Kumozarusan's Playlist

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Liberalism vs. Conservatism, Defining "Liberal" and "Conservative" Governments

On Liberalism vs. Conservatism, Defining "Liberal" and "Conservative" Governments:






James Otis, Jr., an early American radical Whig and lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts said the following in his 1765 pamphlet called "Consideration on Behalf of the Colonists in a Letter to a Noble Lord:"


"The Great love pillows of down for their own heads, and chains for those below them.  Hence 'tis pretty easy to see how it has been brought about, that in all ages despotism has been the general tho' not quite universal government of the world."


Free, limited government based on the concept of liberty of the individual has been rare throughout the history of this world called Earth, and while it is condoned and upheld by God, our Creator, it has generally, though not universally been unhappily stamped out of existence by God's arch-nemesis, enemy, and opposition, Satan in countries and governments that choose to follow him and his principles.  There have been those rare occasions where free countries, societies, and governments built upon the golden and Godly principle of liberty of the individual have arose and flourished, America being one of them, but compared to the number of tyrants of despots this world has seen, these beacons of hope and liberty have somewhat few in number.  And thus, because they are not the norm, they are therefore the liberal form of government, the norm being the conservative form of government.  Tyranny and despotism, as defined by John Locke as rulers who exercise governmental power beyond that granted them by the people via their laws, and who violate these laws of the land consented to and promulgated by the people or their representatives...in other words, unlimited, arbitrary power in the hands of the government; these two forms of government have unfortunately been the norm throughout the history of the world.  And thus, tyranny and despotism, being the general norm throughout history, can be deemed the conservative form of government.  Any principle, ideal, law, or proposal that leads to and furthers tyranny and despotism as defined, no matter how much they may be (wrongfully) labeled "liberal" or done in the name of "liberalism," cannot and will never be truly "liberal," but will remain "conservative," being that they uphold the unfortunate general norms of government that are tyranny and despotism.


James Otis, Jr.'s pamphlet may be read by consulting the following link:


http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2336

A quick biography of James Otis, Jr. can be read by consulting the following link:

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Fperson=4746&Itemid=28

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Thoughts on the UC Davis Pepper Spraying Incident

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wuWEx6Cfn-I
Here's my thoughts on the UC Davis pepper spraying incident:

I have trouble finding a whole lot of sympathy for the protestors for a few reasons, not because I don’t feel bad for them being pepper sprayed. I feel bad they had to suffer pain and humiliation at the hands of the police via pepper spray and detention, yet it must be remembered that the protestors choose their consequence, using their agency, knowing full well what would happen if they did not comply with the at first non-forceful dispersal requests of the police. I say this for 3 specific reasons:



1.) There is a difference between non-violent legal protests and non-violent illegal protests, namely one is legal, having obtained permits to do so, and one is illegal, bypassing the obtaining of permits to protest on either private or public land. These individuals, from all accounts, did not obtain permits to occupy UC Davis, and especially did not obtain permits to occupy this sidewalk. As such, regardless of whether a protest is peaceful or not, it all depends on whether it is legal. I have no problem with civil disobedience when, as Locke explained, the government uses force to execute laws that it has no right to execute. And I see nothing wrong with civil disobedience when all other lawful means of redress have been exhausted or denied. But these students appear to have violated this important process of redress of grievances. They bypassed from the get-go, the first step of obtaining a lawful permit to protest on UC Davis, and particularly on this walkway, blocking it to all pedestrian traffic, and went straight for civil disobedience. If these students had applied for a lawful permit to protest, and had been denied this permit for illegitimate reasons, solely because the city didn’t want them to express their 1st Amendment rights, then occupying, and had been denied repeatedly, as well as denied help from other government officials in obtaining this permit, then civil disobedience would be in order for these students to express their 1st Amendment rights. Or, if these students had been granted the lawful permit to protest at UC Davis, including on the sidewalk, and had been asked by the police to vacant the sidewalk in direct disagreement with the permit granted, then the protesters have the right to civil disobedience and not move. But neither of these scenarios was the case. They did not seek, and thus did not obtain the lawful permit to protest, and thus they must adhere to the lawful requests of the police to disperse and cease from areas of pedestrian traffic. But they didn’t, obviously.

