “Gadianton Robbers” in the 80th YofJ (~12 B.C.) (Hel 11:21-26)
15th NTW: Caused by the Nephite Traitor and Gadianton Robber Giddianhi in the 93rd – 110th YofJ (1 A.D – 18 A.D.) (3 Nephi 1:27; 3 Nephi 2; 3 Nephi 3; 3 Nephi 4:1-30)
On Law v. Leadership:
“In the long term, I think the law is much more important because there are agendas deep within government that will abuse such power.”
First, I heartily add my agreement to the importance of law – that if we are to be a people under the rule of law, its importance to us cannot be underestimated. Perhaps the growing preponderance of lawyers within the Church is testament to that – and perhaps the need has never been greater for men of sound morals, and clear understanding of law.
However, if you are right, that there are ‘agendas deep within government’ – then how will law, alone, spare us from those agendas? It seems akin to the reasoning behind gun-control laws… that those to whom those laws are most applicable are least likely to abide by them, even with a stiff penalty attached to any conviction. I would say to proponents of those laws that their perception of their effectiveness is at best, “half-vast.” In my *opinion* law should take into account principles – crafted to encourage desired behavior, not just deter undesired behavior. Here, with most ‘liberals’ I part ways — they find my ‘moralizing’ to be parochial much of the time.
What I imply above may not be clear – but Madison touched on the same point. Behind the laws we write, must be a virtuous people – who have a regard for the law as more than just a superficial construction of men’s minds – there must be more attached to it, in their minds, than just some seemingly-arbitrary consequence such as time in prison, a fine, etc. Elder Neal A. Maxwell also touched on this in one of his addresses whilst still alive. He said, (quoting another thinker):
“If there is nothing beyond death, then what is wrong with giving oneself wholly to pleasure in the short time one has left to live? The loss of faith in the ‘other world’ has saddled modern Western society with a fatal moral problem” (Takeshi Umehara, “The Civilization of the Forest: Ancient Japan Shows Post-modernism the Way,” in At Century’s End, ed. Nathan P. Gardels , 190)
For someone whose moral compass is indeed, broken, what law (of either Divine or earthly origin) would dissuade them from a hedonistic, power-grabbing course through life? If Madison ever contemplated what kind of laws it would require to govern a people who have turned away from virtue as a guiding principle — he may have arrived at a conclusion similar to mine: only when compelled, when their agency is completely usurped by the governing power, could they be *made* to obey.
On Moroni v. Habeas Corpus:
You are correct – Moroni’s seizure of power came at a time when there was a tangible, “clear and present” danger to the Nephite nation. In our agreement, we are both essentially making the case that there are indeed occasions where the *temporary* suspension of Habeas Corpus may prove to be the “lesser of evils.” In other words, suspending Habeas Corpus when a legitimate threat is faced, does not make a man an enemy of the laws of the country.
The above hinges on how a leader, and his nation, read the ‘threat board’. The Nephites faced a conventional, highly visible (with spies in place, of course) threat, with a professed hatred of the Nephites, and a credible ability to annihilate them. We are certainly not faced with a similar one. Iran (et al.) may consider us the ‘great Satan’ – but their ability to destroy us remains questionable. For the US to interpret threats as the Nephites did is not as easy a task — certainly when it comes to conventional threats, there are similarities, but “nuclear warhead,” (or a number of other modern equivalents) translated into the language they spoke, probably would have caused puzzlement, not alarm and immediate action.
Knowing that the Book of Mormon was written for our time, and yet accepting that it does not address specifics, we are left to take either a literal interpretation, or at least to extract the basic principles (which, Brint, it appears you have done correctly).
In addition to the considerable reading you have already done, I think you might find the following a helpful one to add to your list:
“Wielding the Sword While Proclaiming Peace: Moral Perspectives on American Security Policy from LDS Scholars and Professionals”
It presents differing perspectives / interpretations from LDS people within the National Security field – highly enlightening! There is no “consensus” in the book — and some of the authors (speakers — it’s the proceedings from a conference) interpret the very same scriptures in contradictory ways – it’s very thought-provoking.
I’ll happily, as time affords, read your review, and comment where I think it might be helpful. The book you review is apparently one which Glenn Beck regards as seminal in the formation of his own thoughts — and one which I, in an effort to become better informed, had better to have read!
Alan M. Taylor
P.S. To “M” — I would agree, speculation regarding Romney’s actual position pales in comparison to a direct clarification from Romney himself – I would much rather have him clarify his position, specifically in reference to Habeas Corpus before I pass judgement of any kind. Do you know of a way to obtain that sort of clarification?
why do those who defend Romney ignore this sort of live coverage of the man:
I have read the constitution, and I read the Book of Mormon all the time, but these things lead me to feel that I would not be highly enlightened by reading Romney’s book–
also . . .
this should be a concern to anyone with integrity:
This discussion seems somewhat like saying, “Perhaps we should have gone back and talked to Amalickiah; perhaps Moroni misunderstood him”–
Amalickiah was clear about his intentions and his motivations, and his lack of integrity was palpable. Further research was not necessary.
Romney has shown what he ‘stands’ for; further questions are not necessary. The man has a political history; it is clear what his motivations and intentions are.
It is also very clear who supports him.
Big banks that have been bailled out with American taxpayer money. THIS man is going to ‘rescue’ America?
To “Outside the Corridor” (whoever you are…),
Would you similarly have vilified Joseph Smith because he backed a failed financial institution (Kirtland Safety Society)?
Would you similarly have turned your back on Paul (of the New Testament, not Texas), because he had a “history” of being Saul? And yes, it was very much a political history.
Do you expect your debate opponents to pay you any heed when you imply that your intended audience is ‘ignorant’? (“why do those who defend Romney ignore this sort of live coverage of the man”). You assume that all ‘Romney defenders’ have seen all of those videos and ‘choose’ to ‘ignore’ them? Seems a bit on the presumptive side.
I could, using the same rhetorical methods you have chosen, similarly find for you all manner of zany quotes from Brigham Young, and ask you: “Would you sustain this man as President of the Church? Would you name a University after him?” At the end of all that… I think you’d be FARTHER from seeing things as I do, not nearer.
