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May 31 2012

Mormons Believe Constitution Comes From Jesus

Andrew Sullivan points to a very interesting statement from Ezra Taft Benson when he was president of the Mormon church, which makes it official church doctrine. I often joke about the Christian nation crowd believing that the Constitution was delivered to George Washington by Jesus himself while Washington was praying at Mt. Sinai, but it turns out the Mormons actually believe something very close to that:

Our Father in Heaven planned the coming forth of the Founding Fathers and their form of government as the necessary great prologue leading to the restoration of the gospel. Recall what our Savior Jesus Christ said nearly two thousand years ago when He visited this promised land: “For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth” (3 Ne. 21:4). America, the land of liberty, was to be the Lord’s latter-day base of operations for His restored church…. For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off…

I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval upon it. I testify that the God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has now sent other choice spirits to help preserve it.

We, the blessed beneficiaries of the Constitution, face difficult days in America, “a land which is choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:10).

I especially love the part about God sending “some of His choicest spirits.” Apparently some of the spirits he might have sent wouldn’t have been nearly as effective as the ones he actually sent. Is there some sort of divine ranking system for spirits, like an AP poll? Sullivan also links to a page about the spirits of the Founding Fathers themselves appearing to a previous LDS president:

The spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, “You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.” These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. I thought it very singular, that notwithstanding so much work had been done, and yet nothing had been done for them … I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon brother McCallister [sic] to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others…

This is starting to sound a lot like the Unification Church’s document called A Cloud of Witnesses, wherein they claim that the dead founders of all the world’s religions, along with nearly every great leader in history, met in the “spirit world” to declare that the Rev. Moon was the true savior of mankind. It’s one of the most insane things ever written, but this is just as crazy.

Sullivan also notes that George Washington, Ben Franklin and many others were posthumously made high priests of Mormonism, which is equally loony. He writes:

In some ways, Mormonism is the perfect form of Christianity for Christianist nationalist politics. It is the only form of Christianity that believes Jesus visited America; that the Garden of Eden was somewhere in Missouri; and the only one that, as a theological proposition, sees the US Constitution as an integral part of the divine order, and one that Jesus personally foresaw in his appearances in America two millennia ago, and blessed.

That’s a good point.

31 comments

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  1. 1
    eric

    …for God has placed His stamp of approval upon it…

    Did He approve the whole thing, or only three-fifths of it?

  2. 2
    raven

    Is there some sort of divine ranking system for spirits, like an AP poll?

    Sure there is!!! Why are you even asking?

    According to Mormon mythology, we former spirit babies had a pre-life. Where we end up in the world depends on just how we lived in the pre-life.

    The best spirits end up Mormon males.
    The second best Mormon females.

    Then white Americans who aren’t Mormons.
    Nonwhite Americans especially the black ones.
    White nonAmericans
    Nonwhite nonAmericans
    Nowhite nonAmericans, especially the Africans
    Then the demons who are our (bad) siblings

    It’s all very logical. If your god is a sockpuppet, he hates what you hate and wants you to have what you want. The Mormon god was made up by old white males who wanted to have lots of sex with lots of women and get lots of money without working too hard. In their religion that who somehow ended up on top as ordained by their (made up) god.

    And you better pay your 10% tithe or you are going to have a substandard post-life as well!!!

  3. 3
    DaveL

    We, the blessed beneficiaries of the Constitution, face difficult days in America, “a land which is choice above all other lands” (Ether 2:10).

    This is the first time I had ever heard of the Book of Ether, and I just about rolled on the floor. A more aptly named holy book there never was. I suppose it belongs between the Book of Psilocybin and the Book of Model Glue.

  4. 4
    Taz

    I especially love the part about God sending “some of His choicest spirits.” Apparently some of the spirits he might have sent wouldn’t have been nearly as effective as the ones he actually sent. Is there some sort of divine ranking system for spirits, like an AP poll?

