Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chapter 20
Miscellaneous Thoughts on Our Divine Constitution
"We must remember
that law is force. . . ."
— Frederic Bastiat

A this time, we will take up a few additional items of our Constitution and its amendments that are critical to the threads of freedom upon which this document dangles. Our discussion on this topic, by no means, indicates that we have exhausted the issue. On the contrary, there is still much more that could be said. However, due to time and space, and what has already been presented, what we will cover in this chapter will be sufficient for our purposes.

We will deal here with only a few words and clauses contained in the Constitution. As we do so, we must realize that the Constitution is law. And as someone once said, "Laws are word, and words have exact meaning." Thomas Jefferson had the following to write about laws:

"The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the lawmakers.
"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should therefore be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing.
"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means. (The Real Thomas Jefferson, p. 511, from Bergh, Jefferson at Monticello, 12:59, 15:450, 12:418.)

We will find, as we study the issues at hand, that lawmakers have purposely used words and phrasings that are not for the "ordinary rules of common sense." The laws seem to mean one thing to the citizen, but they really mean something entirely different to a judicature of the laws.

As we go through the document and its amendments, we will randomly select a few clauses for study. We will do this in a chronological manner.

Inhabitant (Article I, Section 2, Clause 2)
As can be seen by the defined terms below, there is a difference between an "inhabitant" and a "resident." An inhabitant is one who is permanent and has a permanent domicile or place to reside; such as a citizen of a states. Whereas, a resident is one without a permanent domicile or place to reside and is in a temporary position; such as a person who is visiting with, or without, a departure date.

"INHABITANT. One who has his domicil in a place. . . . As used in the federal jurisdiction act of 1789, it means citizen. . . . The terms ‘resident’ and ‘inhabitant’ have. . .been held not synonymous, the latter implying a more fixed and permanent abode than the former, and importing privileges and duties to which a mere resident would not be subject. . . . Where a question was to be submitted to the ‘inhabitants’ of a municipality it has been held to mean legal voters. . . . When relating to municipal rights, powers, or duties, the word inhabitant is almost universally used as signifying precisely the same as domiciled. RESIDENT. One who has his residence in a place. One is a resident of a place from which his departure is indefinite as to time, definite as to purpose; and for this purpose he has made the place his temporary home.
"RESIDENCE. A residence is different from a domicil. . . . The essential distinction between residence and domicil is that the first involves the intent to leave when the purpose for which one has taken up his abode ceases. The other has no such intent. . . . One may seek a place for the purposes of pleasure, of business, or of health. If his intent be to remain, it becomes his domicil; if his intent be to leave as soon as his purpose is accomplished, it is his residence. (Bouvier’s, pp. 1568, 2920.)

It is interesting to note that the word "resident" is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution of the United States. However, the word "inhabitant" is mentioned in both of these documents. Our Founding Fathers had reference to sovereign Citizens, and not aliens.

If we are asked if we are residents of the Untied States and we answer, "yes," then we are saying that we are not "Citizens" of the United States of America, when in fact we are. If we are not Citizens, then we are aliens. What we should answer is that we are inhabitants, meaning we have a fixed and permanent place to live and not an alien or transient.

Marque and Reprisal (Article, I, Section 10, Clause 1)
In this clause, it states, "No State shall . . . grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal. . . ." Bouvier’s Law Dictionary tells us what a letter of marque and reprisal is:

"LETTER OF MARQUE AND REPRISAL. A commission granted by the government to a private individual, to take the property of a foreign state, or of the citizens or subjects of such state, as a reparation for an injury committed by such state, its citizens or subjects. The prizes so captured are divided between the owners of the privateer, the captain, and the crew.

"The granting of letters of marque is not always a preliminary to war or necessarily designed to provoke it. It is a forcible measure for unredressed grievances, real or supposed. It is a means short of actual war, well recognized in international law, for terminating differences between nations. (Ibid., p. 1934.)

By the clause in Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, Congress has power to grant letters of marque and reprisal. And by this clause of the document, this power is prohibited to the several states. Nevertheless, even though this power is forbidden to the states, they do give letters of marque; some of these letters are known as "traffic citations." The reprisal is the "fine" imposed.

The quote says: "to take the property of a foreign state." Remember our previous discussion on "inhabitant?" An inhabitant is a Citizen, and a "resident" is a foreigner. Are we inhabitants or residents? Are we Citizens or foreigners?

States are prohibited from such actions — but are they obeying the law? They expect us too obey it.

Bills of Credit (Article I, Section 10, Clause 1)
This clause says, "No State shall . . . emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin. . . ." What is a "Bill of Credit"? The law dictionaries tell us:

"BILL OF CREDIT. In Constitutional law. A bill or promissory note issued by the government of a state or nation, upon its faith and credit, designed to circulate in the community as money, and redeemable at a future date. (Black’s, p. 211.)
"BILL OF CREDIT. Paper issued by the authority of a state on the faith of the state, and designed to circulate as money.
"The constitution of the United States provides that no state shall emit bills of credit, or make anything but gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts. This prohibition, it seems, does not apply to bills issued by a bank owned by the state but having a specific capital set apart . . . nor does it apply to notes issued by corporations or individuals which are not made legal tender. (Bouvier’s, p. 347.)

Paper money, bonds, and the like, fall into the category of bills of credit. Such bills of credit are promissory notes and designed to circulate and to be redeemed on the faith and credit of the nation, state, or individual at a future date. However, the current Federal Reserve banking system is a privately owned corporation and does emit bills of credit.
Though the government is prohibited from doing so, private corporations are not. The Treasury Department of our nation does print the bills (paper money) but they do so under the direction of the Federal Reserve. (See I Bet You Thought. . . , [A Federal Reserve Publication], p. 25.) As is pointed out elsewhere in this work, the Federal Reserve Bank is not part of the Federal Government and therefore is not prohibited in emitting bills of credit.

However, Congress has given approval to "coin" other than "gold and silver." This is an obvious fact. In 1964, all of the silver was taken out of the coins, and in 1984, the copper was taken out of our pennies. (Copper is not a precious metal anyway.) As one anonymous person expressed it: "There are three precious metals: Gold, silver, and lead — the last is to protect the first two."

Succession of the President (Article II, Section 1, Clause 6)
This clause was modified by the Twentieth and Twenty-Fifth Amendments, and by the Presidential Succession Act. These provisions provide for the Vice President to replace the President should he die in office or leave office for any other reason.

The President also has the power to appoint another as Vice President should that office fall vacant. This occurred when Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned his office in 1973, and President Richard M. Nixon appointed Gerald R. Ford to fill the vacancy.

When President Nixon resigned his office as President, Gerald Ford became President and he appointed Nelson A. Rockefeller as the new Vice President. Thus, for the first time in history, we had a President and Vice President, both who were not elected by the voting population to fill those positions. Is this what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they envisioned this government with checks and balances?

Republican Form of Government (Article IV, Section 4)
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government. . . ."

This clause was not only to be a guarantee that the individual governments of each state would have a Republican form of government, but it also affirmed that the Government of the United States would be of a Republican form — this was so that the states could send their own representatives to represent those individual states.

This concept, however, was nullified with the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment which changed the allegiance of the Senate from the State Legislatures to the public voters. (See additional thoughts on this subject in the chapter entitled, "The Three Branches of Government.")

The Bill of Rights — Preamble (Declaratory and Restrictive Clauses)
In the preamble to the first set of Amendments, or the Bill of Rights, it states "that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added." The word "further" indicates that there were already other, or preceding, "declaratory and restrictive clauses." These clauses are what make up the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution "declares" that which already existed. It also made "restrictions."

Therefore, the Declaration of Independence did not establish or create independence, it only "declared" those liberties which are granted by God and were already possessed by the people, and were meant to continue. Like the Constitution, the clauses restricted the government, but not the people.

The reader must be aware, however that these "declaratory and restrictive clauses" pertain only to the first ten Amendments and not the following Articles of Amendments. Many of those that were added after the first ten put restrictions on the people, established governmental authority not previously granted, and some were not ratified appropriately. In short, they have nullified the Constitution and Bill of Rights, made the government sovereign instead of the people, made slaves of every citizen, and opened the way for the creation of an aristo-democratic government — "A form of government where the power is divided between the more powerful men of the nation and the people."

