Monday, April 16, 2012

When Mormons were socialists - what has happened to the Church of Jesus Christ?

 Growing up as a member of the LDS church, it took me years to understand the message of the Book of Mormon. Believed to be a word of warning  to the American people of our day, the Book of Mormon claims to be a prophetic witness of the fall of two earlier American nations and a warning to the present-day citizens of the land.

In his provocative 1994 essay, "A Latter Day Warning from the Book of Mormon", Richard Draper observed that the Book of Mormon appears to be speaking to our time.  Two main periods of the Nephite history are compared wit hpresent day America. The first outlined the initial destruction of the Nephite nation-state prior to the coming of Christ to the Americas (covered in the books of Helaman and 3rd Nephi) and the second detailed the 2oo year period between the peak of the Nephite society and the total destruction of the people (mostly recorded in 4th Nephi).

In his conclusion, Draper states "For the most part, the Church today finds itself in much the same circumstances as those in the beginning of the book of Helaman. It is wealthy and growing rapidly. Are we in danger? The Book of Mormon suggests that the only real danger to the Church itself is not an outward foe but rather a more powerful and far more devastating enemy within—pride. It grows in the hearts of those who profess to be Saints. It is little wonder that President Benson has warned us against pride.17 Will we heed the warning or become as the Nephites of old?"

How did the Mormon church change from a Christian socialist Utopian endeavor to the most Republican of religions? Are we living through some inevitable cycle in human nature or do we still have a choice?

On the political side of this equation - this article from Salon may provide some of the answers.

When Mormons were socialists -

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