    It’s USDA. If god really loved America he would have sent the prime spirits.

  5. 5
    Gregory in Seattle

    And yet, for some reason, the LDS have always fought very hard to change this God-ordained Constitution in ways that the band of holy prophets known as the Founding Fathers would have vigorously opposed.

    Given how often Joseph Smith’s “most perfect translation” of the Book of Mormon has been edited, corrected and flat-out changed, it is really no surprise that they would treat the Constitution with the same disregard.

  6. 6
    raven

    Of course the Mormons are flaming hypocrites.

    Hatred of the federal government runs high in Utah.
    They once fought a war with the USA during a secession attempt, the Utah war.

    There is still an army base above Salt Lake City, Fort Douglas, that was founded to keep an eye on the Mormons during the subsequent military occupation. It’s the only fort in the USA where the guns point down at the city.

    Romney’s grandfather was born in Mexico where a lot of Mormons fled to get away from the US government after polygamy was outlawed.

    Utah is the closest we have to a theocracy and discrimination against the nonMormon minority is pervasive and government sanctioned. The state is gerrymandered along religious lines so xians and pagans don’t effectively have votes that count. This only matters if you thought you lived in a democracy.

    If the Mormons ever managed to seize power in the USA, the first they would do is scrap the US constitution.

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    @raven #2 – You have your rankings a bit off.

    According to original Eternal and Everlasting Revelation Right From God’s Holy Mouth, all whites rank above all non-whites. Until a very convenient change of Holy Father’s Mind in 1974, blacks were forbidden from holding the priesthood and thus forbidden from Temple ordinances and thus forbidden from becoming gods in the afterlife.

  8. 8
    eamick

    This is the first time I had ever heard of the Book of Ether, and I just about rolled on the floor. A more aptly named holy book there never was.

    Mark Twain described the Book of Mormon as “chloroform in print.”

  9. 9
    Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    thus forbidden from becoming gods in the afterlife.

    Oh yeah? Well YOU can’t be a god in the AFTERlife! So NYAAA!!

  10. 10
    raven

    According to original Eternal and Everlasting Revelation Right From God’s Holy Mouth, all whites rank above all non-whites. Until a very convenient change of Holy Father’s Mind in 1974,..

    Probably. It’s hard to decide which is worse, being a woman, a nonAmerican, a nonMormon, or a nonwhite in Mormon mythology. Maybe the Mormon theologians have sorted out who is the most damned by pre-existence.

    I suppose if you are a white Mormon male, it doesn’t matter too much. They are all inferior beings who screwed up in the pre-life and are being punished.

    Mormon theology and doctrine changes all the time and they have no problem rewriting the book of Mormon if they have to.

  11. 11
    Kevin

    Somebody check to see if James Madison was posthumously baptized as a Mormon.

    Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

  12. 12
    Skip White

    “God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government”

    And yet this a sect that’s against the consumption of alcohol.

  13. 13
    Gregory in Seattle

    @raven #10

    Mormon theology and doctrine changes all the time and they have no problem rewriting the book of Mormon if they have to.

    Which would certainly explain Mittens’… ah, flexibility of principles.

  14. 14
    interrobang

    Seriously, Ed? You needed Andrew Sullivan to tell you this? I thought everybody knew that Mor(m)ons were American exceptionalists by religious doctrine.

    It’s yet another reason why they should quit proselytising outside of the US. Without getting into the question of why anyone would want to be a Mor(m)on in the first place, why on earth would anyone want to be a non-American Mor(m)on? For one thing, it incorporates some of the most distateful elements of American culture, blegh. (Disclosure: Not American, and think a lot of those type of things are just weird.)

    (Why are you even reading Andrew Sullivan, anyway? I thought you had more sense than to take seriously anything written by a self-and-woman-hating gay conservative who can’t admit to himself that every institution with whom he’s allied himself over the years would gladly see his head on a pike if they thought they could get away with it. I don’t give a damn how well he can write, he’s got all the integrity of a supernova.)

