Saturday, August 15, 2009

Socialism? Mormonism?

I'm getting bombarded by lots of emails, facebook postings, etc. decrying the evils of socialism. They are warning me of the downfall of this great nation and end of the constitution.

That may well be. I'm not fully convinced, but I'm not decided yet, either.

What worries me is some of the rhetoric being thrown around by a lot of the church members I'm hearing. They're all supported by this quote, or that wise and pithy saying.

I know I'm going to catch &@%$ for saying this, but I think that every Mormon should take a moment, open up their Book of Mormon, and their other scriptures, and read these verses:

Alma 30:17 The gospel of Self-Sufficiency, as taught by Korihor. That's right. The BAD guy.

Moses 7:18 In Zion, there are no poor.

And here's the really scary one: How about reading the entire book of 4th Nephi? I put particular emphasis on verses 3, and 25 (well, really 24-26).

Now, if you want to, you can all post angry comments, and tell me how that's not what those verses mean, and that's not what's happening in today's world, and you may even be right. Honestly, I think there are serious problems with socialism, capitalism, and communism. All I'm asking is that before you scream about welfare states, and before you vote to cut funding for the poor and the disabled and the elderly (they don't really need it anyway), read those verses. And then read them again.

Then you can come back and flame me.

Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his Dutch Oven blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: New Song! "The Third Time"


  1. Ack.

    Sometimes I feel as though I am an idiot for wanting to help those who don't have the capability to help themselves. Not everyone who needs help is a leech.

    "Because I have been given much I too must give."

    5 times to try and articulate what I want to say here. I guess "thanks" is a good way to do it.

  2. I think one of the major problems in these debates is that people do not do a good job of articulating the full scope of their position. Instead they get hung up on exceptions and extreme examples rather than focusing on core principles.

    I'm sure there are some out there who believe in self-sufficiency as described by Korihor, but I'm willing to bet that the majority of those decrying the evils of socialism etc. are in full agreement that we should be helping the poor, needy, sick, afflicted, fatherless, and widows. The fact that they see that seems to be ignored by those who want government to manage that helpful safety net is that they have no right to force their neighbor to give of his substance for those programs (their hypocrisy is that in many cases they see no problem with telling that same neighbor that he must pay a fine if he lets his 9 year old sit in the front seat of the car or that he is not allowed to disbelieve some of their cherished doctrines).

    Those who believe in using the force of government to operate their charities do not seem to recognize that forced charity has not virtue nor any beneficial spiritual impact on the person who is forced to be "charitable." They fail to recognize that all righteousness is voluntary because if any man give a gift grudgingly it is not counted as righteousness to him.

    We do need charity, and we must care for the poor and needy. On the other hand, government is not the tool by which this can be effectively accomplished.

  3. I’ve been thinking lately about the difference between the law of consecration and communism. I’m a die-hard capitalist but you definitely make some good points. When it comes down to it though, I trust the leaders of the church but I (sadly) don’t trust politicians. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

  4. All good thoughts, Mark. You might be interested in commenting on some things discussed on my faith and politics blog.



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