Our forefathers fought a terrible revolution to throw off the bondage that a tyrannical government had placed on them and they knew the dangers of government gone oppressive.

The 1st Amendment
(From LDS Presidency: George Q. Cannon) "The adoption of the first amendment of the Constitution was an intimation to the world that in free America the inquisition over the rights of conscience was forever ended. The States had been released from the political tyranny of the mother country; by this amendment they were released from the religious traditions, the soul-crushing, the body-destroying laws and practices in religious matters of the world. The new Republic turned her back upon all these, and, led and inspired by the Almighty, she swept away every restriction and oppressive enactment that could in the least prevent her from becoming, as Washington said, ‘an asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations and religions.’ This flag of political and universal religious liberty was unfurled to the world." (Gospel Truth, Vol. 2, p. 338-39.)

The 1st Amendment: FREEDOM OF RELIGION
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . ."

The inclusion of this clause in this amendment was to prevent government from forming an official religion. It has been, however, misinterpreted to force all religion and all religious beliefs and practices out of all public (government-controlled) institutions. This misinterpretation usually includes the statement of, "Separation between Church and State," or the "Separation of Church and State."

Where do the words, "Separation between Church and State," appear? Some people will say they are in the Constitution. Some think they are in the First Amendment. However, they are not in either place. These words came from President Thomas Jefferson in 1802, as he wrote to the Danbury Baptists. The Danbury Baptists heard rumors that a national religion was going to be formed by government, and they questioned the President about their concerns. President Jefferson wrote back and explained that the First Amendment was there as a "wall of separation between Church and State," — explaining to them that the amendment was a "wall," prohibiting government’s interference in religious practices, not that such practices should be excluded from public gatherings and customs. The amendment was to protect the people from a state operated religion such as existed in England; it was not to protect the State from such religious influences, and in particular, that of the Christian religion.

There is an adage that says, "Nothing is so absurd, that if you repeat it often enough, people will start to believe it." Thus it was with Jefferson’s statement about a "Separation between Church and State." In 1947, the Supreme Court cited Jefferson’s words in a court case, Everson v. Board of Education. Since that court decision, this phrase has been used so often by the courts, and the press, that people really believe it is in the Constitution or in the First Amendment — neither of which, most people probably have never read.

This "brainwashing," if the term can be permitted here, has so influenced the Latter-day Saints in Utah that a poll taken about prayer in public schools show some interesting results. The poll question asked was: "Do you think prayer should be allowed at high school graduation ceremonies?" Of the Catholics surveyed, 75% said Yes; of the Protestants, 71% said yes; of the Other Religions, 66% said yes; and of the LDS, only 45% said they approved of prayer at graduation ceremonies. (The Salt Lake Tribune, May 16, 1991, front page.)

This provision in the First Amendment has been nullified by various court cases such as Engel v. Vital, 1962, and another far-reaching decision on June 17, 1963. With cases like Murray v. Curlett, and Abington v. Schempp (1963) the Supreme Court forbade the free exercise of prayer and Bible reading in public schools. The Stone v. Gramm ruling (1980) stated that it was illegal for students to view copies of the Ten Commandments in public schools.

When the Supreme Court removed Bible reading from public school, (Abington v. Schempp) they said, "If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be . . . psychologically harmful to the child." (School Dist. of Abington Twp. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 209 (1963); America: To Pray Or Not To Pray, p. 20.)

And when the Supreme Court forbade the display of the Ten Commandments, they wrote: "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. . . ." (Stone v. Gramm, 449 U.S. 39, 42 (1980); America: To Pray Or Not To Pray, p. 20.)

Recently in New York, 21 pro-abortion groups are suing the Catholic Church and challenging their tax-exempt status because of the Church’s public morality stand against abortion. They are demanding to inspect religious documents from 19,000 local churches nation-wide. When the Catholic Church refused, Judge Robert L. Carter levied a fine of $100,000 per day, until they comply with the order. If these private lobbying groups are successful, a precedent will have been set to have all moral beliefs of any church challenged in court and the church records made public.

In Louisville, Nebraska, the Faith Baptist Church was running a private church school in which their average student consistently scored higher on achievement tests than did the average student of the state-controlled public schools. On September 3, 1982, the Faith Baptist Church was raided by local police. The building was emptied, padlocked, and its pastor, Everett Silever, arrested. No law could be cited that they had broken.

In California, a pastor was prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license because he advised his followers in the religious practice of fasting. And in Los Angeles, the Reverend Donald N. Sills was advised by authorities against having group Bible study in his own home — the meeting together of two or more people, for religious purposes, being illegal unless the group is an authorized church. A similar law has been passed by the City of Murray, Utah, where six or more meeting together for religious purposes, without a permit, could be arrested. And in 1991, some arrests were made in that city. Of course, many know of the law passed which forbid polygamy, an exercise in faith among many of the "Mormons."

After two hundred years, these injustices still occur and many more could be cited. After our Founding Fathers guaranteed that we could worship free of government interference and control, why are such religious abuses persisting?

One reason they still occur is because, at first, a seemingly small or insignificant, or unpopular, religious group is challenged, and not much is said about it by the general public — after all, they are small and insignificant, or unpopular anyway. Such was the case of the Mormons in Utah, and their practice of plural marriages. They were unpopular, as surmised, by most of Americans; therefore little was done to try and protect their religious rights by the average citizen. Such apathy usually backfires on the people. From such unchallenged beginnings, the government begins to assert more and more control, until, in the end, they have restrictions on all religious beliefs and practices, and on all the people.

The 1st Amendment (FREEDOM OF SPEECH)
"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech. . . ."

One of the laws that has annulled this clause is the "Hate Crime Bill" the President signed into law in 1990. A "hate crime" is an assault, intimidation or harassment against a minority group. Unkind words or even thoughts toward minority groups can be considered a "hate crime." Senator Jesse Helms points out that 80% of the statistics collected to support this bill, since 1985, are primarily verbal crimes — that is, calling a gay a "queer," a black a "nigger," etc. A person can be guilty of a "hate crime" for publicly speaking, or even thinking negative thoughts against homosexuals, lesbians, Mexicans, Jews, blacks, etc. Senator Helms, in the Congressional Record, said,

"Let the Senate understand that this bill is the flagship of the homosexual, lesbian legislative agenda.
"We are now considering legislation based on statistics that include name-calling at public rallies as crimes. Are we going on the school-yards of this country and when two kids get angry with each other and call each other names — what are we going to do, cart them over to the reformatory or add them to the list of ‘hate crimes’ perpetrators. This is ridiculous!
"There is no doubt in my mind where the passage of this legislation will lead us. It will be the first time that sexual orientation — and that means homosexuality — will be marked out for protected status. The radical homosexuals know this, and this legislation is simply one step in their radical revolution." (Congressional Record, 2-8-90.)

A conservative newsletter, The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, in reporting this bill said,

"Other supporters of this Hate Crime Act are rather interesting: American Bar Association, National Council of Churches, National Education Association, League of Women Voters, National Organization for Women, National Lawyers Guild, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Church and a host of gay/lesbian organizations.
"Free speech in America is now in grave danger. This legislation will be used against conservatives and Christians over the next few years as they speak out against groups who threaten our American way of life and freedom, and will be used to silence, jail, or otherwise destroy the opponents of a socialist America." (The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, July 1990, p. 7.)

The 2nd Amendment
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Article I, Section 8, Clause 16, provides for Congress to organize a militia. Bouvier defines a militia:

"MILITIA. A part of the military force of the nation, consisting of citizens called forth to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection, and repel invasion. . . . The militia is essentially the people’s army and their defence and security in time of peace. . . . The militia, until mustered into the United States service, is considered as a state force." (Bouvier’s, p. 2212.)

