True Democracy: Ancient Versus Modern America
An ancient American ethnic culture called Nephites transitioned through several types of governments, one relatable to the republicanism of the United States of America. "Freedom" and "liberty" referred to in the record center around preventing harm to families and communities and the right to worship God according to the desires of the people.
The Americas are blessed lands where every nation that dwells there must worship the God of the lands, or destruction awaits them, a warning found in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. This provision exists in the United States, to worship God to keep it from suffering the fate of the Nephites, destruction.
Avoiding Nephite Pit through Republician Government
Swearing that the Church would never plummet into apostasy again, Jesus Christ fashioned a nation where religion is a guarantee in the form of the Constitution. He said,
According to the laws and Constitution of the people [of the United States], which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh [humanity], according to just and holy principles; that every man may act in doctrine [belief system] and principle [lifestyle] pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment. Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land [the United States of America], by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood [the Revolutionary and Civil War], Doctrine & Covenants 101:77-80.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that the US Constitution is an inspired document meant for the entirety of the human family, with expressed mention of a Bill of Rights, and a representative government so citizens have no power to change the form of government directly, or have legal power to infringe on other people's belief system from any foundation—religious, political, or philosophical in nature.
Those protections apply as far as the Guiding Principles of the Constitution are held inviolate. US citizens have not always upheld the true intent of the Constitution. War and debate constantly concern the political face of the United States. In modern times, the laws apply to all citizens of the nation.
The Divine Constitution
The Church of Jesus Christ, in modern times, does support the actuality of many types of governments because it is able to operate within those governments’ domain. Joseph Smith articulated articles of faith that the Church adopted later as canonized scripture stating that “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law” Pearl of Great Price, Articles of Faith 1:12.
United States is No Democracy
Jesus explicitly vouchsafes the agency of humanity, all humanity, though particularly regarding the freedoms of the people in the United States when He said,
That law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; and as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil, Doctrine & Covenants 98:5-7.
The United States is not a democracy. Because it is not a democracy, or because the majority of the people of the nation do not necessarily determine policy, it can avoid what occurred with the Nephites. The Nephite Tribal Confederacy eventually intercepted the teachings of Christ, preventing religious freedom to that one group, and the entire nation eventually failed. Unlike the Nephites, Americans can NOT legally vote to eliminate the religious rights of other Americans. US citizens cannot vote to change the government from its representative form to another, such as a monarchy, as the Nephites could--jeopardizing religious freedom and endangering the Church of Jesus Christ and all religious organizations.
Subsequently, to make sure that the peoples' vote could not infringe on the rights of others, God inspired the writers of the Constitution to contrive a government where the authority to govern separated into three divisions, instead of one monolithic group as did the Nephite nation, a group of judges. This older government allowed representatives of the denizens to enact laws regularly with the option for a plebiscite by circumstance, still, with the possibility of the Judiciary usurping power if enough of them banned together in treason.
Representative republic, this newer government on the ancient Nephite lands, sanctioned elected representatives, or legislatures; it empowers an elected person of the electorates to serve as the executive/president; it appoints people to the Judiciary or US Supreme Court Justices. Therefore, this new American nation, the United States of America, serves as examplar to the world of how a government should labor to protect the rights of the people.
Is the Constitution for all people in principle, or just the US?
Wrapping Things Up
God made a covenant with the modern Church of Jesus Christ, and a government formed out of inspiration that makes it impossible to turn the people against Christ, almost. A two-thirds majority of legislative representatives can amend the Constitution to more expressly reflect the ideas of freedom and liberty in society. The determination of the people to act for or against the will of God is inviolate by heavenly decree. Whether powerful people will acquiesce to the divine law of liberty is an act of faith. The wrath of God ignites against those who expressly infringe on the liberties of His offspring.
Unfortunately, the Nephites did not have a provision in their laws, such as The Bill of Rights, or provisions explicitly enumerated for a minority population evident in the current translation of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Those in disagreement with the majority had to yield completely to the will of the people. There was no bicameral body to give two types of representation for the people, just the word of the Chief Judge as law. God ensured the agency of humans in the United States epitomized freedom towards benevolent virtuosity or malevolent discord. When divine retribution descends upon the people, it will be solely the individuals’ just reward.
- Government and Legal History in the Book of Mormon,
Because the Book of Mormon focuses on religious themes, information about political and legal institutions appears only as background for the religious account.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Rodric Anthony Johnson