Both Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith Believed in the Rule of Law.
I was invited to answer questions on the LDS Freedom Forum yesterday. I started a thread and the discussion was actually going quite well. Then , abruptly, the webmaster deleted the thread, banned me from the forum and sent me an email explaining that the ban came about because of the article I published in the past where a woman accused Thomas S Monson, President of the Mormon Church, of attempted rape. Other women came forward to substantiate the story, so I published it.
I do not know whether the woman was telling the truth or lying about the episode. I only know that she has made this claim to many other individuals, so it was not a breaking story in Utah. In another article I published, a woman claimed she was forced to participate in Satanic rituals with some leaders of the Church. Again, the story was verified by others so I went ahead and published it. I make no claims nor offer my opinion on either case. That is not my job.
You see, when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution of the United States they added something that most Mormons in America might not understand. It was called the Bill of Rights. Mormon Doctrine states the Constitution and Bill of Rights came from God, and should be upheld as a matter of our faith.
The Bill of Rights guarantees both "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of the Press". Freedom of Speech means that people like Gayle Smith have the right to tell their story. It also means that Thomas S Monson has the right to refute it. Freedom of the Press is a whole nother story.
The Founders knew that all men who obtain any power in this world, are prone to corruption. This is also a tenet of the Mormon Faith:
"34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be bcontrolled nor handled only upon the cprinciples of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man." (Source)
Jesus Christ submitted to the Roman law when He agreed to be taken in the Garden of Gethsemne. He was convicted by the Pharisees through False Witnesses of corrupting the doctrines of the Old Testament. Jesus was God, and had the power to destroy all of His enemies without submitting to their unjust accusations in a Court of Law. When He did voluntarily submit, He was also sending the message that He would obey "The Rule of Law", even at the expense of His mortal life.
Joseph Smith had received broad military powers granted by the State of Illinois:
"In 1839, Joseph Smith relocated his followers—the Mormons—from a hostile environment in Missouri to Commerce, Illinois which he renamed Nauvoo. Voter-conscious Illinois Democrats and Whigs (including Abraham Lincoln) passed a bipartisan city-state charter for Nauvoo in 1840. On December 16 the governor signed it into law, granting Smith and the city of Nauvoo broad powers. Among these was the authority to create a "body of independent militarymen." This force was a militia similar to others in Illinois, and it became known as the "Nauvoo Legion". At its peak, the militia had, by conservative estimates, at least 2,500 troops, in comparison to the approximately 8,500 troops within the entire United States Army as of 1845. The Legion was organized into two regiments (called cohorts) of infantry and one regiment of cavalry. A few light cannon were also attached."
As Mayor of the City of Nauvoo, Joseph Smith ordered the destruction of a truly scandelous printing press, established by his worst enemies, in the City of Nauvoo. He had the legal authority to do so (According to Blackstone, the legal authority at the time), and the matter was voted upon by the Nauvoo City Council, which ordered Mayor Smith to "abate the public nuisance forthwith".
The press was destroyed. No one was harmed in the incident. At worst it was a crime against property. At best it was justified by the law.
The Governor of the State of Illinois ordered Joseph Smith to stand trial in the most anti-Mormon city in the country at that time, Carthage Illinois. Joseph and his brother Hyrum initially desired to flee the city and head out West, with the Latter-Day Saints behind them. Instead, they agreed to submit to the "Rule of Law" and a very public trial. Joseph stated publicly that he knew if he went to Carthage that they would kill him, yet he went anyway.
The Nauvoo Legion was fully capable of protecting Joseph and Hyrum, but Joseph ordered the legion to disband and stay behind in Nauvoo. If Joseph was any less of a man, he would have started a civil war. Since he commanded a force that was 1/4 the size of the entire American Army, he had the ability to wage a guerilla war that would have ultimately led to victory.
During the Utah war, Brigham Young did launch a guerilla war when the United States Army invaded Utah. Brigham won on his terms with a much smaller group of men, with much less military training than the Nauvoo Legion.
Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were brutally murdered in the Carthage jail by an armed mob of anti-Mormon Freemasons that had painted their faces black. Instead of retaliating with the Legion, the leaders of the Church decided to submit to the additional demands of Governor Ford. They ended up leaving the State and sought refuge in Utah.
Every man, regardless of his position in a church, amount of wealth he possesses, or popular support, has a responsibility to submit to the rule of law. I said that I was not able to judge whether Gayle Smith was telling the truth. Like Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ, I support the Rule of Law whereby:
1. A Free Press reports accusations of corruption.
2. An honest investigation takes place.
3. If evidence exists to substantiate the strong possibility that a crime occurred, the alleged perp is arrested, granted bail, and bound over for trial.