I could repeat it, with Ron Paul – quotes implying that he would legalize prostitution, and narcotic drug use (*easily* mis-interpreted, and taken out of context), and the much-debated content of his newsletters in the past (again, easily mis-interpreted, if one doesn’t do his research), as well as a claim that the CIA (and perhaps other intelligence agencies that are not in the Constitution?) should be eliminated. Again, after all that… would you be more, or less likely to see things from the other point of view? If, after I had done my best to make you feel stupid, drag “your candidate” through the mud, and imply that you are ignorant, un-informed, etc. – would you be any more inclined to listen to or read anything I had to say?
I would ask the same things of the protestors on Conference Weekend. What about their fanatical approach makes them think they are going to win people over to ‘their side’ by taking the dogmatic, fanatical, blunt and uncivil approach?
I actually like Ron Paul – I really do — what I don’t understand is why so many of his supporters take the tack of trying to vilify the other candidates, (and their supporters, by extension) in some mis-guided effort of trying to win support for ‘libertarianism’ and/or Ron Paul.
Alan M. Taylor
I think the moderator of the next CNN or FoxNews debate will ask Romney about habeas corpus, so there’s no need to worry. Don’t you agree?
Getting the question asked and answered will take a lot of imagination and hard work. I will not be pursuing this since I’ve already made my mind regarding Romney. He is the last RINO I would like to see up against Obama. Well, except maybe Newt (Anyone know or has theories on how Newt got his name? Who names a kid Newt? That’s a name straight out of the screwtape letters.) In my opinion there is only one candidate on the Republican ticket who is not a RINO and still in the race. You know what the funny thing is though… He’s a Libertarian.
Here are some ideas for you to get Romney to clarify free of charge…
1) Spend countless hours searching for video and audio recordings that would directly prove Romney’s stance on writs of habeas corpus
2) Wait for hours on the phone calling radio and television talk show host to get them to broadcast and pester Romney into clearly articulating his stance before the etch-a-sketch is shook.
3) Write emails and letters to the Romney Campaign and hope they don’t all end up at the North Pole
4) Find out everywhere Romney is going to be from his campaign website and then follow him around until you get your question asked and answered, or you run out of money, or until Romney places a restraining order on you, or his secret service detail takes you out. (Uncle Sam, if you are watching and listening, I’m being a little satirical and conveying my view points with some humor. I hope you have a sense of humor too.)
I’m sure you can think of some ways too.
I hope you enjoy the response.
The only problem with everything you have said is that we already know what Mitt will say if asked directly about habeas corpus. He won’t come out and see that he favors its suspension. It is likely that he understands that NDAA might authorize the suspension of habeas corpus in some cases (although he will probably have to consult with his constitutional attorneys to be sure), and that he still supports it, but that he will never put the two together, ie that he supports the suspension of habeas corpus.
Understanding NDAA 2012
You are correct. My wording wasn’t effective. I have, personally, been watching Romney for a long time. I have been studying him and his policies for a long time. And I admit that I am frustrated, because he is LDS. I am sure that I am harder on him, because he is LDS, and I am inclined to think he should ‘know better’. Having said that, I wonder how you can come onto this blog and read the things Connor says and not realize that some on here have been studying this longer than Connor (Connor is young enough to be my son, and I worked campaigns before he was born)–
I am sorry that I have come across as narrow-minded and arrogant. There, I said it. I am impatient. Very impatient.
I don’t think the analogy between Joseph Smith and Romney and the banks is valid, even by your reasoning, because many banks that have failed have not been rescued. Those banks that were rescued by the American taxpayer . . . are now supporting Romney. That is a simple conflict of interest and not the same thing that happened to Joseph Smith, who, I believe was not the wisest financial manager, but still a good prophet, *I* believe.
As for the other analogies, well, I wasn’t there when Brigham said those things, and I wouldn’t have named a university after him, though I think he had his place and calling, too. 🙂
Romney IS here, and *I* believe he could do a lot of damage as the president of the United States.
And you are correct. I am not being a good representative for Ron Paul when I write the things I wrote.
All I can do is say, “mea culpa” and try to be more patient. I AM older and experienced, and I have seen a lot of things; I’ve been around the world, too.
And I have some very good reasons for not using my real names, but I hope I never hide rudeness behind my pseudonym.
For rudeness and ineptitude I apologize.
Saul and Paul? Romney hasn’t had any sort of ‘conversion’, certainly not political. He is what he has always been. I’m not saying he is a bad man. I have not met him personally, actually, so I can’t say. He might be the soul of honor in his one-on-one relationships.
But, politically, *I* don’t believe he is sound. I served an LDS mission, and I stated my beliefs when I was teaching others. I state them now. I don’t have every possible source for everything I believe now as I did not then.
But I do believe that Romney doesn’t have the sound character to turn this nation around. Ron Paul has sound character, I do believe, but he can’t turn the nation around either. Only the principles he purports can do that.
Because of what Dr. Paul preaches, I favor him. That’s all I can say. By his fruits–
As for Romney, he may or may not have been a good bishop or stake president, but his treatment of the dying man makes me feel that I would not want to go to him for help–
He talks a good talk, though–
Probably a nice man to have dinner with–
I’m sure he doesn’t smoke or drink or ‘cheat’ on his wife; I’m quite certain of that. But it takes more than that to inspire an entire nation to return to the principles of the constitution–
One of my many weaknesses is that I make the perpetual mistake of expecting more from my ‘fellow’ Mormons–
Oh, but, Alan?
What did I say that made it seem that I was ‘dragging’ Romney through the mud?
Romney is, apparently, beating Paul in the polls, though many dispute it.
Romney appears to be succeeding, by all accounts. Connor’s voice is a minority voice, as is mine.
So . . . mud? How?
In my ward the support for Romney is overwhelming. And I have tried to educate people. I admit that with my ward members I gingerly make the attempt.
On here, with Connor’s blog behind me . . . I grew overconfident–
I was arrogant.
But . . . mud?
How mud? The record of any man/woman speaks for itself. Those interviews are valid. As are Paul’s.
You know, the fact is that I have met people who have met both Romney and Paul, and everyone declares that both are ‘gentlemen’–
Romney is very charming. Paul is not.
Romney does not slam people. Paul does not. If I appeared to be slamming anyone, I am really sorry.
But . . . mud?
I am confused as . . . mud. 🙂
*lightening things up*
Please be lightened.
I don’t really think I have tried to vilify Romney, though I agree with you that my writing has not been effective, Alan.
But . . . for me, as an older American, LDS . . . I am afraid. There, I said it. I’m afraid. Afraid for the future of this nation. Afraid for my grandchildren, and yes, I have grandchildren.
