ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, EVEN A MORMON LIBERTARIAN

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A while back I had the opportunity to meet with fellow libertarians during the Libertarian Party of Canada’s regional meeting. It was a good opportunity to make connections and learn more about why others are libertarian like I am. Shortly after that meeting I received a message on Facebook from one of the members of the Libertarian party that I had the chance to meet at this regional meeting. It turns out he was quite surprised to learn that I am libertarian despite being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I thought that I would share with you what my new friend had to say.

Allen: It was really nice to meet you in Edmonton. I’ll Admit (and please forgive my blind-spot prejudices which contributed to this) that I was a bit taken aback to meet an LDS who is also libertarian. If a man can Harmonize his spiritual life with social liberal philosophy, there’s a lot of hope for the world. Am I way out in space?

Me: Not at all. My faith is deeply rooted in the idea of free Agency. Many members simply don’t understand that God will force no man to heaven. Many members of my church fail to understand that. From the Doctrine and Covenants. “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.” (Doctrine and Covenants section 134:2). Laws that limits ones choices to one ideology or another violate this statement of principle found in my churches scriptures

Allen: Wow, there’s gold in that

Me: Here is the link to the full statement https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/134?lang=eng

Me: There is a lot in the Doctrine and Covenants, mostly having to do with organization and spiritual matters. The 134th section says to me that the church has moral authority not the state, and as such the state should not be involved in matters of morals and ethics where it does not impact others in a negative way.

Allen: I get that impression, certainly. To me, it reads as though to acknowledge (and praise) the legitimacy of the state, but with well-defined border around its authority.

Me: And thus my religion can still be followed and be libertarian at the same time, no conflict.

Allen: Clearly. It’s been a refreshing and encouraging blessing to have met you, Andrew.

Me: Thanks, I appreciate it, I also appreciate the opportunity to explain how my faith supports libertarianism. It seems that your response is the most common, it baffles a lot of people that I  can be a devout Mormon and libertarian at the same time, they don’t understand, even within my church in a lot of cases. ” I am libertarian, I want to be known as libertarian” Ezra Taft Benson. Past Prophet of my church.

Allen: For me, the initial perplexity came from my observations that temperance (in relation to drugs and alcohol) is synonymous with LDS culture. I felt instant admiration when I discovered that you were/are on board with the libertarian stance on such.

Me: Thanks, I would never support the use of such drugs, however I understand that the war on drugs has caused more harm that good, from a LDS perspective, if we want to help people get off such harmful substances it will not be accomplished via prohibition but education and harm reduction strategies. Embracing them with love and understanding and helping them work through it, not putting them in jail.

Allen: That’s all one can ask of his fellow!

This was to me, a wonderful conversation about libertarianism and LDS Christianity and how it can in fact work in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I Think Richard L Evans put it best when he said

“Essentially this is what the gospel is: counsel from a loving father who says to his children, “you have limitless, everlasting possibilities. You also have your freedom. It’s up to you how you use it. This is what you can become if you take my advice – and this is what will happen if you don’t. The choice is yours”

All throughout the gospel and scriptural history we have learned in so many ways the importance of Liberty and freedom in our lives. Another example of this can be found in Doctrine and Covenants 58:27-28

27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.

28 for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in no wise lose there reward.

Brigham young once said

“let the husband and father learn to bend his will to the will of his god, and then instruct his wives and children in the lesson of self-government by his example as well as by his precept”

These are just a few examples of modern-day scriptures and prophets however we can see all throughout the scriptures that the principle of liberty and freedom has been taught since the dawn of time. We can read in Moses 3:17

“But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee, but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”

It is interesting to note that the first commandment ever recorded given to Adam and Eve was not about pro-creation, eternal life, or anything or any other aspect of God’s doctrine and faith. The first principle and doctrine taught Adam and Eve was in fact the principle of liberty and free agency. This ability given to us by God to choose for ourselves is vital to God’s plan. Without it the gospel would fall apart and then God’s plan would cease to exist. It is that vital and that important. It was the first of all the teachings of God. Thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; God gave mankind our free agency to govern and make decisions for ourselves and it is the building block of mankind. How important that must be for God to not only teach that we have freedom but it being the first thing he ever taught us!

In Heleman 14:31 we read

“He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.”

There are numerous other scriptures throughout the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and covenants that support libertarianism as an essential part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would like to share some of them with you.

Alma 53:17

“And they entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea, to protect the land unto the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted that they never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage.”

Alma 61:21

“See that ye strengthen Lehi and Teancum in the Lord; tell them to fear not, for God will deliver them, yea, and also all those who stand fast in that liberty wherewith God hath made them free. And now I close mine epistle to my beloved brother, Moroni.”

Alma 43:49

“And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage.”

Alma 48:10-11

“And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians.”

“And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;”

Alma 58:12

“And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination to conquer our enemies, and to maintain our lands, and our possessions, and our wives, and our children, and the cause of our liberty.”

