Ideas for fighting gun rights infringement


Note: Due to recent anti-American voices, which seem to have reached a fever pitch, and I feel constrained, yet again, to write about gun rights infringement.

To all American gun rights advocates

I am addressing my words to everyone who is a gun rights advocate, not just to the latter-day saints (Mormons), so the intended audience is much wider than usual. Use any of these ideas as you see fit, in your fight to protect American rights.

Use the proper terms

Gun control is a misnomer, so never use it. Instead, begin a conversation with the term, so-called “gun control,” and then label it correctly as gun rights infringement. Continue to use the proper term for the rest of the conversation. Remember, so-called “gun control” is not about controlling guns, but about controlling people by infringing on their right to keep and bear arms.

Gun control advocate is another misnomer. When someone says they are a gun control advocate, call them instead a gun rights infringer. (It does not matter that the word infringer is not in the dictionary, everyone will understand its meaning. Sometimes creating a new word is the best option. Shakespeare did it many times, so can you. Besides, used enough times, you can be sure it will eventually make it into the dictionary.)

When someone says that he or she is an American in favor of gun control, refer to him or her ever afterward as an anti-American in favor of gun rights infringement, or just as an anti-American gun rights infringer. The term anti-American fits, for only anti-Americans attack or seek to weaken the constitutional protections of the rights of American citizens.

When referring to behavior that undermines the Bill of Rights protections, call it un-American. That is, after all, what it is.

These terms: gun rights infringement, gun rights infringer, anti-American, and un-American, make people immediately think of criminals and communists seeking to undermine or subvert the American system and way of life. Because they themselves make the connection between infringement and crime and anti/un-American and communist, these terms have a more powerful effect upon the minds of the people hearing them. Never, ever, label someone a criminal or communist or socialist or whatever, for if you do, people’s doubt will come into play and they will not believe the rest of what you say.

Use the terms undermining and subversion liberally in a conversation when describing actions that promote gun rights infringement. No one wants their rights undermined, nor does anyone want the Constitution subverted. These are descriptive terms that paint an immediate picture in one’s mind of spies trying to overthrow the government.

Use the term subversive as a label for anyone who promotes gun rights infringement. When a person calls someone else a subversive and describes their actions as subversive behavior, those that listen to the conversation immediately think of cloak and dagger stuff, such as an enemy trying to destroy the American way of life.

These terms are effective because they are based upon word associations. The words criminal, communist, spy and enemy, all pop up in people’s mind automatically, as soon as you start using these terms. Because they themselves do the associations, or because they themselves make the connections, or think of the associated words themselves, they believe them. Now, everything you say about the person you have just labeled will be more receptive to the audience listening in, for they now will view the gun rights infringer with suspicion.

Use “no infringement” as the standard

Never call so-called “gun control laws,” gun control laws. They must always be called, gun rights infringement laws. Everything must be brought back to the central issue: the infringement of unalienable rights.

Every gun rights infringement law on the books must be regarded and labeled as illegal. Never, ever refer to them as legal. They are all illegal, unconstitutional laws, and always refer to them as such. As long as people think of these illegal gun rights infringement laws as legal, they will be accepting of so-called “legal” gun rights infringement. People need to be presented with contradictory information, before they wake up out of their sleep. They must be presented with two, opposing “realities,” one side saying, “gun control laws are legal” and the other side saying, “gun rights infringement laws are illegal.” They must understand that there is no such thing as “legal” gun rights infringement.

“No infringement” must be the standard. Partial infringement is unacceptable. A full infringement of one’s right to life would be immediate execution. A partial infringement of that same right might consist of poison administered over time so as to shorten one’s life. Full infringement of the right to property would be taking it all, partial infringement might consist of taking only half. The right to liberty could be partially infringed upon by requiring that you be confined three days out of every week. Partial infringement of the right to free speech might be that your mouth be taped shut every Monday and Tuesday. If this all sounds absurd, it is because it is. Infringement is infringement, whether it is partial or full, and it is all unacceptable, tyrannical behavior. This same principle applies to the right to keep and bear arms.

Needs have nothing to do with rights

If a person wanted to administer poison to you, to shorten your life span from 75 to 65 years old, while telling you, “Oh, but you don’t need those last ten years of life!” would you let him? Does your right to life have anything to do with your needs? Are not your years yours, to do with as you want? Does the argument that you don’t need 50% of your property, or you don’t need seven days of freedom because four days is enough, or you don’t need to speak your mind on Mondays and Tuesdays, make it alright to infringe upon these rights? Of course not! So, in like manner, no one has the right to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms because a person doesn’t “need” another gun, or more ammo, or a bigger and more powerful weapon. His or her needs have nothing to do with the matter.

So, toss the needs argument right into the trash from the get-go and keep the conversation eternally focused on the rights of man.

Get yourself some weapons and keep them

Get enough firearms and ammunition for every able bodied person of age in your family. Get the weapons you feel are appropriate, including so-called assault weapons. (Notice I used “so-called.”) Make sure your family is trained in their proper use and safety.

Bear your weapons

Rights that are not asserted will inevitably be encroached upon and eventually taken away. Firearms must, of necessity, be borne. In other words, when you go around town to do your daily business, go packing heat. Now, there may be an illegal law against that in your area. If so, then another strategy must be taken. But if there is no illegal law against that, start doing it, and keep doing it.

Educate your neighbors on gun rights

The best means to do that is the following document:

REPORT of the SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES SENATE, NINETY-SEVENTH CONGRESS, Second Session, February 1982, Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary

Just print it out as a hard copy and hand it out or snail mail it, email it, or share it online using its 120+ share functions. The video, Innocents Betrayed: The True Story of Gun Control World Wide, is also an excellent teaching tool to use.

Meet with other gun rights advocates

Your local gun and ammo supply store may be able to hook you up with other local gun right advocates. This is an important step to take in order to begin the formation of citizen militias.

Begin to form and regulate a local citizen militia

In conjunction with other local gun rights advocates, begin to form a local citizen militia. It is necessary that citizen militias be “well-regulated.” That of course means that everyone needs to possess weapons, perhaps of a specific kind, and also sufficient ammo, but it may also mean that everyone should have the means to communicate with each other, perhaps through ham radio or whatnot. Each militia will decide how best to regulate itself.

When meeting together as a militia, to conduct business, bring your weapons with you. Bearing arms is the key to gun rights (and all other rights) protection.

Do not keep it local. In other words, seek to establish other “chapters” of citizen militias in the regions round about, and work to have each local militia capable of communicating and working with other militias. This is all part of being “well-regulated.”

Citizen militias are for both local and common defense, so they need to be able to co-ordinate efforts with other militias.

Let the Bill of Rights be the common thread that unites all the citizens in the various militias, so that race, color, creed, customs, dress and all other differences are set aside. The only requirement to unite with a citizen militia ought to be that one be law-abiding. Law-abiding should simply mean that a person supports a “no infringement” stance on the Bill of Rights.

Expect infiltration. G-men get antsy about the prospect of an armed citizenry, and especially about organized, citizen militias, so expect that some undercover agents may be joining your group, to spy on it or even to sabotage it or create false flags.

There is safety in numbers and weapons

When these militias grow in sufficiently large numbers, they ought to meet out in the public, packing heat, in peaceful assembly, exercising two of their rights simultaneously: bearing arms and peacefully assembling. In fact, at every public protest or peaceful assembly, of whatever group, the armed citizen militia ought to be there as a show of force, in support of the people’s rights to protest and assemble.

In areas where there are illegal laws on the books, prohibiting or restricting the right to bear arms in public, several local militias could organize peaceful assemblies using this principle*, with thousands or tens of thousands of armed militia men in attendance, as a public demonstration that illegal laws that prohibit or infringe upon the bearing of arms should not be obeyed. This ought to be done quite frequently and only in large numbers, until the police decide not to enforce the illegal laws and they are removed from the books.