2.) A sidewalk is an area designed for pedestrian traffic, as a road is designed for vehicular traffic. Just as one may receive a ticket for purposefully blocking vehicular traffic on a road, one may receive a ticket for purposefully blocking pedestrian traffic on a sidewalk. For example, if one parks in someone’s driveway, and blocks the sidewalk, they are typically in violation of a city ordinance, and either can be asked to move their vehicle or receive a ticket or citation of some kind. For the sidewalks are meant for pedestrian traffic, especially those who may be handicap in some way and need the sidewalk, like a blind person, or a person in a wheel chair. If a car or even people are blocking their way on the sidewalk, then it’s not like they can just easily pass around them on street or in the case of UC Davis, on the grass. This could be done, of course, but not so easily for a blind person, someone with crutches, or someone in a wheel chair. A permit may be obtained for purposefully blocking a road or sidewalk for protestation of grievances, and blocking vehicular or pedestrian traffic in this manner would be perfectly legal. But, the UC Davis protesters did not seek to obtain, nor did they obtain such a permit to block the sidewalk, and therefore, when they refused to disperse and stop blocking the sidewalk, the police were justified in forcibly removing them, for the protesters ignored a lawful dispersal order.

3.) There is no difference between peacefully violating the law in unjustified situations and violently violating the law in unjustified situations, other than one reeks of physical violence while the other remains relatively passive in physical exertions by the protesters. But both are unjustified and violate the law, which in a way could not necessarily be called passive or peaceful. Resisting officers of the law in their attempts to clear public places of traffic or other public areas that are occupied illegally by protesters, either in their verbal attempts or in their physical attempts to pull the protesters away, is difficult to label as peaceful or passive protest. How can one peacefully or passively yet unjustifiably violate legitimate laws? And can be screaming slogans and pre-written, often cliché chants at the police after unjustifiably disobeying the their lawful dispersal orders be called passive and peaceful? Perhaps physically, but what about mentally? Police are human too, and humans often react in stressful situations in sometimes unpredictable ways, and if there are screaming people disobeying your lawful orders, tempers can boil, as is natural to expect, and it is natural to expect something to result from such a situation, be it from the police’s end or the protester’s end, or perhaps both, and this time it resulted from the police. Was the police spraying pepper spray “excessive force?” Well, perhaps to some, or perhaps not to others, but before we make such judgments, we must make sure we have as many of the facts on our side as possible. We don’t know exactly how many times the police tried to get the illegal protesters to disperse, particularly from the sidewalk, and how many times they tried to do so without force and using tame means of doing so. But it seems from the video that they had been warned at least once to move. Using pepper spray from the get-go in such a situation would be uncalled for and excessive force, to be sure, but if all other means had been exhausted by the police, and pepper-spray was the next most humane step in getting the illegal protesters to disperse, then they are justified in doing so, and the protesters receive their reward for disobeying a lawful order to disperse from the police during an illegal protest, unjustified by the fact that the protesters bypassed attempting to seek a permit so as to protest legally.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let's Keep the Light Shining Ever Brighter as Individuals.


I gave a talk this last Sunday in church, based on a talk given by member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, Quintin L. Cook, given during 2010's General Conference, titled "Let There Be Light."  


