Guest Post: Whither the Mormon Anarchist

October 4, 2007 at 9:01 am 26 comments

This week’s guest post comes from Lowdogg, an excellent friend of IRF and blogging whiz at Spanish Phrase of the Day.

The other day I was roaming the blogosphere. Through happenstance I came to the blog of a person that, while not an acquaintance, was someone I had seen during my time at Brigham Young University. For a time I was involved with a club called SID, Students for International Development. I was the token pro-business conservative. Although our involvement did not overlap, I’m certant that the blogger in question was clearly at odds with my ideology.

Based on my superficial knowledge of this individual I was not surprised that their interests have not changed. What I was surprised to see was a post describing a new publication, The Mormon Worker, which advocates a philosophy called “Mormon Anarchism.” As a lifelong capitalist I was aghast, but I decided that this was worth a little exploration. I began my journey at Wikipedia, because I wanted to understand what exactly they might mean by anarchism. This is a helpful introduction:

Anarchism (from Greek αναρχία, “without archons,” “without rulers”)[1] is a group of political philosophies and attitudes which reject compulsory government[2] and support its elimination,[3][4] often due to a wider rejection of involuntary or permanent authority.[5] Anarchism is “a cluster of doctrines and attitudes centered on the belief that government is both harmful and unnecessary.”[6]

Based on my reading, this is consistent with the general feeling of The Mormon Worker. They seem to follow the Collectivist Anarchist school, a socialist anarchism.

I do want to present some of their contentions for your consideration.

Mormon Anarchism, as explained in this publication, is fueled by self-loathing and fails to take into account the empowering nature of a free market system. It would do us very little good to attempt to refute its arguments, as the parties that espouse it have been ensnared by subtle flattery. Mormon Anarchism is anti-war for any reason, anti-capitalism, and on the radical fringe of environmentalism. As to war it is frighteningly naive. As to capitalism it is ignorant. As to the environment its prescriptions present a nightmare scenario for all of us, especially those that are in greatest need. It is the height of elitist liberal philosophy.

I’ll admit that I haven’t read the entire publication. It makes me a little too disgusted. I had to cleanse myself by going to the car wash so I could oppress some minimum wage earners.

Capitalism is imperfect, but it is the means by which every individual can choose how they labor. Regardless of one’s beginnings, the choice is ultimately theirs. The United States of America is and has been the best example of that truth. The State, for all its flaws, made it possible for my mother and grandparents to flee communist Cuba and find great prosperity in the United States. It made it possible for a black man who was given up by his parents as a child to become a justice of the Supreme Court. It allows each of us to become what we want to become, by the sweat of our brow. If then, we take of the fruits of our labor and share with the poor and the needy, so much the better. But we do it by choice. In Mormon Anarchism I find only the philosophies of men mingled with truth, and I reject it categorically.


Entry filed under: Commentary, Living History, Politics. Tags: , .

Slutty Halloween Beyond The Wall

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. JL  |  October 4, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Hadn’t heard of this publication before, but after seeing the beliefs of the authors, whoa. Complete abolition of government is directly contrary to, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.”

    What presidential candidate could this group possibly support?

  • 2. Lowdogg  |  October 4, 2007 at 9:59 am

    They actually suggest Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich.

  • 3. Sportsattitude  |  October 4, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Well…after what Dennis did for Cleveland…it would make sense he would be at the top of their list.

  • 4. Mikel  |  October 4, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Um, shouldn’t they not support a presidential candidate? Isn’t electing a president against the goals of freeing us wage slaves from the government?

  • 5. Lowdogg  |  October 4, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Yes, but given the contraints of our current society, Mormons should just get started by hating capitalism.

    (I feel dirty parroting their mumbo-jumbo)

  • 6. lemare  |  October 4, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    I’m disgusted. IRF Reader, Joey, and I were, just this morning, talking about the WSJ front page that says 59% of republicans think that foreign trade is bad for the economy. WHAT???

    So it’s not just a select group of crazies, giving the rest of the Mormon Capitalists bad names, but it is the MAJORITY of the republican party.

    This is bad. VERY bad.