Alma 46:28

“And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissensions, and gathered together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites.”

Alma 56:47

“Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.”

Alma 43:9

“And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses, and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.”

Mosiah 23:13

“And now as ye have been delivered by the power of God out of these bonds; yea, even out of the hands of king Noah and his people, and also from the bonds of iniquity, even so I desire that ye should stand fast in this liberty wherewith ye have been made free, and that ye trust no man to be a king over you.”

Mosiah 29:32,39

“And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.”

“Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given them; and they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them.”

There are scriptures contained all throughout the book of mormon that support libertarianism and freedom of choice and conscious. These scriptures show a people who are highly devoted to the cause of liberty. This devotion to liberty and freedom comes from their belief and faith in God and his eternal plan for him.

One thing that many Libertarians talk about is the morality of taxes. Even this subject is talked about in the Book of Mormon. When king Benjamin was addressing his people he had this to say about it in Mosiah chapter 2

12 I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you;

 14 And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.”

There are many other references that talk about the morality of taxes and how they are burdensome to the people and often viewed as evil and wrong. King Noah in the Book of Mormon was famous for his taxes which were viewed as bondage and servitude.

If you’re reading this and are not Mormon that is OK because this is about showing why Libertarianism is in fact a large part of the gospel Of Jesus Christ as the LDS church understands it. If you are a christian and reading this you can read in the bible many scriptures that support Libertarianism as well. To quote just a few here.

Galations 5:13

 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

2 Corinthians 3:17

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Jeremiah 34:15

15 And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:

Now this one is interesting in that it not only talks about liberty but that as followers of the gospel we have made a covenant to do so.

James 1:25

 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Romans 8:21

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

There are many more that can be found in the Bible. In the interests of not making this a 5,000 word post here are some other scriptures you can look at that deal with liberty and freedom. Far from a comprehensive list but serves to highlight effectively the importance of personal choice, accountability and freedom.

psalms 119:45
Jeremiah 34:8
Jeremiah 34:15
James 2:12
acts 24:23
1 Corinthians 10:29
Romans 8:21
Galatians 5:1
D and C 88:86
Leviticus 25:10
Heleman 1:8
d and c 138:18
d and c 138:31
d and c 138:42
3 Nephi 6:30
Isaiah 61:1
Luke 4:18
2nd Nephi 1:7
2 Nephi 2:27
d and c 135:7
d and c 134:2
d and c 134:4

Libertarianism is truly, clearly a pivotal and central doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. God made us free. God gave us the liberty and freedom and with that some of those in power have chosen to enact laws that take our freedom and personal choice from us. God loves us and he is our creator. God created us to be free men and woman to worship God and live in peace and harmony in the gospel and in this world that we might progress eternally. I love the gospel and I love Liberty and personal freedom.

And that is the gospel according to Andrew.

 

By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals

THE MAKER

The_Tea_Party_The_Ocean_at_the_End

The Tea Party has long been one of my favorite all time bands. They are in my opinion a highly under rated band and have created some of the most beautiful, soulful and inspiring music out there. The Band has been described as ” a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed “Moroccan roll” by the media” They have a reputation for singing about the darker side of the psyche and have been heavily influenced by religious mythology in many of their songs. You can see this in their song Pyschopomp

The psychopomp is a creature of ancient mythology that acts as your guide to the afterlife. also known as the Grim Reaper or Angel of Death in American culture. The River is another one that draws on this ancient mythology with regard to the river Styx

one of my other favorites that have a religious reference to the music are soul breaking. with lyrical content like

“in the face of the fire, you see angels conspire, will they hear your desire, could they stop your soul breaking”

On the bands most recent album The Ocean at the end we see another song that makes reference to or is influenced by religious theology. This one is simply called The Maker. When I heard this song I was truly inspired by the message behind this beautiful piece of music. Not only is the music beautiful the lyrics are truly inspiring from the view of one having a tortured soul coming back to God

After hearing this song I could not help but want to write-up a post on my own commentary on this rock hymn as I will call it.

 

OH OH DEEP WATER ITS BLACK AND COLD LIKE THE NIGHT
I STAND WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN
I’VE RUN A TWISTED MILE
I’M A STRANGER IN THE EYES OF THE MAKER

The first verse of this song describes a man who is troubled by the deep and overwhelming ocean of his despair at the life he has lived. He feels cold and dark due to the things he has done and seen. With out stretched arms he feels abandoned and rejected by God. God does not know him and he is a stranger to him. He has not lived and kept to the straight and narrow path but rather has run through life twisting and turning with the world. The path he has taken has not been straight but has taken him away from God to the point that he no longer knows him.
I COULD NOT SEE
FOR THE FOG IN MY EYES
AND I COULD NOT FEEL
FOR THE FEAR IN MY LIFE
FROM ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE
IN THE DISTANCE I SAW THE LIGHT
IT WAS JOHN BAPTISTE
HE WAS WALKING TO ME
WITH THE MAKER

This man recognizes that his choices, like the mists of darkness have blinded him to the truth. He has lost feeling because of the fear he has created in his own life without the guidance of God. He feels that there is a great divide between him and salvation and he is forever lost and cannot be saved. While in this despair and experiences he has created this lack of sight because of his clouded eyes due to the choices he has made in his life. He sees John Baptiste coming to him with God by his side. I am sure he would be fearing and trembling at this sight.

