The Root Cause of the Current Financial (Monetary) Crisis and Its Solution

Ever since I learned of the biblical prophecies—and later of the additional prophecies of the LDS—concerning these days in which we live, I’ve always wanted to be an observer of the affairs of men, watching the winding up scenes unfold before my eyes, without participating in the iniquities, frivolities and foolishness of men, nor in the judgments of God upon them.  However, I believe that the Lord wants more than this:

And now, as I spake concerning my servant Edward Partridge, this land is the land of his residence, and those whom he has appointed for his counselors; and also the land of the residence of him whom I have appointed to keep my storehouse; wherefore, let them bring their families to this land, as they shall counsel between themselves and me. For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.  Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.  But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.  (D&C 58: 24-29)

Notice that the Lord didn’t say we should be engaged in good causes (plural) but in a good cause (singular).  Many will interpret this passage to mean that we can be engaged in any cause that is good, but I believe that the Lord had reference to only one cause which is defined by Him as being good: the cause of Zion.

For thus saith the Lord God: Him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good, and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard.  (D&C 21: 7)

Zion holds the solution to all of the world’s problems.  Zion is not just for the saints, but for all men and the time will come that many of the wicked will flee to it (see D&C 45: 68 and 133: 12) to escape the wrath of God and the judgments upon Babylon.  Every LDS, then, after escaping Babylon themselves, should also be helping others escape.  After all, as saints, we are supposed to be a light unto the world, setting an example of godliness to all those that view our good works, so that they can glorify God.

So, when I see the crisis happening on Wall Street and the $700 billion dollar solution our president is providing, I wonder what the latter-day saints will do.  Will we accept the solution provided us by our Gentile, Babylon-based government and be cast out as good-for-nothings?  Or will we provide the Zion solution and become the temporal saviors of men, even saviors upon Mount Zion?

For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men; and inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.  (D&C 103: 9-10)

The Financial Crisis

By now everyone should be aware that there is a financial crisis happening in America.  It is no longer a question of whether bad financial times are upon us, but how bad they are and how long they will last.  The doomsayers predict a financial depression that will last many years and make the American Great Depression of the 1930’s seem like a walk in the park.  The optimists say we can ride this wave out because America is still dynamically very strong.

On everyone’s mind is both how to fix the situation and who will do the fixing.  Specifically, the question is, “Which presidential candidate, Obama or McCain, can fix it?” The two, major, political party candidates have become the saviors of men in the eyes of the masses who support them.

As an anarchist and a latter-day saint, my view is that government is usually the one that causes these problems to begin with, and therefore, should never be called upon to fix them, as it usually only ends up making things worse.  If there is a solution to our economic situation, it will come from the people themselves, working independent from the government.

But before a solution can be offered, the problem must be identified, not just the symptoms of it.

A financial crisis is a monetary crisis

A financial problem is a monetary problem, it usually being either that there isn’t enough money going around (deflation) or that there is too much money going around (inflation).  That seems to be simple enough to fix.  In deflation, you just print more money and circulate it.  In inflation, you just stop or slow down the printing presses and also destroy money that comes into your hands.  Yet, despite (more or less) being in control of the amount of money in circulation, by being in control of the printing presses, the Fed has failed to stabilize the economy, bringing us into the Great Depression of the 1930’s twenty years after it (the Fed) was created and now bringing us into an even greater depression known by some as the Global Systemic Crisis seventy-eight years after that.

So, owing that the Fed isn’t really doing the job we were told it was supposed to do (stabilizing the economy), maybe we ought to look a bit further and deeper and consider that the problem is not how much money is going around, but whether what is going around is actually money.

The Lord talked about money

In 17 of the revelations given to Joseph Smith, the Lord mentioned money.  Here are the specific scriptures: D&C 24: 18 given in July, 1830; D&C 48: 4 given in March 1831; D&C 51: 8, 11, 13 given in May, 1831; D&C 54: 7 given in June, 1831; D&C 56: 9-12 given in June, 1831; D&C 57: 6, 8 given on July 20, 1831; D&C 58: 35-36, 49, 51 given on August 1, 1831; D&C 60: 10 given on August 8, 1831; D&C 63: 40, 43, 46 given in August, 1831; D&C 69: 1 given in November, 1831; D&C 84: 89-90, 103-104 given on September 22 and 23, 1832; D&C 90: 28-29 given on March 8, 1833; D&C 101: 49, 56, 70, 72 given on December 16, 1833; D&C 103: 22-23 given on February 24, 1834; D&C 104: 26, 68, 84 given on April 23, 1834; D&C 105: 8, 30 given on June 22, 1834; and D&C 124: 70 given on January 19, 1841.

The above scriptures cover the time between July 1830 and January 19, 1841.  This means that whatever currency was used by these Americans during that time was considered by the Lord as actual money.

But what was money during the years 1830-1841?

The 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language was the dictionary in use among Americans during this time and defined money in the following manner:

MONEY, n. plu. moneys.

1. Coin; stamped metal; any piece of metal, usually gold, silver or copper, stamped by public authority, and used as the medium of commerce. We sometimes give the name of money to other coined metals, and to any other material which rude nations use a medium of trade. But among modern commercial nations, gold, silver and copper are the only metals used for this purpose. Gold and silver, containing great value in small compass, and being therefore of easy conveyance, and being also durable and little liable to diminution by use, are the most convenient metals for coin or money, which is the representative of commodities of all kinds, of lands, and of every thing that is capable of being transferred in commerce.

2. Bank notes or bills of credit issued by authority, and exchangeable for coin or redeemable, are also called money; as such notes in modern times represent coin, and are used as a substitute for it. If a man pays in hand for goods in bank notes which are current, he is said to pay in ready money.

3. Wealth; affluence.

Money can neither open new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the passages of anguish.