The provision for a militia, in this amendment, has been nullified, in part, by the "Arms Control and Disarmament Act," and other such measures. This treaty includes "armaments of all kinds," including personal weapons. The act gives those in charge power over the individual who does not choose to comply — even to the possibility of employing those persons "without compensation."

The provision for "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms," IS being infringed! The Brady gun control bill, H.R. 467, passed the U.S. Senate on June 28, 1991. The Senate version calls for a seven day waiting period and bans nine semi-automatic weapons. There have been a rash of other bills for the banning or registering of privately owned guns ever since the Kennedy assassination. Some politicians on Capitol Hill (as of this writing) are advancing H.R. 3371, a nationwide ban on a list of semi-automatic guns plus any shotgun with the same configuration.

From "the Communist Rules of Revolution," we read: "Register all firearms, under any pretext, as a prelude to confiscating them." When people own guns, repressive governments tread lightly. Having the right to "keep and bear arms" is not for target shooting or hunting, it is for protection from such governments. Thomas Jefferson said, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." And George Washington had this to say:

"Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizens’ firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99-99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good. When firearms go, all goes — we need them every hour." (Address to the second session of the First Congress.)

The increasing tension with the British caused the Continental Congress to reorganize local militias to prepare for possible war. Because these tensions were rising, the British tried to cripple the American militia. On December 10, 1774, General Thomas Gage, commander of the British forces, issued an order that any person purchasing or storing arms would be tried for treason. But the American militias continued to stockpile arms.

During the evening of April 18, 1775, the British launched their infamous march into Concord, giving orders to seize and destroy arms and military supplies of the American militia.

British troops assembled at the Boston Common and then marched to the Charles River to be ferried across to Cambridge. The Boston Committee of Safety learned of this and immediately dispatched two of their best riders — Paul Revere and William Dawes — to alert the militia and people of Concord.

The British troops reached Lexington about 4:30 A.M. with about 700 light infantry men. They were met by Captain John Parker, with about 75 armed minutemen. British Major John Pitcairn commanded the American militia to lay down their arms and disperse. The militia started filing off of the green, without dropping their weapons. Just before dawn, on that day, April 19, 1775, the "shot heard around the world" rang out. No one knows who shot first, but when it was over, eight minutemen were dead, nine wounded, and only one Red Coat was wounded.

Though this was a small skirmish and a momentary defeat for the American militia, the world knows "the rest of the story." What began as a raid to seize the arms of the militia at Concord ended up in defeat for the British aggressors. The greatest and most well-trained army in the world was badly beaten by a band of well-armed citizens.

Because of a well-armed populace who were resisting being disarmed by a tyrannical government — the cause of liberty, in this country, was preserved. The "shot heard around the world" was not fired by a registered gun.

The 9th Amendment
"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

When a Bill of Rights was suggested for the Constitution, there were some who felt, at least at first, that by mentioning some of the rights retained by the people, many would assume that they were the only rights and it could lead to the forfeiture of other rights not mentioned. Such was the original concern of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Later, they agreed that such inclusions were appropriate, particularly with the addition of this Ninth Article of Amendment.

This was not to be a "catch-all" amendment where people could enact their own freedoms and call them rights, such as abortion, homosexuality, and other immoral acts — which are not rights at all, nor are they sanctioned by God.

In a previous chapter (Our Unalienable Rights) we discussed many more rights granted by God other than life, liberty and property. Part of the wording in this amendment states, "certain rights . . . retained by the people." This does not mean that any new rights, not authorized by God, were to be included in "Rights," but only those many "Unalienable Rights" of which they were already in possession or retaining at the time, not acquiring in the future.

The 10th Amendment
"The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This is one of the most important clauses in the Bill of Rights and the one most often overlooked by Congress and the government in general. In it was guaranteed to each state the right to retain all powers not given to the national government. This Amendment was weakened by the passing of the Seventeenth amendment.

If the Tenth Amendment would have been honored for the purpose it was intended, we would not have such amendments that put conditions and qualifications on voting, as those prohibiting the right to vote because of race, sex, or age as does the Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-sixth Amendments.

The federal government has become involved in such things as: school bussing, aid to education, prayer in schools, abortion, saving & loan and bank bailouts, business financing, "specific and personal welfare" instead of "general welfare," transportation, highways, housing, communications, utilities, standing armies, various commercial businesses, and a host of other civic, social and cultural problems and programs. These should be a state concern and not a federal one. Such affair, even if sufficiently valid, could be served as well by leaving them on the state level, without damaging the fabric of the Constitution.

Such amendments and legal encroachments invade the right of states as guaranteed by this Tenth Amendment. The framers of the Constitution were considerate of States’ Rights and strove to protect them above all others. After all, it was the States that called the convention, not the government. In 1823, Thomas Jefferson said,

"What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body. (Quoted in CHB, p. 21.)
"I ask for no straining of words against the general government, nor yet against the states. I believe the states can best govern our home concerns and the general government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established by the Constitution for the limitation of both; and never to see all offices transferred to Washington." (The Making of America, p. 713, from Bergh, 15:450-451.)

The 11th Amendment
This amendment gives a state the freedom to not be sued by another state, or a citizen of another state, without its consent. This is good and safe for the state in question but it ties the hands of the citizenry. This amendment leaves the states free to perpetrate whatever they desire — and can get away with — upon the citizens of other states without the fear of libel.

The 12th Amendment
The Constitution of The United States was intended to be a document of checks and balances among the different divisions of government. However, Thomas Jefferson — due to the stress of office and possessing human weaknesses — was instrumental in having this amendment adopted.

The Vice President was an independent person, usually with differing views than the president. As president of the Senate (Article I, Section 3, Clause 4), it was another check on the powers of the President.

Now, however, both the President and the Vice President come from the same political party, having the same views on issues — making the balance of power a little more lopsided.

The 13th Amendment: SECTION 1--(SUBJECT)
The first time the word "subject" is used to tie a citizen to the United States is in this Thirteenth Amendment. Bouvier tells us:

"SUBJECT. An individual member of a nation, who is subject to the laws. This term is used in contradistinction to citizen, which is applied to the same individual when considering his political rights.
"Subject is a wider term than citizen; there are members of the state who, by reason of natural or conventional disability, do not enjoy full political rights. To a certain extent, alien residents within a state may be deemed subjects." (Bouvier’s, p. 3163.)

In this definition, the term, "natural or conventional disability," was used. A natural disability could be a physical or mental impairment, whereby an individual may have to depend on the state for support. Therefore, a citizen may become a subject because of a "natural" disability. However, a "conventional" disability is something altogether different. Again, we go to Bouvier:

"CONVENTION: In Civil Law. A general term which comprehends all kinds of contracts, treaties, pacts, or agreements." (Ibid., p. 668.)

Does the reader remember our discussion on contracts in relation to our "unalienable Rights?" By the mere fact that we involve ourselves with the obligation of contracts, we subject ourselves to the United States and we — that is, all in this contractual category — are not a free people, but are, instead, slaves.

Before this amendment, the only persons subject to the United States were those found guilty of crimes against the State. This amendment, however, reversed and nullified the original intent of the Constitution.

The Thirteenth Amendment was to free the "black" slaves, but it only gave them a new master — the Federal Government — and enslaved all the rest of the people. This sounds like a rather harsh, let alone surprising, analysis of this amendment. However, we must realize, as one astute individual said, "Law is words, and words have exact meaning."

The clause, "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation," now gives Congress a blank check to do whatevery they wish without answering to anyone. Any time this clause is found in an Article of Amendment, it is evidence that something is wrong with the article, and that it is unconstitutional. Congress needs power to enact such an amendment, so it grants itself unlimited powers not originally granted by the Constitution.

The 14th Amendment
This amendment was called "The Reconstruction Act," and was intended to place all people on an equal footing. Equality was not intended in the Constitution, although it was mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. However, when it was mentioned in that document, it only meant that "all men are Created equal," not that all men are equal. Man has "unalienable Rights," and he is meant to be free to exercise those rights. He is "created" equal, but his choices may make him otherwise.