MY BODY
IS BENT AND BROKEN
MY LONG AND DANGEROUS LEAPS
I CAN WORK THE FIELDS OF ABRAHAM
I TURN MY HEAD AWAY
I’M NOT A STRANGER
IN THE EYES OF THE MAKER

He is a broken man. The sins he has committed leaves him feeling guilt and shame but he commits to fixing the errors of his ways. This is what the line “I can work the fields of Abraham” refers to. Despite this however, he still cannot bear the guilt and shame of his sin filled life and must turn away for shame. The realization dawns on him, he learns that he is not a stranger in the eyes of God. I can only imagine the relief he must feel at knowing that God has not forgotten him. That he is loved and he is not a stranger in the eyes of his Maker.

BROTHER JOHN
HAVE YOU SEEN THE HOMELESS DAUGHTERS
THERE STANDING THERE
WITH BROKEN WINGS
I HAVE SEEN
FLAMING SWORDS
THERE OVER EAST OF EDEN
BURNING IN THE EYES
BURNING IN THE EYES
BURNING IN THE EYES OF THE MAKER

Learning what he has learned he reaches out to John, asking if he knows of the suffering of others, specifically the daughters of God. He can recognized the pain they have endured. Perhaps at his own hands and seeks to repent. He has now seen the flaming swords and wants to help as he has recognized the fire burning in the eyes of God.

THOUGH RIVERS RISE FROM THE SEA

This is a beautiful song and inspiring one as well. It speaks of the gospel truth that even the most wretched sinner is not a stranger to God and that we can all repent and receive forgiveness. We will never be strangers to God and he will greet us with open arms if we turn back to him.

And that is the gospel according to Andrew.

By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals

Ninth Article Of Faith

9th article

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

The never-ending God. The Unchangeable God summarized so perfectly within this brief statement of doctrine of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. God has spent much of his time revealing to his saints what he will do . He has revealed many important things pertaining to his kingdom on earth. He Reveals them now to the leaders of the church. God has done so throughout all time since the first days of humanity. God spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and revealed many things to them with respect to their purpose. All throughout ancient scripture we see the word of God being brought to his people via direct revelation to his prophets. God revealing his law and purposes is something that is ancient and goes back for thousands of years in his dealings with mankind.

What has God revealed concerning his kingdom? There are many things we can look at in ancient biblical scripture. For the sake of time I will look at just a few. In Isaiah 2:2 we can read the following

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

This prophecy of Isaiah has been realized in the last days with the establishment of the Church in Utah. The word Utah literally means “people of the mountains” and thus the Lords church has been established in the mountains just as Isaiah prophesied. This is one of many biblical prophecy’s that have come true.

Malachi 4:5-6

¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

Elijah has come and genealogy has become one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world and has become quite mainstream. Recently my wife got quite interested in a show on TLC called who do you think you are? which focused on family history of Hollywood celebrities. However prophecies are not the only thing that God has revealed.

Modern revelation has given us the Word of Wisdom as well. This is found in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants. A law of health which revealed to the saints what is good to eat and not good to eat. We learned from that about getting enough exercise and sleep for a good and healthy lifestyle long before modern knowledge about such things. It has only been in the last 75 years or so that modern science had discovered the link between lung cancer and smoking, however the Lord told us in revelation in 1833, 181 years ago, more than a century before doctors finally started to even susspect that cigarettes are harmful.

Revelations does not always have to mean prophecy of future events. This is evident in the restoration of the Gospel. The vast majority of revelation concerning the restoration was not about future events but about what God wanted of his church in the last days. Revelation is a continuing today through God’s chosen prophets and apostles.

There are those that would deny continuing revelation saying that God has revealed all that he has to say and there is nothing left and we are to be left to our own devices. This simply does not make sense when the same people will say that God is unchanging the same today, yesterday and forever. A God who ceases to talk to his people is a God that has changed, contradicting the very notion of an unchanging God.

Because God is unchanging we know that there is much more to be revealed yet. What those revelations may be about one can only imagine. What I can tell you is that I have seen many revelations from God, given to our prophets over the years. Gordon B Hinckley received the revelations to build smaller temples and as a result there has been unprecedented growth in temples around the world. Temples have literally dotted the earth in direct fulfillment to prophecy. What more is to come, I am sure will be great and marvelous things in deed.

As it says in Amos 3:7

“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets”

And that is the Gospel According to Andrew