*Btw, in case this comes up in the comments, yes, I am fully aware that Ghandi, who was a supporter of this principle, wrote in Chapter XXVII, “The Recruiting Campaign,” in his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth:

“I used to issue leaflets asking people to enlist as recruits. One of the arguments I had used was distasteful to the Commissioner: ‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.’ The Commissioner referred to this and said that he appreciated my presence in the conference in spite of the differences between us. And I had to justify my standpoint as courteously as I could.”

Solutions for statists

These ideas of mine will appeal to those who do not look to the government to solve gun rights infringement, but for any statists who read this blog, who want to change the government via legislation, you may wish to use the Gun Owners of America lobby group as a tool. By becoming a member and giving them money, they will lobby Congress for zero infringement of gun rights. If enough people join them, and if they get enough money, perhaps they will make a difference. Here is their web site:

gunowners.org

I suggest the GOA and not the NRA, because the NRA does not appear to have a strict, zero infringement policy. They are as likely to lobby for partial infringement, as for no infringement, which would be a waste of money.

The other thing you can do is contact your representatives and senators and tell them that if they support any infringement on gun rights, you will not vote for them. Personally, such tactics seem useless to me, but perhaps they are worth a try.

To latter-day saints

Now I would like to turn my attention to the latter-day saints who might read this blog.

The Lord has given us a charge to befriend the Bill of Rights, therefore, any LDS in a governmental position of authority cannot justifiably violate the rights of any law-abiding citizen while performing government duties. This means that latter-day saint police officers, FBI agents, CIA officials, military personnel, border patrol and any other position of government authority, takes second seat to the Bill of Rights. Should you confiscate a law-abiding citizen’s weapons (and the definition of a law-abiding citizen is one who does not infringe upon the Bill of Rights) by command of a superior, you have broken your covenant with God to obey His commandments, which includes His words about befriending these Constitutional protections.

Righteous LDS are prohibited, then, from infringing on a law-abiding citizen’s rights, by God’s laws. They still have their agency, of course, and can choose to sin, but in order to remain justified before the Lord, they must obey this instruction.

The Lord has said that if we keep His laws, we have no need break the laws of the land. This does not refer to the endless laws on the books, but to those justifiable laws that maintain rights and privileges, which are in the Constitution, which are known as the Bill of Rights. That is all He meant by that. (For more information on all of this, see these previous posts: It is a SIN to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, Talking to myself and What the Lord has said about the Constitution.)

However, the Lord has also said that we are to be subject to the powers that be until He reigns. The question must be asked, then, what are the powers that be?

The applicable gospel principle is the voice of the people, as taught by the seer Mosiah:

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.

The voice of the people are the powers that be that the Lord referred to. We are to be subject to the voice of the people, we are to observe the voice of the people, and we are to make the voice of the people our law, to do all our business by that voice.  This commandment is an actual law of the Lord and must be obeyed for justification before the Lord.

This means that latter-day saints are only justified insofar as they submit to the voice of the people. If that voice is for the government, then latter-day saints must submit to the government. If the voice ever turns against the government, then latter-day saints must submit to the people and stand with the people against their government. Those who do not submit to the powers that be according to this pattern and principle must remain unjustified before the Lord.

Mosiah also said:

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.

Therefore, if the time ever comes that the voice of the people chooses iniquity by turning against the Bill of Rights, then destruction will come upon the people, from the Lord. But as long as the voice of the people is in support of the Bill of Rights, latter-day saints can only remain free by aligning themselves with that voice. And by extension, all latter-day saints who oppose the just voice of the people will find themselves brought down into captivity.

Therefore, based on these principles, it is possible for latter-day saints to engage in every idea listed above while remaining justified before the Lord, if the voice of the people is with them. Nevertheless, even if the voice of the people has not spoken, no latter-day saint is justified in violating anyone’s rights, whether acting under government or citizen authority.

Citizen militias in Nephite times

To more fully explain why the Bill of Rights is justifiable before the Lord, it is necessary to look to the Book of Mormon. The Bill of Rights was inspired by the Spirit of freedom (see Talking to myself), meaning that it embodies principles that align with laws that the Lord Himself had given to His people who lived on this land anciently.

The Nephites were organized, from the beginning, as citizen militias. Thus, we find Nephi using the sword of Laban to create weapons of war for his people, so that everyone was armed. In the case of the Nephites, they had both a right and a duty to keep and bear arms. Nevertheless, they did not have a standing army. Whenever the Lamanites would invade their lands, the Nephites would stop their daily pursuits, take up their arms, and wage war. When the war was over, they would go back to their normal endeavors. (See The Strength of the Lord.)

The Nephites had no police force, only citizen militias. So, when Korihor was going around telling lies, which was a punishable crime in Nephite law, he was arrested by citizens. It was the citizens, not a police force, that was responsible for making sure that no one’s rights were infringed upon.

Mormon dissed the Nephites of Zarahemla because when Korihor first began spreading his lies there, the citizens did not arrest him, as was their duty. Instead, they left him free to roam about and deceive the people and he was able to cause many souls to sin. Later, he entered the land of Jershon, but the Lamanites who lived there arrested him because, according to Mormon, “they were more wise than many of the Nephites.” Later he went over to the land of Gideon and was again arrested by citizens (this time by Nephites.) Finally, he was arrested yet again and brought back to Zarahemla for trial and judgment.

No pacifism among the Nephites

The Nephites were operating under commandments of God, from the beginning, from the time of Lehi and Nephi, in which they were commanded to keep and bear arms. That they both kept and bore arms as a routine is shown by the fight between Nehor and Gideon, which began as two men talking religion and ended up with each one reaching for his sword, ending in Gideon’s death. Now, Gideon was a man of God, even a teacher in the church of God, yet he was armed, as were all the Nephites.

The law of the Lord, as given to the Nephites, is the same law that has been given to the latter-day saints, as recorded in D&C 98, which was given as the pattern for all Gentile nations to follow. (See D&C 98:38.) That section starts out by talking about justification before the Lord and befriending the Bill of Rights, which, as we know, includes the right to keep and bear arms. It then ends with a “fourth offense” warfare doctrine, giving latter-day saints warfare laws by which they might remain justified before the Lord. Thus, there is no pacifism in the section, nor was there any pacifism manifested among the Nephites.

The only so-called “pacifism” manifested in the Book of Mormon comes from the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, who took an oath not to take up arms against their brethren (the other Lamanites). This was an exception because they had not previously entered into the same covenant the Nephites had entered into, in regard to the laws given to the Nephites, which included warfare instructions. In other words, the Nephites had to take up arms in defense of their country, according to the covenant they made, otherwise they would be guilty of breaking their covenant and sinning.

The Lamanites, though, did not have such restrictions, so after they had entered into their covenant to take up no arms against their Lamanite brethren, and had joined the Nephites, they could not break their first oath without sinning, so exception was made for them and they were excused from the typical covenant that every Nephite had to make as a citizen, according to the laws given to the Nephites, as revealed to them by the Lord.

That pacifism was not considered a so-called “higher law” by these Lamanites is evidenced by what they taught their children, for they did not teach their children to enter into the same oath that they did, but they taught them to take the Nephite oath and covenant. Thus, the children of these Lamanites, even the 2000+ stripling warriors, were not taught to be pacifists by their fathers, but were taught the same laws given in D&C 98.

Additionally, the Lamanite Anti-Nephi-Lehies, who had taken this oath, voluntarily supported the war efforts of the Nephites with their sons, with their money and with supplies, including retreating inward towards the center of the land so that the Nephite armies could battle the Lamanites, their brethren.  At one point, in fact, the Lamanites became so concerned with how the war was going, and the destruction of their new Nephite brethren, that they considered breaking their oath and covenant and taking up arms to defend the Nephite nation against the Lamanites.  None of this behavior can be labelled as pacifism.  So, why did they lay down their weapons and never take them again?  It was because of the oath they took, not because of the philosophy we call pacifism.

This shows that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies were an exception to the rule, manifested under a different set of circumstances and conditions, and to a different group of people, and was never meant to be taken as a pattern for the Gentiles. They were held up by Mormon as a standard of keeping one’s oath and covenant even unto death, and of brotherly love, but not as a standard or pattern for Gentile pacifism.

