Quantcast
Faith

Founding of America and LDS gospel Restoration are divinely connected

Comments

Return To Article
  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    July 8, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    There is no question whatsoever to an honest reader of our founding fathers' writings that they intentionally left religious verbiage out of the Constitution to discourage religious oppression, yet fervently hoped the citizens would adopt personal religious virtues as a check to their unprecedented freedoms.

    This does not imply in any way that they either failed to get in the verbiage they wanted, or were "truly inept." It was a brilliant move and wise counsel.

    @ skeptic - I completely disagree that it was ever the intent of our founders, to the slightest degree, that "Religion should be totally kept out of the public square and government." They clearly believed that EVERY voice should have the legal right to be heard in the public marketplace of ideas. To prohibit religious voices is equally bigoted, oppressive, unconstitutional, and against the wishes of our founders as it would be to exclude atheists, homosexuals, farmers, bankers, socialists, and celebrities.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    July 7, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    Atheists do not believe there is a god.

    Deists believe there is a god.

    Hope that little "difference" helps.

    And for the record, Christopher Hitchens was antitheist.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    July 7, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    DSB wrote:

    "Y'all can twist the words of our founders all you like, but they very, very clearly recognized the role of religion in setting moral parameters that were necessary to sustain a society laden with the freedoms they ensured through the Constitution."

    No, they clearly did not. At least IF they did (which is debatable), they completely failed to include anything remotely resembling such a "recognition of the role of religion" in ANY of the official, Founding documents.

    So, as I wrote before, either you are wrong in your assumptions, or the Founders were truly inept.

    Which is it?

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    July 7, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    With limits of 200 words it is difficult to embark on basic civics lesson on the Constitution, but some obvious points include: The Founders didn't just write a document that all states signed immediately, it took YEARS of wrangling to produce the document. Slavery was opposed by the northern states but it took a compromise with the southern states to form the union. It was a flawed compromise that eventually resulted in the Civil War. To fault the document's authors and intent because of the compromise is short-sighted and ill-considered. The principles it was founded on are still valid and a beacon to the world.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 7, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    @DSB

    I totally agree: "But, the concept of "freedom from religion" never occurs in their writings. They felt religion was necessary, but personal."
    Religion should be totally kept out of the public square and government.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    July 6, 2013 10:47 p.m.

    Y'all can twist the words of our founders all you like, but they very, very clearly recognized the role of religion in setting moral parameters that were necessary to sustain a society laden with the freedoms they ensured through the Constitution. Why did they keep out Jesus and other specific religious doctrines? Because to include such language invites religious oppression, which they were totally against. And I have never said they wanted religion in government. They certainly wanted religion for the people.

    "...reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." George Washington

    "I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers." Thomas Jefferson

    So very wise to encourage the best of moral virtues found through religion (and Jesus was the philosopher or religion of choice), but to abstain from endorsing one sect over another, and to forbid the establishment of any particular religion.

    But, the concept of "freedom from religion" never occurs in their writings. They felt religion was necessary, but personal.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 6, 2013 6:50 p.m.

    @DSB,
    "The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."
    -Signed Treaty of Tripoli, 1797
    John Adams

    It is not to say that they may not have had some sense or feeling for religion, but they were against religion in government; and for the most part they were free thinkers, and at best agnostic if not atheists.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    July 6, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    I am always puzzled by the religious who try to hijack history and claim that the Founders were Christians and founded this country on Christian principles, Christian faith, etc.

    First of all, IF that was true (which it is not), what are you implying today? That we must be a "Christian Nation"? That only Christians are true, first class citizens of this country? That only Christians have rights? That only Christians can serve in government position, and elected offices? That only Christians can run for POTUS and only Christians can serve as judges and interpret laws according to the Christian Bible?

    Secondly, if you do mean the above, then we must wonder how incompetent the Founders were who, despite knowing that this nation must be ONLY a Christian Nation, yet they completely neglected to mention Jesus, the 10 Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, or any other religious principles in the Declaration, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, etc.

    In short, if the Founders could have but did not include any of the radical religious beliefs and claims in the founding documents, then either you are wrong, or they were complete failures!

    Which is it?