For those readers (if there be any) that don't know, I am a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints-in other words, I am a Mormon.  Here is my talk, for those that are interested in reading.  I originally had much more that I wanted to say in this talk, but I had to eliminate quite a bit due to time constraints-I was limited to 12 minutes.  And without further adieu,  here it is: 

______________________________________________________

Using Elder Quinton L. Cook’s 2010 conference talk “Let There Be Light” as my guide, I wish to speak concerning what we can do to avoid and hinder the spread of wickedness and darkness over this earth, and bring others unto the Light of Christ and his love, as well as his protection from the ensuing storm of evil that is brewing on the earth.
One form of darkness spreading over the earth in modern times is atheism, or rather, the belief that there is no God, and thus no morals and no principles to abide by, every kind of action being accepted because there is no right or wrong.
Elder cook says of today, “Basic belief in the power and authority of God is not only questioned but also denigrated.”  We often see science used as a means of attempting to prove there is no God and to denigrate those who have faith in God’s existence.  I personally believe Science is synonymous with God, or rather, used by God, God being all-powerful and all knowledgeable, and thus knowing and using science, even science beyond our mere human comprehension.  But there are those in society who would have us believe that because something can’t be scientifically proven, then it must not be true, including the existence of Heaven, Hell, and God.  But to assert such assumes man knows all there is to know of science, which isn’t true.  We know much about science, but not all there is to know.  Our entire world and universe abounds in proof that there is some being out there who has much more power and knowledge than us, God’s children.  And this being is God.  I find the words of the American Founding Father, Thomas Paine, applicable to these men of science: such attempts as these to destroy religion or belief in God and His power by use of science “pervert the sublime and enlightening study of natural philosophy into a deformity of absurdities by not reasoning to the end.”  It is using something of God to try to prove there is no God.  It isn’t possible.
We are told by many in society that morals and values are relative, that we can do we what we like without fear of punishment by a God, either because no God exists or because he will justify us in the license of the natural man, as the Anti-Christ Nehor taught in the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon Anti-Christs say this is because either God has redeemed all men, no matter what they do, or because there was no Christ and no Atonement, and that there is no such thing as good or evil, or right or wrong.  And as we’re told in 2nd Nephi chapter 2, if there is no right or wrong, no righteousness and no sin, then God would cease to be God, and in essence cease to exist.  Such false and dangerous ideas lead us away from God and His laws, and away from Liberty, ordained by God, to license, or doing as one pleases without any consequences, which is upheld by Satan.  But, we know there was an Atonement by Christ, and therefore there is right and wrong, and thus God does exist, having power over all. 
But we know these false notions concerning God or the non-existence of God, as well the casting aside of His law and moral values based upon His law are utterly untrue, as told to us by the prophets of old in the scriptures, and by the prophets of today.
One solution Elder Cook proposes so as to avoid the spread of atheism and subsequent license to do as one pleases without any consequences and all the evils that accompany such beliefs is to ensure that “values based on religious belief be part of the public discourse.”  Such a discussion and encouragement of values based on religious belief will continue to spread and brighten light, specifically the Light of Christ, in an ever darkening world of wickedness and sin. 
Elder Cook said, “we find that the majority of people are still respectful of basic moral values.  But make no mistake: there are also people who are determined to both destroy faith and reject any religious influence in society.” To protect ourselves against these attempts, Elder Cook warns, “In our increasingly unrighteous world, it essential that values based on religious belief be part of the public discourse.” As God makes known to the Nephites in 2nd Nephi chapter 1 and through out the entire Book of Mormon, as well as to the future Gentiles inhabiting this American continent, meaning us, those who receive this land of promise as their inheritance, a land of liberty and freedom, must either serve God or be brought into captivity and enslavement, and possible destruction upon refusal to repent.  And one of the most important ways we can serve God, as King Benjamin explains in the Book of Mosiah, is to serve our fellow man.
Elder Cook says, “religious faith is a store of light, knowledge, and wisdom and benefits society in a dramatic way when adherents engage in moral conduct because they feel accountable to God.”  There must never be coercion of religion upon the people by anyone.  But, this does not mean the people should not continue to encourage religious faith among the population.  Ensuring that these values based on religious belief be part of the public discourse so as to hinder and avoid the advance of atheism and all the evils and darkness that accompany it has been a principle taught and pleaded for by our Founding Fathers of this country. 
The importance of a belief in God and the moral values that result from knowing we are accountable to Him for our actions in this life, as reiterated by Elder Cook is his talk “Let there be Light,” is exemplified by the Founding Father Thomas Paine, who disagreed with many religious tenets of the 18th century world religions, yet reiterated often the importance of maintaining a belief in God and following those principles and laws established by Him in the laws of nature.
Indeed, one of Thomas Paine’s biographers, John Keane, described in his book, “Tom Paine, A Political Life,” Paine’s views on the evils that were accompanying Atheism and relativity in moral values in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and which describes our very day in age.  To paraphrase his words,