(Money entry of the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language)

The Lord talked about talents

Within this same time period, the Lord also mentioned talents in two of the revelations given to Joseph Smith:

But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man.  Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.

Behold, they have been sent to preach my gospel among the congregations of the wicked; wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, thus: Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known.

(D&C 60: 2, 13; revelation received on August 8, 1831)

And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church—every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.

(D&C 82: 18-19; revelation received on April 26, 1832)

But what is a talent?

TALENT (Lat. talentum, adaptation of Gr. τáλατον, balance, weight, from root ταλ-, to lift, as in τληναι, to bear, τáλας, enduring, cf. Lat. tollere, to lift, Skt. tulã, balance), the name of an ancient Greek unit of weight, the heaviest in use both for monetary purposes and for commodities (see Weights and Measures).  The weight itself was originally Babylonian, and derivatives were in use in Palestine, Syria and Egypt.  In medieval Latin and also in many Romanic languages the word was used figuratively, of will, inclination or desire, derived from the sense of balance, but the general figurative use for natural endowments or gifts, faculty, capacity or ability, is due to the parable of the talents in Matt. xxv.

(Talent entry of the 11th Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, published in 1910)

(See also the talent entry of the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language.  That entry explains: “Among the ancients, a weight, and a coin. The true value of the talent cannot well be ascertained, but it is known that it was different among different nations.“)

So, the talents mentioned in D&C 82: 18, which were “to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church” could be a reference to money, specifically, a unit of weight used for monetary purposes.  But what American unit of weight used for monetary purposes was in use on April 26, 1831?

The Lord talked about dollars

In two of the revelations received by the Prophet, the Lord mentioned dollars:

Or in other words, if any man among you obtain five dollars let him cast them into the treasury; or if he obtain ten, or twenty, or fifty, or an hundred, let him do likewise; and let not any among you say that it is his own; for it shall not be called his, nor any part of it.

If it be five dollars, or if it be ten dollars, or twenty, or fifty, or a hundred, the treasurer shall give unto him the sum which he requires to help him in his stewardship—until he be found a transgressor, and it is manifest before the council of the order plainly that he is an unfaithful and an unwise steward.

(D&C 104: 69-70, 73-74; revelation received on April 23, 1834. See also the Book of Commandments XCVIII: 12, page 244, which used the word talents in stead of dollars.)

And they shall not receive less than fifty dollars for a share of stock in that house, and they shall be permitted to receive fifteen thousand dollars from any one man for stock in that house.  But they shall not be permitted to receive over fifteen thousand dollars stock from any one man.  And they shall not be permitted to receive under fifty dollars for a share of stock from any one man in that house.

Verily I say unto you, let my servant Joseph pay stock into their hands for the building of that house, as seemeth him good; but my servant Joseph cannot pay over fifteen thousand dollars stock in that house, nor under fifty dollars; neither can any other man, saith the Lord.

(D&C 124: 64-66, 72; revelation received on January 19, 1841.)

From the above it becomes plain that the words dollars and talents are interchangeable, meaning the same thing.

But what is a dollar?

DOLLAR, n. [G.] A silver coin of Spain and of the United States, of the value of one hundred cents, or four shillings and sixpence sterling. The dollar seems to have been originally a German coin, and in different parts of Germany, the name is given to coins of different values.

(Dollar entry of the 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language)

DOLLAR, a silver coin at one time current in many European countries, and adopted under varying forms of the name elsewhere. The word “dollar” is a modified form of thaler, which, with the variant forms (daler, dalar, daalder, tallero, &c.), is said to be a shortened form of Joachimsthaler. This Joachimsthaler was the name given to a coin intended to be the silver equivalent of the gold gulden, a coin current in Germany from the 14th century. In 1516 a rich silver mine was discovered in Joachimsthal (Joachim’s dale), a mining district of Bohemia, and the count of Schlitz, by whom it was appropriated, caused a great number of silver coins to be struck (the first having the date 1518), bearing an effigy of St Joachim, hence the name. The Joachimsthaler was also sometimes known as the Schlickenthaler. The first use of the word dollar in English was as applied to this silver coin, the thaler, which was current in Germany at various values from the 16th century onwards, as well as, more particularly, to the unit of the German monetary union from 1857 to 1873, when the mark was substituted for the thaler. The Spanish piece-of-eight (reals) was also commonly referred to as a dollar. When the Bank of England suspended cash payments in 1797, and the scarcity of coin was very great, a large number of these Spanish coins, which were held by the bank, were put into circulation, after having been countermarked at the Mint with a small oval bust of George III., such as was used by the Goldsmiths’ Company for marking plate. Others were simply overstamped with the initials G.R. enclosed in a shield.  In 1804 the Maundy penny head set in an octagonal compartment was employed. Several millions of these coins were issued. These Spanish pieces-of-eight were also current in the Spanish-American colonies, and were very largely used in the British North American colonies. As the reckoning was by pounds, shillings and pence in the British-American colonies, great inconveniences naturally arose, but these were to some extent lessened by the adoption of a tariff list, by which the various gold and silver coins circulating were rated. In 1787 the dollar was introduced as the unit in the United States, and it has remained as the standard of value either in silver or gold in that country. For the history of the various changes in the weights and value of the coin see Numismatics.  The Spanish piece-of-eight was also the ancestor of the Mexican dollar, the Newfoundland dollar, the British dollar circulating in Hong Kong and the Straits Settlements, and the dollar of the South American republics, although many of them are now dollars only in name.

(Dollar entry of the 11th Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, published in 1910)

The American Dollar is a Silver Coin

This may come as a surprise to many LDS (and Americans), but nowadays we don’t use American dollars, which is a quantity of silver, usually coined for ease of use.  What we use today are Federal Reserve Notes, otherwise known as fiat currency.  In all of the modern revelations quoted above, whenever the Lord was referring to money or talents or dollars, He was referring to the commodity currency then in use, specifically, a quantity of (usually coined) silver.

