By: Ilyan Kei Lavanway, Moroni Channel
Rockledge Florida, USA
The following talk was given Sunday morning, March 10, 2013, in the Rockledge Ward of the Cocoa Florida Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The complete talk, posted below, includes hyperlinks to sources, references, and videos quoted.
Do not take this talk at face value. Take the time to look up the references in the talk and see for yourself what the prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ have said regarding how the Book of Mormon helps us follow Christ, and what that means for Americans and others who love and cherish individual freedom and liberty.
The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ. As such, everything in it, and everything spoken about it by prophets, ancient and modern, helps us follow Jesus Christ.
1 Nephi 4:10-18 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property. And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands; Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief. And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise. Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law. And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass. And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause — that I might obtain the records according to his commandments. Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.
The opportunity and the duty to speak today were delivered into my hands, like Laban was delivered into the hands of Nephi, meaning the task of delivering this message was given me by the hand of God through his duly appointed servants, and not through my own workings.
The Book of Mormon is our survival manual. We face the world’s attempts to redefine marriage to suit foul and perverse forms of lasciviousness. An utter disregard for the sanctity of life, particularly the lives of those in the womb, prevails upon this land and elsewhere. We live in a global Sodom and Gomorrah. Individual agency is under attack.
A great lie has spread among us. That is the notion that government-mandated welfare helps poor people. It does no such thing. It strips from all people dignity, prosperity, and agency. It breeds idleness, apathy, and greed.
The Lord has lifted up his ensign to the nations and has taught us the correct way to care for his poor, and it is not through government mandates that take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Howard W. Hunter spoke of this during a BYU Devotional regarding The Law of The Harvest, March 8, 1966.
The Book of Mormon teaches us how to identify and overcome the evils of our day. It gives us courage and comfort as we endure to the end.
Excerpts from Ezra Taft Benson, Civic Standards for the Faithful Saints, April 1972 General Conference:
“Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the ‘keystone of our religion’ and the ‘most correct’ book on earth. (DHC, vol. 6, p. 56.) This most correct book on earth states that the downfall of two great American civilizations came as a result of secret conspiracies whose desire was to overthrow the freedom of the people. ‘And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking,’ says Moroni, ‘and also the destruction of the people of Nephi." (Ether 8:21.)
“Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work, but it has singled out the greatest threat as the godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon — it is a conspiracy fact."
“Then Moroni speaks to us in this day and says, “Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you” (Ether 8:24.)
“The Book of Mormon further warns that ‘whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold they shall be destroyed…" (Ether 8:22.)
“This scripture should alert us to what is ahead unless we repent, because there is no question but that as people of the free world, we are increasingly upholding many of the evils of the adversary today. By court edict godless conspirators can run for government office, teach in our schools, hold office in labor unions, work in our defense plants, serve in our merchant marines, etc. As a nation, we are helping to underwrite many evil revolutionaries in our country."
“Now we are assured that the Church will remain on the earth until the Lord comes again — but at what price? The Saints in the early days were assured that Zion would be established in Jackson County, but look at what their unfaithfulness cost them in bloodshed and delay."
“President [J. Reuben] Clark warned us that ‘we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known…’ (CR, April 1944, p. 116.)
“And he stated that if the conspiracy ‘comes here it will probably come in its full vigor and there will be a lot of vacant places among those who guide and direct, not only this government, but also this Church of ours." (CR, April 1952, p. 80.)
“We honor our founding fathers of this republic… God raised up these patriotic partners to perform their mission, and he called them ‘wise men."(See D&C 101:80.)
“The First Presidency acknowledged that wisdom when they gave us the guideline a few years ago of supporting political candidates ‘who are truly dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers." (Deseret News, November 2, 1964, pg. 1.) That tradition has been summarized in the book The American Tradition  by Clarence Carson.
“These wise founders, our patriotic partners, seemed to appreciate more than most of us the blessings of the boundaries that the Lord set within the Constitution, for he said, ‘And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil." (D&C 98:7.)
“In God the founders trusted, and in his Constitution — not in the arm of flesh. ‘O Lord,’ said Nephi, ‘I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; …cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Nephi 4:34.)
“President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., put it well when he said:
“‘God provided that in this land of liberty, our political allegiance shall run not to individuals, that is, to government officials, no matter how great or how small they may be. Under His plan our allegiance and the only allegiance we owe as citizens or denizens of the United States, runs to our inspired Constitution which God himself set up. So runs the oath of office of those who participate in government. A certain loyalty we do owe to the office which a man holds, but even here we owe just by reason of our citizenship, no loyalty to the man himself. In other countries it is to the individual that allegiance runs. This principle of allegiance to the Constitution is basic to our freedom. It is one of the great principles that distinguishes this ‘land of liberty’ from other countries." (Improvement Era, July 1940, p. 444.)
“‘Patriotism,’ said Theodore Roosevelt, ‘means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country…"
“‘… to vote for wicked men, it would be sin,’ said Hyrum Smith. (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 323.)
“And the Prophet Joseph Smith said, ‘…let the people of the whole Union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate that is not practiced as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exaltation…" (DHC, vol. 6, p. 207.)
“Joseph and Hyrum’s trust did not run to the arm of flesh, but to God and correct eternal principles. ‘I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth,’ said the Prophet Joseph Smith. "(DHC, vol. 6, p. 56.)
“The warning of President Joseph Fielding Smith is most timely: ‘Now I tell you it is time the people of the United States were waking up with the understanding that if they don’t save the Constitution from the dangers that threaten it, we will have a change of government." (Conference Report, April 1950, p. 159.)
“Another guideline given by the First Presidency was ‘to support good and conscientious candidates, of either party, who are aware of the great dangers’ facing the free world.” (Deseret News, November 2, 1964, pg. 1.)
I interject here to point out that it is important to watch, not just read, but watch and listen to Ezra Taft Benson speaking as an Apostle of Jesus Christ during the April, 1972 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This next minute or so is transcribed directly from the video record of his address.
Regarding this transcript and all else that is expressed in this message today, I urge you with all the energy of my soul, praying for the power of God unto the convincing of men, that you ponder these things and realign your views and your allegiances accordingly.
Wherever there may be offense, let there be instead an opening of the understanding, and a clear vision of what is at stake and how the Book of Mormon helps us follow Christ.
I testify that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and that everything within it, and everything spoken about it by prophets ancient and modern, helps us follow Jesus Christ.
Joseph Smith is a true prophet. He translated the Book of Mormon from gold plates upon which ancient prophets of this land wrote.
I know that if we abide its precepts, we will not perish as did the Nephites and the Jaredites who inhabited this land many centuries before us.
We have the great privilege and the daunting challenge of being born into our mortal probation during the twilight of this last dispensation. We have the blessings of the fullness of Christ’s gospel at our disposal like no other generation preceding us. We are left without excuse.
I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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