  • 7. TRussell  |  October 4, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    I whole-heartedly support the notion that limited government is ideal. I quite enjoy the works of Friedman as he sets forth his premises of the debate as old as history, I am of course referring to state vs. federal control, whereby he asserts that citizens are better off under the scenario where power is decentralized to the extent possible. It is easy for me to move cities than to change my citizenship altogether.

    Furthermore, more choice in the marketplace assures my power as a consumer. In other words, Democracy and Capitalism are intertwined. Both flourish when together yet disintegrate when apart. When together, the maximum power is in the hands of each individual both politically and economically. When apart, servitude and poverty are sure to follow.

    HOW IS THIS NOT CLEAR AS DAY? They must clearly have selective vision when looking at history. This is merely one more attempt by the left to claim that communism just hasn’t been “done right”. By combining communism with Mormonism doesn’t make it any more palatable to me – on the contrary. Rather, the offspring of the two ideals that cannot be married produces nothing more than a bastard philosophy. Which incidentally is what these people are.

  • 8. JL  |  October 4, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Rather, the offspring of the two ideals that cannot be married produces nothing more than a bastard philosophy. Which incidentally is what these people are.

    Quote of the week definitely goes to T. Russell. Well spoken.

  • 9. Mikel  |  October 4, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I saw the free trade poll this morning as well. It broke my heart. So sad.

    Check out the Tax Foundation’s article about the middle class for a good explanation of what drives the populist/protectionist movement.

  • 10. lemare  |  October 4, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    I’m reminded of Guffman:

    “…because you’re BASTARD people… i’m going to go home and bite my pillow, is what I’m going to do.”

  • 11. chloe  |  October 4, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    In response to TRussel, it is not CLEAR AS DAY because a lot of people are stupid. Remember, half of the people are below average. And JL is right…very quotable.

    Why is it that I always assume that people who are arguing for socialism/communism, etc. are lazy? Am I wrong?

  • 12. Lowdogg  |  October 4, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    I don’t think they are lazy. Maybe intellectually, but clearly a lot of time has and will go into The Mormon Worker. I think they are motivated by guilt and are threatened by people that are unafraid of wealth. It is a dumbing down of ambition and will.

  • 13. Jdon  |  October 4, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    I find it humorous that only in a free country like America could anyone have such stupid ideas as Mormon Anarchy. To think that his rights would be better protected under true anarchy is such a pathetic thought. This column made me think of the good people at my favorite protest site, protest warrior. Go check it out or buy their book, A Field Guide For Dealing With Left-Wing Wackos. Pretty funny. They have a chapter on Anarchists.

  • 14. Jettboy  |  October 6, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I would hate to break it to you all, but “ideal economic Mormonism” is NOT Capitalism. Rather, it could be described as perhaps the oxymoronic concept of “Phylanthopic Communism,” or something like that. After all, hasn’t anyone here heard of the Law of Concecration or its organizational name of United Order?

    They were cancelled not because it was wrong, but because the Latter-day Saints couldn’t live it correctly. What we have now, tithing, is a lesser law for the sustaining of the LDS Church’s worldy needs. I believe that Capitalism is currently the best economic practice in existance today. However, I don’t think it represents the Christian ideal of equality and compassion.

  • 15. lemare  |  October 6, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Yes, Jettboy, we all know about the Law of Consecration, and we know ALL about why it isn’t currently a practice. But the point here isn’t pontificating on the Mormon stance on economic policy. OUR belief on economic policy, separate from our religion, is capitalism. It is capitalism because we are smart.

    Our problem with the Anarchist thing is mentioned above in JL’s first comment. See Articles of Faith 6 and 12.

    And the other problem is that smart people know capitalism works. See Milton Friedman, “Capitalism and Freedom”.

    We’ll all be happy to live the L of C when the day comes… But today, we are all happily capitalists (and that does NOT make us devoid of compassion).

  • 16. Lowdogg  |  October 6, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    I cannot accept consecration’s equation with communism. They are fundamentally different. One is imposed, the other is a choice.
    I also don’t see where equality is a part of the Christian ideal. How does that reconcile with people having very different abilities?
    One of the greatest faults of Mormon Anarchism is the naive idea that socialism would be better for the Church. The Church would not have a fraction of its reach were it not for the wealth of its members.
    Consecration as a law remains in effect for temple-going Mormons. At any time we could be called upon to give of our means for the building up of the Church. I’d like to have a lot of means when that time comes.

