Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Communist Dictator

The FLDS religion has three central tenants that distinguish it from every other religion on the planet, and although other religions and churches ascribe to parts or all of them in one form or another to a certain degree, no other religion ascribes to all three with the determination and devotion to them that the FLDS faithful do. These are in essence the crowning laws that if lived faithfully can create characters that will be worthy of the highest heaven:

1-The Holy United Order (referred to in the Bible and Book of Mormon as “All Things in Common”) This is the Economic Order of heaven. Also called the Order of Enoch

2-The Celestial Law of Marriage, including the plurality of wives. This is the Family Order of Heaven. Also called the Law of Abraham

I list the two highest laws for us to ponder upon. Many who may read this may be very vengeful about them, or at least indifferent to them, wanting me to get to the central one; the one that makes these two laws livable on earth. But I would like you to imagine yourself taking your entire life; stripping it of selfishness, and putting it into these two laws.

Men must overcome all jealousy to live the first one. It is the most difficult. Their effort must be completely selfless or the Order will not function. Masculinity is rather independent and confrontational, and these things must be subdued in the heart. In all of history, this economic order has only one lasting success story, found in the Pearl of Great Price. After the Savior came the early Saints set up this order in Israel and in America, but they did not last. The YFZ community in Texas is one of the central efforts set up today. There are others, but they all have this in common; unity of economic effort; giving all for the common good.

The second law requires the ladies to overcome their jealousy. That is easy for them. No lady has ever had a problem living polygny. OK! I am just joking! But ladies do have an inward ability to be more compassionate and caring, humble and religious. There are struggles, for sure, jealousy and selfishness cannot survive, but day to day life is easier for the ladies who share the duties of the home. It is not difficult when they can find a man who is stalwart and loyal to his leaders and an example of how to live pure. Joining forces with him is not as difficult as is portrayed by the few who abandon the idea.

Few people have any idea how wonderful the home and community is with those who are determined to overcome themselves and live these laws to their last breath. I have never seen a happier more peaceful people. But I must tell you, these two laws cannot be lived without the one that this post is titled after. I promise you, it is impossible.

The FLDS church is a family, and church organization under the wing of the Constitutional laws of the United States. The political order within the church itself is a Benevolent Dictatorship; in essence communism, or communalism.

Personal free will is what the war in heaven was fought over. It is what the American war of Independence was fought over. Almost every war that ever was, was one fought over freedom from tyranny and oppression. But by reading the Bible, you can see that God puts specific limits on our freedom, but only through benevolent love. The Ten Commandments are not the ten suggestions. While I know, and all who strive to follow those Commandments know that they are happier and feel more blessed when they follow those Commandments, God will force no one to follow them or any of His other laws like tithing. The Ten Commandments are a distinct list of what our Father in heaven commands us to do. What is our punishment if we don’t obey them?

If God was right next to you (as He is), what do you think He would do if he saw you lying? Or take His name in vain? Does He strike you dead, or damn you to hell? Are they not commandments? When you think of your Father in heaven, do you think of a tyrant, or one who loves you unconditionally?

He loves us unconditionally, but He blesses those who obey His commandments more than those who don’t. He will not force us to obey, but he will and does exclude us from the blessings of obedience. This is perfect merciful justice.

We believe that all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The Ten Commandments are the beginning and foundational laws, and the Law of Abraham and the Order of Enoch are the highest. In order to live the highest laws, men must have a central Priesthood authority for them to look up to and obey. The anxious, those who desire to throw off all selfishness seek to obey more and more; they are those who want to obey with all their hearts. Obedience is like delicious fruit to them. So they look for the man who they believe is the most like God; the one who they can trust to tell them what the Lord wants them to do. It is their belief in God that turns them to this one man.

I don’t know of a lady who does not want to be married. Motherhood is what most girls dream about. Marriage is the greatest step in a ladies life. I have never in my life even heard of a girl who was married before they wanted to be. That is until long after they were married and changed their mind, some decide to change their mind and remember that they didn’t date their husband and so they must have been forced.

No one can ever be forced to live their religion. No matter how big a gun you have pointed at their head, you cannot force someone to have faith in the prophet or God. It would be completely pointless to pressure someone to tell the truth against their will, let alone get married against their will. You can’t get to heaven unless you want to. The prophet would never even want to make you. The only thing that could be considered force in the gospel is the guilty conscience we get if we don’t obey it. You never will have a guilty conscience if you are innocent; the innocent have no reason to be worried.

Heavenly Father is a dictator, He dictates. If we will ask and listen, He speaks to each of us and tells us what we should do to govern our personal responsibilities. Each person is responsible for themselves, a mother is responsible for her children, a father is responsible for his home, and the prophet is responsible for the obedient church members.

“You may keep Plural Marriage and live it pretty strict, but you reject the United Order. United Order and Plural Marriage are the highest orders of the Priesthood. Whether we keep them or whether we reject them it is going to be up to us….
What difference does it make who the man is at the head? Who the man is doesn’t make a bit of difference. When he is placed there, God tells him to set certain men apart. What difference does it make who it is? I am well aware that I am not as good a man as Uncle John Woolley and Lorin. I haven’t had the experience yet. But I do know this Gospel is true and that these brethren here are called of God. I do know that every man that fights it. I don’t care who it is, will reject the counsel of God concerning themselves.”
(John Y Barlow 9/14/47)


Naiah said...