“Paine argued, Christianity [and I, might personally add, religious faith in general] keeps alive an ethical tradition vital for nurturing republican democracy. To destroy Christianity [and I would again add religion in general] by force [and I would add, or any other means] was potentially to destroy its good moral teachings.  From Atheism’s point of view, everything would become permissible.  Liberty would be crushed by license, [which we defined already as doing as one pleases without any consequences or accountability].  Individuals would be forced to swallow the dogma that the existence of God is [an old and boring] superstition, that hell is a myth, and that individuals have no soul.  Indecent prints and obscene books would go on sale.  Moneymaking, egoism, and love of lucre would mushroom.”  In other words, the love of men towards their brothers and sisters would wax cold, and selfishness would abound.
John Adams, wrote in the early 1800’s,
"If [the] empire of superstition and hypocrisy should be overthrown, happy indeed will it be for the world; but if all religion and all morality should be over-thrown with it, what advantage will be gained? The doctrine of human equality is founded entirely in the Christian doctrine that we are all children of the same Father, all accountable to Him for our conduct to one another.”
These moral values found in religious belief include the 10 Commandments and many other Judeo-Christian morals values and principles which all people should base their daily conduct on and all nations’ governments should espouse, for they are not solely for the Judeo-Christian.  These moral values belong to the whole world and all of the human family, regardless of one’s religious creed or whether one has a religious creed.  All that the Savior did in his life and does for us now in our lives can be found in these Judeo-Christian moral values and principles.  Elder Cook emphasizes the moral principle of honesty and treating all children of God as brothers and sisters.  And might I also personally add the commandment “though shalt not covet” as one of the values that would benefit us in today’s world.  This, of course does not mean we legally favor Judeo-Christianity over any other religion or prevent others from sharing their religious or non-religious beliefs, but that we continue to spread and live by these righteous principles ourselves and as much as possible as a nation and society.  Elder Cook says, “The moral foundation of our doctrine in the LDS church can be a beacon light to the world and can be a unifying force for both morality and faith in Jesus Christ.  We need to protect our families and be at the forefront together with all people of goodwill in doing everything we can to preserve light, hope, and morality in our communities.”  This gives us all the more reason to share the gospel with as many people as possible through missionary work, for remember, every member is called to be a missionary and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And one of the ways we can do this is to be an example of light to others.
Another way we can protect ourselves from the ensuing storm of darkness, which we know must necessarily come, as has been foretold in the scriptures, is to ensure that we keep our homes a safe refuge of righteousness from the wickedness of the world.  This includes keeping all things that would drive light away out of our homes and family environments, things like pornography, inappropriate TV shows, movies and internet sites, foul language, animosity between family members, and all things that drive away the Spirit of God.  We must also not only expel darkness from our homes and families, but we must also seek out and invite light into our homes by having weekly family night, daily family and individual prayer, daily family and individual scripture/doctrinal study, and introducing into our homes all things that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy,” to quote Elder Cook.
We must remember the following, spoken by Elder Oaks in his talk on tolerance:
“So it was that at the conclusion of His ministry, Jesus prayed to the Father, “not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).  We are to be in the world, but not of the world.”
Elder Cook has optimism concerning the continued belief in God and His power and Authority in the world.  He speaks of Mormon mourning the rejection of Christ and His Atonement by his brethren Nephites, yet Elder Cook speaks of those “large numbers who worship God and feel accountable to Him for their conduct” in all nations today.  Truthfully, I find it very difficult sometimes to see things from an optimistic point of view, seeing the wickedness of the world and the rejection of God and his power, authority and plan of salvation for His children.  But this is wrong, for we should all be as optimistic as Elder Cook.  Indeed, we can be optimistic and joyful of the fact that, like in the war in heaven, although there may be that small few who will reject God and His laws and plans, we can be joyful at the fact that there will be many who will believe in God and accept Christ’s Atonement.
It is our duty to not only seek light and allow it to shine in our lives and in the lives of others, but we must also allow it to stay on forever by doing those things that will allow it to do so, by keeping our homes a place of righteous refuge from the wickedness and evils of the world.  As Elder Cook says, “Freedom and light have never been easy to attain or maintain.”  Indeed, Thomas Paine wrote his series called “The American Crisis,” “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”  The forces of coercion, unrighteous dominion, and darkness, created and led by the adversary, who is the father of all lies, are relentless in overthrowing agency, freedom and light, and will stop at nothing to do so, and try to take as many of God’s righteous children down with them.  And the adversary has become ever so consistent, persistent and cunning over the time man has been on earth, to the point where he takes what is good and makes it bad, makes good look like bad and bad look like good, and makes light look like darkness and darkness look like light.  Once we have freedom and light, we must guard it ever so jealously, because the armies of evil and darkness will always be there with a plan devised to overthrow it.  2nd Nephi chapter 2 tells us we have the agency to choose light, liberty, and eternal life through Christ, or darkness, slavery, and eternal damnation and suffering.  As the knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade says, choose wisely, for in the day of final judgment, we shall earn our wages according to our works done in this life.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Actuality of the Concept of "Spontaneous Order," Demonstrated through the Occupy Wall Street Movement in New York