There has been some question as to the legal ratification of this amendment. All of the Southern States, with the exception of Tennessee, did not like the Amendment. The Congressional Representatives from those states were denied their seat in the National Legislature unless it was ratified. Armed personnel were sent to each state to oversee the ratification and to make sure it passed. The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified by blackmail and at the point of a gun. Why was it so disliked and had to be ratified by force? As we examine it we will find a few answers.

The 14th Amendment: SECTION 1 — (PERSON)
Because of the interpretation of this Fourteenth Amendment, the term "person," refers to not only a human individual but manmade entities such as corporations:

"PERSON. A man considered according to the rank he holds in society, with all the right to which the place he holds entitles him, and the duties which it imposes.
"The term is, however, more extensive than man. It may include artificial beings, such as corporations. . . . Corporations are "persons" as that word is used in the first clause of the XIVth Amendment." (Ibid., p. 2574.)

In some instances, people are treated as nonentities. This is due to their rights that they have contracted away to some other being. The Preamble of the Constitution says, "We the People," and refers to sovereign Citizens under "Common Law." The Fourteenth Amendment refers to us as "corporate persons," and as such are subject to "Civil Law," or contractual law — this is due to the contractual agreements we have entered into. Such contracts make us Fourteenth Amendment citizens and not Preamble Citizens.

The clause,"subject to the jurisdiction thereof," along with the Thirteenth Amendment, now put us, or "We the People," into a different category than we were in before these Amendments. We are not Citizens by right and birth in the United States, as we once were, but now have become "subjects" of the "United States and state wherein [we] reside." It says "all persons born or naturalized." That means ALL! We have now been "granted" citizenship as "residents."

Do we remember the discussion on the difference between an "inhabitant" and a "resident?" We have now become subjects to the United States instead of the United States being subject to "We the People."

The Fourteenth Amendment made slaves out of "All persons born or naturalized." Again, that pretty well covers ALL of us. Therefore, we find that the American Indians, the ones "not taxed" in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, of the Constitution, are now subject to the federal government, where before this amendment, they were not subject.

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." It should be noted that this provision is not necessarily a repeat of a similar clause in Article IV, Section 2, of the Constitution: "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." The provision in the Constitution was to help protect that which God granted and it referred to the "several States." However, the provision in this Amendment does not refer to a citizen of one state in relation to one of the "several States" but to those "privileges and immunities" granted by the United States government. The law that grants "privileges and immunities" has the power to withdraw the same.

Independent states can grant "privileges and immunities." Let us take for example, the right to travel on the public highways with an automobile. The state grants you the "privilege," if you obtain a license. The state can also withdraw that privilege. If a government grants a charter of incorporation for a particular religion, that government has the power to dictate what that religion will preach or what it will not preach — or the particular church may lose its privileges.

The 14th Amendment: SECTION 1 — (PROPERTY)
Property is not just a tangible item only; it also includes the rights and actions a person can exercise. So when we speak of the right to property, we are speaking not only of the right to hold tangible or physical substance but the right to exercise our free agency or liberty. The following definition helps point out this fact:

"PROPERTY. the right and interest which a man has in lands and chattels to the exclusion of others. . . . The sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe.
"As ordinarily used it means the things possessed, but it may include the right to use and enjoy it. The more comprehensive meaning is presumed to have been intended by the use of such a word in a constitution. . . . A vested right of action is property in the same sense that tangible things are property.
"Property, in the strict legal sense, is an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by the government, and in the ordinary sense, indicates the thing itself, rather than the rights attached to it. The term "property" embraces every species of valuable right and interest. . . .
"In a strict legal sense, land is not property, but the subject of property. The term property, although in common parlance applied to a tract of land or a chattel, in its legal signification means only the right of the owner in relation to it. It denotes a right over a determinate thing. Property is the right of any person to possess, use, enjoy, and dispose of a thing." (Ibid., p. 2750.)

This section of the Fourteenth Amendment reads in part: "The validity of the public debt of the United States . . . including debts incurred for . . . suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

This clause is usually believed only to allow any person with a claim against the United States, as a consequence of the Civil War, the unquestionable right to payment. However, this clause actually authorizes the United States to stay in perpetual debt.

Note that it speaks of "public debt," and then mentions, "including debts" incurred in relationship to "insurrection or rebellion." The word, "including," lets us know that there are two kinds of debts spoken of here: those relating to the war and those other "public debts." From this clause we find that we cannot question the public debt into which we have been subjected by the government of the United States.

One of the prices the American people are paying for the adoption of this Amendment is our four-trillion-dollar debt. This clause allows for debt, but no provision for the authorization of payment for that debt. This is perpetual bondage.

Here again, as in the Thirteenth Amendment, Congress has written themselves a "blank check" in regards to enforcing this, perhaps, the most deadly of amendments. This clause can be found in some of the remaining amendments of the Constitution. This type of a tyrannical and unlimited power our Founding Fathers threw off by fighting a bloody Revolution.

In Conclusion
At this point, maybe we have covered enough of the Constitution and its threads of freedom. As stated before, it was not the intention of this author to cover every word of the Constitution. The intention was to make a few implications. Those implications being:
1) We (speaking generally) have not respected the Constitution of the United States.
2) We have not taken the time to study its provisions for preserving freedom.
3) We have not fully understood the principle of free agency and its relationship to this document: therefore, we have not amply desired to preserve the freedom necessary to exercise that agency.
4) We have not followed the Lord’s admonition when he said, "Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently . . . whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil"(D&C 98:10).
5) We have elected government officials, for the most part, on popularity instead of integrity and principle.
6) We have let our law makers pass laws which are unconstitutional and which destroy our ability to exercise our agency. And
7) We have done little in the way of correcting those wrongs put upon us.
George Washington said, "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master!" (Quoted in AEHDT, p. 24.) And President Brigham Young spoke of the instinctive impulse of government for self-satisfaction:

"The impulse that is given to the Government is like that of the animal creation: When they are hungry, they are impelled to eat, and to drink when they are thirsty. When this necessity presses upon them, all the sensitive powers are on the alert to search for food. All their natural impulses to action originate in the appetite: they receive them from the demands the interior of the animal makes upon the creature. It then becomes the duty of the head to search out a method to supply these demands with food suitable to the nature of the animal, which administers health, strength, vigour, growth, and beauty to the whole body." (JD, 7:10.)

Thus, we have the impulse of governments — to satisfy the appetites of the hungry, the greedy, and the proud. When we are not alert and watchful, then government can get out of control and our liberties can become lost.

This, we have been told by the Lord, is a land "choice above all other lands." It was given to "We the People," with a commandment that, ". . . whoso should possess the land should possess it unto the Lord, or they should be destroyed when they were ripened in iniquity; for upon such, saith the Lord: I will pour out the fullness of my wrath." (Ether 9:20.)

We have not only deserted God to a great extent, but we have "polluted" this choice land and government He has wisely established. We are warned in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 101, verses 97-98:

"Let not that which I have appointed be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent of those who call themselves after my name; For this is a very sore and grievous sin against me, and against my people, in consequence of those things which I have decreed and which are soon to befall the nations."

This has been a nation of great promise. There has never been one like it. It will remain a central figure and still fill an important role in these latter days. Nevertheless, much pollution has tainted our American system of government.
Chapter 21
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities,
against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places."
— Ephesians 6:12

In many of the past chapters, we have demonstrated how some of those we trust are actually, "wolves in sheep’s clothing." At general conference, in 1966, Ezra Taft Benson said, "An old adage declares, ‘A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.’" (CR, October 1966, p. 124.)

It is very important to understand that there are such wolves, disguised as harmless sheep, that desire to lead all of us astray; or at least, because of their ignorance, attempt to lead many others into the same ignorance that they themselves possess. This happens to be true where patriotism and following the Prophet is concerned — especially our current Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson. Many will say they love the Prophet and follow his counsel. But, when it comes to subjects such as freedom, the Constitution, and doing our civic duty, they relegate President Benson’s words to being only his "personal opinion."

