If you go to lds.org and do a search among the general conference addresses using “Lincoln” as the term, you will come up with 64 articles. Of these articles, not a single one speaks negatively of him. The GA’s are not only fond of quoting one of his statements or making an example of his life, but also of extolling his virtues, essentially putting him on a pedestal. Here are some quotes to illustrate this point:
Richard C. Edgley said that Lincoln “freed the slaves.” Paul H. Dunn considered Lincoln one of the “great leaders.” Devere Harris implied that Lincoln was both “great” and had reached “the pinnacle of performance.” Royden G. Derrick said, “We revere Abraham Lincoln because of his commitment to a principle in which he strongly believed.” He also stated that he was a “patriot.” Sterling W. Sill called Lincoln “our great Civil War president.” David B. Haight implied Lincoln, known as “Honest Abe,” evidenced “public virtue.” He implied that Lincoln rose “above self-interest” and acted “in the public interest with wisdom and courage.” Joseph B. Wirthlin said that Lincoln was “one of the greatest and most eloquent presidents of the United States.” James E. Faust believed Lincoln had “special gifts” and listed him along with Moses and Leonardo da Vinci. Mark E. Petersen called Lincoln a “man of God.” He also called him “the great emancipator.” Dallin H. Oaks called Lincoln “educated,” serviceable,” and that his “use of a limited amount of information” was “wise and inspired.” Neal A. Maxwell said that Lincoln provided “spiritual leadership.” Jeffrey R. Holland called Lincoln “one of the most gifted leaders ever to strive to hold a nation together.” Marvin J. Ashton called him “the great American leader Abraham Lincoln.” Marion G. Romney said that Lincoln “demonstrated his great integrity” in leaving a sentence in his ‘The House Divided Against Itself’ speech despite knowing it would probably mean losing the Senate seat. He said that Lincoln “had the integrity to act in harmony with his convictions” despite being “ambitious” and desirous of the presidency. His integrity meant “defeat in his race for the Senate,” but, Romney said, “fortunately for the country” it later made him president. He then said, “How glorious…it would be if all of us possessed the integrity of…an Abraham Lincoln.” Thomas S. Monson called Lincoln “the revered Abraham Lincoln.” Spencer W. Kimball said that Lincoln “achieved the highest success attainable in life and undying fame to the end of time.” Gordon B. Hinckley, talking of Lincoln, said that there was “true greatness to the man” and that he laced the nation “together ‘with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God’ gave him to see the right.” Gordon B. Hinckley, speaking of the debunking of the story of “Abraham Lincoln’s walking a great distance to return a small coin to its rightful owner,” stated that “clever debunkers in their unrighteous zeal have destroyed faith in such honesty.”
One of the debunkers of the myths surrounding Abraham Lincoln is Thomas J. DiLorenzo. DiLorenzo has written, so far, two books on Lincoln (The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War and Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe) and published a score of articles about him, a list of which are found here and here. You can also listen to an audio interview he recorded here. I’m also including a videotaped speech of DiLorenzo entitled, “Why Enemies of Liberty Love Lincoln,” which can be viewed in six parts:
DiLorenzo is not alone in making these claims. There are other researchers who are bringing Lincoln facts to light, such as Sam Dickson, who wrote an article entitled, Shattering the Icon of Abraham Lincoln. (These two men fulfil the law of witnesses: in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.) Nevertheless, I will focus on DiLorenzo’s articles and research.
I am not convinced that DiLorenzo’s, Dickson’s and other’s zeal in debunking Lincoln myths is unrighteous. Eventually all truth is to be revealed, all hidden, secret things are to be uncovered and all lies exposed as falsehoods. We LDS should applaud all efforts that correct past errors, including any erroneous view of Lincoln’s actions.
Although Lincoln undoubtedly believed he was in the right, that alone is not enough to revere him, despite what Elder Derrick said above. There have been plenty of tyrants and dictators who also firmly believed in their own principles. What is important is that the actions of a man correspond to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ as we know it. It is the gospel by which we measure all things.