Silver is the only legal, American money

Douglas V. Gnazzo of the Honest Money Gold and Silver Report web site wrote an excellent article entitled Honest Money and published in 6 parts, in which he went over the history of American legal currency.  In it, Douglas explained that a “dollar” is defined both by the Constitution and by the Original Coinage Act of 1792 as being a specific quantity of silver, namely, 371.25 grains of silver.  This legal definition has never been changed, meaning that what we are currently calling a “dollar” is not real American currency.  To read the entire Honest Money article, click the following links:

Honest Money, Part I: The Constitution and Honest Money

Honest Money, Part II: Silver Standard with a Bimetallic Coinage System

Honest Money, Part III: Coinage Acts of 1834-1900

Honest Money, Part IV: Treasury Notes

Honest Money, Part V: History of American Money and Banking

Honest Money, Part VI: The European Connection

Honest Money, Part VII: The Moneychangers – Secrets of the Temple

Honest Money, Part VIII: Final Summary and Conclusions

You will recall, for example, that Congress has power to “coin money.”  It doesn’t have power to “make money” or to “print money,” but merely to coin it.  The money referred to in the U. S. Constitution is silver, thus, a power to coin money is a power to coin silver.  The two phrases are synonymous.  In fact, in many Latin American countries the word for money is plata, which is the word for silver. We can see from this that the Spanish milled dollar, which is what our American dollar is based upon, has had influence in many countries.

Fiat Currency, Fractional Reserve Banking and Usury is the Problem

Like evil bedfellows, fractional reserve banking and usury almost always accompany a fiat currency.  (See the above Honest Money article for an explanation about these banking practices and why they are so evil.)  Usury is condemned in the scriptures (both ours and others’ scriptures) and religions past and present have spoken against it as a great evil.  However, all three principles have been generally accepted among today’s society and even among most Latter-day Saints.  In fact, even in the church we find usury among ourselves (e.g. Perpetual Education Fund), though many do not consider it so as they interpret usury to mean excessive interest and not just any interest.

Notice that the current financial problem has nothing to do with regulation (or lack thereof) of the banking institutions by the government.  As long as a currency is metal-based, society naturally regulates itself without any need of government intervention, eliminating the practice of usury and making sure that only full-reserve banking occurs.  So, the roots of the financial crisis go deeper than mere de/un/regulation.  They go all the way to the currency itself, for fiat currency will always result in financial instability and prosperity for the few at the expense of the many.  This is a long way off from the Zion ideal of all having all things common.

Commodity Currency is the Solution

The use of metals as money has historical precedent and is the surest foundation upon which to build.  The following is part of the money entry of the 11th Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, published in 1910:

The Metals as Money. Reasons for their Adoption. Superiority of Silver and Gold. – The employment of metals as money material can be traced far back in the history of civilization; but as it is impossible to determine the exact order of their appearance in this capacity, it will be convenient to take them in the order of their value, beginning with the lowest.  Iron – to judge from the statement of Aristotle – was widely used as currency. One remarkable instance is the Spartan money, which was clearly a survival of a form that had died out among the other Greek states; though it has often been attributed to ascetic policy. In conjunction with copper,  iron formed one of the constituents of early Chinese currency, and at a later time was used as a subsidiary coinage in Japan.  Iron spikes are used as money in Central Africa, while Adam Smith notes the employment of nails for the same purpose in Scotland.  Lead has served as money, e.g. in Burma.  The use of copper as money has been more extensive than is the case in respect to the metals just mentioned. It, as stated, was used in China along with iron – an early instance of bimetallism – and it figured in the first Hebrew coins. It was the sole Roman coinage down to 269 B.C. and it has lingered on to a comparatively recent date in the backward European currencies. It even survives as a part of the token coinage of the present.  Tin has not been a favourite material for money: the richness of the Cornish mines accounts for its use by some British kings. Silver holds a more prominent place than any of the preceding metals. Down to the close of the 18th century it was the chief form of money, and often looked on as forming the necessary standard substance. It was the principal Greek money material, and was introduced at Rome in 269 B.C. The currencies of medieval Europe had silver as their leading constituent; while down almost to the present day Eastern countries seemed to prefer silver to gold.

The pre-eminence of gold as money is now beyond dispute; there, is, however, some difficulty in discovering its earliest employment. It is, perhaps, to be found in ” the pictures of the ancient Egyptians weighing in scales heaps of rings of gold and silver. ” According to W. Ridgeway’s ingenious theory gold comes into use as a currency in due equation to the older cattle unit, the ox. It was certainly employed by the great Eastern monarchs; its further development will be considered later on. Metals of modern discovery – such as nickel and platinum – are only used by the fancy of a few governments, though the former makes a good token coinage.

The preceding examination of the varied materials of currency, metallic and non-metallic, suggests some conclusions respecting the course of monetary evolution, viz.: (I) that the metals tend to supersede all other forms of money among progressive communities; and (2) that the more valuable metals displace the less valuable ones. The explanation of these movements is found in the qualities that are specially desirable in the articles used for money. There has been a long process of selection and elimination in the course of monetary history.

