Monday, January 18, 2010

Philosophy vs. Conspiracy Response

Recently, I read an article authored by Jerry Salcido, which had a great deal of response.  I feel that it is a perfect topic for me to expound on as well.

Jerry's article produced responses from Connor Boyack, Brian Mecham, and John McManus.  While reading through some responses, it appeared that some felt that it is either one or the other.  You either expose the conspiracies or you teach liberty in order to help the people be able to make better choices for liberty.  Reading through the comments on Connor's article, it looks like there are many people that think of things as I do, but I decided that I would go ahead and go into detail about this.  Before I do, I want to mention that I know all of these men.  I went to school with Jerry, have attended events with Connor and Brian, and was at the Rally for the Republic when John spoke there.

It is my position that they all have good points, and that they are also right.  What seems to be a disagreement on the surface is really not.  I believe that both knowledge of the enemy and knowledge of the principles of liberty are required.

Something that Jerry reveals in his article is that he is aware of a great deal of the conspiracies.  Which tells me that he has researched them to know what they are, and what the end goal is believed to be.  That in and of itself shows that he too has searched and pondered at what may be possibly going on; trying to define what the hidden things of darkness are.  I do not fault him for this one bit, and the reason is because we are commanded to bring the hidden things of darkness to light.

  1.   13 Therefore, that we should waste and awear out our lives in bringing to light all the bhidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—

 I think that one of the important things to note about this verse is the very end of it, 'they are truly manifest from heaven'.  This can have many meanings, a couple that come to mind are 1. With the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truth of all things, and 2. The gospel truths, the principles that are given to mankind from God uncover the tactics used by the enemies to liberty.

A popular verse that is used by Latter-day Saints to awaken each other to the fact that there is indeed a great conspiracy that we are to tear down, is contained in Ether Chapter 8.

  1.   24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this asecret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

The phrase that stands out the most is "shall be among you".  We are told that these combinations have existed from the beginning, and the scriptures reveal a great deal about their characteristics and tactics.  The Founding Fathers also have told us about the tactics that are used to destroy liberty, which is why the Constitution is like it is, to try to limit these attacks against liberty.

The next question is, why would the Lord warn us about these things, and what should we do about it?  The first part of the answer is given in the verse that proceeds this one:
  23 Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get apower and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of bdestruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
So, we are to repent of whatever it is that we are doing, or NOT doing that we should be in order to protect liberty.  We are told this so that we avoid the punishment of God for our lack of repentance as a nation (and individuals), and also so that destruction does not come to us.  Some of the purposes of these secret combinations are also mentioned, they are to get power and gain.  Additionally, this verse also tells us their end goal:

 25 For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the afreedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who bbeguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath chardened the hearts of men that they have dmurdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

  26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have ano power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be bpersuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all crighteousness and be saved.
 This secret combination is designed to destroy liberty in ALL lands, nations and countries.  It brings the destruction of people, and it is Satan that is behind it all.  However, the Lord in His goodness and love for us has a plan, and Moroni was commanded to write this so that Satan would lose his power upon the hearts of the children of men, that they may do good, and be saved.

How can this happen?

2 Ne. 33: 4.
  4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it apersuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life beternal.

Now, returning to Jerry's article.  Does focusing on conspiracy theories distract from the liberty message and make it hard for those new to it to listen?  It can.  Not only can it distract the newly curious, it can distract the long-time fighting patriots too.  Does that mean that we should not be aware that they are there or their tactics? No.  But, it does mean that we should be focusing on the solutions.  We definitely should know our enemy, and how to guard against them, but we also have the arsenal to fight them with.  We do not need to know all the details of every conspiracy that ever was or is in order to know what is right and what is wrong.  The conspiracies do awaken people, and put them on alert, which is good, but they are not the answer. They are the catalyst.

Sometimes I feel that Latter-day Saints do not truly know the value of what they have been given in The Book Of Mormon.  Because of what knowledge can be found in that book, they really do not need to go too far down the rabbit trail.  Personally, I went down many of those popular conspiracy trails myself, and I came to the conclusion that everything in them is contained in the Book of Mormon.  That secret combinations are had among all people, and that they blend in with the public so that they cannot be discovered, as was mentioned by the Nephites.  While the Lamanites sought them out and uprooted them protecting their society, the Nephites did not realize that they were there until they were overrun and it was too late, and they perished after years of continual warfare.  It is my hope, that we can focus on both, the truth that there is a conspiracy to destroy liberty and the principles of liberty that will conquer those who participate in it.

There are many in the liberty movement that have not accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ.  They could be so much more effective if they had the Holy Ghost as their guide.  If they turned to God to help them protect the liberty that He has given them.  There are many miraculous examples of God protecting liberty when those who were desiring it relied on Him for their deliverance.  Our nation perishes because of a lack of knowledge, that the people do not know how or where to find it.

Focusing only on the dark side tends to bring only dark solutions.  While there may be a chance that the only solutions are darker than what we hope, we will want the Lord on our side.  And if we are to do that, we need to repent, do what we should be doing, teaching the principles of true liberty, and seeking for the light, which naturally destroys the darkness. 

While many in the liberty movement may not accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they are highly likely to cling to the principles of liberty once they know them, and when the whole of the people know them, then liberty will be protected.  The Founders have said that a free society only comes from the general education of the public.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Power to Heal


The Miracle of the Bible


The Power of the Priesthood