Here's an interesting take on OWS movement and the society that has sprung up within Zucotti Park.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-november-16-2011/occupy-wall-street-divided?xrs=share_fb

The society in Zuccotti park is an exact replica in miniature of society in America today, the very society the Occupiers wish to avoid and overthrow, a divided, unequal society.  Not only does this video point to the actuality and truthfulness of the idea of a "spontaneous order" in society, but it points to how certain ideals and principles bring about different spontaneous orders.

For a description of "spontaneous order," see here:

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Fcollection=104&Itemid=27

If one's ideals and principles are based on economic and material equality brought about by inequality before the law, as seem to be the principles of the OWS movement, then you will have an exact replica of American society today because this seems to be the principles and ideals behind many of America's laws, especially it's tax code.  If a society's principles and ideals are based on equality before the law, instead of material/economic equality, then such a movement as OWS would arise as a miniature of a society that has such ideals and principles.

But one thing is certain, no matter the ideals and principles of a society, when spontaneous order arises, there will always be inequality in materials and wealth, for as Hayek said, societies are made up of differing individuals with different beliefs, ideas, desires and needs.  Inequality is inevitable, no matter the ideals and principles one bases one's society on; only equality before the law gives man the only true equality in the only way possible, an equality in rights, whereas a society based on economic and material equality will have neither economic/material equality nor equality before the law and in rights.

Monday, November 7, 2011

F.A. Hayek on Equality: Equality Before the Law is the Only Equality Achievable in a Free Society.

F.A. Hayek on Equality:

I've been saying for a while now that equality before the law is the only equality achieveable in a free, equal, and just society that protects the rights of the people, and that they only way to achieve material equality is through unequal, unjust, and harsh, discriminatory coercive measures, both by private citizens and the public state/government.  I now find a political thinker and economist (also a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize) who shares my exact same sentiments, and explains these sentiments much better than I have.  And I agree whole heartedly with all that Hayek has to say below, and what's interesting is that I came up with these ideas before I had even heard of Hayek, let alone read his material, all from reading Classical Liberals of the 18th century!  Please read what F.A. Hayek has to say on equality in the following paragraphs:

"The great aim of the struggle for liberty has been equality before the law.  This equality under the rules which the state enforces may be supplemented by a similar equality of the rules that men voluntarily obey in their relations with one another.