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    July 6, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    John Adams - "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    Obviously John Adams wasn't looking for freedom from religion. And, it's quite clear from the writings you suggest, skeptic, that the founders wanted freedom from religious oppression, which is tremendously different than the kind of "freedom from religion" you claim they wanted What they wanted was freedom OF religion and freedom of thought and conscience. As described in the LDS Article of Faith #11 - "...let them worship how, where, or what they may." But, certainly let them worship and let the government make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

    Freedom from religion is a mythical concept of wishful and often dishonest atheists that appears nowhere in the Constitution, and can't be supported with any honest contextual citations from this country's founding fathers.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 6, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    @MrNirom1, You are correct in that they wanted freedom and independence from England and the king, but that was not their religious believe as pertinent to this article. Go study their biographies and personal history to learn about their religious believes. It was in reason that they trusted not religion. They wanted freedom from religion. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 6, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    RE; Twin Lights, I have read do go both ways as suggested here.

    The Greek is very helpful,(Gen” 1:1 Greek LXX)” In the beginning God (*o Theos, Grk. 2316). Clearly God, singular. *Nominative singular article.

    RE: FAIR, Did Paul write Hebrews? Louis Midgley,”I don't speak for the other FAIR volunteers or for the Brethren. But the fact is that the answer to your question is No.

    Yet, JS did not question Paul’s authorship yet made many revisions to Hebrews. I.e.. The Epistle of Paul The Apostle to the HEBREWS”, JST (Inspired Version) p. 1156. Same as KJV published by the LDS Church.

    JS missed Hebrews 2:3 …; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. The eyewitnesses chiefly the Apostles had vouched by the message first announced by Christ. Apparently the author was neither an Apostle nor an eyewitness .

    “Stan Larson”These are earlier and better texts of Matthews Sermon on the Mount. There is unanimity support by modern scholars, but The BoM never takes us to a verifiable text in antiquity..

  • MrNirom1 Oregon City, OR
    July 6, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    @skeptic "Paine, Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison were all skeptics who's primary goal was freedom from religion and church, and not the superstitious believes in religion and church."

    Wow my friend.. you have that all wrong and are so far from the truth. They all looked at England and the King as being Godless and unjust. They wanted the tyranny to end. They wanted the freedom to their own liberty. Go read the Declaration of Independence.. It says what they believed and what they wanted. Nothing in there about freedom from religion or freedom from God.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 6, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Paine, Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison were all skeptics who's primary goal was freedom from religion and church, and not the superstitious believes in religion and church.

  • mream Parker, CO
    July 6, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    And how about the volcano in Indonesia in 1815 that caused four killing frosts in Vermont and led the Smith family to pick up and move to New York?

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    July 5, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Historical pieces falling into place to enable future events is always fun to think about. I even believe it happens. You can't stop where its convenient to your premise though, you have to look further. Sometimes the conclusions you arrive at bring more questions than answers. Going further back than the founding fathers you find the pilgrims and the Geneva bible and the printing press and ...eve gave adam an apple.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    July 5, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    @atl34 - so, name those great civilizations, and not just the ones who pretended to build a government on the one high ideal you referenced from my earlier post, but all of the high ideals I mentioned. Name a group of people who formed a Constitution anywhere close to what our founders created. Name a single group of founders in the history of the world with the collective wisdom, education, and knowledge of governing principles - let alone a group from a startup wilderness frontier.

    Part of the miracle is that despite shortcomings, of which you referenced but one example, they still created a governing document that allowed for its improvement, including the abolition of slavery and advancement of voting rights. God makes us work for our enlightenment, but He certainly inspired a very good start.

    To believe this conflagration of unique people, circumstances, and highly improbable victory over the English military came about through coincidence and luck, requires a belief in something more unlikely than divine providence.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    July 5, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    Scientist: NO, God did not put BO at the head of this nation, people who voted for him did. I'm surprised that you don't know the difference, being a scientist.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    @LetsDebate
    "Tell us all, Tyler, of another civilization in the entirety of human history, that based its government on freedom and liberty of all"

    Many civilizations in history based their gov't on high moral ideas... whether they actually follow through with freedom and liberty of all is a different matter. Even the Founders fell short because "all men are created equal" was pretty much limited to property owning white men (those were the only ones allowed to vote initially).

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    July 5, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    Such contention. (See 3 NE 11:29, also D&C 10:63)
    It seems as usual, that there are none so blind as those who will not see. (See Ezekiel 12:2)

  • MrNirom1 Oregon City, OR
    July 5, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    Thomas Paine had the same problems that Joseph Smith did. He did not believe in any "religion" that was currently in place. He knew that all these religions could not be true.. yet all of them contained a belief that God spoke to someone. That someone being called a prophet. And that communication being called revelation.

