Divinely Sanctioned Governments: Exploring the Prophetic Parallels in the Book of Mormon by the Joseph Smith Foundation – Documentary Notes

In the For Our Day Series

-there is a painting “the apotheosis of Washington” of him surrounded by 13 women representing the colonies. Washington was found praying often during the war; there is plenty of evidence of the US as a Christian nation. Some historians call Washington a deist, but this is absurd, he consistently evoked Gods law on the land. Deists believe God is only found via reason and observation not via revelation and supernaturalism. (*Note some other Joseph Smith Foundation materials make a good point: that some of the US founding fathers were skeptical of the form of Christianity in their day; so was Joseph Smith!) The most quoted source in the writings of the founding era were from the bible, and this was quoted 4x more than the next most quoted boo. 34% of their quotes were from the bible. This is hard to understand in our secular era. The language of the constitution reads similarly to the bible type of language.
-at top of the Washington Monument it says in Latin “praise to God”; in the miniature display in the museum it hides this inscription on the back; all the way up to the top there are bible verses from Proverbs, these are seen on the stairs ascending the tower, and those stairs are no longer allowed to be used, people are required to use the elevator. This is supposedly because people can’t handle the stairs.
-the founding fathers believed America was the new promised land of the Lord. They wanted the national symbol of the US to be an image of the Israelites traveling in the wilderness. We have an eagle instead.
-like how Mosiah didn’t create the government in the Book of Mormon, so didn’t the US founders create the government here, really, they were instituting laws of God.
-Mosiah’s law deals with a transition from monarchy to a government where the people make the laws, elect those who make the laws, and are responsible for the outcomes. People answer for their own sins. Mosiah instituted a system of judges as found in the brass plates. The ultimate authority of their government was recognized as God. Just as the Nephites in the Book of Mormon, the Americans had a law which started out as recognizing God as the leader, and have not continued to recognize God. The principles of the Constitution are in the Book of Mormon.
-without God as a justification for human rights, it becomes impossible to explain why a human should be treated differently than an animal. Those who profess to believe Darwinian Evolution often believe that saving a dog is just as important as saving a human. Certain rights are given to every person by God. When we believe we are from apes, we act like apes. The Columbine shooter was wearing a shirt that said “natural selection”. Where do the unalienable rights of humans come from? From their creator, as the founders wrote into the Constitution.
-The bible teaches that the purpose of government is to secure God given rights.
-Moroni includes property rights in his Title of Liberty. He called upon the people to show a “spirit of freedom”. Private property is referred to often in the Book of Mormon. 3 Nephi 3 tells of a group of people trying to tempt Gods people into communal pooling of land rather than individual property. Moroni defines defending our rights as “the cause of Christians”
-The Book of Mormon has poetic parallels and chiasmus reflecting scenes of the American revolution; Joseph Smith was 21, backwoods, uneducated, not well read. He could not have written that.
-one couple was fined for holding bible study group in his home without a permit
-Jayson Kunzler a BYU professor surveys his class on government views and most the students align with the communist manifesto. They then study readings from the Book of Mormon, and the students’ views change dramatically.
-when governments of liberty are established, people are simply returning to the government of God.
-without God, no one can say what’s right and what’s wrong. Morals become irrelevant.
-Ancient Israel had a type of federalism, the states were called tribes, and there was a central national federal government to help in things the tribes could not. It’s the divided limited government.
-freedom is participation in power. The more is controlled by remote Washington the less power we have.
-Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg wanted to use foreign laws to settle issues in the US not our constitution.
-Obama called the Constitution very flawed and representing cultural issues of the time it was written.
-Genesis 49 is the words Jacob delivered to Joseph; it said Joseph is a fruitful bough whose branches go over the wall; they understood this wall as being the Atlantic Ocean, and that a remnant of Israel would spread across it to this land. George Washington put his hand on this chapter when swearing his oath to God to be the president of this land.
-when we attend the temple, we hear of our liberty binding us to our land
-Franklin Roosevelt called the Constitution quaint from the horse and buggy era. J Reuben Clark of the First Presidency responded that though they had horse and buggy, they still understood human nature, which is the same as it always has been.
-The first presidency of the LDS Church (Grant, Clark, McKay) condemned “New Deal” policies because of their socialistic and unconstitutional nature; they warned that as a nation and as a people we are moving towards communism. Just like ancient Israel’s prophets condemned political leaders, so have the modern Israel prophets. The saints rejected the advice of the First Presidency of the Church as seen in the election results in the 4 elections of FDR, Utah Idaho and Arizona citizens gave majority support of FDR.
-McKay in the First Presidency said the church’s position on communism has always been the same: it’s of the Devil and takes away our liberty.
-Ezra Benson said socialism eventually has the same effects on our freedom as communism.
-Alma 51 they sent a petition to change the government, seeking to destroy the government ratified by the voice of the people these laws of Mosiah. Similarly, people want to get rid of the Constitution thinking it outdated. These people wanted to restore monarchy, getting a leader not representing the people. As people move away from spiritual moorings, they move from political ones. Religion and liberty are always tied together.
-Obama lamented the checks and balances system has kept him from making all the changes he wanted.
-When Nancy Pelosi was asked where the constitutional authority was for requiring people to have healthcare, her answer was “are you serious? Are you serious?”
-representative Phil Hare said he cares less about the constitution and more about the people dying without healthcare.
-The D&C says God inspired by US Constitution. Clark and Benson repeated this. Clark carries his copy of the constitution with his scriptures. They taught the constitution is the law of Zion. It’s a political version of the blessings for Israel, telling us how we can receive and preserve liberty. Brigham Young says that Jesus Christ himself dictated the constitution, and that it is as good as he can ask for.
-the early US Supreme Court gave preference to the bible over less authoritative sources.
-the 10 commandments are the basis of the common law in America. We also have several depictions of Moses with the 10 commandments in our government buildings. He was the Genesis of Judeo-Christian law. The law from the brass plates taught by Mosiah is akin to Moses giving the law to Israel and akin to our constitution.
-secular humanism says man is predominant not God.
-President Hinckley condemned society for taking God out of our laws despite him being in our pledge of allegiance and our coins. He said we have the name of God on our coinage, but we cannot mention the name of God in our schools. He said we are forsaking the Almighty, and I fear he is forsaking us.
-Obama said we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, but only a nation of citizens.
-an 8-year-old boy had candy with the name Jesus taped onto them at Christmas, he was not allowed to give these to his peers.
-a photographer was ordered to pay 7000 dollars for declining to photograph a same sex marriage.