The Gentiles must obey the instructions given to them by the Lord, which are the same ones given to the Nephites, otherwise they will incur the displeasure of God upon them. Mormons, then, cannot justifiably be pacifists, in the sense of refusing to bear arms in defense of their country, like the king-men did. They may choose not to bear arms for individual or family circumstances, as explained in D&C 98, but when their people is threatened by any nation, tongue or people, if, after the third time of offering peace, the offering is not accepted by the invaders, they cannot justifiably refuse to take up arms. They must defend the nation, just as the Nephites had to.

Modern pacifism, then, is a philosophy of men, and is not of God. All Mormons who claim to be pacifists, and who claim that the scriptures justify pacifism for the Gentiles, or who lift it up as the standard for the Gentiles, or who denounce the law of God as written in D&C 98, denying gun rights, self defense and our duty toward common defense, is either in error, having not understood the scriptures, or is intentionally trying to deceive people.

Befriend the Bill of Rights

I bring all of this up to show latter-say saints that they can justifiably befriend the Bill of Rights. They can justifiably keep and bear and use arms. They can justifiably engage in warfare, self defense and common defense. They can justifiably form themselves into citizen militias. And so on and so forth. It is not sin to do these things, but righteousness, for this is all according to the word of the Lord, as given in the scriptures.

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It is a SIN to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms


In DAC 98:2, the Lord states the following:

and now | verily | i say unto you |

concerning the laws of the land |

it is my will | that my people should observe to do all things | whatsoever i command them |

and that law of the land | which is constitutional | supporting that principle of freedom | in maintaining rights and privileges | belongs to all mankind | and is justifiable before me | therefore | i | the lord | justify you | and your brethren of my church | in befriending that law | which is the constitutional law of the land |

and as pertaining to law of man |

whatsoever is more or less than this | cometh of evil |

The constitutional law of the land which supports that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges is known to us as the Bill of Rights, which are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. (For more information, see What the Lord has said about the Constitution and also Talking to myself.)  The Bill of Rights, according to the Lord’s own words, is “justifiable before [Him]” and He justifies the church brethren “in befriending that law”.

Justifiable and justified = no sin

The word justifiable means “capable of being justified, or shown to be just.” To justify means “to pronounce free from guilt or blame.” Someone or something that is justified, then, is guiltless or blameless. While I’m at it, I might as well define befriend, which means “to act as a friend to; to favor; to aid, benefit or countenance.”

The Second Amendment reads as follows:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

There are two assertions made in the text itself: 1) that people have the right to keep and bear arms and 2) that this right shall not be infringed. These assertions are justifiable (shown to be just) before the Lord. Also, the Lord justifies (pronounces free from guilt or blame) anyone who is a friend to, favors, or aids BOTH assertions.

Unjustifiable and unjustified = sin

The Lord also stated that “whatsoever is more or less than this cometh of evil.” By this we know that any of the following assertions MUST, of necessity, be unjustifiable before the Lord:

The people do not have a right to keep and bear arms. (Unjustifiable)

The people have a right to keep arms, but not bear arms. (Unjustifiable)

The people have a right to bear arms, but not keep arms. (Unjustifiable)

Keeping and bearing arms are privileges, bestowed by the government through licensing, which may be revoked at any time. (Unjustifiable)

There is nothing wrong with infringing on people’s right to keep and bear arms. (Unjustifiable)

And so on and so forth. Such assertions are all unjustifiable before the Lord. Additionally, the Lord DOES NOT justify anyone who is an enemy to, does not favor, or provides no aid to BOTH of the Second Amendment’s assertions. Such people who fight this right, promoting against it, are UNJUSTIFIED, meaning that they are in a SINFUL state.

Servants of sin

All those who seek to infringe upon this right, in any degree whatsoever, through whatever means used—whether by forcefully getting the populace disarmed through gun control legislation, or through the repeal of the Second Amendment, or by nullifying the amendment through deliberate misinterpretation, or by spreading lies and deceitful propaganda against it—are the servants of sin.

Misunderstandings everywhere

We see by the above that latter-day saints have been given the charge, by the Lord, to befriend the Second Amendment, otherwise, they will remain unjustified before Him. There is a lot of false propaganda going about, both from within and without the church, concerning the Second Amendment and it appears that many people are confused over what this right is for. So, I will attempt to lay it out for the reader, in the hope that once we understand its purpose, no latter-day saint will find themselves on the wrong side of the argument. But before I begin, I want to stress that for latter-day saints, the Second Amendment IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE. This is a matter of salvation, or of remaining justified (blameless) before the Lord. All those who wish to retain a remission of their sins, then, must befriend this amendment. With that said, let’s take another look.

What this right is for

Here is the text of the amendment again:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The following definitions come from the 1913 Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language:

regulate : To make regular.

regular (a.) : 6. Mil. a. Designating, or pertaining to, the regular army (see below) of a state: as, a regular soldier.

regular army, Mil. The permanently organized body constituting the army of a state, often identical with the standing army. Cf. REGULAR, a., 6

militia : 3. A body of citizens enrolled as a regular military force for periodic instruction, discipline, and drill, but not called into active service except in emergencies.

keep : 6. To retain in one’s power and possession.

bear : 1. To support and move; to carry; to convey. 4. To manage, wield or direct. 5. To possess and use, as a function or power; to exercise. 6. To possess or carry, as a mark of authority or distinction; to wear; to show, esp. as a characteristic feature; as, to bear a sword, badge, name.

to bear arms, To serve as a soldier.

infringe, v.i. : To encroach; to trespass.

In other words, the intention was to make the entire citizenry of the United States regular, or permanently organized as constituting the regular army of the state—to be called into voluntary, active service only in emergencies, namely, when there were threats, both foreign and domestic, to the security of American freedoms—by not infringing upon the people’s right to keep and bear arms.

The American people are the people’s army

To be even clearer in writing, the right to keep and bear arms is specifically for warfare. It was codified to make sure that the American people, being armed, could wage warfare against any enemy that threatened any of their rights, whether that enemy was foreign or domestic. The call to warfare would not come from the government, for the government could not call civilians, or forcefully enroll civilians, into the government army, but would come from the people themselves when they saw their rights being threatened.

This right would serve as a protection of all the other rights that the Americans have, and as a deterrent to tyranny, whether that came from the domestic (American) governments, foreign governments, or non-governmental tyranny. The American people themselves are both the first army—or people’s army, whose sole purpose is to protect the people in their rights—they being the army that preceded the governmental armies (which protect the privileges of the government), and also the army of last resort, so that when all else fails in stopping tyranny through peaceful means, the people’s army can be called upon to save the day.

What this right is NOT for

The Second Amendment is NOT the right of self defense. That’s separate. Everyone has the right to self defense. You can defend yourself with anything that happens to be at your disposal: your hands, a rock, a stick, whatever. It also is not a right to hunt. It has nothing, whatsoever, to do with hunting. It doesn’t have anything to do with collecting guns, or the sport of marksmanship, or any other past time that uses guns.

Its sole purpose is to prohibit gun control, so that Americans (the people’s army) can remain armed, to form themselves into their own little or big companies (militias), separate from the government, to fight tyranny wherever they see fit, even if that tyranny is from the government itself.

A list of reasons

Here’s a list of reasons for why the early Americans wanted this right protected.

Training expense reduced

Warfare is expensive and training soldiers is a costly, time-consuming affair. Since every citizen had the right to possess, carry and use weapons, if left un-infringed this right would guarantee that the entire population would be armed to the teeth and knowledgeable and skilled in all forms of weaponry. By having the citizenry already trained in arms, this would cut down training costs substantially, when it came time for the creation of a war-time government army.

Originally, the United States Congress didn’t have a perpetually enrolled military which was called into continually active service. It had to authorize a direct tax (by apportionment) to organize an army for a certain length of time, depending upon the war circumstances, and then enroll the already trained American citizenry, which already knew how to use weapons and already possessed weapons, into active service on a voluntary basis.