Romney scares me. There, I said it. He’s so smooth, so charming, so wealthy. So LDS. Terrifies me. Is that mud–?
Not meant to be. Not throwing mud on him there, just saying that he scares me. The others do, too, but Romney is the person my LDS friends, family and ward members are supporting, and even when I use wise, well-chosen words . . .–to try to get them to see differently . . .
he’s the man.
Terrified. Panicked. Panic is not wisdom-driven, but I admit to having it.
*slinking away to do something else, maybe make cold calls for Paul’s campaign (something I detest but do anyway), where I will apologize to angry people for bothering them*
Dear Outside the Corridor,
Not sure there is any problem at all holding “brother” Romney to a higher standard. My guess is SO DOES the Lord.
Yes, Scares me too. Not sure I’m as old as you, but I have grey hair and was a Marine Officer for 10 years. The American Military Dominance Mind-set which Romney spews in the first 4 chapters of his please-hire-me book NO Apology, really scares me.
20 Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come;
21 Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation;
22 Yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things—
23 And now behold I say unto you, that if this people, who have received so many blessings from the hand of the Lord, should transgress contrary to the light and knowledge which they do have, I say unto you that if this be the case, that if they should fall into transgression, it would be far more tolerable for the Lamanites than for them.
Outside the Corridor,
I apologize, if you felt that you were the specific target of all of my remarks.
The comment “dragging ‘your candidate’ through the mud” was commentary aimed more at the general rhythm of this debate in the comments. Some of the videos in the links you provided seemed much more bent on vilifying Romney than building up Ron Paul. That is one variant of ‘mud-slinging’ or ‘dragging through the mud’ — and I see Romney doing the very same, which I do NOT support.
Beginning with what I felt was Connor’s mis-characterization of Romney, and the succeeding remarks by other commenters, I began to get the feeling that “we are better men and women than this.” We are more than able to make our case for a candidate without disparaging the others.
I came to this blog because my brother pointed it out to me — he supports, and I believe will probably vote for, Ron Paul. He knew that I was at least partially supportive of Romney, and hesitant to support Ron Paul (mostly out of concerns over foreign policy — I can really get behind Ron Paul on most of the rest of his platform). I came here because my brother said he knew (albeit, not closely) Connor, and respected him. I hoped to find LDS viewpoints that I could identify with, and people who could resolve some of my concerns in a brotherly manner — and I was disappointed, more by the commenters, than Connor.
It seems when I brought up an honest concern, and tried to share information I honestly thought to be worth considering, the responses were often condescending, sarcastic, inflammatory, blunt, and uncivil. Very under-whelming. I am beginning to think that one of Ron Paul’s biggest liabilities is his ‘constituency’ — and their lack of tact or class in interacting with those who don’t agree with them. The same as for any other political candidate. I wondered if I could in good conscience call myself “one of them.”
That, in short, is why I came to this blog. It was not then, and is not now, my plan to ‘persuade’ anyone to support one candidate, especially when I haven’t yet decided for myself. I jumped in here, because I believed that truth and principle was rapidly becoming the victim of a political agendas. As a missionary, I was discouraged from ‘bible bashing’ — denigrating other religions in an attempt to ‘prove something’. Not one of the people who joined the church under my watch did so because I “won” an argument. I was disappointed to find the same sort of ‘bashing’ happening here.
The more I study the issue (NDAA 2012 v. Habeas Corpus), the more alarmed I become, and the more I support the libertarian view on it — but with the ‘welcome’ I received here, has left an impression. I avoided the missionaries who were “bashers”, and wound up spending a significant amount of my time as a missionary trying to clean up after the swath they cut. I find myself wanting to avoid associating myself with those who appear to have been cut from the same bit of wood, and have made their way onto this forum.
There are those in this thread who have really tried to be civil, even in disagreement — I have tremendous respect for them. I think they are a credit to Libertarianism, and to Ron Paul (whom I can only assume that arduously support). There are those who have made less of an effort — and I think that’s unfortunate, for Libertarianism, and for Ron Paul.
Neither you, nor I, are yet ‘perfect’ when it comes to written communication. I have, unfortunately, done my share of offending people in verbal, and written communication. That hasn’t been my aim here – and what failings I have, I hope to mend as they are pointed out to me. It seems you would do the same.
Your concerns for the future are valid – I believe we have them in common. The strength with which you express them is merited – and as we both refine our rhetoric, I hope we’ll become better able to inform, and enlist others in the cause.
Alan M. Taylor
“We live in troubled times—very troubled times. We hope, we pray, for better days. But that is not to be. The prophecies tell us that. We will not as a people, as families, or as individuals be exempt from the trials to come. No one will be spared the trials common to home and family, work, disappointment, grief, health, aging, ultimately death. — We need not live in fear of the future. We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear. If we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will be safe, whatever the future holds. We will be shown what to do. — It is a glorious time to live! No matter what trials await us, we can find the answer to that question, ‘What shall we do?’ We, and those we love, will be guided and corrected and protected, and we will be comforted.” — Boyd K. Packer (in ‘Cloven Tongues of Fire’)
“The melancholy which had seemed to the sad eyes of the anxious boy to hang, for days past, over every object, beautiful as all were, was dispelled by magic. The dew seemed to sparkle more brightly on the green leaves; the air to rustle among them with a sweeter music; and the sky itself to look more blue and bright. Such is the influence which the condition of our own thoughts, exercises, even over the appearance of external objects. Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colours are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision.” – Charles Dickens (in Oliver Twist)
You state, “Ron Paul (mostly out of concerns over foreign policy — I can really get behind Ron Paul on most of the rest of his platform).” I have a cousin, a Colonel in the Army, that said the same thing to me. I asked him what I’d like to ask you. How is it that the “Libertarian” mindset of you’re free to do as you please until you invade my privacy (Sounds a bit like what we’re told we fought about in the “war in heaven”) is OK, when it comes to domestic policy, but in Foreign policy, we can invade others privacy? Or should I first ask what is it about his domestic policy you like, and what is it about his foreign policy you don’t like?
The day Arizona voted, I had on a T-Shirt that indicated I voted for Ron Paul, and was against Romney. A gentlemen approached me in the post office, who from his dress did NOT fit the dress of a “Mormon” and asked if we Ron Paul supporters would back whom ever gets the nomination in the GOP. Just then it was his turn to approach the window and I had a second to think about a response. I finished before he did so on my way out of the post office I walked up to him and said something like this.