First, it is plain that nothing can serve as money which has not the attributes of wealth; i.e. unless it is useful, transferable and limited in supply. As these conditions are essential to the existence of value, the instrument for measuring and transferring values must possess them. A second requisite of great effect is the amount of value in proportion to weight or mass. High value in small bulk gives the quality of portability, want of which has been a fatal obstacle to the continued use of many early forms of money. Skins, corn and tobacco were defective in this quality, and so were iron and copper. Sheep and oxen, though technically described as ” self-moving,” are expensive to transport from place to place. That the material of money shall be the same throughout, so that one unit shall be equal in value to another, is a further desideratum, which is as decidedly lacking in cattle-currency as it is prominent in the metals. It is, further, desirable that the substance used as money shall be capable of being divided without loss of value, and, if needed, of being reunited. Most of the articles used in primitive societies – such as eggs, skins and cattle – fail in this quality. Money should also be durable, a requirement which leads to the exclusion of all animal and most vegetable substances from the class of suitable currency materials. To be easily recognized is another very desirable quality in money, and moreover to be recognized as of a given value. Articles otherwise well fitted for money-use, e.g. precious stones, suffer through the difficulty of estimating their value. Finally, it results from the function of money as a standard of value that it should alter in its own value as little as possible. Complete fixity of value is from the nature of things unattainable; but the nearest approximation that can be secured is desirable. In early societies this quality is not of great importance; for future obligations are few and inconsiderable. With the growth of industry and commerce and the expansion of the system of contracts, covering a distant future, the evil effects of a shifting standard of value attract attention, and lead to the suggestion of ingenious devices to correct fluctuations. These belong to the later history of money and currency movements. It is enough for the ordinary purposes of money that it shall not alter within short periods, which is a characteristic of the more valuable metals, and particularly of silver and gold, while in contrast such an article as corn changes considerably in value from year to year.

From the foregoing examination of the requisites desirable in the material of money it is easy to deduce the empirical laws which the history of money discloses, since metals, as compared with non-metallic substances, evidently possess those requisites in a great degree. They are all durable, homogeneous, divisible and recognizable, and in virtue of these superior advantages they are the only substances now used for money by advanced nations. Nor is the case different when the decision has to be made between the different metals. Iron has been rejected because of its low value and its liability to rust, lead from its extreme softness, and tin from its tendency to break. All these metals, as well as copper, are unsuitable from their low value, which hinders their speedy transmission so as to adjust inequalities of local prices.

The elimination of the cheaper metals leaves silver and gold as the only suitable materials for forming the principal currency. Of late years there has been a very decided movement towards the adoption of the latter as the sole monetary standard, silver being regarded as suitable only for a subsidiary coinage. The special features of gold and silver which render them the most suitable materials for currency may here be noted.  “The value of these metals changes only by slow degrees; they are readily divisible into any number of parts which may be reunited by means of fusion without loss; they do not deteriorate by being kept; their firm and compact texture makes them difficult to wear; their cost of production, especially of gold, is so considerable that they possess great value in small bulk, and can of course be transported with comparative facility; and their identity is perfect.” The possession by both these metals of all the qualities needed in money is more briefly but forcibly put by Cantillon when he says that “gold and silver alone are of small volume, of equal goodness, easy of transport, divisible without loss, easily guarded, beautiful and brilliant and durable almost to eternity.” This view has even been pushed to an extreme form in the proposition of Turgot, that they became universal money by the nature and force of things, independently of all convention and law, from which the deduction has been drawn that to proscribe silver by law from being used as money is a violation of the nature of things.

(An excerpt from the money entry of the 11th Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, published in 1910)

So, when the Lord told the kings of the earth and the saints to bring their gold and silver to Zion, He was referring to commodity money, as that was the commodity money of the time.  (See D&C 124: 11, 26 and 111: 4.)  Have we complied?  Do we contribute commodity money to the cause of Zion, or do we contribute fiat money?

We need a private, LDS, commodity-based (gold and silver) currency

I am among those who believe that we are currently witnessing the beginning of the eventual (and planned) break-up of the United States of America.  We may also soon witness a corresponding break-up of the Church.  Regardless of what happens, though, the prophecies must be fulfilled, which means that when we cast our talents “into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church”, upon living the law of consecration, we will be casting in commodity money, specifically, gold and silver money, and not fiat money.

In anticipation of the complete break-up of the USA, the total devaluation of our current fiat currency, the attempted introduction of another currency and another type of government, even regional government, and, after all these (and other) tribulations, the cleansing of the church and the establishment of the law of consecration, we ought to be pro-actively engaged in the good cause of Zion.

Zion needs a currency, independent of the governments of the world, meaning that it must be a private currency.  As private currencies are legal in this country, there is nothing to stop the LDS from creating one.  To get us started in that direction, in the Establishment of Zion Think Tank Forum I gave some examples of what can be used as this private, LDS currency.

The corporate Church won’t do it

Many members wait for Salt Lake to issue the instructions, but the Lord has already told us that “it is not meet that I should command in all things.”  Besides, I have reason to believe that the dissolution of the corporate Church is on the horizon.  So, if a silver and gold-based commodity currency is to be had again among the saints, in fulfillment of prophecy, the saints themselves must be the ones to create it.  Such a currency would not only stabilize all LDS communities who use it among themselves, but would also allow non-LDS to escape the financial wrath of God upon all those who transact in fiat currency.

A side benefit

Having a private, LDS, precious metals-based currency will also allow those using it to get around the mark of the beast prophesied by John in the Book of Revelations.  (See Rev. 13: 16-18; Rev. 14: 9-12; Rev. 19: 20; and Rev. 20: 4-6.)

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Introducing a new bartering currency—the first coin: 1/2 Troy oz pure silver .999 fine

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: If voting could change things, it would be illegal

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Does legalized, same-sex “marriage” break the law of chastity?

As I was doing research tonight for an article on the law of chastity, I came across something interesting that has to do with same-sex “marriage.”  Having been through the temple, I knew that the law of chastity is defined for us there, so I went to to get the exact text of the definition of the law of chastity.  It was then that I noticed the following:

Pre-1990 definition of the law of chastity

We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity. This I will explain. To the sisters, it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse (1) except with your husband to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. To the brethren it is that no one of you will have sexual intercourse except with your wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded. (2) [Taken from this page.]

