Ten Government Principles Favored In The Book Of Mormon | Desert Saints Magazine

An excellent article I discovered at Desert Saints Magazine outlining ten correct political principles favored in The Book of Mormon.

Ten Government Principles Favored In The Book Of Mormon | Desert Saints Magazine:

By Jamie Huston

The comments of Mormon and the examples of Nephite leaders offer a testimony that the Lord favors certain political principles over others.

1. Government should prepare weapons in peace time and declare the right to bear arms.

2 Nephi 5 is a detailed description of Nephi’s new society. As one part of that program, Nephi “did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us” (2 Nephi 5:14).

Notice that the Lamanites weren’t attacking at the time. Nephi was stockpiling arms to prepare for (and deter) any future conflict.

2. Immigrants should assimilate into dominant populations.

When the Nephites move into the established population at Zarahemla (Omni 1:17-18), the native group learned the Nephite language and appointed Mosiah to be their king. They recognized that their society had become corrupted and godless, and Mosiah was a seer and could translate their history. Then the two groups “did unite together.” The Book of Mormon defies current conventional wisdom by showing us that this was a good thing!

It thus rejects the notion of a “multicultural” Nephite nation.

3. Those whose beliefs are based on feelings of resentment and entitlement cannot be appeased.

Mosiah 10: 12-13 makes it clear why the Lamanites hated the Nephites: “Believing that… they were wronged in the wilderness by their brethren, and they were also wronged while crossing the sea; and again, that they were wronged in the land of their first inheritance.”

Their whole world view was a reaction to their perceptions of the Nephites, which prevented them from having personal happiness, peace with the Nephites and a civil society.

4. Heavy taxes and vast government programs are wrong.

Mosiah 11:6 says that evil King Noah taxed his people heavily (unlike good King Benjamin in Mosiah 2:14). Mosiah 11:8-13 details the many needless public works projects he wasted the people’s tax money on.

5. Capital punishment is acceptable.

In Alma 1, a vocal critic of the church named Nehor is executed by the civil government. Alma 46:35 even says that execution is permissible for those who refuse to be patriotic and defend freedom during a time of war.

6. Using the legal system to further a personal agenda is wrong.

When the lawyers of Ammonihah attempt to discredit Alma and Amulek, Mormon makes their real motive clear: “They did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them” (Alma 11:20).

Those laywers weren’t concerned with discovering the truth, they were manipulating the system to forward their own interests, encouraging more lawsuits by agitating people. Does America currently have a political philosophy that encourages using the legal system to create or change legislation?

7. Good leaders preserve freedom, defend religion, and punish crime…and that’s all.

One of the most over-looked treasures in the Book of Mormon is Alma 50:39, where we are given the oath of office Nephite leaders took during one of that people’s most spiritual periods: “to judge righteously, and to keep the peace and the freedom of the people, and to grant unto them their sacred privileges to worship the Lord their God, yea, to support and maintain the cause of God all his days, and to bring the wicked to justice according to his crime.”

That’s it. No social programs, no advocating for progressive causes.

8. Subverting the mainstream is wrong.

In Alma 51:16, Mormon tells us that during a great war where a special interest group sought to obstruct the administration’s progress, Moroni’s “first care [was] to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people; for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction.” So poisoning your country’s attempts to preserve its institutions is not some alternative form of patriotism, it’s societal suicide.

9. Normal procedures can be changed during a war.

In Alma 51:19, when Moroni won a battle against the dissenters among the Nephite’s own population, “those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.”

So the prisoners of war were left in a holding tank since conducting the war took precedence over any due process the prisoners might receive. Even the rights of Nephite citizens, apparently, could be suspended. Critics of Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot Act might want to read these verses before their next protest.

10. Good leaders must have private morality.

Those who would defend unethical public leaders, saying that their private lives are not connected to their work, might take this as a warning. The Jaredite king Morianton “did do justice unto the people, but not unto himself because of his many whoredoms; wherefore he was cut off from the presence of the Lord” (Ether 10:11).

In summary, Nephi describes the church of the devil which scourges the righteous as a political entity that is openly hostile to religion (1 Nephi 13:5), embraces sexual immorality (1 Nephi 13:7), and constitutes an international government (1 Nephi 14:1). John the Apostle, in his book of Revelation, adds the detail that this civil Babylon will control a heavily-regulated global economy (Revelation 13:16-17).

America’s current political and social climate bears certain striking resemblances to those described in the Book of Mormon. The question is, will we heed its lessons?

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Posted on July 8, 2006, in Mormonism/LDS Church, News and politics. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. 11. An offensive was is evil. A defensive war is acceptable.
    12. Pacifism (anti-nephi-lehi) is acceptable – It is better to honor your coventants then to obey the law of man.