    Thomas Paine had the same attitude about religion as God did when he told Joseph to join NONE of the churches. God told Joseph.. "they were all wrong; and 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."

    Thank goodness that at least God can speak his mind and say what is right. Now.. whether or not you believe God said it.. is another matter. That.. is faith. Yet God provides a way for one to really know. And to hear what God is saying.. one must actually listen. Not to man.. but to God. Really really listen.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    July 5, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    Tell us all, Tyler, of another civilization in the entirety of human history, that based its government on freedom and liberty of all, that all men are created equal, that, in the words of John Adams, was only fit for a moral and religious people because it required self-governance. Let us all know of another conflagration of talent, education, understanding of governance in conjunction with human nature, and bravery to revolt against the most powerful country of its time.

    Many (not all, as you falsely suggested I claimed) of our founding fathers were driven to become knowledgeable about things that were critical to forming the government they created. Just because some may not have recognized those inclinations as promptings of divine preparation, does not disprove that God was guiding those circumstances. Many did recognize the hand of God, whether you will acknowledge it or not.

    I cannot prove divine guidance to you, and you cannot disprove it to me. To me, it takes more gullibility to believe the circumstances of our country's founding occurred from mere coincidence and good luck.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 5, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Sharrona,

    Again, reference Bethlehem please reread my prior post. It is not a mistake. It is just how folks centuries later and half a world away referred to the historic land of their ancestors.

    Reference the doxology. I am aware of the controversy as should be about anyone who has attended an institute class (maybe seminary too {I can't recall). Other ancient texts support it. It is also reminiscent of David's Prayer in Chronicles and would be consistent with the point of the Gospel of Matthew.

    Reference the plurality of gods issue. From the Wiki folks: "Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language." I do not pretend to be a linguist but the materials I have read do go both ways as suggested here.

    As to the relationship between the Book of Mormon and the KJV, I suggest you look to FAIR. There is a lot of material there covering this point.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 5, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    @LetsDebate – “…these men were "prepared" by God to perform a great work.”

    This comment simply begs the question and does not stack up well against history.

    When Christianity attained state power (via Emperor Constantine) it was followed by a thousand years of Dark Ages. It was only when smart and courageous people began challenging religious authority (and those priests and bishops stopped burning these “heretics” at the stake) did things begin to change, culminating in our founding brought about by those who were against everything institutionalized religions stood for.

    If these guys were indeed all “inspired by God” (despite many of them saying many things to the contrary) then at the very least we can conclude that not only are God’s ways mysterious, they are also unbelievably inefficient.

    Something else to ponder – if the above scenario does not prove that most (if not all) of our ideas about God are man-made and antithetical to freedom and human dignity, what would prove it? In other words, if even these facts of history can be claimed as proof of God’s hand in things, doesn’t that hermetically seal religious faith in a way that it can never be falsified?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 5, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    RE; Twin Lights, You are missing the point; Jerusalem(Alma 7:14) s/b Bethlehem is a mistake Wrong, another example of a mistake. i.e..
    Mt 6:13 KJV and 3Nephi 13:13 Both have the doxology, For thine is he Kingdom and power and the glory forever amen. The KJV is based on 9th to 12th century texts. Earlier and better manuscripts do not contain the doxology. Only One example.

    The KJV/3 Nephi Sermon on the Mount. LDS Scholar Dr. Larson finds 12 examples where JS copied the 1769 KJV errors.

    “A great portion of 3 Nephi seems to be "borrowed and lifted" from the KJV Bible. Larson found that 3 Nephi holds exactly the same sort of errors that are unique to the 1769 version of the KJV Bible Joseph Smith owned.”