[Footnotes: (1) 1. The 1990 revision speaks of sexual “relations” rather than sexual “intercourse.” (2) 2. The 1990 revision does not have women and men covenant separately to keep the law of chastity. Instead, women and men simultaneously covenant to have no sexual relations except with their “husband or wife” to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded. This revision was no doubt made to streamline the ceremony. However, the new wording has the presumably unintended consequence of bringing same-sex marriages–if legalized–within the pale of the law of chastity.]

1990 definition of the law of chastity

We are instructed to give unto you the law of chastity, which is that each of you shall have no sexual relations except with your husband or wife to whom you are legally and lawfully wedded.  [Taken from this page.]

Now, I have always assumed that the 1990 definition had a way out of permitting same-sex “marriage” in its use of the words “legally and lawfully.”  Essentially, I figured that “legally” meant it was permitted by the State and that “lawfully” meant it was according to the laws of God.  In other words, that a matrimony could not break the law of chastity with one another as long as their marriage was right with the State and also right with God.

However, I am no lawyer.    And I wonder if I am wrong in my assessment of the meaning of “legally” and “lawfully.”  I wonder if the temple definition could be used against the Church by church members, who, given the current marriage situation in certain States of the Union, decide to “marry” another church member of the same sex, legally (and lawfully?)  If the Church tries to take action against these members, saying that they are openly fornicating (breaking the law of chastity), and attempting to get them disfellowshipped or excommunicated, what would happen if these same members brought up the current temple definition of the law of chastity in their defense, stating that as they are married, they are complying with the law of God?  And if the Church disregarded such a defense, could these members take this to the law of the land (the State) and say, “Look at the definition of the law of chastity which we received in the temple and see that we have fully complied with that definition, thus, the Church is in error, not us?”

There is no doubt that the pre-1990 definition excludes same-sex “marriage.”  But does the 1990 definition do the same?  If it doesn’t, meaning, if the wording is not sufficient to exclude it, and if the temple definition can be used as a defense in a lawsuit, the Church may be in for some legal trouble should any members decide to engage in legalized, same-sex “marriage” or, perhaps, if any non-member, same-sex “matrimony” decides to investigate the Church and desires baptism without first divorcing.

Next Chastity article: The Law of Chastity: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Previous Chastity article: The many definitions of adultery

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The Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition (1910-1911)

The 11th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica comes with the Robinson Curriculum on CD-ROMs.  Since purchasing the Robinson Curriculum for our family, I’ve had time to look over this particular encyclopedia and I’ve been really impressed both with how much information it contains and how well-written it is.  Although it is old (1910-1911), there is no doubt that the scholarship is exceptional.  Dr. Robinson extols its virtues on his web site and since reading many of the entries, I now do the same.

I was intending to post a sample entry from that edition so that visitors to this blog could get a taste of its comprehensiveness (and also for other reasons), but as I began to type every word of the entry, I realized that I could also hyperlink certain words to Ixquick searches so that people could find out further information about those subjects.  During the hyperlinking process, I decided to click on some of the Ixquick search results to see what was out there.

After a few clicks, I found myself…at an entry…taken from…the 1911 edition of the Encylopædia Britannica!  Apparently, there are other people who think this edition is outstanding and, as it is in the public domain, have endeavored to put each entry of it online.  Here is what they say about it:

The LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia is based on what many consider to be the best encyclopedia ever written: the eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, first published in 1911. At a time when many encyclopedias have capsulated and condensed important knowledge, the 11th edition is generally much more in-depth and thorough on its topics.

It is not uncommon for its entries to be 5 to 10 times the length of other encyclopedias. As a research tool, this 11th edition is unparalleled – even today. LoveToKnow is now giving you all these thousands of entries, preserving the treasured entries that make it so unique, and where necessary and possible adding the current point of view. We hope that you enjoy and learn from the LoveToKnow Free Online Encyclopedia and that it becomes one of your favorite places for reference information.

The Eleventh Edition filled 29 volumes and contains over 44 million words. It contains over 40,000 articles written by over 1,500 authors within their various fields of expertise. What was particularly remarkable was that many of the entries were written by the most famous people of the age. As such, it was considered to represent the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Sir Kenneth Clark, in Another Part of the Wood, wrote of the Eleventh Edition:

“One leaps from one subject to another, fascinated as much by the play of mind and idiosyncrasies of their authors as by the facts and dates. It must be the last encyclopedia in the tradition of Diderot which assumes that information can be made memorable only when it is slightly colored by prejudice. When T.S. Eliot wrote ‘Soul curled up on the window seat reading the Encyclopedia’ he was certainly thinking of the eleventh edition.”

Their web site is:

Granted, what I have with the Robinson Curriculum CD-ROMs are scanned pages from that encyclopedia, so they look nicer, there aren’t any (secondary) typos, the footnotes match up, the foreign language characters are printed exactly as they appear (not an approximation) and it is printable in any size I want, but the online effort of LoveToKnow to bring this edition to the masses is encouraging.  Now that I know it exists, if I ever want to point anyone to more in-depth information about any particular subject, I’ll be hyperlinking to that web site.

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Two voices crying in the wilderness (on the Internet)

I just finished reading the first 30 posts that “Someone who is watching” has posted on his blog.  I also have now read all that Spektator has written on his website (assuming that Spektator is a he).  These two voices, crying in the wilderness (on the Internet), have refreshingly intriguing and interesting interpretations of LDS scripture and prophecy.  I encourage everyone to review their interpretations.  Here are their links:

Three Watches              

Three Watches

I recommend that you read the posts in order, from #1 to #30, which is what I did.  Basically, “Someone who is watching” (I’ll call him SWIW from now on) explains that the Restoration did not occur with Joseph Smith.  Joseph Smith, according to his interpretation, established the Foundation.  Later, as in still in the future, comes the Restoration, which is also known as the Great Work or Great and Marvelous Work.  SWIW explains that Joseph will also be involved in the Restoration, in other words, that Joseph has two commissions, not just one.