  15. 15
    Nemo

    Romney implicitly cited this doctrine recently; he said the Constitution was “probably inspired”. It seems not everyone caught on to the literal meaning of “inspired”, since there wasn’t much comment on it at the time.

    http://www.quora.com/U-S-Politics/What-did-Mitt-Romney-mean-when-he-said-the-US-Constitution-was-probably-inspired

  16. 16
    Marcus Ranum

    Somebody check to see if James Madison was posthumously baptized as a Mormon.

    I believe there is a process whereby you can notify the mormon church that you wish to become an apostate. I wonder how they’d react if people started posthumously sending letters announcing their apostasy? I’d be willing to kick in a few stamps and it’d be an honor to sign for Benjamin Franklin…

  17. 17
    ottod

    The most interesting part of the Benson testimony (for me at least), was the part about discovering the presence of the founding fathers in the St. George Temple. For those unfamiliar with this reference, St. George is located in Utah. George Washington, the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a host of others, including Chris Columbus, (500, I think) were baptized, as were all the Presidents of the U. S. except 3 (I don’t know which 3)sometime in the late 1800′s. Geo. was ordained a High Priest.

    The membership of the LDS church is generally supportive of the constitution and government as they think it existed in the early 20th century. In Utah change is viewed with suspicion, so an early 20th century view of the constitution only puts them about 30 or 40 years behind. The church has a built-in mechanism for change, but it’s a little slow. I still remember the announcement of the revelation giving blacks access to full membership in the church and in the priesthood — well after the Civil Rights Act.

    Keep in mind that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and many of their successors were the marketing geniuses of their time.

  18. 18
    raven

    For one thing, it incorporates some of the most distateful elements of American culture, blegh.

    What???

    You don’t like Jello salads?

  19. 19
    busterggi

    “Our Father in Heaven planned the coming forth of the Founding Fathers and their form of government as the necessary great prologue leading to the restoration of the gospel”

    So Mormons believe in predestination & not in free will.

    Then why are they against gays if god wanted them that way?

  20. 20
    Cal

    As someone raised in a very Mormon household I recall being taught that this was the case. God set it all in motion including freedom of religion so that the True Church could be restored here. Not sure if I recall this being official church doctrine, but it was definitely the basic understanding. And I also know Mormons are very patriotic and sing patriotic songs along with their hymns especially around 4th of July and other holidays.

  21. 21
    peicurmudgeon

    So Mormons believe in predestination & not in free will.

    Then why are they against gays if god wanted them that way?

    Because god wants them to. The gays were put on earth to face the wrath of the religious.

  22. 22
    Ichthyic

    The gays were put on earth to face the wrath of the religious.

    sure thing. a pre-programed outlet for violence so the chosen don’t turn on each other.

    *rolleyes*

  23. 23
    Bjarni

    Surely the ‘choicest of spirits’ is a good whisky? And I thought that’d be wasted on Mormons?

  24. 24
    nonpersonhobofico

    Lots of misrepresentation of Mormon doctrine going on this thread… But the real doctrine is just as stupid… so… whatever. Have at them.

    Anyway, if there are any other exmormons, atheists, or other Utahns tired of being oppressed by the mormon church a bunch of people are getting together next month to protest against the church in SLC. Go here for details.

  25. 25
    pa747sp

    All dead Mormons are gay now

    http://alldeadmormonsarenowgay.com/

  26. 26
    Rip Steakface

    …How the hell does Mormon doctrine deal with people before Joseph Smith’s revelation? Yes, there’s posthumous baptism… pretty much only for famous white dudes (like George Carlin – the religion-hating master artist of filthy language), but for the billions of people that have died without being famous, what the hell happens for them?

