No government can exist in peace unless

We don’t even recognize how far our “free” country is from this verse.

D&C 134:2 We believe 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, and the protection of life.

Is our right and control of property “held inviolate”?

Not even close. We have so many laws about the control of our own property it is ridiculous. Does the law allow us to place so much as a shed on our property without its explicit permission? No. In fact, we will pay it money for the privilege of gaining its permission.

Is that “holding inviolate the right and control of property”?

When I was out of work and our lawnmower died, our grass got long. Not crazy long, but certainly not mowed. As soon as I got a job, and received a paycheck we got a new mower, but just days beforehand, we had a man from the city come to tell us that our grass was too long. As we were about to get a mower, I never found out what the city would have done to us if we failed to comply and cut our grass.

Is that “holding inviolate the right and control of property”?

Our neighbors were from Cuba. They didn’t speak english. They built a large chicken hutch in their backyard. Apparently they didn’t get permission from the government, and so a city official came by. The man knocked on our door first to ask what we knew about the matter. He was absolutely eager about the matter. He had a surprisingly shark-like quality to his manner as he headed over to their house. He was openly eager to catch them in their “crime”.

Is that “holding inviolate the right and control of property”?

Drunk in our stupor, we defend the many laws controlling what we can do with our own property stating that they all “serve a purpose”?

Yes, apparently, we can throw away founding principles of government as long as it “serves a purpose”.

If we believe the scriptures, then the result of all these things that “serve a purpose” is that the government cannot exist in peace. We think the scripture is not correct, and that we can give over the control of our property to the government in an enormous multitude of little ways as long as each one “serves a good purpose”, and that certainly that won’t affect whether our government can exist in peace. But the scriptures is right, and is unfolding right before our eyes.

We think that the danger to peace described in the scriptures is necessarily the revolt of men whose property is taken away. But actually, the current danger is quite different than that. The current danger is that by taking power over even individual property, the government’s power is essentially unlimited. It can declare what it wants and nobody questions it, because no new decree it makes is out of line with what we have already bowed our heads to.

It can change the very meaning of marriage, and everyone just goes along with it.

It can change the meaning of gender, and everyone just goes along with it.

A government that has a right to the things its citizens own is a government that has a right to anything. And once we agree to the former, we soon accept the latter.

The scripture also speaks of the need for government to protect the free exercise of conscience. We think of that as a great big deal compared to the part about property. And it is, but the two are closely related. Once the government has such power that it can control our personal property, then government has enough overreach to shut down the free exercise of conscience. We see that beginning to unfold already.

But the danger doesn’t stop there by any means. A government with unlimited power is a target and a very vulnerable one. It is a target because wicked men see that if they can collude to get control of the government, there is nothing to hold them back. If the people are holding the government in check, requiring that it not exceed its bounds and proper place, then it is harder for wicked men to both take and maintain power of government. They have much less means to protect whatever power they gain.

On the other hand, if the people have given extensive and unlimited power to the government then if wicked men gain control of government they can exercise its power to maintain control. There is no way to then grab the  reigns back once people accept the current decrees of government above the principles on which governments exist.

Once we decide that the current decrees of government are more resounding in our ears than the constitution then government can ignore the constitution without fear. It must be the people who hold the government to the bounds of the constitution. Government will not hold itself to any bounds.

Do we believe these words: “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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”?

Do we believe that government derives their powers from the consent of the governed for the purpose of securing god given inalienable rights? No. We do not. Or at least, we do not in a way that moves us to action when we see it violated.

That phrase from the declaration of independence doesn’t just mean that the majority can oppress the minority and that is OK because they are the majority. It doesn’t mean the government is a big dog that can bite, tear, and rend as it sees fit. Read the whole phrase: “To secure these rights governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The role of government is to secure to its citizens those rights that were endowed by God.

Government derives its power from the those same people whose God given rights it is protecting. If it ceases to protect those rights, then it has no right to its power. It may have a big stick in its hand to punish with, but it has no right to punish, because it no longer has a right to rule.

Some may think “so what, if the government has the big stick, then we have to do what it says”. These people misunderstand the founding of america and the realities of this world. God is at the helm. We need a view into the principles as he understands them so that we can know how to please him and win his help. Without that, the founders could not have built this country, and without that, we can not recover it.

We also need to know what God thinks is right because many of us have stood in direct opposition to his principles, supporting any law that “served a purpose” regardless of whether it trampled on individual liberty or “held inviolate” the “right and control of property”. In fact, most of us stand by laws that “serve a purpose” without any regard to how they relate to the constitution, the bill of rights, the principles laid out in the declaration of independence, or even scriptures such as D&C 134:2 cited above.

A government that isn’t limited in the way D&C 134:2 lays out is vulnerable to being subverted. It is vulnerable because wicked men can use that government overreach to offer, openly or discretely, to give the masses the riches that belong to the rich if the masses will , in return, put the power of government into their hands.

That is, these days, the principle way that this scripture appears to be coming to pass. Wicked men are using the extreme overreach of the federal government to promise to give the riches of the rich to the poor in exchange for their vote. It is being used to make this nation a socialist nation. A socialist nation is a repressive nation. It likes to have control of everyday life. It likes to decide who works, where they work, what they are allowed to do, and the list goes on.

When government is kept in the bounds set in the scriptures it is far less vulnerable to being subverted because its power is limited by the people. It is also less of a target to being subverted, because its power is limited. When the government no long holds inviolate the right and control of property then wicked men can use that government overreach to take power, promising to give the poor the things that belong to the rich in exchange for the power of state. And when they do, the peace of that nation will not last long.

The scriptures are right. The limited power of government truly is the only way a government can endure in peace.











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John Robertson

I am nothing more than a regular member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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