I appreciate SWIW’s generous use of scriptures in his expositions.  You can follow along with your own scriptures and come to your own conclusions as whether his interpretation is correct or not.  I also appreciate his mentioning of a David Whitmer comment, in Post #26, that adds to my own understanding that anarchy is prophesied to occur in this nation.

Spektator has gotten a bad rap on other blogs, but none of the comments he has made (that I have read) have triggered a “red flag” in me as they have in others.  In fact, when I came across the first comment of his that I’d read on another blog, I found myself mentally taking note that here seemed to be one whose understanding of the scriptures paralleled my own.  As I usually don’t come across such individuals, I made a point of clicking the link on his name and going into his site.

I have been wanting since I started this blog to expound the doctrine of sanctification (as well as justification and purification) as I understand it, but have been distracted with other topics.  The most I’ve done, so far, is mention sanctification in certain articles.  I will, eventually, get to these subjects, but in the meantime, Spektator’s writings will do as his understanding of sanctification is quite similar to my own and he makes many of the same points that I’ve always intended to make.

The same person?

The names ‘Spektator’ and ‘Someone who is watching’ are synonymous.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Spektator and SWIW is one and the same person.  However, I hope that they are two different people, acting on their own, under inspiration from heaven, and using essentially the same name-meaning.  Until one of them confesses that they are the same person, I will continue to refer to them as two voices crying in the wilderness.

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LDS Anarchy Blog Readership Poll

Curiosity has gotten the better of me.  Just as former Mayor Ed Koch of New York City used to always ask, “How am I doing?” I also am curious as to how the LDS Anarchy Blog is measuring up.  If you’ve got a moment and an opinion concerning this blog, please take the poll.

You’ll notice that the last item on the poll is called “Other.”  That means that you can write your own rating comment.*

Lastly, if you’ve got any ideas on blog improvement or want to suggest a contributor you’d like to see writing here, feel free to leave your comments below.

*[Edit: This paragraph used to have the following text at this point:

Also, the “Eh er uh blubbub” of the first item means that the blog is so great that you’ve got a loss of words.  Silly, I know.  I doubt anyone will get that one.  (Which is why I’m explaining it now.)

I have removed the above text from the paragraph and also removed the “Eh er uh blubbub…” text from the poll.]

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We are not doing our business by the voice of the people

See The voice of the people signifies a majority for background on this post.

Consider this: When we say we are 13 million members strong, we are lumping together both active and inactive LDS, including those inactives who no longer even consider themselves LDS.  According to the Law of the Harvest activity numbers, about 35% of the LDS membership is active worldwide (between 4 and 5 million).

What this means is that when we sit in sacrament meeting and raise our hands in a(n often unanimous) sustaining vote, we active LDS, representing the lesser part of the people, in other words, the minority, are doing the business, while the majority remains silent.

There are a few scriptural lessons to be learned here, taught by Mosiah:

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.  And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.  (Mosiah 29: 26-27)

First, we, the active minority, are breaking the laws of God.  We are doing the business, not the majority.

Second, the scriptural principle is that it is common for us, the voting, active, LDS minority, to desire that which is not right.  That is a sobering thought that we might be kept in mind the next time we feel to criticize our inactive brethren.

Third, if the non-voting, inactive, LDS majority are choosing iniquity, as they are counted as the people of the Lord, still listed on the records and numbered by us, then the judgments of God must come upon us.

Should the inactives’ votes be counted?

We count inactive LDS as members of record by saying we have 13 million members, not 4 million members, so, if we see them as full members, shouldn’t we count their votes, too?

When someone is going to be called, should we send the Aaronic Priesthood around to the inactive members’ homes and ask them whether they approve or disapprove?  Maybe they could write down on a card their voting preference?  Or would this violate some scriptural principle that states they must go to a meeting to cast a vote?  By sending messengers to inquire as to how they vote, the church would then be doing its business by the voice of the people, complying with scriptural mandate.  Something to consider…

Votes of no-confidence

Or, perhaps the no-shows should be counted as no-confidence votes.  Before you say that there are no such things in the church, consider that you have three options when voting.  You can raise your hand for, you can raise your hand against, or you can leave your hand down.  What does leaving your hand down mean?  I think it can only mean a vote of no confidence. Likewise, if you intentionally do not attend a meeting in which a vote is taking place, that can also be construed as a vote of no-confidence.

Now, counting all the inactives who intentionally do not show up for church, and thus intentionally do not vote, as no-confidence votes, poses quite the problem.  A majority of no-confidence votes defeats a measure, calling or appointment, doesn’t it?  Can you imagine sitting in church when a sustaining vote is called for and you and 34 other people raise hands in approbation while the other 65 people keep their hands down?  Do you think such an appointment would go through?

Leaving the status quo as it is

Maybe there is no ideologic problem with leaving the inactives alone, not consulting them for votes, not counting their lack of participation as no-confidence votes, yet counting them as full-fledged members.  But I wonder if maybe our current practice is going to eventually get us into trouble with the Lord.

Previous Common Consent article: The voice of the people signifies a majority

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The voice of the people signifies a majority

Because concerns about my use of “51%” in regard to the law of common consent have come up on this blog before, I wanted to address them with this post:

Excerpt of Post

Although the quorum of the twelve vote for the new President of the High Priesthood, the majority of the body of the saints (51%) must sustain the calling by vote, using the law of common consent. If 51% or more raise their hands in approval, the appointment goes through. If, however, 51% or more raise their hands in disapproval, the appointment does not go through and the apostles need to choose another man for the office, which then requires another sustaining vote from the members.  (LDS Anarchist on January 30, 2008, in Poll: Who is the most prophetic?)