Let us now turn to Ezra Taft Benson, and see what he has to say about this subject. In his Book, Title of Liberty, he writes: "Too often in recent years, patriotic symbols have been shunted aside. Our national heroes have been maligned, our history distorted. Has it become a disgrace to pledge allegiance to our flag — or to sign a loyalty oath, or pay tribute to our national anthem? Is it shameful to encourage our children to memorize the stirring words of the men of ‘76? Has it become opprobrious [reproachful] to state ‘In God We Trust’ when proclaiming love of country?" (TL, p. 18.)

He addresses this same theme in a previous work of his called The Red Carpet. From that book we read: "There is yet another threat to American freedom we should consider. . . . It is the current anti anti-communism drive and the branding as ‘super-patriots,’ ‘fanatics’ and ‘right-wing extremists,’ those who defend the freedom, traditions and principles on which this great nation was founded. The implication is to make of them something that is evil. The claim is that it [criticism of communism and socialism] divides our people and therefore should be discouraged. Many of our people — some in high places whose influence is far reaching — fall for this anti anti-communist line of reasoning. Thomas Jefferson warns us as follows: ‘If we suffer ourselves to be frightened from our posts by mere lying, surely the enemy will use that weapon. . . . The patriot like the Christian, must learn that to bear revilings and persecutions is a part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy.’" (TRC, pp.197, 199.)

Patriots Attacked
Thomas Jefferson, even in his time, knew of the deception and lying that will take place to help destroy the spirit of patriotism in America. It was happening then and it is happening now. And the most ardent messenger today has been Ezra Taft Benson, a man we have sustained as Prophet, Seer and Revelator, not just a man with personal opinions. In 1963 he gave an address at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, in which he said, "Now I know that Moscow has ordered that all anti-communists [socialists] are to be attacked and discredited in every way possible. I know the Communist party of the United States has issued a similar mandate. . . . We are battling against apathy, blindness, opportunism and propaganda directed brilliantly by masters of deceit." (Let Us Live to Keep Men Free, p. 10.)

The subjects of apathy and blindness, or ignorance, we will take up in the next chapter, but now we must be aware that there are those in the world that desire for all of us to be ignorant of what is taking place around us and to be apathetic about our participation in any of these matters. By having a bunch of "sheep" the wolves can lead them astray as they have done very successfully to this point in time — even to the exclusion of not following the warnings and counsel of one of God’s choicest servants. Returning to that servant, and to one of his books previously cited, we read: "Now obviously, the worst thing that can happen to a socialist is to have himself openly identified with the work of the communists who are generally feared and despised. The socialists know they cannot seize property and power by ‘due process of law’ unless they are politically popular, therefore, they try desperately to avoid the taint of the communists and present their program so that it appears ‘moral,’ ‘democratic,’ ‘peaceful,’ and so ‘gradual’ that the people will not resist it." (TL, p. 170.)

From our past discussion about socialists, we know that they are very deceptive about their subversive work, and their desire to overthrow the Constitution, the only barrier to their work of conspiracy in this country. As pointed out so many times before, Ezra Taft Benson has warned us and counseled us, but have we listened? Here we will read from his words again:

"At this particular moment in history the United States Constitution is definitely threatened, and every citizen should know about it. The warning of this hour should resound through the corridors of every American institution — schools, churches, the halls of Congress, press, radio, and TV, and so far as I am concerned it will resound — with God’s help.
"Wherever possible I have tried to speak out. It is for this very reason that certain people in Washington have bitterly criticized me. They don’t want people to hear the message. It embarrasses them. The things which are destroying the Constitution are the things they have been voting for. They are afraid of their political careers if these facts are pointed out. They therefore try to silence any who carry the message — anyone who will stand up and be counted.
"But these liberal politicians are not the only ones who are trying to silence the warning voice of American patriots. Moscow is equally alarmed.
"The Soviet leaders knew this trend could create a crisis for communism, not only in the United States but elsewhere. Therefore, they called together communist delegates from 81 countries and held a meeting in Moscow.
". . . this communist convention issued an edict that the rising tide of patriotism and anti-communism must be smashed — especially in the United States! All the tricks of hate propaganda and smear tactics were to be unleashed on the heads of American patriots.
"Now if the communists had been forced to do this job themselves, it would have been an utter failure. Americans would have simply closed ranks and united. But what mixes up so many people was the fact that the attack on patriotism and the smear of the anti-communist movement did not come in the name of Moscow. It came in the name of influential Americans who espoused the socialist-communist line.
"This was a minority bloc of American liberals who formed a propaganda coalition with the communists. Their strategy was ingenious. Almost overnight they drew the line of fire away from the communist conspiracy and focused the heat of attack on the patriots.
"How did they do it? They did it by saying that they were against the communists but also against the anti-communists. They said one was as bad as the other.
"As I asked some of them at the time, ‘Are you fighting the communists or not? You claim to be fighting the fire, but you spend nearly all of your time fighting the firemen!’
"By 1962 some American liberals had almost completely neutralized the resurgence of American patriotism. They had frightened uninformed citizens away from study groups and patriotic rallies. They had made it popular to call patriotism a ‘controversial’ subject which should not be discussed in school assemblies or churches.
"From Washington, D.C., the Federal Communications Commission issued an edict to radio and television stations that if they allowed the controversial subjects of ‘Americanism,’ Anti-communism,’ or ‘States rights,’ to be discussed on their stations they would be required to give equal time, free of charge, to anyone wishing to present an opposite view." (Ibid., pp. 30, 31, 32.)
He said that the enemy has "neutralized" most of us to the extent that we have made "patriotism a controversial subject," and to the point we have shied away from speaking on the subject in "school assemblies or churches." But he also said that the warning voice should "resound" in "schools" and "churches." From this, does it sound like we should keep the subject of patriotism and the Constitution out of our Church meetings?

Wolves in the Church
At another address delivered at Brigham Young University, this great Apostle, warned us in these words: "Sometimes from behind the pulpit, in our classrooms, in our council meetings, and in our Church publications, we hear, read or witness things that do not square with the truth. This is especially true where freedom is involved." (Address delivered at Brigham Young University, October 25, 1966, entitled, "Our Immediate Responsibility;" AEHDT, p. 317.)

He has reference here to false doctrine that is preached by some members of this "Mormon" Church, who are unenlightened or else they are designing. Either way, they tend to lead the sheep of the Lord away from the truth and their duty. Following the theme we have been listening to, let us read some more:

"Sometimes we hear someone refer to a division in the Church. In reality, the Church is not divided. It simply means that there are some who, for the time being at least, are members of the Church but not in harmony with it. These people have a temporary membership and influence in the Church; but unless they repent, they will be missing when the final membership records are recorded.
"Yes, within the Church today there are tares among the wheat and wolves within the flock.
"Christ taught that we should be in the world but not of it. Yet there are some in our midst who are not so much concerned about taking the gospel into the world as they are about bringing worldliness into the gospel.
"Through their own reasoning and a few misapplied scriptures, they try to sell us the precepts and philosophies of men. They do not feel the Church is progressive enough — they say that it should embrace the social and socialist gospel of apostate Christendom.
"They are embarrassed over some Church doctrine, and as Lehi foretold, the scoffing of the world over this and other matters will cause some of them to be ashamed and they shall fall away." (CR, April 1969, pp. 10-11.)

Concerning these wolves in the Church, President Harold B. Lee warns us that even some of them are purposely trying to lead the members away: "We will see those who profess membership but secretly are plotting and trying to lead people not to follow the leadership that the Lord has set up to preside in this church." (Ibid., October 1970, p. 152; Also quoted in CR, April 1982, p. 90.)

Many members of the Church find it difficult to follow the Prophet when their friends in the Church, and even some local authorities, try to teach them otherwise. And when it comes to Ezra Taft Benson and the subject we have been discussing in this book, some members and Church authorities have the opinion that what he has said on the subject is only his opinion. What may be more accurate about what Ezra Taft Benson has said, is that it should be taken as a witness and a warning, rather than only his opinion. We must remember that the scriptures tell us to, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matt.7:15; 3 Ne. 14:15.) This scripture does not only refer to those who profess to be prophets of God, but all those who try and lead astray.