Equality of the general rules of law and conduct, however, is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty and the only equality which we can secure without destroying liberty.  Not only has liberty nothing to do with any other sort of equality, but it is even bound to produce inequality in many respects.  This is the necessary result and part of the justification of individual liberty: if the result of individual liberty did not demonstrate that some manners of living are more successful than others, much of the case for it would vanish.

As a statement of fact, it just is not true that 'all men are born equal.' We may continue to use this hallowed phrase to express the ideal that legally and morally all men ought to be treated alike.  But if we want to understand what this ideal of equality can or should mean, the first requirement is that we free ourselves from the belief in factual equality.   

Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either the one or the other, but not both at the same time.  The equality before the law which freedom requires leads to material inequality.  Our argument will be that, though where the state must use coercion for other reasons, it should treat all people alike, the desire of making people more alike in their condition cannot be accepted in a free society as a justification for further and discriminatory coercion.

Our objection is against all attempts to impress upon society a deliberately chosen pattern of distribution, whether it be an order of equality or inequality.

If one objects to the use of coercion in order to bring about a more even or a more just distribution, this does not mean that one does not regard these as desirable.  But if we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.  One may well feel attracted to a community in which there are no extreme contrasts between rich and poor and may welcome the fact that the general increase in wealth seems gradually to reduce those differences.  I fully share these feelings and certainly regard the degree of social equality that the United States has achieved as wholly admirable.

There also seems no reason why these widely felt preferences should not guide policy in some respects.  Wherever there is a legitimate need for government action and we have to choose between different methods of satisfying such a need, those that incidentally also reduce inequality may well be preferable.  If, for example, in the law of intestate succession one kind of provision will be more conducive to equality than another, this may be a strong argument in its favor.  It is a different matter, however, if it is demanded that, in order to produce substantive equality, we should abandon the basic postulate of a free society, namely the limitation of all coercion by equal law.  Against this we shall hold that economic inequality is not one of the evils which justify our resorting to discriminatory coercion or privilege as remedy."


F.A. Hayek, "The Constitution of Liberty," 1960, Univeristy of Chicago Press, pg. 85-88.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Laffer Curve and the Relationship between Tax Rates, Taxable Income, and Tax Revenue

The Laffer Curve: tax increases general discourage incentive to make more money, which means the higher the tax rate, the lower the incentive to make money, which means the lower the incentive to make money, the lower taxable income people make, which then in turn means the lower the taxable income, the lower the tax revenue. So lower tax rates do indeed bring in more revenue for governments. The answer to our deficit and economic problems right now is, from purely an economic stand point, not raising taxes on the rich and wealthy, but instead, lowering tax rates for all, as well as making those tax rates flatter for all, if not having a completely flat tax rate for all in whatever form of taxation it may be. Keep in mind, all this is purely from an economic standpoint and does not include my opinions on the injustice and inequality of progressive and selective taxation, as well as double taxation.


Take a look at this video to better understand this phenomenon better:




Dan Mitchell also re-explains this phenomenon on his blog International Liberty and provides additional evidence of such:


http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/a-lesson-on-the-laffer-curve-for-barack-obama/

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Joseph Smith, Jr.'s 1833 Letter to his Uncle Silas Smith, concerning the truthfulness of the LDS Church

For those who are new to my blog, and for my regular or even irregular readers (if there be any), I am a believer and strong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints-in other words, I'm a Mormon.  I sincerely and wholeheartedly believe in doctrines and principles taught by what we believe to be Christ's true, restored Gospel here on earth, and I know of a surety from the personal and spiritual revelations I have had concerning this church and it's doctrine and principles, given to me by God himself through his Holy Spirit.  I have recently been reading "The History of the Joseph Smith, By His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith," and in there i Ran across this 1833 letter from Joseph Smith, Jr., to his Uncle Silas Smith concerning the recently organized LDS church.