    By the way, I love lemare’s reason for why we are capitalists:
    “Because We are Smart.”

  • 17. Joey  |  October 8, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I’m thinking, Lowdogg, that you’d be well-served by future avoidance of dirty books.

  • 18. Lowdogg  |  October 8, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    It doesn’t affect me, I promise!!!!

  • 19. LDS Anarchist  |  October 21, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Lowdogg, thank you very much for posting this entry and the link to The Mormon Worker. I just found out about this publication a few hours ago and, because of you, I now have their web site address. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If the Mormon Worker people and I start to collaborate and end up creating a synergistic LDS anarchy movement, I will always remember your name. You will go down in history as the person that made this happen. Thanks again! 🙂

  • 20. Read This First  |  January 24, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    “Is Socialism the United Order?”

    Elder Marion G. Romney
    Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles

    April Conference 1966

    What I am going to give you is a statement I have prepared in
    answer to the question, “Is Socialism the United Order?” Some of you
    may have already heard it. This is the first time I have ever attempted
    to give a talk a second time. My excuse is that the Brethren have asked
    me to give this talk here tonight.

    I suppose the best way to start a comparison of socialism and
    the United Order is with a definition of the terms. Webster defines
    socialism as:

    “A political and economical theory of social organization based
    on collective or governmental ownership and democratic management of
    the essential means for the production and distribution of goods; also,
    a policy or practice based on this theory.” (Webster’s New Inter-
    national Dictionary, 2nd ed. unabridged, 1951.)

    George Bernard Shaw, the noted Fabian Socialist, said that:

    “Socialism, reduced to its simplest legal and practical
    expression, means the complete discarding of the institution of private
    property by transforming it into public property and the division of
    the resultant income equally and indiscriminately among the entire
    population.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 ed., Vol. 20, P. 895.)

    George Douglas Howard Cole, M.A. noted author and university
    leader in economics at Oxford, who treats socialism for the Encyclopedia
    Britannica, says that because of the shifting sense in which the word
    has been used, “a short and comprehensive definition is impossible. We
    can only say,” he concludes, “that Socialism is essentially a doctrine
    and a movement aiming at the collective organization of the community
    in the interest of the mass of the people by means of the common owner-
    ship and collective control of the means of production and exchange.”
    (Ibid., p. 888.)

    Socialism arose “out of the economic division in society.”
    During the nineteenth century its growth was accelerated as a protest
    against “the appalling conditions prevailing in the workshops and
    factories and the unchristian spirit of the spreading industrial

    The “Communist Manifesto” drafted by Karl Mark and Friedrich
    Engels for the Communist League in 1848 is generally regarded as the
    starting point of modern socialism. (Ibid., p. 890.)

    The distinction between socialism, as represented by the
    various Socialist and Labor parties of Europe and the New World, and
    Communism, as represented by the Russians, is one of tactics and
    strategy rather than of objective. Communism is indeed only socialism
    pursued by revolutionary means and making its revolutionary method a
    canon of faith. Communists like other socialists, (1) believe in the
    collective control and ownership of the vital means of production and
    (2) seek to achieve through state action the coordinated control of the
    economic forces of society. They (the Communists) differ from other
    socialists in believing that this control can be secured, and its use
    in the interests of the workers ensured, only by revolutionary action
    leading to the dictatorship of the proletariat and the creation of a
    new proletarian state as the instrument of change. (Ibid.)

    German Socialism

    A major rift between so-called orthodox socialism and communist
    socialism occurred in 1875 when the German Social Democratic party
    set forth its objective or winning power by taking over control of the
    bourgeois state, rather than by overthrowing it. In effect, the German
    Social Democratic party became a parliamentary party, aiming at the
    assumption of political power by constitutional means.

    Fabian Society

    In the 1880’s a small group of intellectuals set up in England
    the Fabian Society, which has had a major influence on the development
    of modern orthodox socialism. Fabianism stands “for the evolutionary
    conception of socialism…endeavoring by progressive reforms and the
    nationalization of industries, to turn the existing state into a ‘welfare
    state.’” Somewhat on the order of the German Social Democrats,
    Fabians aim “at permeating the existing parties with socialistic ideas
    [rather] that at creating a definitely socialistic party.” They appeal
    “to the electorate not as revolutionaries but as constitutional reformers
    seeking a peaceful transformation of the system.” (Ibid.)