Voluntary enrollment

The voluntary nature of military service would regulate the justness of the war, for if a war were not just, no one would volunteer for it, except those who themselves were not just (mercenaries), or those who were deceived by war-time propaganda (lies). Wars of aggression, then, would not be waged by a just population, since they would not volunteer, whereas defensive wars would see large numbers of recruits and volunteers. This would serve as a constraint upon the government, keeping unjust government men from consolidating their power by waging unjust wars.

A check and balance to tyranny

The armed citizenry would serve as a check and a balance to the Congress, President, Justices and all other government levels, making sure that nobody tried to tyrannize the people by creating a large, very well armed, perpetually standing government army that could strong arm an unarmed populace into compliance and submission with unjust laws and edicts. An armed populace serves as a deterrent to would-be dictators and dictatorial oligarchies.

Direct and indirect tax limitations

Government armies are expensive to maintain, and taxes were hard to come by, for originally, taxes for armies had to come via direct taxation, which was a very difficult thing to do. The other type of tax, called indirect taxes, such as excise taxes, were hit and miss in bringing in revenue, depending on the economy and the amount of trade, whereas direct taxes, when collected, obtained a very specific amount of revenue. Therefore, direct taxation was the only practical way to support an army, nevertheless, the U.S. Constitution required apportionment when collecting direct taxes, which was intentionally difficult to do. In this way, direct taxation, which was vexatious to everyone, would serve as a constraint to the growth of the government and its army. It would be used only when it was absolutely necessary to obtain these funds. For all other government purposes, excise taxes, or indirect taxes, would be used. This would keep government nice and small, or growing in proportion to the growth of the population and economy.

Tax corruption, which lead to mercenaries

With the advent of the income tax, which is a direct tax on the people interpreted by the Supreme Court as an indirect tax, thus not needing to be collected through the difficult process of apportionment, Congress suddenly had access to an easy way of obtaining unlimited revenue, allowing for the creation of a perpetual, standing government army. This corruption of the tax laws, through the corrupt interpretation of the Supreme Court, allowed for the rapid creation of very big government and a very powerful army, opening the way for the creation of a police state, for when there is money for the creation of an armed executive branch, mercenaries—who wage war or engage in enforcement for money, regardless of the justifications, or lack thereof, involved—will be drawn to enroll.

The current state of affairs

Now we have a situation in which a bloated central government, with large coffers of stolen tax and fiat money, has created a perpetual, standing government army, and other police state forces, all armed to the teeth, with no monetary or volunteerism constraints for waging foreign or domestic wars. Decades of corrupt Congresses has created decades of corrupt laws, all of them concentrating power in the Executive branch of the central government, paving the way for the emergence of a dictator. Mercenaries abound in the land, eager to join the military or police forces. The laws continue to be corrupted, whittling away at all the other Bill of Rights amendments, encroaching everywhere they can.

There is only one thing, and one thing only, that keeps the would-be dictators from seizing complete, totalitarian control of the American people: the Second Amendment.

A bloodbath to exceed the Civil War (or War Between the States)

Everyone is well aware of the history of the French Revolution, none more so than those who conspire to overthrow our freedoms, enslave us and destroy us. (See Ether 8:25.) How did the French react to the aristocracy that they felt were the cause of their woes? By beheading every last one of them they could get their hands on. When people are enraged with their government, to the point that they take up arms against them, the only appeasement they get is from spilled blood, from the ones they label as tyrants.

The U.S. armed forces is, indeed, mighty. I am including every government official, not just the military but also the police and other agencies, as “armed forces.” Yes, they are trained. Yes, they are armed. But when facing 380 million people, a large part of which is also armed, the hundreds of thousands on the government payroll pale into insignificance.

None of the would be dictators want to attempt to enslave the American people through the use of arms, meaning through the armed forces, because it will create another, even greater Civil War, and they know there is the very real possibility of two things: 1) of them losing, and 2) of a portion of the armed forces (who are also American citizens) of defecting to the other side (to the people’s army). They also realize that should they lose such a war, the American people, still enraged, would seek them out and butcher every last one of them, just as the French did.

Thus, with this very real fear in their hearts, those who seek power consolidation and the destruction of the rights of the American people desire to first disarm the public. Once that is accomplished, then, and only then, will they unleash the armed forces on the now unarmed populace.

Deceitful propaganda

All the talk of gun control is not a reaction to the recent events, but is part of the plan to capitalize on every opportunity to disarm the populace. The conspirators do not care about the safety of school children, or the mental health of people. They only care about their agenda and they will use every means necessary to deceive the people into giving up their guns.  For example:

To understand why the above video is so hypocritical, see this.

Other voices

These collectivist liars are not the only ones voicing their opinions. Some voices also understand what is at stake, though they may not be familiar with (or believe) the Book of Mormon prophecies regarding this land and the secret combination. For example, the following is from the Lew Rockwell blog :

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with personal protection. Owning a gun back in colonial times was like owning a knife and fork. The idea of needing a law to protect one’s right to own a gun would be as ridiculous back then as the idea of needing a law to protect one’s right to own a knife and fork would seem ridiculous to us today. In fact, a number of colonies had laws requiring one to own a gun.

The Second Amendment is about the right of the people to form a militia to fight Federal government tyranny. That being said, the FIRST sort of weapon to do that today would be an assault weapon, i.e., NOT a .38 caliber pistol. So EVERYONE—including the NRA—is wrong when they claim that the Federal government can ban (or even regulate) assault weapons. It would be like Hitler claiming he had the right to ban or regulate the U.S. military during WWII, i.e., telling the U.S. military which weapons it could and could not use against the Wehrmacht.

The fact that the Federal government does regulate firearms is just one more glaring proof that the U.S. Constitution is meaningless. It also proves that government itself—because it is a forced monopoly of force—will always become more and more abusive and tyrannical as time goes on.

Here is another voice, in the form of a video:

and also this:

It is wonderful to hear such voices, but extremely embarrassing, for the latter-day saints have been given the commission to befriend the Bill of Rights, yet there is nary a peep from us. Our voices ought to be the loudest of them all. We ought to speak as one in our defense and promotion of the right to keep and bear arms. Our leaders ought to be right now issuing a public statement that we have received such a commission and that the church is strongly in favor of gun rights and strongly opposed to any measure that would infringe on this right. The clarion call ought to be:

NO INFRINGEMENT!

ARM THE PEOPLE’S ARMY!

and other such catchy phrases that people can get behind and promote as a movement to make the American people’s army the deadliest peaceful army on the planet, one that no one in their right mind would mess with or even think of infringing upon.

And yet we either hear nothing but silence, or we hear Mormons arguing amongst themselves, one for total infringement, one for no infringement, and another for partial infringement.

What needs to be done

The latter-day saints need to repent of this sin. We need to learn the word of the Lord concerning this commission and take it very seriously, otherwise, captivity may be our future lot. I speak not of the captivity of the entire nation of Americans—for there are many American who have befriended the Second Amendment, even if they do not understand why it is so important, and these Americans will not be brought down into captivity—but of the Mormon portion of her, of the ones who refuse to take this commission seriously, and also of all those in America who fight against this right. All such must, of necessity, come into captivity, for the Lord’s words have never been retracted, and the law of the harvest applies. If we, and our American brethren, do not embrace and support and promote this right, we will remain guilty (unjustified) before the Lord, and the enslavement that we will end up receiving will be what we deserve.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Priesthood


Background on this post

I wish to thank Jahnihah for his essay on priesthood, which made me realize that I had always just accepted the standard definition of priesthood without actually verifying it with the scriptures.  I was then inspired to search the Standard Works with priesthood as my research topic, which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had never done before.  This post contains the findings of that research.

As a general outline for this topic, I used (loosely) Chapter 13 of the new Melchizedek Priesthood/Relief Society Manual, Gospel Principles.  Click the link to compare versions.

What Is the Priesthood?

The priesthood is a language that only God speaks. It is as eternal as God Himself is.

Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. (D&C 84: 17)

Priesthood rights “are inseparably connected [to] the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36), and thus priesthood is all powerful when spoken.  Priesthood possesses the authority (keys) of God, which is recognized by the entire universe as valid in locking (sealing) and unlocking (loosing) all things.

For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.  (D&C 68: 17)

Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth.

For behold, by the power of his word [priesthood] man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word [priesthood]. Wherefore, if God being able to speak [priesthood] and the world was, and to speak [priesthood] and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?  (Jacob 4: 9)

I am the same which spake [priesthood], and the world was made, and all things came by me.  (D&C 38: 3)

By the power (agency) and authority (keys) of the priesthood, the universe is kept in perfect order.  Through this God-language, God accomplishes His work and glory, which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words [priesthood].  For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  (Moses 1: 38-39)

Priesthood is a combination of the spoken (audible) word and a gesture (silent) language.  There are three other components to priesthood (to be explained later), which, when present, make it validly “spoken.”

Although the priesthood is a language that only God speaks, He may, and often does, allow worthy sons of His to obtain the right to speak it.  Because the priesthood is a language specific to God alone, when men who hold this right speak it with all 5 components, it is as if God himself is the speaker and the very powers of heaven attend to the pronouncement.

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1: 38)

And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God. (Moses 1: 25)

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

And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.  (Ex. 7: 1)

All priesthood is centered in, comes from, and points to Christ.  Christ is known as the Word (the Priesthood), even the Priesthood made flesh.

For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father, And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fulness. And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.  (JST John 1: 16)

Christ is the physical embodiment of the priesthood, therefore, as Christ saves all things, the priesthood likewise has as its purpose the salvation of all things.  When God confers the rights of the priesthood upon men, it enables them to act in Christ’s name for the salvation of the human family.  Through it, they can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and teach the members of God’s kingdom on earth, so that they govern themselves.

Again, Christ is the Priesthood, therefore, to receive the priesthood is synonymous with receiving Christ.

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;  (D&C 84: 35)

Those who receive the priesthood become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh.

For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—  (D&C 86: 9)

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.  (Abr. 2: 9-11; in other words, whoever receives the Priesthood, becoming priesthood made flesh, becomes the seed of Abraham, who was also priesthood made flesh; see also D&C 84: 34)

As Christ is Savior, through the reception of the priesthood, men also become a savior.

Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.  (D&C 86: 11)

Why Do We Need the Priesthood on the Earth?

We must have priesthood authority (keys) to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and temple marriage.  If a man does not have the priesthood, even though he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs (see Matthew 7: 21-23; Articles of Faith 1: 5).  These important ordinances must be performed on the earth by men who have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Men need the priesthood to preside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to direct the work of the church in all parts of the world.  When Christ lived on the earth, He chose His apostles and ordained them so that they could lead His church.  He gave them the power and authority of the priesthood to act in His name.  (See Mark 3: 13-15; John 15: 16.)

Another reason the priesthood is needed on the earth is to teach the plan of salvation so that we can understand the will of the Lord.

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. (Alma 13: 1)

Priesthood is also needed to carry out the purposes of God.  For example, it is the purpose of God that every husband and father in Israel receive the priesthood, thus becoming like Christ.  This benefits the husband/father (as he receives exaltation), as well as his wife and children (as they obtain within their very home a type of Christ, pointing the way to Christ.)

And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. (Alma 13: 2)

It also benefits the world in general, for they, like the wives and children, learn how to be saved.

Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. (Alma 13: 16)

Also, with the husbands/fathers of Israel as priesthood made flesh (Christ types), God can show forth His arm of power, His wonders, in the eyes of all the nations, as priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36).

Why Do Only Men Obtain Priesthood?

Although this question is not explicitly answered in the scriptures, one implicit reason is that the priesthood is meant to point mankind to Christ.  By design, then, one who receives the priesthood not only behaves like Christ, but also looks like Christ. All men, when they grow their hair long and allow their beards to grow full and bushy, bear the image of Christ.  The deep voice and manly physique also contribute to the perception that each man is in the similitude of the Son of God.  This similitude, coupled with the reception of the priesthood, works upon the hearts and minds of men, women and children and turns their attention to Christ.

How Do Men Receive the Priesthood?

Obtaining the rights of the priesthood is not the same as receiving the priesthood.  Let’s talk first about how the rights of the priesthood are obtained.

The Lord has prepared an orderly way for the rights of His priesthood to be conferred upon His sons on the earth.  A worthy male obtains the priesthood “by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (Articles of Faith 1: 5).  Usually, it is only a worthy male member of the church who can obtain the priesthood, but sometimes the priesthood is conferred upon worthy male non-members.  Only those who have had the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them can ordain others, and they can do so only when authorized by those who hold the keys (authority) for that ordination.

The first part to receiving the priesthood is obtaining the rights to officiate.

High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.  An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the high priest is not present.  The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.  (D&C 107: 10-12)

This happens by the laying on of hands and requires only that the man being ordained is righteous (worthy), meaning that he is justified (guiltless) before the Lord, being right according to the law of God, having received a remission of his sins.

Using the rights of the priesthood requires more than justification (righteousness).

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. (D&C 121: 36)

It also requires purification and sanctification.

Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God (justification), they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified (sanctification), and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb (purification).  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost (sanctification), having their garments made white (purification), being pure and spotless before God (purification), could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence (purification); and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure (purification) and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.  (Alma 13: 10-12)

When the rights of the priesthood are exercised by a justified (righteous), purified and sanctified (holy) man, the powers of heaven manifest themselves.  This is according to the promise of God.

For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.  And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Gen. 14: 30-32)

A man who has obtained the rights of the priesthood through justification may receive the priesthood itself by purifying and sanctifying himself, through the operation of the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, because of his exceeding faith, hope and charity.  (See Moroni 7.)  In this manner, the man becomes like Christ (see Moroni 7: 48) and qualifies himself for receiving the priesthood and being “ordained by the Lord God” Himself, “by the calling of His own voice, according to His own will.”

And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. (JST Gen. 14: 29)

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.  (Alma 13: 1)

Thus, the last part to receiving the priesthood, the bestowal of priesthood power, is solely performed by the Lord and depends upon whether the priest magnifies his calling through sanctification by the Spirit unto the renewing of his body (priesthood made flesh).

For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.  (D&C 84: 33)

Men who receive the priesthood have it confirmed upon them by the Lord’s own voice out of the heavens.

And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.  (D&C 84: 42)

In this way, the Lord reserves to Himself the final ordination necessary for priesthood reception, just as He alone is the one who baptizes with fire and the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.  (3 Ne. 12: 1)

All men, then, are “on the same standing” (Alma 13: 5).  Those who wish to qualify themselves for reception of the priesthood “on account of their exceeding faith and repentance” (Alma 13: 10) will receive it, while those who “would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds” (Alma 13: 4) will not receive it, though they may have the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them.

We have been told that there are many called to the priesthood, who have obtained the rights to the priesthood, but few among them are chosen to receive it.

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

•  •  •

Hence many are called, but few are chosen.  (D&C 121: 34, 40)

Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood.  Nor can they take this authority upon themselves.  In the New Testament we read of a man named Simon who lived when Christ’s apostles presided over (served) the church.  Simon became converted and was baptized into the church.  Because he was a skillful magician, the people believed he had the power of God.  But Simon did not have the priesthood, and he knew it.

Simon knew that the apostles and the other priesthood leaders of the church had received the priesthood, for the powers of heaven were manifest among them.

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (Acts 8: 13)

He saw them use their priesthood to do the Lord’s work, and he wanted this power for himself.  He offered to buy the priesthood.  (See Acts 8: 9-19.)  But Peter, the chief apostle, said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8: 20).