Excerpt of Comment on Post

Members can not nominate a candidate and hypothetically the Presiding officer, or body, can also over ride (ignore) the “will of the people”. Incidently the law of Common Consent specifies no percentage. I’d love to know where you got this 51% figure. Having said that any presiding officer conducting business in the Church would hold off setting apart someone or cannonising a revelation even if 5% or even 1% didn’t sustain the decision.  (Comment #609 by Steve on January 30, 2008, in Poll: Who is the most prophetic?, emphasis mine.)

Comment on Post

You are right, there is no specification of 51% in the scriptures. I borrowed the term “51%” from what4anarchy, who uses it all the time. However, I think what4anarchy is right in that the scriptures seem to imply that “the voice of the people” is a majority, or 51%. For example, if you look at the pre-mortal experience, two-thirds (66%) sustained Jesus as the Savior, while one third (33%) didn’t. In this case, “the voice of the people” went with Jesus. The 33% number is far above your 1% or even 5%, yet it wasn’t high enough to stop the election of Jesus. Common sense would indicate, therefore, that the law of common consent works on the majority principle. It does not require a unanimous vote to sustain an appointment, nor can a minority (49% or less) stop an appointment.

You also bring up a fallacy that LDS routinely believe, namely that “the Presiding officer…can…over ride (ignore) the will of the people.” In reality, the presiding officer can only ignore the will of the minority of the people, but if a majority says left, while he says right, it is to be left, as the scriptures indicate that we are “to do [our] business by the voice of the people.” (Mosiah 29: 26.) If the Presiding officer attempts to ignore the will of the majority, he becomes a usurper and a tyrant because in the kingdom of God the governors must govern with the consent of the governed. Any attempt to govern without that consent draws Satan into the picture, as governing without consent is satanic.

As long as LDS hold these views about the law of common consent, it will never function as a means to check tyranny and error, which is its purpose.  (Comment #610 by LDS Anarchist on January 30, 2008, in Poll: Who is the most prophetic?,)

I thought that put an end to the question about the scriptural need for a majority, but then the following was written:

Excerpt of Post

Satan understood that if the vote went his way, if 51% of us voted for him (Lucifer), that the plan of the Father would have been frustrated.  (LDS Anarchist on October 31, 2007 in Deep Waters: What would have happened if Lucifer had won the vote?)

Excerpt of Comment on Post

I have a quick comment to the initial question as to the “ramifications of a winning vote by Lucifer”, or “What would have happened had Lucifer won the vote?”

This is what I think would have happened if Lucifer had drawn 51% of us to his side: The scriptures would have said something like, “… and just over half of the hosts of heaven followed Lucifer’s plan.” The plan of salvation would not have been altered, compromised, or destroyed. God would not have ceased to be God. Lucifer would not have “won”.

My point is… why is a “majority” relevant in this situation? I don’t believe it is. Two-thirds of the hosts of heaven could have followed Lucifer and God would still have chosen Jesus and His plan would not have been compromised. I don’t believe this was a “vote”, but rather, a choice.  (Comment #1160 by Jgtrs on June 15, 2008 in Deep Waters: What would have happened if Lucifer had won the vote?, emphasis mine.)

Excerpt of Comment on Post

The 51% number has come up before on this blog. See here and here. Also, the heavens splitting into thirds sounds like what4anarchy’s idea of following the leader.  (1/3 under Lucifer, 1/3 under Jehovah and 1/3 under Michael, for example.)

My understanding is “as above, so below” and so what happened in the heavens has its counterpart here on Earth, namely, the law of common consent. So, the following common consent articles may apply to this discussion about percentages: Power of the Law of Common Consent and Is our procedure for sustaining a rubber stamp? and also, perhaps, this one on free agency: The role of free agency in political systems. As God cannot govern without the consent of the governed, I’m not sure what the difference is between a “vote” and a “choice.” There are many ways of voting, not just in raising one’s hand, and each manifestation of a vote is a demonstration of what you are choosing or not choosing.

It doesn’t make sense to me that the principle of “the voice of the people” applies on Earth but not in heaven, as these principles are revealed to us as heavenly principles so that we can pattern our lives according to that standard found in heaven and be empowered to establish Zion, or the kingdom of heaven on Earth.  (Comment #1230 by LDS Anarchist on June 17, 2008, in Deep Waters: What would have happened if Lucifer had won the vote?)

The purpose of this post is solely to show that the “voice of the people” means “majority vote.”

Voice of the people defined

Mosiah is the one who defined the expression for us, in the following verse:

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.  (Mosiah 29: 26)

Mosiah explains that  “the voice of the people” is not the “lesser part of the people.”  The “lesser part of the people” is otherwise known as a minority. Therefore, as the “voice of the people” is not the minority, it must be the majority. The expression “the voice of the people” is synonymous with “the majority vote of the people.”

Thus, the latter part of the above verse means, “This shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the [majority vote] of the people.”