    The differences in forms and policies of socialism occur
    principally in the manner in which they seek to implement their theories.

    They all advocate:
    (1) That private ownership of the vital means of production be
    abolished and that all such property “pass under some form of
    coordinated public control.”
    (2) That the power of the state be used to achieve their aims.
    (3) “That with a change in the control of industry will go a
    change in the motives which operate in the industrial system….”

    So much for the definition of socialism. I have given you these
    statements in the words of socialists and scholars, not my words,
    so they have had their hearing.

    The United Order

    Now as to the United Order, and here I will give the words of
    the Lord and not my words.
    The United Order, the Lord’s program for eliminating the
    inequalities among men, is based upon the underlying concept that the
    earth and all things therein belong to the Lord and that men hold earthly
    possessions as stewards accountable to God.

    On January 2, 1831, the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph
    Smith that the Church was under obligation to care for the poor. (See
    D&C 38.) Later he said:

    “I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth,
    …and all things therein are mine. And it is my purpose to provide
    for my saints, for all things are mine. But it must needs be done in
    mine own way….” (D&C 104:14-16.)

    On February 9, 1831, the Lord revealed to the Prophet what his
    way was. (see D&C 42.) In his way there were two cardinal principles:
    (1) consecration and (2) stewardship.

    To enter the United Order, when it was being tried, one
    consecrated all his possessions to the Church by a “covenant and a
    deed which” could not “be broken.” (D&C 42:30.) That is, he completely
    divested himself of all of his property by conveying it to the Church.

    Having thus voluntarily divested himself of title to all his
    property, the consecrator received from the Church a stewardship by a
    like conveyance. This stewardship could be more or less than his
    original consecration, the object being to make “every man equal
    according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants
    and needs.” (D&C 51:3.)

    This procedure preserved in every man the right to private
    ownership and management of his property. At his own option he could
    alienate it or keep and operate it and pass it on to his heirs.

    The intent was, however, for him to so operate his property as
    to produce a living for himself and his dependents. So long as he
    remained in the order, he consecrated to the Church the surplus he
    produced above the needs and wants of his family. This surplus went
    into a storehouse from which stewardship’s were given to others and from
    which the needs of the poor were supplied.

    These divine principles are very simple and easily understood.
    A comparison of them with the underlying principles of socialism reveal
    similarities and basic differences.

    The following are similarities: Both (1) deal with production
    and distribution of goods; (2) aim to promote the well-being of men
    by eliminating their economic inequalities; (3) envision the elimination
    of the selfish motives in private capitalistic industrial system.

    Now the differences:
    (1) The cornerstone of the United Order is belief in God and
    acceptance of him as Lord of the earth and the author of the United
    Socialism, wholly materialistic, is founded in the wisdom of
    men and not of God. Although all socialists may not be atheists, none
    of them in theory or practice seek the Lord to establish his righteous-
    (2) The United Order is implemented by the voluntary free-will
    actions of men, evidenced by a consecration of all their property to the
    Church of God.

    One time the Prophet Joseph Smith asked a question by the
    brethren about the inventories they were taking. His answer was to the
    effect, “You don’t need to be concerned about the inventories. Unless
    a man is willing to consecrate everything he has, he doesn’t come into
    the United Order.” (Documentary History of the Church. Vol 7,pp.412-413.)
    On the other hand, socialism is implemented by external force, the power
    of the state.

    (3) In harmony with church belief, as set forth in the Doctrine
    and Covenants, “that no government can exist in peace, except such laws
    are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free
    exercise of conscience, the right and control of property” (D&C 134:2),
    the United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and
    individual management.

    Thus in both implementation and ownership and management of
    property, the United Order preserves to men their God-given agency,
    while socialism deprives them of it.

    (4) The United Order is non-political. Socialism is political,
    both in theory and practice. It is thus exposed to, and riddled by,
    the corruption that plagues and finally destroys all political
    governments that undertake to abridge man’s agency.

    (5) A righteous people is a prerequisite to the United Order.
    Socialism argues that it as a system will eliminate the evils of the
    profit motive.