Be Not Wolves Ourselves
Many of us perhaps need to be aware that we do not fall into the trap of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing ourselves. This can be easily done when we follow the arm of flesh instead of the spirit. When we do, we become the critic of the faithful.

Such critics do not hesitate to quote from President Benson when it serves their purposes and the quote does not point a finger at their ignorance. Their attitudes seem to be like Laman and Lemuel others who said, Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear." And, Nephi responded with, "Wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center." (1 Ne. 16:1-2.)

What is shameful, is that these individuals have not studied the issues in the real world and from the scriptures, as President Benson has, and they seem to go through life as though looking at the world through a narrow toilet paper roll — they seem to justify their biases, prejudice, or ignorance by relegating his words to "personal opinion."

Perhaps such people need to receive a testimony of his words when he said, "We do not need a prophet — we have one. What we need is a listening ear, a humble heart, and a soul that is pure enough to follow his inspired guidance." That statement was made in 1966.(CR, October 1988, pp. 103-104.) The sad thing is, there are those in the Church today (from this author’s personal knowledge) that will say, "He said that when he was only an apostle; we only have to follow his words spoken after he became the Prophet." Do we not sustain an apostle as a prophet? Well, in his last verbal address as the living Prophet to the Saints (as of this writing) in October of 1988, while bearing his testimony about the Savior, Book of Mormon, secret combinations, getting our lives in order, etc., he said, "We have the scriptures, the prophets, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now we need eyes that will see, ears that will hear, and hearts that will hearken to God’s direction." (CR, October 1988, pp. 103-104.)

A statement from President J. Reuben Clark may also be pertinent at this time. He said in the April conference of 1949: "The ravening wolves are amongst us, from our own membership, and they, more than any others, are clothed in sheep’s clothing, because they wear the habiliments of the priesthood . . . distorting the truth. We should be careful of them. . . ."

We have the words of President Benson and President Lee, and now President Clark. We might ask ourselves, how many more authorities know of the wolves among us in the Church? Is this what the Prophet Joseph Smith was talking about when he said, "Awake my shepherds and warn my people! For behold the wolf cometh to destroy them — Receive him not." (Joseph Smith to Edward Partridge, January 7, 1838; Joseph Smith Collection, Church Historians Office; Unpublished Revelations, Vol. I, Part 42:3.)

The shepherds have been awake and they have been warning the people, but have we, the sheep, been listening? To restate what President Benson said to us in general conference: "Now we need eyes that will see, ears that will hear, and hearts that will hearken to God’s direction."

"He (Satan) plans to destroy liberty and freedom — economic, political, and religious, and to set up in place thereof the greatest, most widespread, and most complete tyranny that has ever oppressed men. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Without there knowing it, the people are being urged down paths that lead only to destruction. Satan never before had so firm a grip on this generation as he has now." (First Presidency, CR-10/42:13; as presented in PPNS, pp. 214-15.)
Chapter 22
Gross Apathy — Chosen Ignorance
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
because thou hast rejected knowledge,
I will also reject thee,
that thou shalt be no priest to me:
seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God,
I will also forget thy children."
— Hosea 4:6

The Doctrine and Covenants tells us: "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance." (D&C 131:6.) Many look at this scripture as pertaining to eternal salvation only. But it has a much wider application when taking into consideration the eternal principle of agency, and the freedom to exercise that agency. Without knowledge of the principle and those powers which are designed to destroy it, we remain uninformed, and therefore, display apathy, which is a spin-off of ignorance.

Thomas Jefferson put it very plainly when he said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be" (Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 January 1816, quoted by President Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, October 3, 1987; The Ensign, November 1987, p. 7.)

See It Coming
While this author was having a gospel discussion with some of his friends one evening, someone asked the question: "How can we save ourselves the anguish of a sinful life?" And someone else answered, "You have to see it coming!"

How true that answer is. Not only the temptations and the circumstances that accompany a sinful life must be recognized so that we can prepare for the test and trials that will come, but we must also recognize the signs of the erosion of our liberties so that we can prepare ourselves and get appropriately involved. Thomas Carlyle, an English essayist and philosopher, aptly put it when he said, "The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none." (Quoted in The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 31.)

It's not the conspirators which are at fault for most of the problems we have been discussing as much as it is an ignorant and apathetic people. Some individuals are like beasts, and prey on the unknowing and weak, and we apathetically station ourselves in feeble and gullible positions — as in the spider and the fly scenario — and become the meal for the lustful and power hungry creatures. Because of this obliviousness, we are, therefore, our own worst enemies; and we blithely dance down the road of ruin to the tune of "All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth," and the "devil cheateth [our] souls. . . ."

This scripture has been quoted often, thus far, in this book with definite reason. That reason is to make a point that all is not well in Zion, or in our government, or in the world, or in our individual lives when we, as President Benson puts it, "bask in our comfortable complacency." We become lulled "away into carnal security" because of our gross apathy, chosen ignorance, covetous cravings, and pride. Of course, this author takes full responsibility for these seeming judgments, but he is reminded of what Nephi said when he warned us: "Therefore, woe be unto him that is at ease in Zion!" (2 Ne. 28:24; see verses 15-25.)

Chosen Ignorance
Much of our ignorance is chosen by ourselves, not by someone preaching a false doctrine. An unknown philosopher said, "Men prefer to believe what they prefer to be true." We sometimes choose not to obtain knowledge, because if we were to do so, we would be obligated to act upon that knowledge, and many of us may not want to upset our way of life, or have to accept something that is foreign to our belief system. This is particularly true where our government is concerned. We should understand that though the Lord promised us that He would not let the Prophet lead the Church astray, He did not promise us that He would not let a President of the United States, or any of our elected or appointed representatives, lead us astray.

Some would say, "Oh, our senator or congressman wouldn't support a bill or program that would encourage a conspiracy. He's a good Church member." Well, we better look a little more closely at our representative’s history in Congress, LDS or not.

Any bureaucrat who supports socialistic programs is supporting programs contrary to the concepts of the Constitution of the United States, true freedom, the will of the Lord, and is supporting Lucifer's programs.

When politicians support social programs on purpose, or in ignorance, and if they do not learn and change their concepts, they are dangerous to the Constitution and the free agency of man. President J. Reuben Clark read a statement from the First Presidency during general conference of 1942. From it we learn:

"Satan is making war against all the wisdom that has come to men through their ages of experience. He is seeking to overturn and destroy the very foundations upon which society, government, and religion rest. He aims to have men adopt theories and practices which he induced their forefathers, over the ages, to adopt and try, only to be discarded by them when found unsound, impractical, and ruinous. He plans to destroy liberty and freedom — economic, political, and religious — and to set up in place thereof the greatest, most widespread, and most complete tyranny that has ever oppressed men. He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Without their knowing it, the people are being urged down paths that lead only to destruction. Satan never before had so firm a grip on this generation as he has now." (The Message of the First Presidency — Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., and David O. McKay — read by President Clark at the first session of General Conference, Saturday, October 3, 1942, held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle/Statement, pp. 8-9.)

Much of this false information and ignorance is directed at our youth, the leaders and influencers of tomorrow. About this concern, President David O. McKay said,

"During the first half of the twentieth century, we have traveled far into the soul-destroying land of socialism and made strange alliances through which we have become involved. . . . In this retreat from freedom . . . millions of gullible youth . . . are marching merrily to their doom, carrying banners on which are emblazoned such intriguing and misapplied labels as social justice, equality, reform, patriotism, social welfare." (Quoted by Ezra Taft Benson, CR, April 1963, p. 112.)

President Benson, also had concerns about our youth in this matter, as he says, "Today, students are subjected in their textbooks and classroom lectures to a subtle propaganda that there is a "natural" or rational explanation to all causes and events. Such a position removes the need for faith in God, or belief in His interposition in the affairs of men. Historians and educational writers who are responsible for this movement are classified as ‘revisionists.’ Their purpose has been and is to create a ‘new history.’ By their own admission they are more influenced by their own training and other humanistic and scientific disciplines than any religious conviction. Many of the older historians, I should point out, were defenders of the patriots and their noble efforts. Feeling no obligation to perpetuate the ideals of the Founding Fathers, some of the ‘new historians’ have recast a new body of beliefs for their secular faith. Their efforts, in some cases, have resulted in a new interpretation of our nation's history. (TETB, p. 320.)

