Un­der­stand­ing Lib­erty

Christ’s teach­ings are the so­lu­tion to our govern­ment prob­lems

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Casey Beres

Over the past year we have looked at many cur­rent gov­ern­men­tal prob­lems plagu­ing the United States. We’ve also looked at var­i­ous so­lu­tions to these prob­lems. This has been my main pur­pose in writ­ing these ar­ti­cles for Serve Daily, to hope­fully ed­u­cate and get peo­ple think­ing about things they per­haps had never no­ticed, and in ad­di­tion, pro­vide pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to the prob­lems dis­cussed. I am an ed­u­ca­tor by pro­fes­sion, and one of my goals in life is to be a teacher of cor­rect and truth­ful prin­ci­ples and help peo­ple be­come aware of things that they might not oth­er­wise see, think of, or un­der­stand, and to help them bet­ter them­selves and the world. To fur­ther this goal, I am leav­ing for Scot­land to at­tend the Univer­sity of Edinburgh to fin­ish my grad­u­ate level ed­u­ca­tion. Thus, this will be my last ar­ti­cle for Serve Daily. But, I will be re­placed by a wor­thy writer from Utah’s Lib­er­tas In­sti­tute.

While I have pro­posed many pos­si­ble sug­ges­tions to gov­ern­men­tal prob­lems and ex­am­ples of op­pres­sion dis­cussed in my ar­ti­cles, I have re­served the best and most pow­er­ful sug­ges­tion for last. While it may be ex­tremely un­pop­u­lar in much of the world, even here in the US, it is the only vi­able so­lu­tion to the con­tin­ued govern­ment sat­u­ra­tion of op­pres­sion and tyranny through­out the US. The so­lu­tion is the con­tin­ued spread­ing of the Gospel of Je­sus Christ and its prin­ci­ples of daily liv­ing as seen most purely, I sin­cerely be­lieve, in the LDS re­li­gion.

In order to make a large dent in tyran­ni­cal govern­ment and to slow the spread of op­pres­sion, we must fur­ther dis­sem­i­nate Christ’s teach­ings, study them daily, and ap­ply them reg­u­larly to our lives in all our thoughts and ac­tions. Let mem­ber­ship in Christ’s Gospel be a se­condary is­sue; the real im­por­tance firstly is to spread the teach­ings of Christ as taught in the LDS re­li­gion. Mem­ber­ship is im­por­tant, but the prin­ci­ples are for every­one in ev­ery time and lo­cal­ity in the world, and let the teach­ing and adopt­ing of those be the pri­mary con­cern first and fore­most, ad­dress­ing mem­ber­ship sec­on­dar­ily. Not every­one will feel that mem­ber­ship in the LDS re­li­gion is for them at first. But, in the very least, if we adopt and ap­ply to all as­pects of our in­di­vid­ual lives Christ’s three great moral teach­ings of the Golden Rule, that we reap what we sow, and that what­so­ever judg­ment and mea­sure one meet out to oth­ers will be given and met out to him, gov­ern­men­tal tyranny will have a huge stum­bling block placed in its evil path for­ward to world dom­i­na­tion. The only way to counter the spread of dark­ness, co­er­cion, hate, and vi­o­lence through govern­ment is to shine the light of truth, peace, per­sua­sion, and love as much as pos­si­ble through­out the world.

Christ teaches us to do all things through per­sua­sion, love/char­ity, and long suf­fer­ing/pa­tience, and not through un­just use of force of arms or threats of vi­o­lence, which is what hu­man govern­ment of­ten tends to do. (See D&C 121:41-43 and Ja­cob 1:7-8). This ap­plies to hu­man govern­ment as well. If God gov­erns us through per­sua­sion, love, and pa­tience, then who are we, His pos­ter­ity/cre­ations to use any other means in gov­ern­ing our­selves and our fel­low­men? God’s ways of gov­ern­ing mankind are made known plainly to mankind in D&C 134, and has been ad­dressed in more de­tail in pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles. But in short, hu­man gov­ern­ments “should re­strain crime, but never con­trol con­science; should pun­ish guilt, but never sup­press the free­dom of the soul.” And as we’ve dis­cussed, crime in the eyes of our Cre­ator is the ac­tual, in­ten­tional vi­o­la­tion of another’s equal rights (e.g. theft, fraud, mur­der, in­jury to body and health, etc.).