    The United Order exalts the poor and humbles the rich. In the
    process both are sanctified. The poor, released from the bondage and
    humiliating limitations of poverty, are enabled as free men to rise to
    their full potential, both temporally and spiritually. The rich, by
    consecration and by imparting of their surplus for the benefit of the
    poor, not by constraint but willingly as an act of free will, evidence
    that charity for their fellowmen characterized by Mormon as “the pure
    love of Christ.” (Moro. 7:47.)

    No, brethren, socialism is not the United Order. However,
    notwithstanding my abhorrence of it, I am persuaded that socialism is
    the wave of the present and of the foreseeable future. It has already
    taken over or is contending for control in most nations.

    “At the end of the year [1964] parties affiliated with the
    [Socialist] International were in control of the governments of Great
    Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Israel, and the Malagasy Republic.
    They had representatives in coalition cabinets in Austria, Belgium,
    Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, constituted the chief
    opposition in France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and
    West Germany; and were significant political forces in numerous other
    countries. Many parties dominant in governments in Africa, Asia, and
    Latin America announced that their aim was a socialist society.”
    (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1965 Book of the Year, p. 736.)

    We here in the United States, in converting our government into
    a social welfare state, have ourselves adopted much of socialism.
    Specifically, we have to an alarming degree adopted the use of the
    power of the state in the control and distribution of the fruits of
    industry. We are on notice according to the words of he President,
    that we are going much further, for his is quoted as saying:

    “We’re going to take all the money we think is unnecessarily
    being spent and take it from the ‘haves’ and give it to the ‘have nots.’”
    (1964 Congressional Record, p.6124, Remarks for the President to a
    Group of Leaders of Organizations of Senior Citizens in the Fish Room,
    March 24, 1964.)

    Socialism takes: United Order gives

    That is the spirit of socialism: We’re going to take. The spirit
    of the United Order is: We’re going to give.

    We have also gone a long way on the road to public ownership
    and management of the vital means of production. In both of these
    areas the free agency of Americans have been greatly abridged. Some
    argue that we have voluntarily surrendered this power to government.
    Be this as it may, the fact remains that the loss of freedom with the
    consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless

    As to the fruits of socialism, we all have our own opinions. I
    myself have watched its growth in our own country and observed it in
    operation in many other lands. But I have yet to see or hear of its
    freeing the hearts of men of selfishness and greed or of its bringing
    peace, plenty, or freedom. These things it will never bring, nor will
    it do away with idleness and promote “industry, thrift and self-respect,”
    for it is founded, in theory and in practice, on force, the principle
    of the evil one.

    As to the fruits of the United Order I suggest you read Moses
    7:16-18 and 4 Nephi 2-3, 15-16. If we had time we could review the
    history, what little we know, of Zion in the days of Enoch and about
    what happened among the Nephites under those principles of the United
    Order in the first two centuries following the time of the Savior.

    As I recently reminded my wife of the moratorium on the United
    Order, which the Lord placed in 1834 (D&C 105:34), that socialism is
    taking over in the nations and that its expressed aims will surely fail,
    she spiritedly put to me the question: “Well, then, what would you
    suggest, that we just sit on our hands in despair and do nothing?”
    Perhaps similar questions have occurred to you. The answer is, “No, by
    no means!” We have much to do, and fortunately for us the Lord has
    definitely prescribed the course we should follow with respect to
    socialism and the United Order.

    He has told us that in preparation for the restoration of the
    gospel, he himself established the Constitution of the United States,
    and he has plainly told us why he established it. I hope I can get
    this point over to you. He said he established the Constitution to
    preserve to men their free agency, because the whole gospel of Jesus
    Christ presupposes man’s untrammeled exercise of free agency. Man is
    in the earth to be tested. The issue as to whether he succeeds or
    fails will be determined by how he uses his agency. His whole future,
    through all eternity, is at stake. Abridge man’s agency, and the whole
    purpose of his mortality is thwarted. Without it, the Lord says, there
    is no existence. (See D&C 93:30.) The Lord so valued our agency that
    he designed and dictated “the laws and constitution” required to guarantee
    it. This he explained in the revelation in which he instructed the
    Prophet Joseph Smith to appeal for help.

    “According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I
    have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights
    and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

    “That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining
    to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him,
    that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

    “And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of
    this land by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very
    purpose….” (D&C 101:77-78, 80.)