Communism...I hadn't thought about it in those terms before, and yet, with the United Order and such, it makes sense.

Perhaps that is a part of the source of the intense bigotry? For all that the 'Cold War' is supposedly over, the word "communism" is still a bit of a hot-button. Once communism was considered the height of un-American. (Think of the McCarthy era...).

Forgive me as I walk through this here, but I have been trying so hard to cull out some possible explanation for the otherwise-unaccountably high level of intensity that one sees in the opposition to the FLDS people. Perhaps a likeness to communism is a part of that; people do get fanatical (and therefore less-than-rational) about political systems.

They (the opposition) say that the problem lies in plural marriage, and yet, that is just unaccountable in the context of modern moral standards (hardly standards, at all...) wherein "serial monogamy," adultery, living in sin, and the like are, in fact the norm. It makes no sense in the society that insists that men take responsibility for illegitimate children through child support payment and the prosecution of "deadbeat dads," for there to be any opposition to a man who chooses to care for and support all mothers of his children. The irony of winking at a mistress while balking at a sister-wife defies all reason, and so, in that sense cannot be found the source of the venom aimed at the FLDS.

Mormon history is full of examples of people converted by the logic "well, if this weren't the Lord's work, the devil wouldn't fight it so hard," but the question remains as to what strings the devil pulls to get such dramatic opposition so aligned, so mobilized.

Should living the United Order (and its likeness to communism) be part of that, the irony, upon reflection is no less biting, for, as you point out, God, himself, is the ultimate benevolent dictator. It's not as if Moses took a vote among the Israelites as to which commandments they would choose to covenant with the Lord and keep. The word came down from the mountain unto the people through Moses.

Ah, I am beating my head against a wall that I will never crack. Who can account for the hatred in men's hearts?

Pligchild said...

Have you ever been put down because of guilt? What I mean is, have you ever been repremanded for doing what you knew was wrong, by someone you do not feel holds any authority over you?

That feeling is the beginning of the hatred within the heart of the anti-FLDS ex members.

Now have you attacked someone, feeling they were totally horrid, and went about telling others how horrid they were, and finally getting in thier face and yelling at them only to discover you were wrong? If you refuse to back down, or go back and clean up the mess of your own making, that is the next step of the hatred from the ex members.

Have you ever collected in a group, all feeling the same hatred toward someone? Telling stories filled with exaggeration and imagination that stir up fear and hatred? Running to the Civil authorities to do something, anything, to stop what is not really going on? There is your third step.

The wars in the Book of Mormon between the Lamanites and Nephites all were attacks from the Lamanites who were stirred up and led by former Nephites. Once they start the war, which is driven by pride, humility is all but impossible, even when they discover the original accusations were completely baseless.

These are things that come to mind when it comes to the Anti-FLDS vengeance. Best described by Maggie in "Maggie Knows"

Pligchild said...

“And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.” (Exodus 4:16)

“Moses said to Israel, I am god to you. Joseph said to us, I am god to you. This was true and on the same principles I am a god to this people and so is any man who is appointed to lead Israel or the Kingdom of God. If the people reject him, they reject the one who sent him….I will tell you how I got along with Joseph. I found out that God called Joseph to be a Prophet. I did not do it. I then said I will leave the Prophet in the hands of that God who called and ordained him to be a Prophet. He is not responsible to me and it is none of my business what he does. It is for me to follow and obey him…. Joseph once told me to go to his own house to attend a meeting with him. He said he would not go without me. I went and Hyrum preached upon the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, and said we must take them as our guide alone. He preached very lengthy until he nearly wearied the people out. When he closed, Joseph told me to get up. I did so. I took the books and piled them all up on top of each other. I then said that I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for all those books for my salvation without the living oracles. I should follow and obey the living oracles for my salvation instead of anything else. When I got through, Hyrum got up and made a confession for not including the living oracles.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Wilford Woodruff pgs 124-135)

Disciple said...

Quote from Brigham Young is very interesting - and important. I've been thinking about this all week since I read it.

1) How does one know who is a prophet? Isaiah 8:20 comes to mind. There we are admonished to compare the statements of any who claim to be prophets with the "law and the testimony". If one prophesizes something different, then that one is not a prophet.

2) Will a prophet teach something different from the "law and the testimony"? Again on the basis of Isaiah 8:20 the answer must be "no".

If, therefore, Joseph Smith was a prophet and returned to the believers the original Gospel, would Brigham Young, if he too were a prophet, prophecy anything that was contrary to the books that Hyrum was placing his trust in?

Pligchild said...

I add a quote from Joseph Smith:

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received.

That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. "God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said, "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted--by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. If we seek first the kingdom of God, all good things will be added. So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.

"A parent may whip a child, and justly, too, because he stole an apple; whereas if the child had asked for the apple, and the parent had given it, the child would have eaten it with a better appetite; there would have been no stripes; all the pleasure of the apple would have been secured, all the misery of stealing lost. This principle will justly apply to all of God's dealings with His children..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg 255-256)