  2. 11. Sure. And your point? If you refer to America’s current war fronts they are defensive in every sense of the word.

    12. The Book of Mormon is anti-pacifism to the core. The anti-Nephi-Lehi’s were a special cast, and you will recall their families did fight for them; so much of pacifism. Second, defending ones country and family is God’s law, so to be a pacifist is anti-God. Recall how the king-men held back their support of the war; they were killed!

    See also Dissenter; Freedom
    Alma 51: 5 those who desire to alter law to establish king over land are called king-men.
    Alma 51: 13 refuse to defend country.
    Alma 51: 17-19 (Alma 60: 16) are slain by army of Moroni(1) or cast into prison.
    Alma 51: 20-21 are compelled to defend country.
    Alma 60: 16 prevent Nephites from dispersing enemies.
    Alma 62: 9 receive trial and are executed.

  3. “If you refer to America’s current war fronts they are defensive in every sense of the word.”

    You have got to be kidding, right? Do you really believe that the U.S. was under an offsensive “attack” from Iraq? Do you really believe that the rights of U.S. Citizens were ever in danger of being eliminated or diminished by Saddam? Do you really believe King George and his Gandianton handlers?

  4. Yes, the Iraq war is a defensive war, bipartisan war. You have read the Iraq War Resolution, haven’t you? It’s all the evidenced needed to substantiate my claim.

    H.J.RES.114: To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.


    U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 107th Congress – 2nd Session

    Statement by the President

    House Approves Iraq War Resolution: Lawmakers Reject Deadline for Troop Withdrawal

  5. Your accusation that somehow President Bush is acting like a “King” and “Gandianton” robbers is as specious as it is absurd. Yet a case could easily be made that President Bush is a modern day Captain Moroni!

  6. Are you for real? Mr Bush a Captain Moroni? He serves a god of war, not a love.

    “Yes, the Iraq war is an offensive war” (Slip of the tongue, or your real thoughts?). Also I don’t care how many theive and liars (congresscriters) voted for this war. It is offensive, wrong, and we will be punished for it.

  7. ed42, in answering your posts thus far I’ve demonstrated the error of your logic and refuted your arguments. I’d be interested in your counter-arguments against the facts I’ve presented:

    1) Iraq war is a defensive war as proven in the H.J.RES.114: To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq. How do you dispute that?

    2) The Book of Mormon is anti-pacifist as proven by the scriptures I cited. How do you dispute that?

    3) President Bush is no King; it’s just empty rhetoric, misuse of terms and false labeling. How do you dispute that?

    4) President Bush does not even come close to the profile of Gandianton’s in the Book of Mormon; another example empty rhetoric, misuse of terms and false labeling. How do you dispute that?


    1) You state, Bush “serves a god of war, not love.” How have you arrived at this conclusion?

    2) You state, “Also I don’t care how many theive and liars (congresscriters) voted for this war.” You like name calling don’t you? I’ve counted five name callings by you in only three posts! You do realize this is propagandist speech, don’t you?

    3) You state, “It is offensive, wrong, and we will be punished for it.”

    a. Why is it wrong? How have you arrived at the conclusion?

    b. We will be punished you say? By whom? How? When? Why? Where?

    c. Are we to assume you believe that when America is “punished” you believe we would have deserved it? You imply by your sentiment that America will deserve any retribution by any methods, including terrorists.
    d. For all mentioning of the US Constitution you do, you seem dead set against it. For it is the US Constitution that gives congress the right and authority to declare that point in fact the Iraq war is a defensive war as proven in the H.J.RES.114: To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.
    4) Have your read Ether 8? I consider the “secret combinations” which “work of destruction” is because they seek to “overthrow the freedom of all lands” be to exactly al-Qaeda. What say you?

  8. overall you did a great job at pointing out some principles. I agree with all but 1…

    In principle #9 you state: “when Moroni won a battle against the dissenters among the Nephite’s own population, “those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.”…”Critics of Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot Act might want to read these verses before their next protest.”

    Those are two different things.

    In the case with Moroni, once the battle ended they took those who were FIGHTING against them and put them in prison.

    In the case of “Guantanamo Bay and the Patriot Act” – people are being imprisoned who aren’t even involved in a battle. People have been imprisoned just simply for being muslim… and the PATRIOT ACT takes away rights from all, not just war criminals, there is a difference.

    While your principle “Normal procedures can be changed during a war.” may be correct, the way you relate it to modern times is not a correct application of the principle.

    I suggest you do more research on the PATRIOT ACT and you’ll see just how unconstitutional it is and how it violates righteous principles.