“Sir, for me this isn’t about Ron Paul, its about the issues he stands for, that others don’t. Like ending the Fed, and ending Imperial wars. If RP does not get the GOP nomination, I for one will find a 3rd party candidate the embraces those same issues, and cast by vote in accordance with my conscience.”
Why do RP supporters get so wound up? Probably (and obviously I can’t speak for all of us) it is because without changing some MAJOR issues that confront our nation – like the ability to print money to go to war – we fear, really fear, for our nation and the world. “Outside the corridor” says he’s worried about his great grand-kids. Who’s he kidding? If mankind doesn’t end war, war will end mankind! One NUKE will end “outside the corridor’s” descendants in a nano-second. (Ok, maybe not in a nano-second, but even a NUKE above Kansas will wipe out 90% of American’s in two months.)
You see my friend, FOR ME, I could care less (NOT that I don’t have STRONG feelings about these topics) but I could care less about gay marriage, health care, abortion, socialist economic policies et al. We can and will continue to, as a society, mess those issues up. BUT, neither gays, nor health care, nor abortion, or socialist economic policies will cause our enemies to NUKE us. And that my friend is an all or nothing issue.
I’ve pasted this Congressional Report before. http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32544.pdf Go to the section on “DOD (AKA US) vulnerabilities” on page 14. You’ll note that due to America’s “Foreign policy” (that which you say you can’t support RP on) makes America “MORE” not “less” vulnerable to a surprise nuclear attack. Why? Because our “enemies” know they can NOT fight our imperial military might, therefor the ONLY solution they can come up with is a nuclear first strike.
The problem I have with Romney (from a secular standpoint) is he does not seem to understand that the cost of disrupting power is MUCH less than projecting it. and in a world of NUKES, that mistake is NOT a minor issue! The problem I have with Romney (from a religious standpoint) is he seems to believe the “ONLY” way to “protect” American “economic, political and military” superiority is NOT by example, but instead with force. Thus he “puts his trust in the arm of flesh” and NOT God.
Shhhh… Don’t tell Alan. It will be funny to hear him report back on his quest to ask Romney about habeas corpus as it relates to his support of NDAA.
Can you imagine how great it would be to watch Romney on video trying to respond to that question. It would be truly great if the average America watching a video like that actually knew what a writ of habeas corpus is and cared.
Here’s a great article about China –> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/08/china-legislation-police-powers-detention
They can hold people in unknown locations, but they can’t do it secretly anymore (translation they have to tell the family after a day or so…). The US seems to be moving in the oposite direction.
Alan, as a ‘veteran’ of many political campaigns and having watched these men for years (Paul and Romney) . . .
well, I’m tired.
When people are tired they cut corners on courtesy? The fact is that I believe most Paul supporters are tired and defensive, because it’s been such a battle.
I have friends in another state (LDS) who are Romney supporters (love them dearly) who watched Ron Paul supporters being kept out of a caucus, who watched the entire process being subverted and protested it–
Yes, we are tired. Tiredness . . . makes people frustrated and makes people have shorter tempers than usual.
So, if *we* (I’m not a collectivist, please–:)) start to sound a bit harsh (or not a bit, more than a bit) or defensive . . . maybe that is an explanation.
People who have supported Ron Paul watched this sabotaging and hijacking happen in 2008–
and . . . the anger is the same sort of anger that I think led the American colonists to begin to ‘hate’ King George. That is wrong, but by golly, they did hate that king–
I think that some of this, though it may not sound as civil as it ought, is on par with Moroni’s words–?
He stopped being civil with Amalickiah–
Well, I do NOT want to lose my civility. I work hard not to lose it–
but surrounded by Romney supporters as I am . . .–
it’s hard not to get feisty–
I’ll try harder. I would not want to detract from Dr. Paul’s message, and he IS a Christian in his behavior.
That is my goal; I may not succeed, but I make the attempt heroically–
Eric, I appreciate your words. I don’t have great grandchildren to worry about, yet. But I feel for my grandchildren, growing up in this world. I, like you, don’t think we have much time left at all. I don’t believe my grandchildren (even my children) have a future without a drastic change; it may take Jesus coming to effect that change.
And I’m an old lady–an old Mormon woman! LOL!
I have a dear old Mormon husband. We’re worried as can be about our children and grandchildren. Those little ones don’t know what is going on around them. We WANT to draw them near, but they live far away–
(not the choice of our children at this time, but what is to be done?)
We’ve got lots of food stored–we work hard, very hard, to be prepared.
My hat is off to you as a former Marine–
I never was in the military, but I welcomed friends home from Viet Nam with open arms–
many I know did not–
Alan, I am sorry you didn’t feel welcomed here.
I thought this would be a safe place for an LDS person who supports Paul/libertarianism–
and there have been plenty of people who come on here who are apologists for anyone other than Ron Paul–
so, here in this ‘safe’ place . . . it’s easy to get defensive–
Don’t take this out on Ron Paul. I don’t know why his supporters should be any less human than any of the others–
EVERYONE gets intense about matters of life and death–
Even mild-mannered old pro-peace grandmothers–
When I said that Moroni wasn’t so civil with the evil Amalickiah–
he got to where he accused him . . .; he almost appears to be ‘baiting’ him–
not caring to be ‘gentle’ with him anymore–
I think Moroni had reached his limit–
I am not saying that Moroni was bad, just human.
Like the rest of us.
I think even Jesus was angry (indignant), and he spoke quite forcefully about the Pharisees–
Dear Outside the Corridor: You say, “it may take Jesus coming to effect that change.” I hear this all the time, and its growing on me. I think the next time I hear that I’m going to scream….NOT AT YOU…mind you. Just scream. We ALL KNOW that Christ returns to the New Jerusalem. (And forgive my sarcasm) but he isn’t going to come down to Kansas City, snap his fingers and all the current inhabitants are “gone” Christ isn’t going to wave his magic wand and create the New Jerusalem. WE MUST….well should I say, the Lamanites must, build the New Jerusalem, with the help of the repentant Gentiles. (re-read 3 Ne. 16, 20, 21)
The “unconditional” covenants, like building the New Jerusalem are for the Lamanites….and the repentant gentiles. The “conditional” covenants are for the gentiles that “have come upon this land and scattered” the Lamanites.
But back to your statement, WE ARE the answer. WE, the living, must build the New Jerusalem.
66 And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;
67 And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
68 And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.
69 And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.
70 And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.
That is what we’re striving for. Unfortunately it seems, again re-read 3 Ne. 16, 20, 21, the American Gentiles will NOT repent, and thus they WILL be destroyed.