Ecclesiastical Abuse: How the Priesthood Is Misused and What to Do About It

The priesthood is to be used to serve our Heavenly Father’s children here on earth, converting the priest into a servant or minister of all.  Priesthood holders should serve in love and kindness, not rule like Gentile kings.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  (Mark 10: 42)

Any attempt to convert the minister-servant role of priest into the pomp and prestige of a Gentile ruler by undertaking “to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness” (D&C 121: 37) results in immediate condemnation by the Lord, even if the ecclesiastical abuse is not known or corrected by the church.  Ecclesiastical abuse in any form or degree brings immediate damnation upon the priesthood officer and, even before the abuser is aware, he is left alone without the Spirit and subject to the spirit of the devil, to persecute the saints within his congregation, who have been placed within his care and ministry.  He then becomes a wolf in sheep’s clothing, fighting against God.  (In the view of the abuser, it is the saints who are the wolves and he is doing “God’s work.”)

Those who engage in ecclesiastical abuse will use the high-sounding title of their priesthood office (bishop, stake president, etc.) to engage in power-plays and submission tests to try to force or compel the members of the congregation to submit to their authority and do what they want them to do.  They will gratify their pride and label all those saints who resist such tyranny as apostates and accuse them of the sin of rebellion.  Ecclesiastical abuse takes many forms, but the following are listed in scripture:

1) undertaking to cover our sins

2) undertaking to gratify our pride

3) undertaking to gratify our vain ambition

4) undertaking to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men

The saints of God within any ward or branch of the church, being sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit of God, naturally resist tyranny in all of its forms.  Like captain Moroni, they “seek not for power, but to pull it down” (Alma 60: 36).  They do not follow the precepts of men except when those precepts are given by the Holy Ghost.  This puts them directly at odds with any ecclesiastical abuser who is a priesthood leader that presides over them.  The rank and file (unsanctified) member is accustomed to following the brethren, not the Spirit, and will blindly follow the precepts of men given by an ecclesiastical abuser regardless of whether it is inspired or not.  These rank and file members will put the priesthood tyrant on a pedestal, gratifying his pride and vain ambition, covering his sins, and will, like the tyrant, look upon the saints resisting compulsion as disobedient apostates and trouble-makers.

These conditions are to be expected among the church for as long as it remains unsanctified and under condemnation, for “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121: 39).

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.  And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—  (D&C 84: 55-57)

This means that almost all men who hold the rights of the priesthood, including those who hold leadership positions and high offices, are by nature predisposed to act like tyrants.  There are but few (see D&C 121: 40) of the vast ensemble that do not engage in ecclesiastical abuse.  It is these few who pattern their lives after Christ, aspiring to be like Him and setting their hearts upon Him.  The rest (“almost all men”), which are the many, set their hearts “upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men” (D&C 121: 35).  So the church, by and large, is led by ecclesiastical abusers, even tyrants, with the occasional man of Christ appearing among them, yet all these men have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Because of the nature and disposition of men to be tyrants and the condition of the unsanctified and condemned (damned) church, the saints of God are to follow the admonition of Alma, which is to “trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments” (Mosiah 23: 14) and the warning of Nephi:

Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.  (2 Ne. 28: 31)

The Lord has left two means of dealing with ecclesiastical abuse: the law of common consent and the church courts.  If there are two or three witnesses to abuse, the procedure described in D&C 42: 78-93 may be used.  If there are no witnesses (or no willing witnesses), or if the church court system becomes entirely corrupt because the priesthood leadership will not allow a court to be convened or otherwise impedes the process (undertaking to cover up the sins of their fellow ecclesiastical abuser), the law of common consent can be used to de-fang tyrants.  If, however, the law of common consent fails due to rubber-stamping by the general membership, saints of God must resort solely to Alma and Nephi’s counsel, leaving the matter in the Lord’s hands.

Priesthood Organization: An Inverted Hierarchy

A hierarchy is defined as “a ruling body of clergy organized into orders or ranks, each subordinate to the one above it.”  It is true that the priesthood is organized into orders and ranks, but instead of rulers, it consists of servants.  The Lord’s “rulers” (Abr. 3: 23) are not rulers in the typical sense.  They are ministers and servants.

He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. (D&C 50: 26)

In a typical rich household, the servants do not get the chief seats, do not get the first meal, are not the ones put up on a pedestal.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and lay on men’s shoulders, and they are grievous to be borne; but they will not move them with one of their fingers.  And all their works they do to be seen of men. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, (which is master.) But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your master, which is Christ; and all ye are brethren.  (JST Matt. 23: 1-5)

The priesthood is designed to be an inverted pyramd, or inverted hierarchy, with the greatest servants, meaning the meekest, most charitable servants, at the very bottom.  These are the least of all the kingdom of God, being servants of all.  Thus, the First Presidency is really the Last Presidency, or Bottom Presidency, being below all other presidencies, nevertheless, all priesthood offices and callings are placed by the Lord below, not above, the body of the church (the saints).

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph. 2: 20)

Not By Virtue of the Priesthood

By the Lord’s design, “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood” (D&C 121: 41), therefore, for instance, when any president or counselor of the First Presidency enters a room full of people or speaks before an audience, he is to be treated as a title-less servant, not as royalty.  His words and actions alone are to be taken into consideration, without considering, at all, his priesthood rank.  If his words and/or actions are persuasive, long-suffering, gentle, meek, kind and given with genuine love and in pure knowledge, we are to allow them to influence us or to have power over us, otherwise, we are to ignore them. This does him a great service, as people who are treated like royalty eventually begin acting as royalty.  This principle applies to every priesthood calling in the church: branch president, bishop, quorum president, high priest group leader, stake president, mission president, area authority, seventy, apostle, First Presidency counselor or prophet.  They are all to be treated as if they had no title or office, whatsoever.

The next priesthood body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is not below the First Presidency, but above them, in the inverted hierarchy.  Yet, the Twelve are still just servants of the church body and are to be treated as such, just like the First Presidency.  The difference, though, lies in how the Twelve and First Presidency interact with each other, for the First Presidency is to serve the Twelve and not the other way around.

This pattern of the greater serving those who are lesser is to apply to all quorums of the priesthood, for even as “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Mark 10: 45), so are holders of the priesthood not to be ministered unto, but to minister, in their respective jurisdictions.

How Do Men Properly Use the Priesthood?

The word “minister” comes from the Latin minister, which means “servant.”  Our word “servant” comes from the Old French servir, which comes from the Latin servire, which means “to be a slave” or “to be a servant,” which comes from the Latin servus, which means “slave” or “servant.”  The only difference between a slave and a servant is that the servant is engaged in voluntary servitude while the slave is engaged in involuntary servitude.  With this in mind, we can think of a servant as a “voluntary slave.”  To properly use the priesthood, then, one must consider himself a servant, or voluntary slave, of all and act accordingly.  Even when called to preside, the use of the word “president” means, in the vernacular of the Lord, servant (or voluntary slave).

Which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad;  (D&C 124: 134)

This is why the Lord uses the word “yoke.”

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matt. 11: 28-30)

We are yoked (as servants) with priesthood.  We are voluntarily enslaved.

Entering the priesthood with the proper mindset requires that one consider himself as nothing (see Mosiah 4: 11), even less than “the dust of the earth” (see Mosiah 2: 25-26).  This prepares a man to “enter the priesthood” and not merely “get the priesthood.”  Often we speak of the priesthood as something you get, receive, hold, as if it were a thing you could stick in your pocket.  It is true that the priesthood is “the gift of God” (see Acts 8: 20), but it is also true that it is an order that is entered into by ordination.  “Entering the priesthood” is meant to be a life-changing event, for it is through the priesthood that men can become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh. In that vein, entering the priesthood is synonymous with entering a life of selfless service, in which you use the rights of the priesthood, and the powers of heaven that are inseparably connected to them, to bless and minister to all the living creatures around you, and even to those who have died, through the work for the dead.

