02 November 2018

Alma 59:13

I wrote this a very long time ago, about 20 years ago, but I think its time to dust it off and put it out there again. Many of you know that I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...I'm a Mormon. Always have been, always will be. 

This piece is about an issue that I was struggling with a long time ago in a land far, far away. Well, kinda. A few hundred miles anyway. The story pretty well speaks for itself and tells you the why. If you're not LDS, it may or may not have the same impact on you...                                     *********************
Alma 59:13

"And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country."

Don't ask me why but I have felt very strongly compelled to express my sentiments on a few subjects that I wish were more important to every American; the Constitution, gun control, revolution and the end times.

I have never sent out a religious oriented commentary of my own making before and I don't want you to think that I'm preaching or trying to convert anyone. It's just some things that I need to get off my chest. I don't think that it's as important that anyone reads this as it is that I write it. This letter is only going out to those that I know are LDS members or whom I know have had a passing interest in the Church at some time or another. Two or three of you have at least read part of the Book of Mormon so you qualify. There are at least two pagans or atheists that I consider friends that are receiving this letter and I'm not sure why but please feel free to hit 'Delete' if you don't want to read it. You will still be my friends, at least as far as I'm concerned.

All my life I have been preoccupied with the founding, history and well-being of this country. When most kids my age were crying over Bambi, I cried all the way home over Tora, Tora, Tora (a 60's movie about the bombing of Pearl Harbor). I felt an overwhelming sense of pride which I could not contain when I saw a man in a military uniform or saw the heroes going home in a John Wayne movie. I'm now almost 45 years old and I cried again when I tried to explain to my 5 year old son and 6 year old daughter what the flag stood for and why we put it up and take it down every day. I never did get quite finished. I'll try again soon.

I wasted a lot of my best years drinking and carousing when I should have been serving my country but finally did wake up and join the Army in '82 at the age of 26. When I got out, I always felt a little ashamed that I didn't stay and retire or at least until Komrade Klinton took office and then I didn't regret it anymore.

Many years later, as I sat one night with my guts churning with anxiety over the state of the Nation, I decided that I needed to do something, however small, in the service of my country again. At my age, re-enlisting was out of the question so I started researching the legitimacy, legality and mission of the citizen's militia. Boy, talk about an eye-opener! I found that not only was it legal for me to be a part of the militia but that I was actually obligated under 10 USC Chapter 13, Section 311 which states:
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are-
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and...
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia.
A little more research showed me that my state Constitution also provided for a militia:

Article 18, Sections 1-2 of the New Mexico State Constitution states:

Section 1. [Composition, Name and Commander in Chief of Militia.]

The Militia of this State shall consist of all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, except such as are exempt by laws of the United States or of this State. The organized Militia shall be called the "National Guard of New Mexico," of which the Governor shall be the Commander in Chief.

Section 2. [Organization, Discipline and Equipment of Militia.]

The Legislature shall provide for the organization, discipline and equipment of the Militia, which shall conform as nearly as practicable to the organization, discipline and equipment of the Regular Army of the United States, and shall provide for the maintenance thereof.

Well now. Is there anything about that any of you didn't understand? It seemed quite clear to me so I decided that I would try to put together a group and start training. I had no idea how to go about it but with a little more research, found a group in Albuquerque that did that very thing. The commander of this unit was an honorable, Christian man that I have a great deal of respect for even though we have since had a parting of ways. I am still active in the militia and have no fears or regrets for getting involved.

I'm sure by now that you are wondering what in the world that all this has to do with Mormons. Well, plenty. When I first got into this movement, I struggled constantly with whether or not what I was doing would interfere with Church doctrine and what I was going to do if it did. Not to worry.
After a tremendous amount of scripture search, prayer, reading Church approved books and even a call to Salt Lake, I am 100% at ease and confident that what I'm doing is not only accepted but supported in every facet. Maybe not by every member but, I believe, by the Lord. When I started searching scriptures, I actually TRIED to find something that would tell me that I was barking up the wrong tree but try as I may, no matter which way I turned, I could find nothing but support.
While going through some scriptures in the Book of Mormon, I came up such things as:

Helaman 5:2 -- "For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than those who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted."

Alma 60:14 -- "And now behold, I say unto you, I fear exceedingly that the judgements of God will come upon this people, because of their exceeding slothfulness, yea, even the slothfulness of our government, and their exceedingly great neglect towards their brethren, yea, towards those who have been slain."

Alma 51:6 -- "And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain chief judge over the land took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them, for the freemen had sworn or covenanted to maintain their rights and the privileges of their religion by a free government."

These are just a few but should give you an idea. Does this not sound like we have come full circle? Are the times now any different? These are the words of ancient prophets but what does that have to do with now and what do the more modern prophets have to say about this?

In the Doctrine and Covenants 134:1 & 2, we read:

1. "We believe that governments were instituted of God and that he holds men accountable for their actions in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society."
2. "We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life".

D&C 134:11 tells us:

"We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exingency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded."

Please read that one again...

"...but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exingency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded."