    Previously he had said:

    “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 [the test of its constitutionality in the words of the Lord here
    is whether it preserves man’s agency];
    “And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less
    than this cometh of evil.
    “I, the Lord God, make you free therefore ye are free indeed;
    and the law [that is, constitutional law] also maketh you free.

    “Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.
    “Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for
    diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold;
    otherwise whatsoever is less cometh of evil.” (D&C 98: 4-10

    These scriptures declare the Constitution to be a divine
    document. They tell us that “according to just and holy principles,”
    the Constitution and the law of the land which supports the “Principle
    of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind,
    and is justifiable before” God; that, “as pertaining to [the] law of man
    whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.” They remind us
    that the Lord has made us free and that laws that are constitutional
    will also make us free.

    Right at this point, almost as if he were warning us against
    what is happening today, the Lord said: “Nevertheless, when the wicked
    rule the people mourn.” Then, that we might know with certainty what
    we should do about it”, he concluded: “Wherefor, honest men and wise
    men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should
    observe to uphold….”

    In this context this instruction, according to my interpretation,
    can only mean that we should seek diligently for and support men to
    represent us in government who are “wise” enough to understand
    freedom — as provided for in the Constitution and as implemented in the
    United Order — and who are honest enough and good enough to fight to
    preserve it.

    “…if we are to live as a Church, and progress, and have the
    right to worship as we are worshipping here today, we must have the
    great guarantees that are set up by our Constitution. There is no other
    way in which we can secure these guarantees.” (Conference Report, October
    1942, pp. 58-59.)

    Now, not forgetting our duty to eschew socialism and support the
    just and holy principles of the Constitution, as directed by the Lord,
    I shall conclude these remarks with a few comments concerning what we
    should be do about the United Order.

    The final words of the Lord in suspending the order were: “And
    let those commandments which I have given concerning Zion and her
    law be executed and fulfilled, after her redemption.” (D&C 105:34.)

    Further implementation of the order must therefore await the
    redemption of Zion. Here Zion means Jackson County, Missouri. When
    Zion is redeemed, as it most certainly shall be, it will be redeemed
    under a government and by a people strictly observing those “just and
    holy principles” of the Constitution that accord men their God-given
    right to private property. If, in the meantime, socialism takes over
    in America, it will have to be displaced, if need by, by the power of
    God, because the United Order can never function under socialism or
    “the welfare state,” for the good and sufficient reason that the
    principles upon which socialism and the United Order are conceived and
    operated are inimical.

    In the meantime, while we await the redemption of Zion and the
    earth and the establishment of the United Order, we as bears of the
    priesthood should strictly by the principles of the United Order insofar
    as they are embodied in present church practices, such as the fast
    offering, tithing, and the welfare activities. Through these practices
    we could as individuals, if we were of a mind to do so, implement in our
    own lives all the basic principles of the United Order.

    As you will recall, the principles underlying the United Order
    are consecration and stewardships and then the contribution of surpluses
    into the bishop’s storehouse. When the law of tithing was instituted
    four years after the United Order experiment was suspended, the Lord
    required the people to put “all their surplus property…into the hands
    of the bishop” (D&C 119:4.) This law, still in force, implements to a
    degree at least the United Order principle of stewardships, for it
    leaves in the hands of each person the ownership and management of the
    property from which he produces the needs of himself and family.
    Furthermore to use again the words of President Clark:

    “…in lieu of residue and surplus which were accumulated and
    built up under the United Order, we, today, have our fast offerings,
    our Welfare donations, and our tithing all of which may be devoted to
    the care of the poor, as well as for the carrying on of the activities
    and business of the Church.”

    “What prohibits us from giving as much in fast offerings as we
    would have given in surpluses under the United Order? Nothing but our
    own limitations.

    “Furthermore, we had under the United Order a bishop’s
    storehouse in which were collected the materials from which to supply
    the needs and the wants of the poor. We have a bishop’s storehouse
    under the Welfare Plan, used for the same purpose….

    “We have now under the Welfare Plan all over the Church,…land
    projects…farmed for the benefit of the poor….