One reason that many of us continue on in our uninformed and unconcerned ways is because we possess the iniquities that blind us to truth, and we fail to discern righteousness. Orson Pratt pointed this out in general conference when he said, "A succession of wonderful manifestations of the power of God was made through Moses, and in all, save two or three instances, the magicians did likewise. What would naturally be the conclusion at which wicked men would arrive under such circumstances? In the estimation of wicked men like the King of Egypt and his subjects, it was nothing more than the extending of this [God's] power had in possession by the magicians. They did not look upon it as a distinct and separate power, because they had not the spirit to discern, the Spirit of the Lord was not with them, and they could not discern the difference. But there were manifested on that occasion two distinct and separate powers, so similar in their effects, that none but those who lived near unto God and understood the workings of the Holy Spirit, could detect the difference between them. That may be a sample to all people in future generations in the manifestations of these powers. The wicked cannot discern and comprehend the difference between these two powers." (JD, 13:64-65.)

When we fail to see the powers of the evil one, it may be because we are blinded by our wickedness. And it might be well for all of us to realize that wickedness can be applied to the one who neglects the word of the Lord as it comes from His Prophets and Apostles. Speaking with these same thoughts in mind, Marion G. Romney said in conference: "Satan has sought in all ages to deceive the sons of God who have received the Priesthood. He has not been entirely unsuccessful either, for in all past dispensations he has finally succeeded in deceiving them to the extent that he has driven the Priesthood from the earth. Now we know he is not going to drive the Priesthood from the earth in this dispensation because the Lord has said it is here to stay until the Savior comes. But there is no guarantee that he will not deceive a lot of men who hold the Priesthood. So far as Satan's war against the Priesthood is concerned, he is making no exception in this last dispensation. His objective is still to deceive every one of us he can and to drive the Priesthood from the earth." (CR, October 1960, p. 74.)

Before we go on into the discussion of apathy, we find that President Joseph F. Smith said that there are two types of people that will preach false doctrines, and subsequently lead people astray into ignorance. In his book, Gospel Doctrine, we find: "Among the Latter-day Saints, the preaching of false doctrines disguised as truths of the gospel, may be expected from people of two classes, and practically from these only; they are: First— The hopelessly ignorant, whose lack of intelligence is due to their indolence and sloth, who make but feeble effort, if indeed any at all, to better themselves by reading and study; those who are afflicted with a dread disease that may develop into an incurable malady — laziness. Second— The proud and self-vaunting ones, who read by the lamp of their own conceit; who interpret by rules of their own contriving; who have become a law unto themselves, and so pose as the sole judges of their own doings. More dangerously ignorant than the first. Beware of the lazy and the proud; their infection in each case is contagious. . . . (Gospel Doctrine, p. 373.)

Ezra Taft Benson once said, "There is no excuse that can compensate for the loss of liberty" (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 314). Those of us who do not try to become informed about issues, political candidates, and the electoral process have to accept the will and dictates of others. We have no justification for complaint when things seem to go wrong.

By the mere fact of not choosing to become informed and involved, we deny and forfeit our right of agency and choice. By default, we choose a form of slavery, becoming subject to the will of others instead of being responsible for ourselves.

The Prophet Hosea tells us, as our chapter quote says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: Because thou hast rejected knowledge." (Hosea 4:6.) When we do not choose, someone else will choose for us. And, when we do not obtain knowledge, we will be at the intellectual and ethical mercy of others.

Gross Apathy
Ezra Taft Benson has taken the time to spell out for us many of the excuses that we might use to stay oblivious and apathetic in the battle for our agency. In general conference he spoke these words:

"In spite of the scriptural evidence and the counsel of modern-day prophets during the past more than 100 years, there are still some who seem to feel we have no responsibility to safeguard and strengthen our precious God-given freedom. There are some who apparently feel that the fight for freedom is separate from the gospel. They express it several ways, but it generally boils down to this: Just live the gospel; there's no need to get involved in trying to save freedom and the Constitution or to stop Communism [socialism].
"Of course, this is dangerous reasoning, because in reality you cannot fully live the gospel without working to save freedom and the Constitution, and to stop Communism [socialism].
"In the war in heaven, what would have been your reaction if someone had told you just to do what is right — there's no need to get involved in this fight for freedom? (CR, October 1966, p. 122.)
"His [the devil’s] arguments are clever. Here are a few samples:
"First: ‘We really haven't received much instruction about freedom,’ the devil says. This is a lie, for we have been warned time and time again.
"Second: ‘You're too involved in other Church work,’ says the devil . . . Freedom is a weighty matter of the law; the lesser principles of the gospel you should keep but not leave this one undone. Your other Church work will be limited once you lose your freedom, as our saints have found out in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and many other nations.
"Third: ‘You want to be loved by everyone,’ says the devil, ‘and this freedom battle is so controversial you might be accused of engaging in politics.’ . . . The government has penetrated so much of our lives that one can hardly speak for freedom without being accused of being political. Some might even call the war in heaven a political struggle — certainly it was controversial. Yet the valiant entered it with Michael. Those who support only the popular principles of the gospel have their reward.
"Fourth: ‘Wait until it becomes popular to do,’ says the devil, ‘or, at least until everybody in the Church agrees on what should be done.’ But this fight for freedom might never become popular in our day. And if you wait until everybody agrees in this Church, you will be waiting through the second coming of the Lord. . . . Some Church members still champion these freedom-destroying programs.
"Fifth: ‘It might hurt your business or your family,’ says the devil, ‘and besides why not let the gentiles save the country? They aren't as busy as you are.’ There has never been a greater time than now to stand up against entrenched evil. And while the gentiles established the Constitution, we have a divine mandate to preserve it. But unfortunately, today in this freedom struggle many gentiles are showing greater wisdom in their generation than the Children of light.
"Sixth: ‘Don't worry,’ says the devil, ‘the Lord will protect you, and besides, the world is so corrupt and heading toward destruction at such a pace that you can't stop it, so why try.’ Well, to begin with, the Lord will not protect us unless we do our part. . . . Now let us suppose that it is too late to save freedom. It is still accounted unto us for righteousness' sake to stand up and fight. Some Book of Mormon prophets knew of the final desolate end of their nations, but they still fought on, and they saved some souls including their own by so doing. For, after all, the purpose of life is to prove ourselves and the final victory will be for freedom." (Ibid., April 1965, pp. 123-125.)

In Conclusion
From the foregoing, there seems to be no excuse for ignorance and apathy in the matter of agency, the Constitution, and our battle against the powers of these secret combinations.

However there will still be those who will champion those agency-destroying programs, who will choose to remain uninformed and who will feel comfortable in their unresponsive complacency. With the following thoughts from President Benson we can determine for ourselves what kind of Americans we are:

"There is no place here in America for part-time patriots. This nation is face to face with the greatest danger ever to confront it, a sinister and deadly conspiracy which can be conquered only by an alert, informed citizenry. It is indeed appalling that some members of our society continue to deplore and criticize those who stress the communist [socialist] danger. Public indifference to this threat is tantamount to national suicide. Lethargy leads only to disaster." (Let Us Live to Keep Men Free, p. 11.)
Chapter 23
Indictment to Bear
"He that is not with me is against me;
and he that gathereth not with me
scattereth abroad."
— Matthew 12:30

Edmund Burke, the English orator and statesman, once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Apathy, as we just pointed out in the previous chapter, does not please the Lord, for in the Bible we are told that if we are "neither cold nor hot," He will "spue" us out of his mouth. (Rev. 3:16.) And what is it we are told in the Doctrine and Covenants?

"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. 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; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned." (D&C 58:26-29.)