    And JS,” In the very beginning the bible shows there is a plurality of Gods. Beyond the power of refutation”.(Hof C v. 6 p.476)Wrong:
    Genesis 1:1 Greek Septuagint In the beginning God (*o Theos, Grk. 2316). Clearly God, singular. *Nominative singular article.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    July 5, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    @Lightbearer - who ever said God whispered the words of our founding documents into the ears of the founding fathers? I think what you'll find in nearly all teaching and discussions is that these men were "prepared" by God to perform a great work. Meaning, they very well learned from other great and "prepared" people like Locke, Montesquieu and many others, so they were well versed, receptive to true ideas, and educated enough to make it happen. Also, it's a historical fact that they sought inspiration. Inspiration works when a person is prepared by their own past decisions to allow a fine sifting of ideas. Nobody's perfect, but with several good and "prepared" men working together, our founding documents were the greatest governing foundation ever produced in the history of the world, without equal even today.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
    ~John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    July 4, 2013 8:55 p.m.

    Lightbearer ... "The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure." John Locke

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    July 4, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    It's funny how many people think that Man is incapable of achieving anything on his own, and that there always has to be some higher power or supernatural creature behind everything he does, even the bad things he does ("the Devil made me do it"). For some reason, they prefer to think that aliens built the pyramids, morals are decreed from Heaven (and if not, if they're the invention of Man, then they're meaningless), and that a divine being must have whispered the words of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution into the Founding Fathers' ears, because they simply couldn't have been smart enough to come up with those documents themselves.

    I, on the other hand, am confident that they were quite smart enough, and that if they had any inspiration, it was not from a voice behind a cloud, but from the likes of Locke and Montesquieu and other men.

  • ? SLC, UT
    July 4, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    I could be wrong, but me thinks the phrase "Land of Jerusalem" used often in the Book of Mormon and "Land of Judah" used often in the Bible are synonymous.

    As mentioned in Matthew 2:6, "Bethlehem, in the land of Judah...out of thee shall come a Governor...".

    Likewise In John 7:42 it mentions, "That Christ cometh...out of the town of Bethlehem...".

    Is not Bethlehem a town in the land of Judah? So then wouldn't, Bethlehem also be a town in the land of Jerusalem?

    How different is it for Alma to say the land of Jerusalem for where the Savior is born than from when people ask me where I'm from? I don't think by much.

    Usually when asked by folks in Utah, I'll say SLC. But when I'm away from Utah and people ask where I'm from, I usually say Utah. Perhaps, this is no different for them. Those in the land of Judah or Jerusalem will be more specific in saying the Savior was born in Bethlehem, while those far away could say something like land of Judah or Jerusalem.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    July 4, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    The Scientist
    That may be one of your best post's from my perspective as an active LDS member
    Laughed pretty good at that one

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    July 4, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    @Hutterite: Oh really, you don't believe the Founding Fathers were inspired of God?
    Read the Declaration of Independence; here is a part of it:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
    created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
    certain unalienable rights.

    By there Creator; not the British; not the Government; By God and only God.
    America Love it or Leave it!

  • BoMerit Alpine, UT
    July 3, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    @ Tyler D

    I get your point. When an accomplishment's notable, I mean to take nothing away. However, I sincerely believe that they could NOT have brought the Constitution forth without inspiration from the Almighty. I'm prepared to believe (if proven) they could have doubted God's interference in the lives of men, but that's actually hard for me to believe. I think they readily accepted many of the little miracles during the revolution as tender mercies from God and as confirmation of the rightness of their cause in God's eyes. I think they talked about those interventions more than we do. I don't think these have become myth - I think we actually pay less lip service than they did.

    I don't care if the Founding Fathers were Atheist, of any skin color, or from Mars, but I believe the Constitution was a gift from God & that ultimately, only God-fearing men could be that in tune with His Spirit as needed to draft it and get it ratified. I do not mean to say God cannot inspire an Atheist, but I think this special gift to us was not such a product.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 3, 2013 8:05 p.m.

    I think some of the definitions of Deism being used are too narrow. Like most religious movements, it is not without some range. Also, Deism is a belief in God. Deism defines the manner of His discovery and His interaction with the world. It is not a synonym for atheism except by those who narrowly draft their own definitions of religion.

    From the Wiki folks:

    Deism is a theological position concerning the relationship between "the Creator" and the natural world. . . . Deism stood between the narrow dogmatism of the period and skepticism. Though deists rejected atheism, they often were called "atheists" by more traditional theists. There were a number of different forms in the 17th and 18th century. In England, deism included a range of people from anti-Christian to un-Christian theists.

    Deism holds that God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world in any way, allowing it to run according to the laws of nature. For Deists, human beings can only know God via reason and the observation of nature, but not by revelation or supernatural manifestations (such as miracles) . . .