Man should act thusly in govern­ment, us­ing force as lit­tle as pos­si­ble ex­cept in just and ex­i­gent cases, in times of just, de­fen­sive war­fare af­ter the man­ner re­vealed by God in D&C 98:33-38, and in times of just ju­di­cial pro­ceed­ings that set forth at­tempts to make resti­tu­tion to the vic­tims of ac­tual, in­ten­tional crimes, af­ter a speedy trial be­fore one peers, hav­ing been pre­sumed in­no­cent un­til found guilty. Even then, such resti­tu­tional pun­ish­ments must be equal to the crime/ harm done, and noth­ing more. Forced resti­tu­tion for crimes found to be com­mit­ted can be just, even by force of arms. How­ever, let us take to heart the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in his 1844 pres­i­den­tial plat­form, con­cern­ing Amer­i­can govern­ment and its un­righ­teous, op­pres­sive, and il­log­i­cal pe­nal sys­tem:

My cog­i­ta­tions, like Daniel’s, have for a long time trou­bled me, when I viewed the con­di­tion of men through­out the world, and more es­pe­cially in this boasted realm, where the Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence “holds these truths to be self-ev­i­dent, that all men are cre­ated equal; that they are en­dowed by their Cre­ator with cer­tain unalien­able rights; that among these are life, lib­erty, and the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness;” but at the same time…hun­dreds of our own kin­dred for an in­frac­tion, or sup­posed in­frac­tion, of some over-wise statute, have to be in­car­cer­ated in dun­geon gloom, or pen­i­ten­tiaries, while the du­el­list, the de­bauchee, and the de­faulter for mil­lions, and crim­i­nals, take the up­per­most rooms at feasts, or, like the bird of pas­sage, find a more con­ge­nial clime by flight.

Abol­ish the cruel cus­toms of pris­ons (ex­cept cer­tain cases), pen­i­ten­tiaries, court-mar­tials for de­ser­tion; and let rea­son and friend­ship reign over the ru­ins of ig­no­rance and bar­bar­ity; yea, I would, as the uni­ver­sal friend of man, open the pris­ons, open the eyes, open the ears, and open the hearts of all peo­ple, to be­hold and en­joy free­dom-unadul­ter­ated free­dom…

Other prob­lems that plague ev­ery so­ci­ety that could be solved by the adop­tion of LDS prac­tices are wel­fare laws and their ac­com­pa­ny­ing govern­ment growth, cen­tral­iza­tion, and un­just, bur­den­some taxes. The LDS re­li­gion has a flour­ish­ing wel­fare pro­gram, and is funded with purely vol­un­tary do­na­tions. And these do­na­tions are made be­cause the LDS mem­bers have learned to live life and do all things by per­sua­sion, love, and pa­tience.

If the prin­ci­ples Christ are spread, ac­cepted, and prac­ticed faith­fully by more peo­ple in the world, there will be less tyrants and in­ci­dents of op­pres­sion be­cause they will be prac­tic­ing the ways of di­vine govern­ment the best they can: per­sua­sion, love, and pa­tience. Thus, the im­por­tance of con­tin­u­ing to spread the Gospel of Christ and its teach­ings, and of con­tin­u­ing in pa­tience and love to per­suade all men and women to come unto Christ and learn of his and his Fa­ther’s ways can­not be un­der­stated. I know these prin­ci­ples to be good, true, and worth­while, and the prac­tice of them by all the so­ci­eties of the world can only lead to im­prove­ment so­cially, eco­nom­i­cally, crim­i­nally, and gov­ern­men­tally. Let’s vol­un­tar­ily adopt them in our own lives and in our deal­ings with oth­ers, all the way up to the gov­ern­men­tal level. If we do this, we will see many of our cur­rent op­pres­sive laws right them­selves as they are re­pealed for their op­pres­sive­ness and in­jus­tice. God bless you all, my read­ers.

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