    Also, you must realize that the war which Moroni was involved in was justified based on principles, and it was a defensive war, whereas with the current war in Iraq it is not based on righteous principles and is an offensive/pre-emptive war… remember what happened when the nephites decided to engage in an offensive/pre-emptive war?

    from Mormon Chapter’s 3 & 4:
    “….they did aswear by the heavens, and also by the throne of God, that they would go up to battle against their enemies…”

    “…the Nephites did go up with their armies to battle against the Lamanites, out of the land Desolation… the armies of the Nephites were driven back”

    “…And it was because the armies of the Nephites went up unto the Lamanites that they began to be smitten; for were it not for that, the Lamanites could have had no power over them.”

    “…from this time forth did the Nephites gain no power over the Lamanites, but began to be swept off by them even as a dew before the sun.”

    The Book of Mormon justifies defensive war, but not pre-emptive/offensive war.

  9. Brian has sent the same comment to the DesertSaintsMagazine.com website. Here is the DSM Editor’s reply:

    I appreciate you thinking about what you have read.

    However, I don’t know that I agree with you. Although I don’t have personal biographical information on any Gitmo detainees, the US wouldn’t be putting so much time and money into keeping them locked away if they were simple, law-abiding Muslim folk. They are there because they are dangerous. Quite frankly, if they got loose and killed one American, or took place in one plot, it’s not worth the risk. They can rot in Cuba until they die of old age for all I care. I don’t want crazed, suicidal, trained killers loose where they can hurt anyone.

    As for the Patriot Act, I am willing to have someone looking over my shoulder if it means that they (Uncle Sam, CIA, military, etc.) are trying to watch my back.

    As for our current military engagement being an unrighteous war: How else do you fight an enemy who plants bombs in unsuspected places and kills civilians, then hides away in schools for their own safety? We have to take the fight to them. We have most assuredly been attacked by radical Muslims for over twenty-five years, with little or no response.

    They have become so bold now as to talk openly about their plans to eliminate every “infidel” who disagrees with them. Or until they get there, they’ll keep killing their innocent countrymen, or civilians around the world, from Baghdad and Bali and London to the U.S. Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers.

    Since we are relating this whole issue back to the Book of Mormon, let’s look at what happened with the Gadianton robbers, who acted much like our current enemies. You contend that any time battle was taken to the enemy, it was unrighteous. But the Gadianton robbers did not fight like a traditional army, nor do our current enemies.

    Helaman 3: 23 And it came to pass in the *forty and ninth year of the reign of the judges, there was continual peace established in the land, all save it were the secret combinations which Gadianton the robber had established in the more settled parts of the land, which at that time were not known unto those who were at the head of government; therefore they were not destroyed out of the land.” (Emphasis added) This implies that they would have been destroyed, and should have been destroyed, if the government had known about them.

    Helaman 6:20 “And now it came to pass that when the Lamanites found that there were robbers among them they were exceedingly sorrowful; and they did use every means in their power to destroy them off the face of the earth.” (Emphasis added)

    Helaman 6:37 “And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.” (Emphasis added)

    3 Nephi 2: 11-13, 17-18
    11 And it came to pass in the thirteenth year there began to be wars and contentions throughout all the land; for the Gadianton robbers had become so numerous, and did slay so many of the people, and did lay waste so many cities, and did spread so much death and carnage throughout the land, that it became expedient that all the people, both the Nephites and the Lamanites, should take up arms against them. (Emphasis added)
    12 Therefore, all the Lamanites who had become converted unto the Lord did unite with their brethren, the Nephites, and were compelled, for the safety of their lives and their women and their children, to take up arms against those Gadianton robbers, yea, and also to maintain their rights, and the privileges of their church and of their worship, and their freedom and their bliberty. (Emphasis added)
    13 And it came to pass that before this thirteenth year had passed away the Nephites were threatened with utter destruction because of this war, which had become exceedingly sore.
    17 And it came to pass in the commencement of the fourteenth year, the war between the robbers and the people of Nephi did continue and did become exceedingly sore; nevertheless, the people of Nephi did gain some advantage of the robbers, insomuch that they did drive them back out of their lands into the mountains and into their secret places.
    18 And thus ended the fourteenth year. And in the fifteenth year they did come forth against the people of Nephi; and because of the wickedness of the people of Nephi, and their many contentions and dissensions, the Gadianton robbers did gain many advantages over them.” (Our fate will be the same if we are too wicked. The Lord will not support us in our military endeavors to rid the world of evil people if we are evil as well. As happened in the Book of Mormon, we will be left to our own strength, and we will not have the powers of heaven fighting with us, which we so desperately need.)

    Danielle Ellis
    Editor, Desert Saints Magazine
    Public Relations Director, American Mothers of Nevada

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