I love the Prophet's logic and reason exhibited in this 1833 letter, and it can not only be used to justify the truthfulness and reasonability of continuing, modern-day revelation from God to His human children here on Earth through a prophet as in the days of old, but of the truthfulness and logicality of Book of Mormon, another record and testament of Jesus Christ, given to and for the ancient inhabitants of the American continent.  For is it unreasonable to think that the same God who lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the promised land could lead other of his righteous children, Jew or not, to other parts of the world for their safety, prosperity and reward for their righteousness and give of his revelations and gospel to them, as well? Is it unreaosnable to think that the same God that established his church and put it under the earthly control of his 12 Apostles before he ascended to dwell with God the Father in the heavens, which church was meant for all mankind, both Jew and Gentile and which spread all over Palestine and the Roman Empire, even into Rome itself, would establish and have Apostles and church authorities over his church on another continent in an era when there was no means of communicating with or even knowing of each other's existence?  Is it unreasonable to think that Christ's church would exist on this entirely seperate continent, for both Jew and Gentile, and that Christ would bring forth a record of his chruch and of and for those very people on that same continent?  If God would bring forth the record of His church of so many different areas within the Roman Empire, (for that is what the New Testament is, a record of Christ's church in the different areas of the Roman Empire, e.g. Phillipians, Gallatians, Romans, Corinthians, Thessalonians, Ehpesians,Collosians,  etc.) what is so difficult in beleiving that Christ's church, meant for both Jew and Gentile, would exist elsewhere outside of the Roman Empire at the same time, and that Christ would also speak to them in their own time time, and bring forth a record of the church and its teachings in their own area?  To me, mere logic and reason, as exhibited by Joseph Smith, Jr. in this 1833 letter asserts and proves the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ and his ministry in and reveleations to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.


Here's the 1833 letter:

"Kirtland Mills, Ohio, September 26, 1833.

RESPECTED UNCLE SILAS:—It is with feelings of deep interest for the welfare of mankind, which fill my mind on the reflection that all were formed by the hand of Him who will call the same to give an impartial account of all their works on that great day to which you and myself, in common with them, are bound, that I take up my pen and seat myself in an attitude to address a few, though imperfect, lines to you for your perusal.

I have no doubt but that you will agree with me, that men will be held accountable for the things they have done, and not for the things they have not done. Or that all the light and intelligence communicated to them from their beneficent Creator, whether it is much or little, by the same they, in justice, will be judged. And that they are required to yield obedience, and improve upon that, and that only, which is given, for man is not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

Seeing that the Lord has never given the world to understand, by anything heretofore revealed, that he had ceased forever to speak to his creatures, when sought unto in a proper manner, why should it be thought a thing incredible that he should be pleased to speak again in these last days for their salvation? Perhaps you may be surprised at this assertion, that I should say for the salvation of his creatures in these last days, since we have already in our possession a vast volume of his word, which he has previously given. But you will admit that the word spoken to Noah was not sufficient for Abraham, or it was not required of Abraham to leave the land of his nativity, and seek an inheritance in a strange country upon the word spoken to Noah, but for himself he obtained promises at the hand of the Lord, and walked in that perfection, that he was called the friend of God. Isaac, the promised seed, was not required to rest his hope alone upon the promises made to his father Abraham, but was privileged with the assurance of his approbation, in the sight of Heaven, by the direct voice of the Lord to him. If one man can live upon the revelations given to another, might I not with propriety ask, why the necessity, then, of the Lord's speaking to Isaac as he did, as is recorded in the twenty-sixth chapter of Genesis? For the Lord there repeats, or rather, promises again to perform the oath which he had previously sworn to Abraham; and why this repetition to Isaac? Why was not the first promise as sure for Isaac as it was for Abraham? Was not Isaac Abraham's son? and could he not place implicit confidence in the veracity of his father as being a man of God? Perhaps you may say that he was a very peculiar man, and different from men in these last days, consequently, the Lord favored him with blessings, peculiar and different, as he was different from men of this age. I admit that he was a peculiar man, and not only peculiarly blessed, but greatly blessed. But all the peculiarity that I can discover in the man, or all the difference between him and men in this age, is, that he was more holy and more perfect before God, and came to him with a purer heart, and more faith than men in this day.