Once the Gentiles are destroyed, THEN the survivors can build a NEW Jerusalem, where they refuse to make war.
Dear Outside the Corridor,
Here is a quick, and limited, list of events that will occur BEFORE the Lord’s 2nd coming.
Looking at “last days” scriptures becomes easier to understand when one understands that the “WWIII” is “Man vs. Man” and “WW4” is “Man vs. God.”
This is a list of things the scriptures teach us will occur in the last days with regards to the “literal” destruction of Babylon, the “literal” destruction of Assyria, and the “literal” gathering and establishment of Zion in the end days:
1. Babylon the Great the Mother of all Harlots, in the last days, is a real military materialistic empire, and has vassal states that are also real nation states, just like all other empires have had in the past. (Isa. 10, 13-24; Rev 17, 18, 19; 1Ne. 13-14,22; 3Ne. 16, 20, 21)
2. Babylon the Great and her vassal states in the last days are made up of at least 7 real nations who Isaiah likens to nations with the same characteristics in Isa. 13-24, plus the Lord’s “rebellious sons” that call themselves “Israel.” (Isa. Chap 1 – 5) It seems these rebellious sons reside in a “hypocritical nation” that is part of the extended Babylonian empire, if not the head of the empire itself. (Isa. 1 – 10)
3. Babylon the Great, and her vassal states, are the richest most arrogant nation(s) on the face of the earth today. (Isa. 3:16-26; 3 Nephi 16:8-10; Rev. 18:11-20)
4. “Assyria,” yet another code name for a different last-day superpower, will be “commissioned” by God to destroy Babylon the Great’s empire, many of her vassals, along with their materialism and idolatry. (Isa. 10:5; chapters 9-24, and chapter 47)
5. “The Beast” plays the same role for John, which “Assyria” plays for Isaiah. Both destroy Babylon the Great, and her vassal states. (Rev. chapters 17 and 18)
6. “Ten kings,” which also represent real nation states, align with “The Beast” to destroy Babylon the Great. (Rev. 17:12) Isaiah’s “King of Assyria” is also aided by other nation states in destroying corporate Babylon. (Isa. 10:8)
7. After “The Beast/Assyria” and her allies destroy Babylon the Great and her allies, “The Beast/Assyria” become the world’s 8th Biblical empire, and continues to rule the world by force. (Rev. 17:11; Rev 13, 14) Biblical empires include #1, Egypt; #2, Assyria; #3 Babylon; #4, Medo/Persian; #5 Greek, #6 Rome, #7, today’s “Babylon the Great the Mother of all harlots” that sits on many waters, i.e. “all nations, tongues and peoples” (1 Nephi 14:11; Rev. 17:15, 18)
8. There are two major wars in the last days, which are separated by about 3 to 4 years. (Rev. 11:2; 13:5; Isa. 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4; 16:14; 20:3) These wars are easy to understand and separate in one’s mind, and the scriptures, by understanding the major characteristics of these wars.
a. The first major war is between earthly empires. In other words “Man vs Man,” “Evil Empire vs Evil Empire.” “The Beast/Assyria” and “Babylon the Great.” “The Beast/Assyria” wins this conflict. (Isa. 10; Rev 17, 18)
Generally when the scriptures state the “entire world” will be destroyed along with “Babylon,” it is this first war being referenced. When “The Beast/Assyria” aided by “ten kings” or nations, “suddenly” attacks “Babylon the Great” and her vassal states, the “entire world” will be forced to take sides, if not actually participate.
b. The second major war is between one earthly empire “The Beast/Assyria” and “Zion.” Zion wins the war, but does not fight it, the Lord fights it for them. (Isa. 10:24-27; Rev. 17:14) God vs Man.
9. The destruction of Babylon the Great, AKA “the mighty Gentile nation” (1 Nephi 22: 6-8, 17) is the turning point for, and liberation of, the “remnant” (Lehi’s seed) which is currently under the control and “captivity” of the extensive latter-day Babylonian military empire. (3Nephi 16, 20, 21, 22)
10. It seems that during the 3 to 4 years of “The Beast/Assyria’s” rule, as the 8th world empire, the Lord’s Davidic Servant begins his role of literally “gathering,” the “remnant.” The first “remnant” gathered seems to be the “righteous branch” (AKA the seed of Lehi’s sons Joseph and Jacob. 2 Nephi 3; 9:53; 10; Jacob 2:25) which have been “preserved” for this very gathering. It seems this first “remnant” returns to the “very choice vineyard” which was destroyed by “the enemy” AKA “The Beast/Assyria” and begins to construct Zion, the New Jerusalem. (D&C 101:42-65; Isa. 10:12; 11; D&C 113:3-7; Isa 40; 3 Nephi 20:22-34 etc.)
11. When the 8th world empire, “The Beast/Assyria,” finally attacks Zion, (my assumption is Zion has finally become a threat to the Beast/Assyria after 3 to 4 years of “gathering” the “remnant.”) it is the Lord Himself who destroys “The Beast/Assyrian” empire, just as he did the Egyptians when they fled Egypt. (Isa. 10:12 – 34; Rev 17:14; DyC 101:61-62) Thus Moses, and his exodus becomes a “type” of the last days of a “Servant” (like Moses) and God’s willingness to destroy Zion’s enemies.
12. It is during this final battle between the 8th world empire, “The Beast/Assyria” (Rev. 17) that the Lord Himself is made manifest to the world, and the Jews. (D&C 45:48-50)
13. Now, after two major wars, “The Beast/Assyria” vs. “Babylon” and “The Beast/Assyria” vs. “Zion” the “second gathering” – as I call it – begins in earnest. This literal physical “gathering” will be spearheaded by those of the “righteous branch” who’ve already “gathered” to Zion and built it up with the help of the “Gentiles” that were “numbered among” Lehi’s seed during the first major war, and were thus spared the destruction of Babylon the Great. (Mor 5:10; 3Nephi 21:6; 1 Nephi 14:2).
This major final “gathering,” will be for all of scattered Israel, the “other other sheep” which Christ ministered to after his resurrection. (3Nephi 15:11-24; 3Nephi 16:1-5, 13). This last gathering will also include all the poor “heathens” of the world, and “they that knew no law.” (3Neph 21, 22; DyC 45:54) (My best guess is these will include many of the world’s most destitute poor living in non-“Christian” nations like China and India, since it seems the “Christian” nations will have been destroyed in the first war.)