Many of us know we need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause but we often rationalize our way out of such involvement. Can we expect results where we do nothing? Can we expect to remain free if we leave our freedom in the hands of someone else? By now, from what we have studied, we know we cannot. President Kimball put it this way:

"In faith we plant the seed and soon we see the miracle of the blossoming. Men have often misunderstood and have reversed the process. They would have the harvest before the planting, the reward before the service, the miracle before the faith. Even the most demanding labor unions would hardly ask the wages before the labor. But many of us would have the vigor without the observance of the health laws, prosperity through the opened windows of heaven without the payment of tithes. We would have the close communion with our Father without fasting and praying; we would have the rain in due season and peace in the land without observing the Sabbath and keeping the other commandments of the Lord. We would pluck the rose before planting the roots; we would harvest the grain before sowing and cultivating." (Faith Precedes The Miracle, p. 4.)

And many would have their freedom without the desire to learn or the ambition to get into the battle. We cannot afford to stand idly by, or to make the wrong choices. Ezra Taft Benson said that we had to make choices in the pre-earth life, and that we must make the right ones here:

"As important as are all other principles of the gospel, it was the freedom issue which determined whether you received a body. To have been on the wrong side of the freedom issue during the war in heaven meant eternal damnation. How then can Latter-day Saints expect to be on the wrong side in this life and escape the eternal consequences?" (CR, April 1965, p. 122.)
"Do we teach people to avoid alcohol and tobacco by pointing out its evil effects? Of course we do. ". . . 'Just preach the gospel — that will stop [socialism],' is another neutralizing argument used by some. Did teaching the truth stop the war in heaven or convert Satan and his hosts?" (AEHDT, pp. 316-17.)
"It was the struggle over free agency that divided us [in the pre-earth life] before we came here; it may well be the struggle over the same principle which will deceive and divide us again." (CR, October 1963, p. 16.)

Read the Book of Mormon
President Benson has endlessly encouraged us to read the Book of Mormon. One of the reasons he has done so is because of the great amount of scripture relating to our day and Satan’s battle against the saints of the latter days. In speaking of President Kimball’s counsel to "lengthen our stride," President Benson said, "We need that direction, for the Book of Mormon warns us of the tactics of the adversary in the last days. . . ." (CR, April 1986, p. 4.) And in his book, Title of Liberty, he writes:

"When all of the trappings of propaganda and pretense have been pulled aside, the exposed hard-core structure of modern communism [socialism] is amazingly similar to the ancient Book of Mormon record of secret societies such as the Gadiantons. In the ancient American civilization there was no word which struck greater terror in the hearts of the people than the name of the Gadiantons. It was a secret political party which operated as a murder cult. Its object was to infiltrate legitimate government, plant its officers in high places, and then seize power and live off the spoils appropriated from the people. (It would start out as a small group of ‘dissenters’ and by using secret oaths with the threat of death for defectors it would gradually gain a choke hold on the political and economic life of whole civilizations.)
"The object of the Gadiantons, like modern communists, was to destroy the existing government and set up a ruthless criminal dictatorship over the whole land.
"One of the most urgent, heart-stirring appeals made by Moroni as he closed the Book of Mormon was addressed to the gentile nations of the last days. He foresaw the rise of a great world-wide secret combination among the gentiles which ‘seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; . . .’ He warned each gentile nation of the last days to purge itself of this gigantic criminal conspiracy which would seek to rule the world. The prophets have said that these threats are among us." (TL, pp. 184-185.)

What have we done with the urgings of our modern-day prophets, and those of the scriptures? Have we followed their advice? President Benson tells us that "the whole Church is under condemnation" because we have neglected our duties in this matter. In conference of April 1986, he said, "Unless we read the Book of Mormon and give heed to its teachings, the Lord has stated in section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants that the whole Church is under condemnation: ‘And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.’ (D&C 84:56). The Lord continues: ‘And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written’ (D&C 84:57)." (CR, April 1986, p. 4.)

An Indictment
Not only is the Church under condemnation, but the elders are also, for their sluggish acceptance of the Lord’s commandments. In the previous chapter we covered six arguments that might be used as excuses for such lethargy. We will now present another, which is part of that same series:

"And now as to the last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively — it is simply this: ‘Don’t do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution.’ . . . Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific Church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set up one at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet, for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe. The Prophet Joseph Smith declared it will be the Elders of Israel who will step forward to help save the Constitution, not the Church. And have we been warned? Yes, we have. And have we elders been given the guidelines? Yes indeed, we have. And besides, if the Church should ever inaugurate a program, who do you think would be in the forefront to get it moving? It would not be those who were sitting on the sidelines prior to that time or those who were appeasing the enemy. It would be those choice spirits who, not waiting to be "commanded in all things," used their own free will, the counsel of the prophets, and the Spirit of the Lord as guidelines and who entered the battle ‘n a good cause’ and brought to pass much righteousness in freedom’s cause." (CR, April 1965, p. 125.)
"We don’t need a Prophet — we have one — we need a listening ear. And if we do not listen and heed, then, as the Doctrine and Covenants states, ‘. . . the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people’ (D&C 1:14)." (CR, October 1961, p. 71; "The American Heritage of Freedom - A Plan of God," pp. 9-10.)
"In the crisis through which we are now passing, we have been fully warned. This has brought forth some criticism. There are some of us who do not want to hear the message. It embarrasses us. The things which are threatening our lives, our welfare, our freedoms are the very things some of us have been condoning. Many do not want to be disturbed as they continue to enjoy their comfortable complacency." (GFC, pp. 358-359.)

And because of this comfortable complacency, President Benson says there is an "indictment we will have to bear" because we are not ready to do what the Lord has asked: "Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. . . . The war in heaven is raging on earth today." (CR, April 1965, p. 125.)

We Cannot be Neutral
The Book of Mormon tells of secret combinations that destroyed the Nephites and their government. It sounds much like the scenario of our day. Perhaps as we read about it we can consider our situation here in the United States, and see if it sounds familiar.

"And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations. Thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God. And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction." (Hel. 6:38-40.)

In the Millennial Star, 1853, as it speaks of the last days, the great power that Satan will have, and the crisis that will exist, it tells us that we cannot be "neutral," but that we must choose our sides, get involved, or perish: "Oh man, you cannot be neutral. You must choose your side and put on your armor. Those that come not up to the help of the Lord in that day of battle, will be sorely cursed . . . thereby those who take refuge in the name of the Lord and in immediate revelation from heaven, will be safe, and no others." ("The Coming Crisis: How to Meet It," from The Millennial Star, April 30, 1853.)

Have We Apostatized?
Not only must we choose a side and be spiritually attuned to immediate revelation, but it seems that we must also be so living that we are persecuted for our religious beliefs. Brigham Young made a very interesting statement to this effect when he said, "And when the spirit of persecution, the spirit of hatred, of wrath, and malice ceases in the world against this people, it will be the time that this people have apostatized and joined hands with the wicked, and never until then; which I pray may never come." (JD, 4:327.)

If we consider our position in the world today compared to a hundred years ago, we find that the Church and its members are well received; the gospel is spreading into forbidden countries; other churches are adopting some of our LDS programs such as Family Home Evening. The Church and its members (generally speaking) have never been so well received and respected in the world. This is good in many ways and for many reasons. BUT — have we (collectively speaking) drifted into and accepted the many ways of the world to qualify us for such a "positive" acceptance. As the world "ceases" in its persecution, are we becoming more apostate in our attitudes? This may be a rather indicting question. But isn’t there an indictment against the Elders of the Church, according to President Benson? And as we take into consideration the position that we Latter-day Saints have put ourselves into, and the stance we have taken in regard to our spirituality and liberties, is there any question that the Lord might be displeased with modern Israel?

With these thoughts in mind, let us turn once again to Ezra Taft Benson as he addressed the subject of secret combination and the anti-Christ. In general conference he asked: "Assuming we are living a life so we can know, then what does the Holy Spirit have to say about it? We are under obligation to answer this question. God will hold us responsible. Let us not be deceived in the sifting days ahead." (Conference Report, October 1963, p. 19.) It may be good to remember President Benson’s words when he said, "As members of the Church, we have some close quarters to pass through if we are to save our souls." (AEHDT, p. 317.)