The same might be said on the subject of Jacob's history. Why was it that the Lord spake to him concerning the same promise, after he had made it once to Abraham, and renewed it to Isaac? Why could not Jacob rest contented upon the word spoken to his fathers? When the time of the promise drew nigh for the deliverance of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, why was it necessary that the Lord should begin to speak to them? The promise or word to Abraham, was, that his seed should serve in bondage, and be afflicted, four hundred years, and after that they should come out with great substance. Why did they not rely upon this promise, and when they had remained in Egypt, in bondage, four hundred years, come out, without waiting for further revelations, but act entirely upon the promise given to Abraham, that they should come out?

Paul said to his Hebrew brethren, that God being more abundantly willing to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, he confirmed it by an oath. He also exhorts them, who, through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Notwithstanding, we (said Paul) have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast and which entereth into that within the vail, yet he was careful to press upon them the necessity of continuing on until they, as well as those who then inherited the promises, might have the assurance of their salvation confirmed to them by an oath from the mouth of him who could not lie; for that seemed to be the example anciently, and Paul holds it out to his Hebrew brethren as an object attainable in his day. And why not? I admit that by reading the Scriptures of truth, the saints, in the days of Paul, could learn, beyond the power of contradiction, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had the promise of eternal life confirmed to them by an oath of the Lord, but that promise or oath was no assurance to them of their salvation; but they could, by waling in the footsteps, continuing in the faith of their fathers, obtain, for themselves, an oath for confirmation that they were meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light.

If the saints, in the days of the apostles, were privileged to take the saints for example, and lay hold of the same promises, and attain to the same exalted privileges of knowing that their names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and that they were sealed there as a perpetual memorial before the face of the Most High, will not the same faithfulness, the same purity of heart, and the faith, bring the same assurance of eternal life, and that in the same manner to the children of men now, in this age of the world? I have no doubt, but that the holy prophets, and apostles, and saints in ancient days were saved in the kingdom of God; neither do I doubt but that they held converse and communion with him while they were in the flesh, as Paul said to his Corinthian brethren, that the Lord Jesus showed himself to above five hundred saints at one time after his resurrection. Job said that he knew that his Redeemer lived, and that he should see him in the flesh in the latter days. I may believe that Enoch walked with God, and by faith was translated. I may believe that Noah was a perfect man in his generation, and also walked with God. I may believe that Abraham communed with God, and conversed with angels. I may believe that Isaac obtained a renewal of the covenant made to Abraham by the direct voice of the Lord. I may believe that Jacob conversed with holy angels, and heard the word of his Maker, that he wrestled with the angel until he prevailed, and obtained a blessing. I may believe that Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire with fiery horses. I may believe that the saints saw the Lord, and conversed with him face to face after his resurrection. I may believe that the Hebrew church came to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. I may believe that they looked into eternity, and saw the Judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant. But will all this purchase an assurance for me, and waft me to the regions of eternal day, with my garments spotless, pure and white? Or, must I not rather obtain for myself, by my own faith and diligence in keeping the commandments of the Lord, an assurance of salvation for myself? And have I not an equal privilege with the ancient saints? And will not the Lord hear my prayers, and listen to my cries as soon as he ever did theirs, if I come to him in the manner they did? Or, is he a respecter of persons?

I must now close this subject for the want of time; and, I may say, with propriety, at the beginning. We would be pleased to see you in Kirtland; and more pleased to have you embrace the New Covenant.

I remain, yours affectionately,

JOSEPH SMITH, JUN."


"The New Road to Serfdom: Unrestrained and Unlimited Centralization of Governmental Power in a Centralized Bureaucratic Government."

‎"Daniel Hannan, Member of the European Parliament, explains why Americans urgently need to stop their country from going down the path of European-style socialism."

Here's a tremendously brilliant speech very much applicable to the U.S. and the world today! Please take the 25 min. necessary to watch this speech by British Member of Parliament and European Union representative concerning the new road to serfdom, the centralization of power under one large, bloated bureaucratic government that is no longer held responsible to the people and is no longer bound by constitutional barriers.