    Sharrona,

    You are missing the point. Please reread my prior post and respond accordingly.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 3, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    RE; Twin Lights, the text is “at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers” so the reference here is to the historical place from which they came, not necessarily the specific city.
    The Bible makes it clear that it was David himself who was born in Bethlehem, of the clan of Ephratah. Bethlehem was the birthplace of King David, most Hebrew kings were born in Jerusalem.- Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem-judah, whose name was Jesse.

    Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

    John 7:42…, That Messiah cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? But not JS.

    The first century Jews all understood the reference to be the town of Bethlehem. Bethlehem means "House of Bread". see (John6:35)

    … *Jersusalem … who shall be overshadowed and “conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost”=(Spirit) and “bring forth a son… ( Alma 7:10).

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    July 3, 2013 6:42 p.m.

    bandersen wrote:

    "Amen! 'The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.' Joseph Smith. The stone is rolling!"

    Yes, and god deliberately placed Barack Obama at the head of this "chosen nation"!

    Glory, glory hallelujah!

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    July 3, 2013 5:33 p.m.

    @Craig Clark
    "But God is conspicuously absent from the Constitution."

    … 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.

    Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
    And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I have raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
    (D&C 101:77-80)

    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;
    (D&C 98:5-6)

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 3, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    @BoMerit – “I concede an improper use of the word Deist…”

    Understood… and thank you for your civil tone and response. I would take issue with much of what you said here – personally, given their strong views on science and rationality and against superstition and religious authority (i.e., Prophets, etc…), I think many of the Founders, were they alive today, would be much closer to Atheistic scientists than Mormons.

    But rather than argue these points, the question that comes to my mind is, even if that were so would they (and should they) be diminished in believer’s minds in any way? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but are you suggesting you would not appreciate all the Founder’s tremendous accomplishments if they were a bunch of Atheists?

    I think perhaps their greatest achievement is in creating a society where good people of all stripes can flourish and despite our many differences we can share the values they enshrined in the founding documents and in their many writings… wouldn’t you agree?

    Sorry… didn’t mean to get preachy.

    PS – Paine’s Age of Reason is brilliant and should be widely read.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 3, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    The Founding of America and LDS gospel restoration are connected, but not divinely. If the East coast was not settled and towns named and developed, where would Joseph have gotten some of the names for his Book of Mormon? Many names in the book are strikingly similar, some exact, to places near where Joseph grew up. Strange how that happens.

  • BoMerit Alpine, UT
    July 3, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    Craig,

    I agree in part with your assessment of early Mormonism being far more liberal than what we see in the church today (at least in Utah); and Joseph Smith, Jr. did call for a strengthened Executive Branch in order that the power could be used to defend the oft-times helpless church and others who were weak and persecuted (including Irish Catholics whom I believe Joseph mentioned by name in his Presidential campaign speeches). However, I'm not sure that can translate into an assumption that the early church would have approved of many of the socialized programs and heavy borrowing that seem to be the hallmarks of modern day progressivism. In-as-much as today's Republicans seem nearly as guilty as Democrats in racking up massive dept upon our country, I can presume that the early church member would have made folly at today's massive Republican Party commitment we see in this state.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 3, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    marxist,

    "....Hamilton is almost never quoted in LDS circles because he was truly one of the founders who would disagree with Mormonism's present day conservatism."
    ______________________________

    That's not even the half of it. Mormonism's present day conservatism would astonish Joseph Smith. 19th century Mormonism was a radical aberration by social and religious norms of the day. The notion that a century later the Church would be seen as a bastion of political and social conservatism would have been incomprehensible to the early converts.

  • BoMerit Alpine, UT
    July 3, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    Tyler,

    I concede an improper use of the word Deist. I meant to say the men had faith in a Deitry - a Father God (and I read sufficient amounts of their words to believe most of them had a faith in Jesus Christ of the New Testament), but that most of them would decline to refer to themselves as Catholic, Anglican, Protestant or otherwise affiliate with other Christian faiths or movements due to their failure to see how to connect their own readings of the Bible with the tenants of the day. This was likewise true of Joseph Smith, Sr., all of whom I greatly respect and like to think that had I lived in their day I would have sympathized with their views and feelings entirely until the Restoration of the LDS church and its doctrines.