Priesthood Is the Antidote to “Natural Man Syndrome”

When priesthood functions as it was intended to function, as a corps of humble servants who are unable to maintain any power or influence by virtue of their priesthood office and calling, because all look upon them as title-less servants and listen to their counsel and follow their examples only to the degree that their counsel and examples square up with the scriptures, priesthood becomes an antidote to the natural disposition that men have to exercise unrighteous dominion upon others.  Only when priesthood offices and callings are lifted up in the eyes of the LDS people to the point where they give their leaders special treatment, like royalty, and they heed and “follow the brethren,” their leaders, because they have such high and holy callings, in other words, when the LDS people begin to give more weight to what a General Authority says because he is a General Authority, or more weight to what a stake president or bishop or branch president or any other president says, because of their titular callings, at that point the priesthood ceases to be the antidote and becomes, instead, the poison.  When the honors of men are found within the priesthood ranks and men begin to list the high priesthood offices they’ve held as merit badges and honorable ribbons, or as a job resume, it ceases to function as the true priesthood of God and becomes, instead, but a form of godliness, and not the real thing.

At that point, the powers of heaven will have withdrawn from these men and the work of miracles would have ceased.  No more angels, no more open visions, no more prophecies and revelations, no more miraculous power manifested.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”  (JS-H 1: 19)

False Priesthoods: Royal In Nature

The transformation of the minister-servant status of priesthood into royalty status can be seen by examining how the priesthood operated during the time of Christ and how it has morphed over generations into the Catholic priesthood today.  The pope, cardinals and bishops dress, act and are treated as royalty.  Mormon priesthood appears to be following the same evolution.  Although Mormons don’t, yet, kiss their bishop’s rings (like Catholics do), Mormon priesthood leadership has many of the trappings of royalty, including getting the chief seats, partaking of the sacrament first, having people stand when a GA enters a room, etc.

How Keys are Lost (or Taken Away)

Both Mormon and Catholic priests claim a priesthood line of ordination that leads directly to Peter.  In the case of the Catholics, they claim an unbroken line of ordination to mortal Peter, while the Mormons claim an unbroken line of ordination to the angel Peter.  Each asserts that they have the keys (authority) of the priesthood, while the others do not.  The assertion, then, is that the priesthood of the other church is false because they have no keys.  So, by definition, a false priest, even though proper ordination has occurred, is one that asserts to have keys, but in reality has no keys.

A priest’s keys (authority) is immediately lost or taken away when a priest undertakes “to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men” (D&C 121: 37) by virtue of the priesthood.  When authority is asserted because of an office of the priesthood, the Lord says, “Amen to…the authority (keys) of that man” (D&C 121: 37).

A man who has obtained the rights and keys of the priesthood, who acts in this manner, loses his keys (or has his keys taken away), becoming a false priest. For example, although the Catholic priests trace their priesthood back to Peter, they are false priests, for they assert their authority by virtue of their priesthood ordination and thus have no keys. They may have had the keys at one time, but due to wholesale, unrepentant, generational corruption, they have since lost them entirely, for you can not pass on what you no longer have.

Mormon priesthood keys can also be just as easily lost.  It matters not that one was ordained by someone with real priesthood authority who correctly conferred the rights and keys of the priesthood.  Regardless of how correct was the ordination, if priesthood is used contrary to the order of heaven, both the keys and powers of priesthood are instantly lost.  With repentence, they can be obtained again, but while a man persists in influencing others by virtue of the priesthood, that man has no valid authority and is a fraud, even a false priest.  When that happens, priesthood, in the hands of a false priest, instead of being a great blessing, becomes a curse to the people and church of God.

False priests “teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” (2 Ne. 28: 4), which makes them “false teachers.”  It is “because of false (priest) teachers” that “churches have become corrupted” (2 Ne. 28: 12).  It is important, then, to be able to discern a false from a true priest/teacher.  In this area, Jesus gave us some counsel:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.  (3 Ne. 14: 15-20)

This advice equally applies to false priests.  Notice that Jesus doesn’t say that “ye shall know them by their improper priesthood ordination.”  How they are ordained is not the most important thing in detecting ravening wolves.  How they use the priesthood shows them as being true or false priests.

The Priesthood and Women

It is through priesthood that men become exalted, for when they receive it, they receive Christ and the Father and all that the Father has.  This is according to the oath and covenant of the priesthood.  The doctrine of exaltation requires the union of man and woman in eternal marriage, but men must also receive the priesthood.  Women, however, obtain their exaltation by their union with their priest-husband.  A priest-husband who has received the priesthood, meaning he has become priesthood made flesh, in similitude of the Son of God, when he “cleaves to his wife,” becomes one flesh with her.  In this way, the wife shares in all of the exalting benefits of the priesthood and enters into her exaltation, just as does the husband.  This is according to the principle of charity.

The prize is the same for both of them: all that the Father has is given to her husband and to her, for she is one flesh with her husband and he is priesthood made flesh. As he has received the priesthood, and she has become one flesh with him, she has also received the priesthood.

This does not mean that she must perform the ordinances of the priesthood.  Each office of the priesthood has duties that vary from another office of the priesthood.  A deacon does not do what an elder does.  In like manner, a woman, wife and mother has duties different than any of the offices of the priesthood.  She is not ordained to these duties like a priest, for her calling begins at her birth.  She is given from the start the natural abilities and gifts needed to bear and nurture the souls of men and has no need for priesthood rights to be conferred upon her to magnify her calling.  She only needs the saving ordinances of the gospel, including the temple rites, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, to magnify her calling.  Nevertheless, the promise of exaltation lies with the priesthood, and for this matter she must enter into eternal marriage with a man who has received the priesthood and become one flesh with him to obtain her exaltation.

The Lord is merciful to all His daughters, as well to all His sons, and will not allow a disobedient husband who refuses to receive the priesthood to stop a wife worthy of exaltation from receiving it.  Nor will He allow a rebellious wife to prohibit her worthy-of-exaltation husband from receiving it.  Each man who justifies, purifies and sanctifies himself before God and obeys His commandments, will enter into his exaltation regardless of what his spouse does.  The same applies to women.

What Priests Really Hold

Although we “confer the priesthood,” in reality we are not conferring priesthood, but are conferring the rights to the priesthood.  The rights to the priesthood are the rights to administer the priesthood, or the rights to officiate in an office of the priesthood, meaning the rights to use the priesthood, or to speak this language of God. (See Abr. 1: 2-3, 27, 31; Abr. 2: 11; D&C 121: 36-37; D&C 107: 10-12.)  This pattern also applies to the ordinance of confirmation, in which it is said, “Receive the Holy Ghost!”  Are we really bestowing the Third Member of the Godhead upon the newly baptized member?  Of course, not.  We are merely giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to have the constant companionship of the Spirit.

The Key-words of the Priesthood

Facsimile #2 of the Book of Abraham has the following explanations of figures #3 and #7:

3. “representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood”

7. “revealing through the heaven the grand Key-words of the Priesthood”

The Key-words of the priesthood are not some secret, magic words that, once known and spoken, grant the man speaking them unlimited access to the heavens and the powers thereof.  They are not secret words known only to the living prophet or Twelve apostles, or to other secret initiates.  No, the Key-words of the priesthood is the priesthood itself.

The priesthood is a language that is specific to, and spoken only by, God Himself.  It is the original tongue, the mother and father tongue, the words that brought everything into existence, including other languages (the languages of men).  The priesthood is the key-words that lock or unlock all things, or seal and unloose all things.  These are the words of power (agency), the words of authority (keys).  It is through the Key-words (the Priesthood) that every other word of God has come forth.  For example, the scriptures found in our Standard Works contain the Word of God revealed through the Key-words (Priesthood) of God.

Joseph added “of the Holy Priesthood” and “of the Priesthood” to his explanation of Key-words, because Key-words is a common term and could refer to many things.  So, he added that to indicate or clarify that he was talking of the Priesthood Key-words.  The term Key-words itself is used to indicate that the Priesthood is a language which holds authority (keys) in the universe.  Joseph says that “all to whom the Priesthood was revealed” have “the Key-words of the Holy Priesthood” revealed (see Fig. 3).  So, if you have had the Priesthood revealed to you, then you have also had the Key-words of the Priesthood revealed to you, for they are one and the same.