3. The Prosecuter presents his evidence to a Jury, which then decides if the defendent is Innocent or Guilty.
4. An honest Judge doesn't stand in the way of presenting evidence to the Jury that established whether a crime has been committed.
In the event that an alleged criminal event has gone beyond the statute of limitations, which is the case with Gayle Smith and Thomas S Monson, both parties have the right to file a Civil Suit if they believe they have been injured. Gayle, for emotional distress etc., and Thomas S Monson for slander and/or libel.
A Jury should be the one deciding whether Gayle is lying or not, not a journalist.
Unfortunately, neither Thomas S Monson, the LDS Church, or Gayle Smith have refuted the basic facts of the story. If Thomas S Monson desired to do so, I would publish his statement for the entire world to see. That is what honest journalism, without an agenda, is all about. Both sides have the right to tell their story.
I believe that the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Rule of Law are at the core of the Mormon Religion. I have proven myself a faithful friend to all three. I have not been excommunicated from the Mormon Church, nor will I leave the Church voluntarily. Instead, I will continue to defend its doctrines and the Rule of Law against anyone that opposes both.
I have kept the 10 Commandments, and every other true principal, yet, even Jesus Christ was excommunicated for telling the truth by the Church of His time. I simply follow His example of exposing corruption wherever it may exist. No matter how great the cost to myself and my family. True Mormons understand this and have been very supportive of my work. Sadly, they are in the minority.
Others, like the webmaster of a forum that claims to defend the Constitution, will only go so far in discovering the truth and no further. Perhaps some of my readers could join the LDS Freedom Forum, and explain what real Freedom is all about.
> How sad and pathetic, Paul, that you were treated so poorly at that website after being invited to post.
> It was disappointing to read, Paul, that you were invited to post your ideas on a Mormon website and then when the webmaster objected to your other writings, pulled your thread.
> Let me say that I have read most of your articles posted on your website. I find them worth while because they make one engage one's brain and think things through. Do I believe the claims that Gayle Smith made and which you reported? No. Do I think she has told an untruth? No. That means that I have determined that these alleged events have at least two sides to them and I have only read one side. But beyond that, the story made me ponder other things such as the LDS teaching that in the end times "....even the very elite shall be deceived...". And, that has gotten me to ponder, "how would they be deceived? and how will the membership know that they have been deceived?".
> I was on another Mormon run website in recent times. What I gathered from this experience was it was not acceptable to think nor question things related to LDS Church actions or functions. It seemed acceptable to question other state actions (Arizona, Texas, California, and even Idaho) but don't dare question Utah's legislative actions. One could point a finger at the naught United Nations, the Catholic church, or politicians, just be sure not to mention that the LDS Church has intertwined itself with the United Nations through cash, food, material, time donations along with the Relief Society being recognized by the United Nations as an 'official non-governmental agency." Let us not mention that Brigham Young University hosts United Nation Day nor should it be whispered how many faculty members are CFR members. Poor ole presidents Brigham Young, John Taylor, Ezra Taft Benson, David O McKay must be turning in their graves at what has become of a people that refuse to confront these Secret Combination associations.
> When I read the old LDS prophesies that "one day the US Constitution will be hanging by a thread and the LDS elders will save it", I have to wonder who amongst the Mormon elders will be there to do so amongst all of these non-questioning, non-thinking, get-along Mormons?
> As I tell folks who are looking to pay for their grandchildren's college education, do not send them to Brigham Young University as it is NOT the university that you think it is. It is as liberal an institution as any east coast Ivy League institution. Either send them to an Ivy League university where such indoctrination is open and in your face; or send them to a truly conservative place like Hillsdale College where they can be educated in the US Constitution and how to think for themselves.
> Does make one wonder if the lack of support for the 13 Articles of Faith that the LDS Church stood by until recent decades doesn't account for report that only 30% of Mormons are active in the church. Wonder if the LDS Church STOOD for something if active participation might suddenly skyrocket?
> Interestingly, even Glenn Beck time and again tells his audience, "Question EVERYTHING, including the very existence of God." so that you know what you stand for. As your experience has shown, Mormons seem to have an attitude of put your head buried into sand and never raise a question about the actions, thought, and reasoning behind anything carried out by the LDS church, at Brigham Young University, nor the Utah Mormon dominated legislatures. Perhaps these folks fear that questioning such things would damn their souls while they deny the fact that God gave them a brain to use and they have been commanded to search out the truth.