Part 3 of 3:
I continue to receive emails and comments suggesting it will be a necessity to organize a new church. That is not only a bad idea, it would be contrary to the objective of Zion. A formal institution becomes a creature of the law, subject to regulation by the state. In Massachusetts, the state attorney general has announced that she interprets non-discrimination laws, written to address public accommodations, to apply to churches if they are open to the public. This interpretation allows the state to compel churches to get on board with social causes championed by the state, even if they run contrary to the moral teachings of the church.
No law can reach a man’s beliefs. What a person believes and practices in the privacy of their own home is something the state will find almost impossible to curtail. They may try, but to accomplish it would destroy the entire government. Zion must conform to God’s plan, not man’s. Anything man can regulate, tax or outlaw can become the means used by overreaching government to corrupt.
There are those who are working to provide a way for people to donate to a temple fund. Because the state regulates solicitation of donations from the public, the women involved have needed and hired legal counsel (not me) to accomplish the modest goal of allowing people who choose to do so to donate money for a temple. These women have been working, meeting, planning and overcoming challenges for several months thus far, and are still not in a position to announce their project. This is only to raise funds.
The complexity of this single undertaking reaffirms what I have said previously: There is no need for a corporate organization or even an institution. Much more can be accomplished without it. Furthermore, any organization requires an individual or board to be at its head to control it. That is not only unwise, it will fail.
Zion is not Zion unless those who are there are of one heart, one mind and dwell in righteousness. (Moses 7:18.) Zion will be equal in earthly things in order to become equal in heavenly things. (D&C 78:5-6.) This will eventually require a place where there are no poor and everything is held in common. (Moses 7:18; also 3 Ne. 26:19; 4 Ne. 1:3.) This is voluntary, not compulsory. The property owned by individuals will be used for the common good. If one lacks, and another has abundance, the abundance of the one aids the one who lacks. Voluntarily–because it is in the heart of the individual to help others.
There are nearly insurmountable challenges in creating a community where the rudimentary elements of Zion can be lived. The equality required is not theoretical, but actual. It must be lived.
Every one of the institutions claiming Joseph Smith as their founder is stratified. Wealthy men preside and claim the right to be supported in their lifestyle while there are members living in grinding poverty. When Warren Jeffs was arrested for child sex abuse, he was driving a red Cadillac Escalade with $54,000 in cash in the vehicle. He presides over a relatively small sect. The largest Mormon sect employs presiding authorities many of whom own multiple residences valued in the millions. They are not to be envied, but pitied.
It is impossible to have the faith for salvation unless your religion requires the sacrifice of all things. (Lecture 6:7.) To accomplish this, the Nephites had ministers who received nothing for their preaching:
“And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.” (Alma 1:26.)
Learn from failures. Avoid the traps that have made all the institutions claiming Joseph as their founder part of the inventory of tools employed by the god of this world to chain mankind. Those churches are now only thorns, briers and noxious weeds to torment and afflict mankind. Inequality begets inequality.
Titles are not necessary. Being the fulfillment of prophecy, or possessing “keys” for honor and respect is not necessary. No one of us should be greater than another. The only thing needed is the right to preach, teach, exhort and expound. If this is all there is then truth alone will matter–not who is stating it. Then, if a man has priesthood, he ought to employ it in the only way authorized:
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile–” (D&C 121:41-42.)
If a man has something true to proclaim, let him persuade. If none are persuaded, let him be long-suffering and use gentleness and meekness to show by his example his unfeigned love. Such kindness is required of any man who would claim to follow Christ. The greatest sign of truth is when a man proclaims “pure knowledge” because it always greatly enlarges the soul of those who listen.
There is a new dispensation. Do not import the abuses that have become epidemic in the remains of the last dispensation. Joseph established equality; it has been destroyed. Do not mimic the gentiles who love to exercise authority over one another. They falsely regard their overlords as benefactors–something Christ roundly condemned. (Luke 22:24-27.)
I could obtain the right from God to organize a church, but I would not do it. Zion can only be established upon principles of equality. Zion will come in a single generation, (if they are righteous) and therefore does not need to be institutionalized. (JS-Matt. 1:34.) Dispensations do not gather strength over time. Historically they have succeeded or failed while Enoch was alive, or while Melchizedek was alive. When these true teachers are gone, the strength of their ministry atrophies and another restoration must follow. If they are penitent and willing to trust God, the last-days Zion will be achieved by a single generation.
This way is cumbersome and inefficient. But why do gentiles think it is preferable to trade godly equality for administrative efficiency? If the destiny is equality, then the journey must begin with that held paramount. We cannot pursue abusive and controlling means to achieve freedom and equality. The path taken, matters as much as the destination. Struggling with the inefficient and cumbersome tools of persuasion, love, patience and pure knowledge will require a lot of changes to be made voluntarily. That is of course the goal: Voluntarily changing hearts.