Now this seems pretty cut and dried to me. Lest anyone confuse the "government" with the people that run the government, remember that we believe that God put select men on this earth just for the purpose of organizing this country and writing the Constitution and supporting documents(D&C 101:80). By my way of thinking, the people in control now are part of "all persons" as referenced above and we are justified in defending ourselves against them.

77. "According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;"

78. "That every man may act in doctrine and principle 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 judgement."

79. "Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another."

80. "And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood."

The Lord made it clear to us through Joseph Smith on 6 August 1833 just what the law of the land was in D&C 98:4-11...
4. "And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them."

5. "And 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."

6. "Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;"

7. "And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil."

8. "I, the Lord God, make you free therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free."

9. "Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn."

10. "Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil."

11. "And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God."

I shouldn't have to go into anymore detail on that one but for anyone that didn't catch it the first time, here's what Joseph Smith said in his dedicatory prayer at the Kirtland Temple on 27 March 1836:

D&C 109:54
"Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever."

And that's all I have to say about that.

Now let's take a quick look at the right to self defense.

Alma 43:47
"And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion."

How about Alma 48:13-14?:

13. "Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood."

14. "Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives."

In the Bible, Luke 11:21-22 advises us:

21. "When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

22. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils."

And further, in Luke 22:36,

"Then said he unto them, but now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."

OK, now that I've written half of the BOM, we might as well talk about the end times for a few minutes.

I'm often asked my opinion on preparedness and the possibility of seeing more turbulent times during our lifetimes. Some of the stuff that I found links not only our food storage and preparedness programs to these troubled times but also, again, my involvement with the patriot movement.

Between the scriptures and a book called "The Coming of the Lord" by Gerald N. Lund (which I strongly recommend that you read ASAP), I have found some astonishing things that put the final nails in the coffin of my indecision and lit a fire under the Minuteman in me. I've quoted most of the things in the BOM that have inspired my decision to be prepared but please let me give you just a couple from the Bible that specifically deal with preparedness.

We are admonished in 1 Timothy 5:8 to provide for our families:

8. "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

Or maybe Proverbs 27:12:

12. "A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished."

Heber C. Kimball described it as being like a curtain which would drop between the church and the United States...

"Lay up your stores, and take your silks and fine things, and exchange them for grain and such things as you need, and the time will come when we will be obliged to depend upon our own resources; for the time is not far distant when the curtain will be dropped between us and the United States. When the time comes brethren and sisters, you will wish you had commenced sooner to make your own clothing. I tell you, God requires us to go into home manufacture; and, prolong it as long as you like, you have got to do it."

Elder Orson Pratt tells us why when he explicitly described the conditions that would sweep the nation to it's destruction...

"......it will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, county against county, state against state, and they will go forth destroying and being destroyed, and manufacturing will, in a great measure, cease, for a time, among the American nation. Why? Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to manufacture; there will be too much bloodshed -- too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer the people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety......."

There is much, much more but you need to read the book. 
Recently, on a bulletin board that I frequent, some misinformed individual claimed that the Constitution is the root of the problems plaguing this country. Latter Day Saints are privileged to know that the Constitution, while severely damaged and "hanging by a thread" will survive and be brought back to strength by the Elders of Israel. A few more quotes from various Elders and Presidents of the Church and I'll start trying to close.

Concerning war in this country, and this one really got my attention, in the 1967 Priesthood Conference of the Church, Elder Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency said, in part, "....and some of you young men are going to engage in that battle. Some of you are going to engage in the final testing time, which is coming and which is closer to us than we know..."
I was 11 years old at the time.

A little more on the Constitution. Brigham Young said: "Will the Constitution be destroyed? No; it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, ' the time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.' It will be so."

David O. McKay said in 1956, the year I was born, that "Next to being one in worshipping God there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States."

HA! That clinched it for me. Color me  camo and put a rifle in my hands.

Lastly, President John Taylor tells us: "When the peoples shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. This is part of the programme, and as long as we do what is right and fear God, he will help us and stand by us under all circumstances."

My mind and my path is clear. The consequences of what may happen in the not too distant future are of little consequence. What my co-workers, church members, the police or the feds think of me is of little consequence. I have to do what I have to do. Far be it for any patriot to fire to the first shot, especially in anger, but he should be prepared to damn well fire the second one. Come to think of it, I'm not so sure that the first shot hasn't already been fired. 

For whatever this is worth to anyone, if anything, I've shared my reasons that I do what I do and am who I am. If any thing that I have said helps any of you to work out a dilemma that you may be having trouble with, I will be pleased and honored to have been of assistance. If it has made things worse for you in any way or offended you in some way, I make no apology for it but it was absolutely not my intention.

Please know that I am here to offer my hand to any of you that may need it. I know that this is the true Church and that Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet of God and that President Hinckley is our living prophet today. I can attest that the Book of Mormon is another testament to the word of God. I am comforted by the fact that I am guaranteed to be with my family for all time and eternity. I pray that I can be guided to have the strength and courage to make the right decisions in troubled times and do the best things for my country and my family.

I leave this with you, humbly, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout) Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!

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