To reemphasize. The people Isaiah calls the “poor'” and the “needy” will build the New Jerusalem, BEFORE the Lord comes. This is OUR duty. It isn’t HIS. We MUST begin to build a society that is NOT willing to take up swords…or that society will never exist. Eisenstein said God doesn’t roll dice. I say God doesn’t use a magic wand, he uses US.
Eric, I appreciate all of these sources, and I will look at them.
*I* have been reading and studying all of this for many years. It’s wonderful to see how excited you are about the events leading up to the Coming of Jesus Christ.
I had the same sort of passion for lining up all the scriptures (as did my husband) and watching everything. I have watched; my husband has watched.
What begins to happen to some of *us* (I won’t collectivize; I am only speaking of a few close family members *I* know who have been reading and studying for years) is that . . .
after a while a person begins to wonder, “now, has this already happened?”–
There was a time when my husband and I tried to buy land in Missouri. We were going to build an alternative home and ‘live off the land’, while he taught at a local college–
what he teaches is very suitable for the ‘millennium’ by the way–
we had prepared for a very long time to have everything that we did be ‘millennial-centered’–
then it didn’t happen; we were pulled up short as we were preparing, and we were steered in an entirely different direction, doing something we had never thought of doing (which we realize now is what we were supposed to do)–
For years we were ‘discouraged’ with the ‘brethren’ for ‘not doing more’–
and then we realized that we needed to wait on the Lord. He will come and ‘bring again’ Zion–
Eric, your enthusiasm is wonderful, and I am sure it is leading you to do everything *you* can personally to help the Lord ‘bring again Zion’–
But there is no *we*. *We* does not exist. Only *I*.
If there are only about 15% of the active members of any given ward who are truly seeking the Lord’s Second Coming, watching by night and by day, praying for Him to come, while waiting in desperation for the ‘brethren’ to “do” something–
then *we* aren’t going to do anything. Not, certainly, now.
*I* believe that Jesus Christ (and Father in Heaven) are working in the earth and among the nations of the world. All of those scriptures will be fulfilled, but the timing is always left ‘up in the air’–
I’ve done all I can do. For years I have studied this. I have lived simply (very), produced my own food on a “much hard work” scale, stored bulk grains and beans and sweeteners, learned to use them, purchased equipment to survive without power and taught my children to honor the constitution–
I have also been ‘following’ (not as a disciple, but as in watching) people like Ron Paul for almost 30 years.
I am waiting for Jesus Christ to come.
There is a temple in Kansas City. I will re-read the references you have posted, because I regularly do that–
I have done all the “Zioning” I can. I have, in my way (being careful; this is why I don’t use my real name), according to my resources, reached out to the poor and needy, built bridges with those of other faiths . . .
and eschewed Babylon in every possible way–
and I wait.
Not so patiently, I wait.
My husband spent months reading the words of the old apostles (pre-1900s) about Ephraim and Manasseh and the building of the New Jerusalem and found . . . some contradictions and gave up. I KNOW that Manasseh will be involved, but, to be honest, the peoples of the earth are so mixed up that . . . who knows by now which people are strictly one tribe or another–
just my addled, senior citizen thoughts–
In the meantime I make cold calls for Ron Paul’s campaign–
and I need to do some more garden preparation.
Outside the Corridor,
I think I tend to agree with you on the ‘we’ vs. ‘I’ interpretation – my own life (and all the beams in my eye) deserve the greatest effort and attention. My own life is within the reach of my influence – the lives of others may be of concern, but at best we have limited power of influence on them.
You seem, also, to me, to be someone who has read, and was affected by “The Mansion” – – by Henry van Dyke. Meant entirely as a compliment.
OT: Have you run across http://www.backtoedenfilm.com – ? I found it very helpful when it comes to preparing a garden.
Alan M. Taylor
I will check it out (Backtoeden)–
I have not read “The Mansion”, but I will also check that out–
Van Dyke, eh? hmmm—
always open to book referrals.
Kind regards back,
outside the corridor (nowhere near the intermountain west)–:)
So if the Lord is waiting until ‘we’ build up Zion, what are we waiting for?
What should we do to begin to really start Zion now?
I realize we must start with our own homes, but how can we start to actually build up Zion as a community?
It doesn’t seem like we are to wait for the Church to do it. Maybe they never will, for one reason or another.
It seems like the righteous need to just start it & do it.
When others see it getting started they will join in the effort.
But the people doing it have to be truly righteous or it won’t work.
It seems like praying for the Lord to come may not be enough. We have to just start to build Zion somehow on our own.
Any suggestions or thoughts on this?
Ideally there will be no storm.
@AV: You’re posing a “we” question, and as so many have just stated, there are only “I” answers….at least until the empire Babylon is destroyed. D&C 101:24-65 might help.
What am “I” doing, which probably has NOTHING to do with what YOU should do? Is that the question. The answer is, I’m working at my community level. I’ve “fled” Babylon physically. (Again read D&C 101:42-65 to see what will soon happen to the “Choicest” part of the Lord’s vineyard). I’ve left my profession (from an education stand point) and started my own business. We’ve purchased a farm, and have chickens, cows, a well, and lots of land for our garden etc. Even though I continue to work in the “real world” when “that day” comes I can be a farmer.
That was my solution.
When reading D&C 101:42-65 take note when the conversation with the Servant(s) becomes just a servant. Where is he at that time with relation to the “Choicest” part of the vineyard?
Re-read Rev. 17 and 18, along with 1 Ne. 14:11, and ask who or what has “Dominion” over “ALL” nations, tongues and peoples. Might want to go to “Biblegateway.com” and compare a number of translations to get a better idea of what John means by the “8th king”
Eric, if I read you correctly (I know you were addressing AV, but–) . . . you are talking about the importance of seeking guidance from Father in Heaven about how each of *us* can build Zion.
What you are doing sounds good–
I’ve written down part of the scriptures to work through (along with my own study); it never hurts to repeat–
I learn more each time.