    At least Jesus allegedly took all the “good” people up to cloud-land for bingo with the sky fairy during the three days he was in hell. What about the other couple billion people who died in the interim 1800 years between Jaysus and Joe Smith?

  27. 27
    cactuswren

    Have they ever explained why God changed His mind about the Eighteenth Amendment?

  28. 28
    raven

    Yes, there’s posthumous baptism… pretty much only for famous white dudes..

    Not quite right.

    The Mormon church is very efficient at baptizing the dead and have been close to running out of the names of dead people for years now.

    Just about anyone who is dead and recorded somewhere where they can get the name has been baptized. I’m sure all my dead relatives are among them.

    That still leaves billions of people whose death records don’t exist but you will have to ask the Mormons about them.

    It’s all just make believe anyway. I converted all Mormons to paganism in a moving ceremony involving a donut and a cup of coffee. I have as much supernatural authority as all the Mormons put together, which as it turns out is…zero.

  29. 29
    davesmith

    Raven #6 says:

    If the Mormons ever managed to seize power in the USA, the first they would do is scrap the US constitution.

    I think Mormons would scrap all the parts that are there to share power and protect minorities — the parts that matter. I grew up Mormon, and there was a recurring thread that it would be much better to have a righteous king than a Democracy. But a Mormon king of the USA would be the perfect combination for a Mormon. Why would you need a constitution?

    More to the point, towards the end of his short life, Joseph Smith was running as a candidate for president, but he had also secretly ordained himself the King of the World.

    All this would be scary enough, but it becomes worse in light of another Mormon tradition. In the final years of Joseph Smith’s life are shrouded in mystery because he advocated for Lying for the Lord . I don’t know if he buys into it, but Mit Romney is an important enough figure that he might just be lying for the Lord every time he opens his mouth.

    The tradition is insidious, because once the Mormons officially espoused the policy and then established an inner circle of power to decide what the official lies would be, nothing they said in public could be taken at face value. It would be very difficult to trust them, even if they publicly disavowed the policy. How do you know they’re not just playing you?

    And that brings us up to the present dilemma with Mit and his Mormon faith. Is he lying for the Lord? How do you know?

  30. 30
    Nemo

    Dave, it’s already pretty clear that Mitt lies constantly. His being a Mormon doesn’t really give me additional concerns in that area.

  31. 31
    lancepeters

    Freemasons studied these books because they contained the symbolism, rituals, and oaths that were used by pagan sects in Ancient Egypt. These sects worshiped Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. The Freemason symbols for these planets of worship can be found etched into the outer walls of the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple. The most nefarious element of these Hermetic texts is the reference to “Dark Rites” which the Freemasons believed to be a conduit of power and authority from the Gods of ancient Egyptian legends. “Red-covered” Luciferian and Satanist sects of Freemasonry sought out these “Dark Rites” and used them to commit each other to protect their private sector wealth and health at the expense of the “Greater Good”. These secret promises were established through “blood oaths”, the same blood oaths used in the Mormon temple ceremonies before 1990. Even more telling is the same promises that exist in the temple today are the same promises that were practiced by the “Red-covered” Freemasonry sects. These promise are to give all of ones time, wealth, and devotion, without question, to the organization. The Red-covered masons, to hide their secret oaths, disguised themselves as Christians. They spoke of Christ, they pretended to worship Christ, and they even gave sermons about the importance of helping the “public sector” rather that being selfish to one’s own family or private sector. This preaching, however, was a lie as these Freemason sects had all engaged in private oaths of private organizational growth and success that superseded public sector success and health. Its unfortunate that the Mormon church, since its beginnings, has utilized ancient cultist traditions to gain membership fidelity. In the media, the Church has white-washed its history and its doctrines. Just recently they recanted their original doctrine of Jesus and Satan being brothers; however, inside the temple this teaching and doctrine remains. The Mormon church leadership are remaining faithful to the “Red-covered” masonic traditions by lying to the public sector for their own private benefit.

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