What Blessings Come When We Use the Priesthood Properly?

Answer: Faith, the presence of God, knowledge of God and exaltation.

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.  The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.  (D&C 121: 45-46)

The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity; because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. (D&C 107: 30-31)

Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!  (D&C 128: 19)

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.  (D&C 84: 35-39)

Notice, also, that while the gift of the Holy Ghost gives us the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, receiving the priesthood actually causes the Holy Ghost to be one’s constant companion.  The meaning of this is that we become one (united) with God, meaning that we enter into the Godhead.  This is according to the Lord’s intercessory prayer.  (See John 17.)

Mormon Gentile Priesthood: A Temporary Measure

The priesthood given by God to the Gentile Mormons today is temporary in nature.  The first priesthood given, the Priesthood of Aaron, is a modified form of the original Priesthood of Aaron.  It has been tailored to fit the conditions (see D&C 46: 15) among the Gentile Mormons and will only remain with them until the Levites begin again to perform the Levitical Priesthood rites.

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.  (D&C 13: 1)

The second priesthood given, which is the Melchizedek Priesthood, will remain with the Gentile Mormons only until the restoration of all things, at which point it will be transferred to the tribes of Israel.

Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.  (D&C 86: 10)

So, at some point in the future, the Melchizedek Priesthood will be restored to the tribes of Israel and the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood will be restored to the Levites and the priesthoods among the Gentiles will be phased out so that Gentiles will no longer be able to obtain priesthood unless they renounce their Gentile status and become numbered with the house (tribes and Levites) of Israel.

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Ne. 30: 2)

Next Priesthood article: An alternate view of the keys

Previous Priesthood article: Let the Aaronic Priesthood Do Home Teaching and Let the Elders Administer the Sacrament

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Anarchy in action: congregational nullification


Jury Nullification

Jury nullification means making a law void by jury decision, in other words “the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her.”

Jury nullification is more specifically any rendering of a verdict by a trial jury, acquitting a criminal defendant despite the defendant’s violation of the letter of the law. This verdict need not disagree with the instructions by the judge concerning what the law is, but may disagree with an instruction, if given by the judge, that the jury is required to apply the law to the defendant if certain facts are found.

Although a jury’s refusal relates only to the particular case before it, if a pattern of such verdicts develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offense, it can have the practical effect of disabling the enforcement of the statute. “Jury nullification” is thus a means for the people to express opposition to an unpopular legislative enactment.

The jury system was established because it was felt that a panel of citizens, drawn at random from the community, and serving for too short a time to be corrupted, would be more likely to render a just verdict, through judging both the accused and the law, than officials who may be unduly influenced to follow merely the established law. Jury nullification is a reminder that the right to trial by one’s peers affords the public an opportunity to take a dissenting view about the justness of a statute or official practices.

(Taken from the Jury Nullification entry of the Wikipedia. See the entire entry for more information.)

Jury nullification occurs when a jury judges both the facts of a case and the law it is based upon. In modern times it doesn’t occur very often, perhaps because juries are not aware that they have this common law right or power due to modern judges not informing them of the entire jurisdiction of a jury. In fact, judges often do the opposite and give them instructions that they must apply the law. However, the truth is that juries do have this power regardless of what a corrupt judge may say.

Congregational Juries

Our system of church government consists of judges, courts and councils, with witnesses and advocacy, but apparently without juries. However, as all appointments/callings must be approved by the congregation through common consent vote before an appointment/calling is solidified, in reality and practice the congregational members are the juries of the church.

Again, any calling in the church needs to be ratified by the congregational jury. A name is read and a call to ratify is made to the members, who raise their hands in approbation or in opposition, or who do not raise their hands, at all. A count is made and if the voice of the people (the majority) is for the appointment, it goes through. If the voice of the people is against it, it does not go through. In this way the congregational jury renders a verdict of their approval or disapproval of the various appointments/callings. We call this vote sustaining. Nothing in the church happens, nor can happen, without a sustaining vote of the members of the congregation, as that would be tyranny and a usurpation of powers, because all things must be done with the consent of the congregation.

Congregational Nullification

There is, however, another way that the congregational jury renders a verdict. Sometimes policies or instructions are handed out to the members from their leaders without taking a vote. For example, recent First Presidency letters read in sacrament meeting contained instructions to the members concerning the passage of a constitutional amendment on marriage (for California saints) and sacrament meeting behavior, specifically, not using visual aids or asking the congregation to turn to a scripture while giving a talk. These instructions are similar to those received by trial juries from the presiding judge concerning how they are to apply the law to the case. In both instances, neither jury is instructed that they can pass judgment upon the judge’s instructions and discard them if wisdom so dictates.

Many saints get offended when instructions they feel are overbearing or tyrannical come down from their leaders. To prove their point, they’ll sometimes take actions that end up pitting the church against them, such as taking a public stand against the church. This is not the wisest course to take and may lead to their being disfellowshipped, excommunicated or even them just leaving on their own.

The Lord has given us the means to nip all tyranny in His church in the bud via the law of common consent. Just as trial jury nullification exists as a common law right, it also exists as a right of the congregational juries. Simply ignoring all instructions deemed to be unjust, unwise, overbearing, tyrannical or humiliating nullifies the instructions. End of story.

Most instructions given today by leaders are called “counsel.” When members are asked to do something, usually that is the very word used: ask. Anybody can ask anything they want of you. Asking you to do or not to do something does not rob you of your agency. It also does not obligate you to do the thing asked. Like trial juries, congregational juries have the choice to obey instructions received by them from the leaders without another thought, or they can render the instructions null and void by ignoring them.

Anarchy in Action

Both congregational nullification and the raising of the hands in approval/disapproval during a sustaining vote is anarchy in action. Ultimately, always, the people decide all matters of the church. The leaders can do nothing without the consent of the people.

Taking the two examples given above, for those saints who agree with the First Presidency letter on the marriage bill, they can sustain the letter’s instructions by donating time, means and effort to that cause. For those saints who disagree with the letter’s instructions, they can ignore the petition entirely and donate no time, means or effort to it. Just as during sustaining votes, members do not campaign other members to sway votes in favor of or against particular church callings, campaigning need not occur for non-voting uses of the law of common consent. Everything remains peaceful, ordered and anarchic, each man, woman and child of the church casting a verdict on the instructions by their actions.

In the second instance mentioned above, congregational nullification can also occur, should the people think the instructions are unneccessary or unjust. Or, congregational ratification can occur should the people think the instructions are wise and timely. All that is necessary is that each speaker either obey the instructions and stop using visual aids or asking the audience to open their scriptures, or disregard the instructions and use visual aids and ask the congregation to turn to such-and-such a verse.

The bishop or other leaders may attempt to correct a single person who ignores counsel or instruction, but if that person continues to ignore the counsel, or if more than one person ignores the counsel and it becomes apparent that the congregation has passed a verdict against the counsel, by ignoring it, then congregational nullification has occurred and that counsel is now null and void. There is nothing a leader can do with a group of people who refuse to ratify an instruction by obedience to it.

In my own experience, eventually even the most power-tripping leaders will throw up their hands in frustration because peaceful, ordered, anarchic congregational nullification cannot be stopped. No one can be tried for ignoring counsel or petitions. There is no law against it in the church. There are only laws against sin.

Use of Common Consent Stops Tyranny

Jury nullification drives leaders up the wall with frustration, as it limits their power and control over a congregation, but it is one of the means the Lord has set up to stop tyranny in His church. Used as a proper check to usurpation of power, it properly balances the church and puts all saints, leaders and members alike, on equal ground.

So, the next time you receive instructions from your religious leaders you do not agree with, even after prayer and fasting, instead of publicly fighting them and becoming an apostate, instead of striving to get other members in your camp and pit member against member or member against leader, or instead of trying to win the leader over to your cause (which never works), just apply the principle of congregational nullification and ignore the instructions.

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Anarchy in Education

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: The dissolution of the corporate LDS Church via “gay marriage”

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

Previous Common Consent article: Power of the Law of Common Consent

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