Alan, that is a very enjoyable film–
This is what we are trying to do. Manage the mulch (leaves, bark, etc.) on our own property. We have two composters and a water barrel–
So much to do, but we definitely garden this way. I would not say we are as far along as this man, though–
we sold our roto-tiller about 20 years ago; we double dug at first, by hand; it wasn’t hard, because we had used green manure. For years we would not let the soil ever be bare, but sometimes when things are reseeding, mulch has to be raked off–
it’s a process–
we barely dig at all now, but then we have raised beds, and we never step on the beds–
we are petitioning our city to be able to keep chickens within the city limits–
that’s the next step–
we also have close relationships with several local organic farmers; they have become our friends; 80% of our eggs and meat and dairy come from less than 30 miles away–
would have liked to have had our own land, but we enjoy having this community; these farmers are important to us. They are not LDS, but they are Godly people, and we all need each other–
Thanks for your reply. I agree with what you have done. I have been wanting to do the same for a long time now.
At some point though people of this mind set need to group together.
I wonder why we have to wait until Babylon is destroyed. If enough righteous people got together now & started ‘a zion’ it would be all the better.
I just can’t seem to find any righteous people who see the full awfulness of our situation & the need to start Zion now.
I believe it is happening now, Eric. I believe that many of those who are coming together are not LDS; many are not even Christians, but their hearts are getting prepared.
The hearts and minds of those in my area who are living like this . . . are much easier for me to spend time with than a majority of the people I go to church with.
Much as I care about and worry about and pray for my fellow saints . . . they are not easy to be with. They are obsessed with the latest ‘equipment’, with their professional conferences, etc.–
and they sneer at living simply and such things as organic food and gardening and food storage–
I find that I have to be very careful about what I discuss with other members–
I am cautious about mentioning many of the things that *we* do in our lives as a family, because of a mindset that tends to imply, ‘more is better’–and a striving towards more ‘stuff’–and comparing degrees, vacations, etc.–
These people are a great worry to me. They are members of the church; they have made covenants, but they aren’t really very ‘safe’ people for some of *us* who are trying to live differently–
a great concern–
There are probably three families in our ward, besides ourselves . . . with whom we can talk about some of these things–
all of the others are elderly–and have lived and seen a lot and become more humble and simple; they are so very good to us. With those who are empty nesters, as we would be, if we were ‘normal’ . . . :)–we have nothing in common, other than grandchildren. You can only talk about your grandchildren so long with other grandparents–LOL!
oops, I meant that for AV–
I thought Eric was responding to me–
and this is called a ‘senior moment’–
Alan, Eric, AV, anyone else who is interested–
here is another one:
By the way, Alan, that film Back to Eden is really good. We’ve got it bookmarked to watch again.
Ron Paul plants and grows a garden with his grandchildren–
this is less religious, which is hopeful, too–
Some of the things that I have read and seen from these people incline me to think that they are Christians–but they are less vocal about it–
Outside the Corridor and AV,
OTC: You ask if I’m suggesting we seek Heavenly Father’s guidance in “building Zion.”
AV: You ask why we must wait to “start building Zion.”
In my opinion step one is NOT building Zion, it is weathering the storm when the 7th Empire, Babylon the Great the Mother of all Harlots, AKA “the mighty gentile nation” (1 Ne. 22:6-8) is destroyed “suddenly, in an instant” by “fire” (Isa. 29:5-6) or “in an hour” by “fire” (Rev. 18:6-9). Thus, in my mind priority #1 is to “Come out of her” [Babylon the Great], my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4) as the first priority. Or figuring out how to be one of those “survivors” who are “left” (Isa. 1:8-9; Isa. 4:3; Isa. 6:13; Isa. 10:19; Isa. 11:11-16; Isa. 16:14; Isa. 17:6 ) after the destruction of the empire Babylon. Recall Lehi, Nephi and Jacob all tell us that “IF” they had not fled Jerusalem physically, not spiritually which they’d already done, they too would have “perished” or been “utterly destroyed.” (1 Ne. 7:15; 2 Ne. 1:4)
Secondly, assuming “we” all make it through the destruction of Babylon and become some of the “few” that are “left” even then I fear “we” would be no more successful in building Zion today, than was Joseph Smith 150 years ago, and for the same reasons. Building Zion is NOT our “gentile” saint job, it belongs to Lehi’s seed.
Although Joseph Smith commanded the members of The Church to go to Jackson County and establish Zion they did not all go when they were commanded. Some of the wealthy members were afraid of buying lands in an area where the members had already been expelled, and thus refused to go. (See History of the Church Vol. 1, p. 454; and History of the Church Vol. 2, p. 52; D&C 101:17-18; D&C 103:1-13; and D&C 136:18-19)
In the Nov or Dec. of 1833 Joseph Smith wrote a letter to the Saints in Zion and told them that he’d been inquiring of the Lord but there were still two things that God would not reveal to him, 1. Why the Saints had lost Zion and 2. When they would return. (Sorry I don’t have that book with me I’m traveling but it is in the first 30 or 40 pages of “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.) It would seem that by the April Conference of 1834, Joseph had obtained and answer. He told the Saints, who’d failed in Jackson County, “It is very difficult for us [Joseph Smith and Elder Sidney Rigdon] to communicate to the churches all that God has revealed [about the gathering to Zion] to us, in consequence of tradition; for we [the Gentile Saints he was addressing] are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon this earth; consequently those former revelations [like the ones in 3Nephi 16, 20, 21] cannot be suited for our conditions; they were given to other people, who were before us; [Lehi’s seed] but in the last days, God was to call a remnant, [from Lehi’s seed. Romans 11; Jac. 2:25] in which was to be deliverance [2 Ne. 3:20-22], as well as in Jerusalem and Zion. Now if God should give no more revelations, where will we find Zion and this remnant? [Joseph Smith gives the answer in just a second, but it is the Book of Mormon. That is where we find the remnant which has been commissioned to build Zion. (3N20:22)]
Joseph Smith continues: “The time is near when desolation is to cover the earth, and then God will have a place of deliverance in His remnant, and in Zion. Take away the Book of Mormon [which testifies of this “righteous branch” Jac. 2:25] and the revelations [about the last days literal gathering. AofF 10], and where is our religion? We have none! For without Zion, [aka the Lamanites; D&C 49:8-9, 24-25] and a [literal] place of deliverance, we must fall;… if we [the Gentile Saints] are not sanctified [i.e. “repent” 3N21:6] and gathered [(3N16:13; 3N20:15)] to the places of deliverance, we must fall; we cannot stand; we [the American gentiles] cannot be saved; for God will gather out His Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, [of the American gentiles] and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered [out physically from the Gentiles].” (History of the Church Vol. 2, p. 52)
American patriotism seems to cloud scriptural reality. The message has never changed, nor the percentage of people willing to accept it. Laman and Lemuel were sure their temple attending friends in Jerusalem were all “righteous” and that their father was a “fool” for having accused the people of Jerusalem of being wicked. (1Nephi 17:21-22) As Joseph Smith explained in the April 1834 Conference, to the American Gentile Saint, it was “difficult to communicate” the reasons why the Gentile Saints were not able to create Zion, “in consequence of tradition.”
