Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ron Paul & Mormonism

I am writing this post to give you some tools to advocate for liberty when you come in contact with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).

Quick background. I joined said church in 1997 after deep study, reflection, and prayer. I consider myself extremely devout. About that same time another church member turned me on to a book called The Law, which I'm sure many of you have read. This became part of a more comprehensive path to enlightenment and awakening. My religious conversion was coupled with a philosophical conversion to libertarianism which made my transformation more complete. I have spent the last 14 years reconciling the two belief systems which I describe as really one in the same, as all truth is part of the gospel in my mind. I believe the primal longing for liberty is inherent in many faiths, so hopefully non LDS readers will relate to the principle contained herein.

I want to highlight a couple points about my religion and political stances that may help some of you as you come in contact with Mormons who are unfamiliar with or have a negative opinion of Dr. Ron Paul. In the primaries this year there are two Mormons running, which in my view is historic that our country has begun to move past many of the shallow mischaracterizations of and prejudices against this religion. With these two candidates comes a lot of support from affinity-based voters. These are Mormons who will simply vote for Huntsman or Romney (most likely the latter) based on nothing more than a common faith, regardless of whether the candidates political viewpoints square with basic tenets of their faith. This is an attempt to enlist you in using gentle persuasion to convince Mormons that Ron Paul is the best candidate.

Here are a couple examples:

1) Mormons believe that a pre-mortal battle was waged in heaven. This pre-mortal battle, referenced by Isaiah and Jeremiah in the Old Testament, was an intellectual battle of ideologies. The two opposing forces lined up on the side of liberty or coercion. This conflict is described in several places within LDS scripture: Moses 4:1-4, Abraham 3, 2Nephi2:27, and elsewhere. Furthermore general authorities of the church, such as Ezra Taft Benson, have warned about the disastrous outcomes of infringing on God-given natural rights. If you are confronted by Mormons trying to justify somehow the use of government force to compel obedience to such things as The Patriot Act, Conscripted Military Service, Public Welfare, The War on Drugs, etc. gently remind them of this basic belief and ask them to study further and reconsider their stance.

2) Related to the first issue but for some reason separated from it by neo-cons is the issue of force employed in pre-emptive war. Besides the numerous admonitions by Christ to "turn the other cheek", or "love your enemies; The Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants have something to say on this point as well. Unfortunately, the finer details of the doctrine taught require readers to actually think about the implications of the scriptures, so they get glossed over many times by casual readers. One could engage a Mormon on this issue by pointing out that D&C 98:16 admonishes the saints to "renounce war and proclaim peace", which is something the leadership of the church, if not the laity, does constantly despite the seeming deafness of many listeners. Moses 6:15 portrays Satan as the author of warfare and bloodshed. Alma chapters 43 and 46 acknowledge the justification of war IN DEFENSE only of family, religion, and freedom. The Book of Mormon prophet, Mormon, lamented the savagery of his people who had become bloodthirsty and desirous of pre-emptive slaughter and other heinous war crimes and cries out "They are without order and without mercy" (Moroni 9:18). Instead he "utterly refused to go up (meaning to their enemies' lands) against [his] enemies" (Mormon 3:16). The best example is the Book of Mormon prophet, Gidgiddoni, who in expressing the will of God in counseling his people against pre-emptive war said "The Lord forbid; for if we should go up (again, to their enemies' land) against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands." (3Nephi3:20-21) There are many more examples than this, but sufficeth to say the scriptures clearly speak out against pre-emptive warmongering.

I want to reiterate that I am not trying to convert anyone to "Mormonism" on this site. I simply want to give you tools to find common ground and advocate for Dr. Paul when you come in contact with Mormons willing to listen to the message and consider it. If you are faced with any doctrinal rejoinders, feel free to hit me up. God bless you in your efforts!

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