    Craig,

    Conceded. But I find Thomas Paine to be a believing man and my post was directed at readers to the benefit of the whole group of men who we refer to as Founding Fathers. I should have pointed at your comment / argument less directly, but felt the defense was warranted in the general atmosphere today in which they seem generally disparaged.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    Mormons' effusive praise for the founders is in large part justified. But you'll note that most LDS don't think much of Alexander Hamilton whose fractional reserve - big central bank -big central government views are not generally well received. Hamilton is almost never quoted in LDS circles because he was truly one of the founders who would disagree with Mormonism's present day conservatism.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 3, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Bo Merit,

    "....They did the best they could, and your argument that they did not believe in God is groundless."
    ______________________________

    Since I made no such argument about the founding fathers, I’ll grant you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you simply didn’t bother to read my post very carefully.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 3, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    @BoMerit – “I hope readers will reject your assumption in Paine's presumed atheisism; considering Paine himself referred to himself as a Deist… and your argument that they did not believe in God is groundless.”

    “Deism is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of God, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge. Deism holds that God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world in any way, allowing it to run according to the laws of nature. For Deists, human beings can only know God via reason and the observation of nature, but not by revelation or supernatural manifestations (such as miracles) – phenomena which Deists regard with caution if not skepticism.”

    I doubt this would in any way qualify as a “believer” in the Judeo-Christian understanding. And since a Deist believes God does not intervene in the natural world in any way, the distinction between an Atheist and a Deist looks like a distinction without a difference.

    Thomas Paine was the Christopher Hitchens of his day… and a great American!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 3, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    "The Hill in upstate New York was not the same hill where the Nephite nation perished."

    Seems to be some real confusion on that

    ""The great and last battle, in which several hundred thousand Nephites perished was on the hill Cumorah, the same hill from which the plates were taken by Joseph Smith, the boy about whom I spoke to you the other evening." (Talk given by Apostle Orson Pratt, Feb. 11, 1872 Journal of Discourses Vol. 14, pg. 331)

  • BoMerit Alpine, UT
    July 3, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    Craig Clark,

    I hope readers will reject your assumption in Paine's presumed atheisism; considering Paine himself referred to himself as a Deist who believed in the God-directed Creation and hoped that God would help him enjoy a happier life after he had died. This is right in the subject pamplet itself - Part 1 no less.

    Having extreme disappointment in the prevailing churches - as did Washington, Jefferson and other Founding Fathers - does not make them atheist and does not even qualify as proof they did not have a supreme hope in the Jesus Christ of the New Testament and Jehovah of the Old. There are numerous statements by all these embattled Founding Fathers that suggest that the vast majority were God-fearing men who believed that the churches of their day had left the truth and ancient faith. They did the best they could, and your argument that they did not believe in God is groundless.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 3, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    In the buildup to 1776, American colonists based their grievances against the crown on their rights as Englishmen under English law. The Declaration marked a radical departure by abandoning that stance in favor of claiming inalienable rights under the Creator. In other words, the King knew what he could do his English law.

    That breakthrough was fueled by publication of a widely read incendiary pamphlet titled Common Sense, written by an anonymous author who identified himself as an Englishman. The author was Thomas Paine, an atheist who oddly enough employed Biblical references to make a stirring case for American independence as the logical next step for Americans to take. The moment couldn’t have been more ripe for such an incitement.

    Paine’s later writings included the atheistic Age of Reason which caused contention within Joseph Smith’s own family. Paine is marginalized in American celebration of the Revolution. Had he not written the later book, he might occupy a place today as one of the founding fathers

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 3, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    I have a had time buying the concept that our country was the result of divine intervention when its founding came at such a great and horrible cost to the inhabitants that were already here at the time. our founders were good and brave people but they were not perfect and rather then gloss over their mistakes and justify them as being divinely inspired perhaps we can learn from them.

  • Woody Newbury Park, CA
    July 3, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    I don't look upon this article as convincing others that the Church is true because of the path the country took. Jesus is the Savior regardless of there being a new star seen in the sky. It should, however, inspire those that are members to give thanks to God for His blessings. Signs are for those who already have faith.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    July 3, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    I think it is fine to make the connection between the restoration of the gospel and the founding of America, so long as that connection doesn not extend to unwarranted nationalism that justifies sins yesterday and today. For example, the fact that slavery was allowed by the founding fathers was wrong and should be a stain on their legacy. This fact does not detract from the "connection," but it should be part of the narrative.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 3, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    The notion that the American Revolution was the hand of Providence setting the stage for a restoration is a belief peculiar to Mormon charismatics. But God is conspicuously absent from the Constitution. And the inalienable rights under the Creator cited in the Declaration of Independence served as legal justification for political separation from English monarchy.