What tradition we might ask? How about Manifest Destiny and Expansionism? While Joseph Smith was the prophet, President Polk ran on the expansionist ticket and won. Manifest Destiny and Expansionism, which proclaimed the white race as superior to the Native American Indians, and Mexicans, ran counter to everything Jesus says the Indians would obtain in 3 Nephi 16, 20, and 21. No wonder Joseph Smith had a hard time explaining to the American Gentile Saints why they had not obtained Zion. Unfortunately, patriotic fervor and racial superiority still seem to blind the Saints today to the fact that “being numbered among” (not “with” but “among”) Lehi’s seed is THE BEST they can hope for in a latter day scenario, IF they repent. (3 Ne. 16:6-16)!
Eric, I think you are supporting my belief that Zion starts in each man/woman’s heart . . . since Zion is ‘the pure in heart’–
You have some good things to say–
I can’t disagree with any of it. My primary frustration with Second Coming discussions is that I’ve spent months and years pouring over all the Second Coming scriptures only to realize that there are no firm dates, etc. It is only by the Spirit that this process of preparation can occur. Wonderful as the scriptures are and important as they are to warn us and help us prepare, that process must be a personal one.
I believe the desolation is farther along than *we* realize–thinking of the sterilization of the earth taking place with monster herbicides and GMO seeds, etc.–(Monsanto) and such things as the nuclear reactor’s meltdown in Japan, which is polluting the earth–
I do believe this entire process will need to be sped up–
As for the importance of the return of the children of Israel who are descended from Lehi, I couldn’t agree with you more–
I believe that many of the descendants of Lehi, however, are ‘hidden’–
I do believe they are all over the world. But Father in Heaven knows where they are, which is why I have turned this all over to Him (for MY life)–
So, the important thing is to seek guidance from Father in Heaven about how each of us can ‘seek’ Zion–
I think you agreed with me.
I went off onto a gardening hijack–
maybe that’s not so inappropriate–
This convo seems to have taken a detour from the topic at hand.
I’ll bring it back around.
If NDAA 2012 did not authorize the president to indefinitely detain American citizens without due process, I can’t imagine why Obama said the following during the signing of the bill:
“My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”
“”Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.”
According to Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Chris Hedges:
“It is a decimation of the most basic civil liberty that Americans have taken for granted, it overturns two-hundred years of domestic law which has prohibited the military from functioning as a police force, and it removes due process.”
I agree that physically leaving babylon is a wise thing to do. But many righteous people cannot physically move like that yet, for one reason or another. Hopefully the way will be opened for them at a later time so they can get out before the cleansing.
But I still don’t see why we shouldn’t or can’t start building Zion now, today, IF we could only find righteous people to do it with.
Zion can be built anywhere at anytime by anyone who is truly righteous, in fact it’s a commandment to do just that & not wait. No matter who’s seed we are.
And of course we must 1st make our marriage & home a Zion, before we will ever be able to do it with others as a community.
I agree that the reason that the early Saints in Joseph’s day couldn’t & didn’t build up Zion is because they were not righteous, they were falling for all kinds of whoredoms & abominations & falsehoods. Most of them did not follow the teachings & commandments of Joseph Smith. Thus most of them were cast out of the area & into the wilderness & have had to dwindle in unbelief even til today & the Saints still haven’t repented, except a few.
But those how are truly righteous today can start Zion anytime they want & they will be successful at it.
I believe that when 2 or more righteous people meet they begin to talk about wanting to establish ZIon immediately & how to go about it.
I don’t believe we should wait for anything. I believe it’s everyone’s constant commandment to build up Zion today. It’s just that no one seems ready or willing to do it.
Desolation already covers the whole earth & all people. Thus, are only safety even today is in a ZIon, whether it is just in our homes or in a community that we can establish with others.
We need protection already, today, from the severe desolations that cover the whole earth & from the cleansing that is already happening.
Maybe you are right, maybe we should look for the righteous elsewhere & not expect to find them in the Church. It does seem that many non-members are more awake & willing to talk about such things than most members.
LDS seem to want to ‘wait’ to be told everything to do. It’s like they can’t do anything without permission. Whereas non-members feel free to follow the Spirit 1st & foremost, as we all should.
You make good points, and I suppose I ‘hijacked’ this thread–
but somehow . . . talking about Joseph Smith and Zion seems to go together.
And Romney doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who:
–would work in a garden or . ..
–would like to see Babylon fall–
Please excuse me for trying to lighten things up; I really am. I am not trying to cast aspersions on Romney, but when I think of Babylon, I think of banks–
and Mitt Romney seems quite fond of them–
sorry for the hijack.
AV, thanks for answering. My heart and my hope are lifted continually by the righteous non-LDS I meet!
The field is white for Zion among those who are not members of the church and don’t necessarily want to be but who love the Lord.
This was stunning. Thank you so much for writing it.
Joseph Smith today would be excommunicated from the LDS church. His criminal record, his constant dodging arrest and living a life on the run from the law, his constant borrowing money and failing to pay it back.
He could not pass a temple interview today.
But then, most of LDS leadership really can’t, if they were honest about it.
Mahonri, I appreciate what you have to say about Joseph Smith; I have often thought this–
he was betrayed by ‘proper’ Mormons. 🙁
The NDAA is a gross violation of the rights of Americans. As was the Patriot Act before it. I snicker at Politicians who vote for laws which are fundamentally wicked from the get-go, like NDAA, but are persuaded to support the law because an amendment or two is added which somehow makes the law palatable for them.
Orrin Hatch exhibited this tendency when he first supported NDAA then voted against it because, “It wasn’t ready for prime time.” Whatever that means! Also, Rand Paul recently told Sean Hannity he was against drones hovering above Americans until the proper “constitutional protections” were in place.
Seriously Mr. Rand? You believe drones could ever be constitutional?!
Clearly, the Federal Government needs no more expansion. It is a gross monster consuming our liberties. We need no NO MORE LAWS combating “terrorism.” To accept NDAA in any way, shape, or form is WRONG. Just another reason why Mitt Romney will never get my vote. His political positions fully contradict LDS doctrine as pertains to government.