    “Thus…in many of its great essentials, we have, [in] the
    Welfare Plan…the broad essentials of the United Order. Furthermore,
    having in mind the assistance which is being given from time to time…
    to help set people up in business or in farming, we have a plan which
    is not essentially unlike that which was in the United Order when the
    poor were given portions from the common fund.”

    It is apparent that when the principles of tithing and the fast
    are properly observed and the Welfare Plan gets fully developed and
    wholly into operation, “we shall not be so very far from carrying out
    the great fundamentals of the United Order.” (Conference Report, October
    1942, pp. 51-58.)

  • 21. lowdogg  |  January 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for posting this talk, whoever did it. It is an excellent analysis.

    Sometimes I wish Church leaders would address issues like this today. They don’t get into such things as often.

  • 22. Bryan  |  April 22, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I think you’re all nuts. Politics and the church may never mix without Christ as president. However, at least the mormon anarchists are using Christ’s teachings and mormonism to influence their political views. The capitalists seem to be making excuses for their greed.

    “the point here isn’t pontificating on the Mormon stance on economic policy. OUR belief on economic policy, separate from our religion, is capitalism. It is capitalism because we are smart.

    We’ll all be happy to live the L[aw] of C[oncecration] when the day comes… But today, we are all happily capitalists”

    She said it best, if Capitalism must be separate from religion then what eternal lesson are we learning from it?

    Please look at yourselves and not others. I remember hearing a good technique about reading the scriptures. It was influenced by Joseph Smith or some other General Authority, I’m sorry I can’t quote it (help me out if you know it). Something about reading the scriptures with an open mind to see what God is trying to tell you and not read to support your own ideas. I know anarchists that only see things in the scriptures that support their view. The comments on this website seems to do the same thing. It is in that way that you capitalists remind me of anarchists. It’s all extremism. “If it’s not what I think, then it must be wrong”. I think you could learn a lot from the anarchists. I think we could learn a lot from each other.


  • […] Anarchist’ and came up with a blog called In Rare Form, which had an entry entitled, Guest Post: Whither the Mormon Anarchist, which talked about The Mormon Worker, too, but in a negative way. However, they also mentioned […]

  • 24. Tess  |  February 22, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    hmmm, glad you (In Rare Form) can quote phrases used in the temple to explain your feelings.
    The same phrase could be used by anyone in any situation to explain their side.
    I count all the volunteers at the Mormon Worker as good friends and I agree with Bryan that we should look at ourselves and not others when interpreting scripture.

  • 25. Marcus  |  April 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

    2 years later …

    OK, so Marion G. Romney was wrong. It was his own opinion, but it’s a shake he has to express it in General Conference.

    I know for a fact (since I’m a Swede myself) that Sweden in the 60’s was NOT Socialist, has never been, but was a democracy with a governed by Social Democrats.

    “… peace, plenty, or freedom. These things it will never bring”

    Oh, it was 250 years since the last Swedish war … how about the US?

    Oh, nr2, Sweden, Denmark and the rest of the Scandinavian countries with a strong social justice system has for the last 30-40 years been at the top of EVERY thinkable list of Human advancement and freedom.

    I’m sorry Marion G. Romney that you had to express your own very human views in General Conference, and for the people that believed you because of your influense in the church.

    But I’m not perfect either, I just wish spiritual leaders like Marion, would be immune against political propaganda, or at least understand that they like everybody else are influenced by it.

  • 26. Marcus  |  April 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

    some spelling modifications:

    2 years later …

    OK, so Marion G. Romney was wrong. It was his own opinion, but it’s a shame he had to express his views in General Conference.

    I know for a fact (since I’m a Swede myself) that Sweden in the 60′s was NOT Socialist, has never been. It was a democracy with Social Democrats in government.

    “… peace, plenty, or freedom. These things it will never bring”

    I’m sorry Marion G Romney, it was 250 years since the last Swedish war … how about the US?

    I’m sorry again. Sweden, Denmark and the rest of the Scandinavian countries with a strong social justice system has for the last 30-40 years been at the top of EVERY thinkable list of Human advancement and freedom.

    I wish you’d been alive to see it.

    I’m sorry Marion G. Romney had to express his very human views in General Conference, and for the people that believed him because of his influense in the church.

    But I’m not perfect either, I just wish he, and other spiritual leaders like Marion, would be immune against political propaganda, or at least understand that they like everybody else are influenced by it.


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