    That’s not religious belief. That’s just hardcore history.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    July 3, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    Along the same lines as this topic, Michael Medved sells a historical series of essays he did in which he posits that America's revolutionary win was quite miraculous. He documents a number of events that occurred that during the American revolution that were quite amazingly fortuitous convergences including freak weather events, and a sandbar that saved the city of Charleston from the British Navy. MM is not LDS, he's an observant Jew, but sees America as blessed by God. I found his presentation quite compelling.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    July 3, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Um Hi JoeBlow!

    You are absolutely correct. If Joseph Smith would have been living in Miami the Lord would have had Moroni deliver the plates to him there. It was indeed about Joseph Smith, his divine foreordained Mission and what needed to happen to restore Gods authority and church on the earth. The Hill in upstate New York was not the same hill where the Nephite nation perished. The plates were delivered to where Joseph, Son of Joseph and descendent of Joseph who was sold into Egypt happened to be residing at the proper time.

    This country was founded by God fearing men and women who sacrificed much to create it. We must remember that when we turn our backs on God, he will not forget us but he will not continue to bless us. We are seeing that today in this nation. Our most prosperous times have been when our leaders stood up for what was right and righteous. Our leaders are no longer doing this and we should all be nervous and prepared for what will come.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 3, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    I’m never quite sure if our evolved pattern identifying and meaning placing tendencies are a good thing or a bad thing. No doubt it helped us survive at a time when we were one of the weakest predators on the plains, but today it seems to function more like the appendix.

    What’s troubling about an article like this is this is exactly how myths get started. And once something (e.g. a nation’s founding) gets mythologized there is real danger that many of the facts that lead to the founding will be forgotten because… well… it was God’s doing.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    July 3, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Amen! "The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." Joseph Smith. The stone is rolling!

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    July 3, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    Sharrona,

    Alma is writing 500 years after they had left Israel. He is referring to a small city about 5 miles away from one of the only major cities that probably survived in their history.

    Even in the modern world, when folks are from small towns near a large city and travel to another area, they often just reference the larger city (as no one will know the small city they are from).

    The text is “at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers” so the reference here is to the historical place from which they came, not necessarily the specific city.

    This is all consistent with something written half a world away about a land they left half a millennia ago.

    Folks who say Joseph wrote the Book of Mormon accuse him of Machiavellian genius and of having access to all kinds of books and other materials in order to write the Book of Mormon. But he can’t get the right city for where Jesus was born? Something every simple kid likely knew?

    Not likely.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 3, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    You can believe what you will about your church, but the founding of America is not 'divinely connected'. America is the product of people who wanted it to happen; smart, university educated elite people, in many cases. God does not suspend the laws of nature and physics to intervene in the outcome of sporting events, nor the founding of the nation. The new nation took strength from the freedom it afforded individuals, a freedom we seem bent on eroding today as we try to force a veneer of religion over it.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    July 3, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    I know the founding Fathers were inspired of God. As General George Washington took 12,000 troops to Valley Forge in 1777 with very little food, shelter, and money and over 2000 troops dying in the dead of winter to solidify this country he prayed that God would send relief. God did send relief and they received food, shelter, and money and were able to carry on to cement our wonderful country known as the United States of America.
    May the leaders of this day turn to God.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 3, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    If you start with a preconceived idea, then work backwards, one can make just about any connection one wants.

    One could also speculate that if Joseph Smith was living in Miami, he may have found the plates there.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    July 3, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    For more on the subject, read "The Great Prologue" by Mark E Petersen.
    For even more on the subject, read "Just and Holy Principles," a BYU American Heritage text.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 3, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    RE: The new star that announced the birth at *Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone.
    Book of Mormon, ”(Jesus)…born of Mary at *Jersusalem … who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost(Spirit) and bring forth a son yea, even the Son of God. ( Alma 7:10).

    "In *Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet(Malachi) has written:".( MT 2:5). Fulfilled Prophecy is what separates the Holy Bible from all other books..

  • hbeckett
    June 29, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    very true, thank you