Book of Mormon scriptures

The expression “the voice of the people” occurs a lot in the scriptures, and in each instance, it means the same thing.  So, here are some examples, with the meaning of the expression rendered in plainer English :

And it came to pass that the [majority vote] of the people came, saying: We are desirous that Aaron thy son should be our king and our ruler.  Therefore, choose you by the [majority vote] of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.  Now it is not common that the [majority vote] of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the [majority vote] of the people.  And if the time comes that the [majority vote] of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.  If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the [majority vote] of the people.  (Mosiah 29: 2, 25-27, 29)

Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the [majority vote] of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction. (Alma 10: 19)

Nevertheless, it came to pass that Pahoran was appointed by the [majority vote] of the people to be chief judge and a governor over the people of Nephi.  And it came to pass that Pacumeni, when he saw that he could not obtain the judgment-seat, he did unite with the [majority vote] of the people.  And it came to pass as he [Paanchi] was about to do this, behold, he was taken, and was tried according to the [majority vote] of the people, and condemned unto death; for he had raised up in rebellion and sought to destroy the liberty of the people.  And now behold, Pacumeni was appointed, according to the [majority vote] of the people, to be a chief judge and a governor over the people, to reign in the stead of his brother Pahoran; and it was according to his right. And all this was done in the fortieth year of the reign of the judges; and it had an end.  (Hel. 1: 5-6, 8, 13)

See also the following Book of Mormon scriptures that use this expression: Mosiah 7: 9; Mosiah 22: 1; Alma 2: 3-4, 7; Alma 4: 16; Alma 27: 21-22; Alma 46: 34; Alma 51: 7, 15-16; Hel. 2: 2; and Hel. 5: 2.

Bible scriptures

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.  And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the [majority vote] of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their [majority vote]: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.  And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.  And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.  And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.  And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.  And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.  And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.  And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.  He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.  And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.  Nevertheless the people refused to aobey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.  And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.  And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their [majority vote], and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.  (1 Sam. 8: 4-22)

This scripture, in particular, is interesting because Samuel was the prophet of the Lord and the majority vote* was asking for something contrary to the will of the Lord (they were asking to change the tribal anarchy into a monarchical State like the nations around them), yet the Lord told his prophet to listen to and obey the majority vote of the people.  This is otherwise known as the law of common consent.

*Notice verse four where it says “all the elders of Israel.”  This seems to indicate that this wasn’t just a bare majority, but a unanimous majority.

Doctrine and Covenants scriptures

And let all things be done according to the counsel of the order, and united consent or [majority vote] of the order, which dwell in the land of Kirtland.  And it is my will that he should sell the lots that are laid off for the building up of the city of my saints, inasmuch as it shall be made known to him by the voice of the Spirit, and according to the counsel of the order, and by the [majority vote] of the order.  Therefore, you are dissolved as a united order with your brethren, that you are not bound only up to this hour unto them, only on this wise, as I said, by loan as shall be agreed by this order in council, as your circumstances will admit and the [majority vote] of the council direct.  And the avails of the sacred things shall be had in the treasury, and a seal shall be upon it; and it shall not be used or taken out of the treasury by any one, neither shall the seal be loosed which shall be placed upon it, only by the [majority vote] of the order, or by commandment.  And there shall not any part of it be used, or taken out of the treasury, only by the [majority vote] and common consent of the order.  And this shall be the [majority vote] and common consent of the order—that any man among you say to the treasurer: I have need of this to help me in my stewardship—but in case of transgression, the treasurer shall be subject unto the council and [majority vote] of the order.  And in case the treasurer is found an unfaithful and an unwise steward, he shall be subject to the council and [majority vote] of the order, and shall be removed out of his place, and another shall be appointed in his stead.  (D&C 104: 21, 36, 53, 64, 71-72, 76-77)

Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams were acknowledged presidents by the [majority vote] of the council; and Joseph Smith, Sen., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith, and Luke Johnson, high priests, were chosen to be a standing council for the church, by the unanimous [majority vote] of the council.  Voted: that whenever any vacancy shall occur by the death, removal from office for transgression, or removal from the bounds of this church government, of any one of the above-named councilors, it shall be filled by the nomination of the president or presidents, and sanctioned by the [majority vote] of a general council of high priests, convened for that purpose, to act in the name of the church.  The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by revelation, and acknowledged in his administration by the [majority vote] of the church.  (D&C 102: 3, 8-9)

And let my servant Edward Partridge, when he shall appoint a man his portion, give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion, that he shall hold it, even this right and this inheritance in the church, until he transgresses and is not accounted worthy by the [majority vote] of the church, according to the laws and covenants of the church, to belong to the church.  And this shall be done through the bishop or the agent, which shall be appointed by the [majority vote] of the church.  (D&C 51: 4, 12)

And now, I give unto the church in these parts a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the [majority vote] of the church; and they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them; and this shall be their work, to govern the affairs of the property of this church.  (D&C 38: 34-36)

And again, I have called my servant Edward Partridge; and I give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the [majority vote] of the church, and ordained a bishop unto the church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the labors of the church; to see to all things as it shall be appointed unto him in my laws in the day that I shall give them. (D&C 41: 9-10)

And let there be an agent appointed by the [majority vote] of the church, unto the church in Ohio, to receive moneys to purchase lands in Zion.  (D&C 58: 49)

We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the [majority vote] of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.  (D&C 134: 3)

It becomes plain, then, from these scriptures, that the church functions on the principle of majority vote.

The elders are to receive their licenses from other elders, by vote of the church to which they belong, or from the conferences.  No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church; but the presiding elders, traveling bishops, high councilors, high priests, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where there is no branch of the church that a vote may be called.  (D&C 20: 63, 65-66)

No need for unanimity unless specified

Unless the voice is specified as having to be “unanimous,” such as in the following scripture, all majority votes (51% or more) are sufficient to decide all issues in the church.

And every decision made by either of these quorums [the First Presidency, the Twelve and the Seventy] must be by the unanimous [majority vote] of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other—a majority may form a quorum when circumstances render it impossible to be otherwise—unless this is the case, their decisions are not entitled to the same blessings which the decisions of a quorum of three presidents were anciently, who were ordained after the order of Melchizedek, and were righteous and holy men.  (D&C 107: 27-29)

Next Common Consent article: We are not doing our business by the voice of the people

Previous Common Consent article: Apathy is not a problem, it’s a symptom and a solution

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