Many of the GAs quote Lincoln, as he said many great and memorable things, but it is best to keep in mind that Lincoln was a politician. Politicians attempt to say the things that their audience want to hear. In the case of Lincoln, he did this masterfully. This is why both Christian and atheist alike claim Lincoln as their own. So, we cannot take a politician merely at his word, we must examine his actions to determine the real value of the man. And we must compare those actions with the gospel. As Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
In examining his actions, it is important to keep in mind the opposite principles of free agency and coercion, one being of God, the other satanic. In the pre-mortal council, some spirits of Heavenly Father did not wish to follow Christ. They didn’t want to be a part of that “union.” Our heavenly house was divided against itself. Did Heavenly Father force Lucifer and his followers to remain in heaven? Were they forced to accept Jesus? Or did he freely allow them to cut themselves off and leave, which is the right of secession? As a result of 1/3 of these spirits leaving, did the government of God dissolve? Or does it still exist? Keep this in mind when you ponder on the fact that Lincoln “saved the union” (at gunpoint) and “saved the Constitution” (by denying the right of secession and by forcing the South to submit to it, upon pain of death, imprisonment and/or loss of property.)
Now, here is a summary of DiLorenzo’s points on the unlawful and immoral acts of Lincoln:
- Lincoln saved the union geographically, but destroyed it philosophically
- He invaded the southern states without consulting Congress (unconstitutional)
- He declared martial law (unconstitutional)
- He blockaded southern ports without declaring war (unconstitutional)
- He suspended the writ of habeas corpus (unconstitutional)
- He imprisoned without trial some 13 northern citizens
- He arrested and imprisoned newspaper publishers who were critical of him
- He censored all telegraph communications
- He nationalized the railroads
- He created three new states (Kansas, Nevada and West Virginia) without the consent of the citizens of those states in order to rig the 1864 elections and give himself more electoral votes
- He had soldiers interfere with the elections in the north (they used colored ballots, like a blue ballot was republican, a red ballot was a democrat, and if you saw someone with a wrong color the soldiers would not let them vote) using bayonets to rig the election
- His amazing disregard for the Constitution was considered by nobody at the time as legal
- He deported congressman Clement Vallandigham of Ohio (who eventually ended up in Canada,) breaking his door down in the middle of the night using Federal soldiers without a warrant and dragged him off to military prison (this happened to 13,000 people, too)
- Vallandigham spoke of the real reason Lincoln was doing these things: “The real purpose of these acts was national banks, bankrupt laws, a vast and permanent public debt, high tariffs, heavy direct taxation, enormous expenditure, gigantic and stupendous peculation and strong government, no more state lines, no more state governments, and a consolidated monarchy or vast centralized military despotism.” Shortly after saying this, Valandegan was deported.
Some of the northern war crimes committed include:
- Some 50,000 southern civilians were killed by the Federal army
- 1 out of 4 southern white men between 20 and 40 years of age were killed
- Randolph, Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi were burned to the ground as was Atlanta
- When Atlanta was burned, 90% of the structures were burned to the ground and then after they were all burned out, winter was coming on, and Sherman evicted the remaining residents from their homes, the countryside having no food in it
The idolatrous worship of Abraham Lincoln is an obstacle to the transition to anarchy. As long as LDS look upon him as a national hero, even a man of God, they will always be conditioned to look upon the State as a good thing. The purpose of this post is to cast additional light upon the Lincolnite sacred cow so that LDS can more clearly see and decide for themselves if Lincoln is worthy of their adoration and if he was the champion of liberty that we’ve all been taught he was (in our government schools.)
The South has always vilified Lincoln, while the northerners and LDS have always deified him. Maybe it is time we LDS re-examined our viewpoint, based upon this new research, to determine whether we are the ones in error.
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