-Book of Mormon as parallel timeline to modern history of God’s people:
1 prophets persecuted: akin to the reformation
2 Lehites to America: akin to Gentiles to America
3 Mosiah’s law is akin to the US Constitution of the US.
4 They found the Jaredite record, which is akin to Joseph Smith finding the Nephite record.
5 Then Alma restoring the church is a parallel on a Book of Mormon timeline to Joseph Smith restoring the church.
6 Abinadi’s martyrdom is akin to Joseph Smith’s martyrdom
7 Anti-Christ’s deceive Nephites: akin to Anti-Christ deceive Saints
8 Missionaries to the Lamanites and Nephites: akin to missionaries to the world
9 Wicked leaders conspire: akin to communism and socialism
10 Title of Liberty: akin to Constitution
11 Astonishing church growth: akin to worldwide church growth
12 Nephites degenerate: akin to moderns reject founding moorings
13 Lamanite religious freedom: akin to walls come down
14 Combinations infiltrate Nephites: akin to complicity in America
15 signs warn Nephites: akin to signs warn moderns
16 more wicked destroyed: akin to earth cleansed
17 Christ visits Nephites: akin to Second Coming
18 period of peace: akin to the Millennium
19 Nephites openly rebel: akin to Satan loosed after the Millennium
20 Mormon leads final battle: akin to Michael leads final battle

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