Skip to comments.When Mormons were socialists [From 'United Order' communism --> Lds Church, Inc.]
Posted on 04/16/2012 7:12:15 AM PDT by Colofornian
One hundred and eighty-two years after its founding, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is certainly prospering. The Church has diversified into commercial enterprises, owning television and radio stations, universities, farms, banks and...retail. Last month, the Church opened City Creek Mall, a stunning billion-dollar downtown renovation in Salt Lake City...
Mitt Romney and City Creek represent the culmination of a great transformation within Mormonism. As an outcast faith, early Mormons experimented with communal living and alternative marriages. This original brand of Mormonism was typified by their rugged frontier prophet and polygamist outsider Brigham Young...
Youngs egalitarian separatism has long been superseded. The living embodiment of the 21st century saint is now the slick, painfully monogamous, politically malleable super-capitalist Romney who shares humorous tales of layoffs and factory closures.
Romney perfected the art of creative destruction through leveraged buyouts and junk bond financing that enriched his investors at Bain Capital while at times devastating common workers...
Ironically, while Romney would prefer to discuss wealth inequality in quiet rooms, the topic consumed both Joseph Smith and Brigham Youngs sermons and writings...
The Nephite story provided the template for Smith and Youngs social experiments with communalism. They would both try repeatedly to replicate the mythic Zion. Smith repeatedly told his followers, if you are not equal in earthly things you cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things. Young also championed wealth redistribution, We have plenty here. No person is going to starve, or suffer, if there is an equal distribution of the necessaries of life.
But like all utopias, the dream is easier than reality.
Facing the existential threat of federal disincorporation, the LDS Church responded by seeking assimilation at any cost. They began to privatize their cooperative business ventures throughout the 1880s and publicly abandoned polygamy in 1890.
(Excerpt) Read more at salon.com ...
Both Mormon communism & polygamy were at its height in the 1880s...These were separate social experimentations -- as most Utah communities then were not into communism (called "the United Order"); but Lds leaders everywhere were encouraged to take additional wives.
Why did even recent Mormon writers call the Mormon "United Order" communism -- having influenced Soviet Union's adoption of communism? Read post #3 @ this thread for the answer: Mitt Romney mirrors his Mormon church [Lds writer says Romney flip-flops 'cause Lds church has/does]
Joseph Smith prophesied about Mormon socialism...Lds "prophets" Brigham Young, John Taylor & Lorenzo Snow implemented it (Snow more when he was a general authority -- before he took over as "prophet"). Taylor actually didn't like it, but took it over from Young.
Smith's prophesies about the United Ordere says it was to be "everlasting"...not the first time Mormons have twisted that word...[Lds leaders turned descriptions of "everlasting" hell into a temporary spirit prison]. You can google Lds "scriptures" on the United Order as "everlasting"...See: Lds Doctrines & Covenants 82:18-19 and 104:1, 48, 53.
From the article: The Church has diversified into commercial enterprises, owning television and radio stations, universities, farms, banks and, most recently, retail. Last month, the Church opened City Creek Mall, a stunning billion-dollar downtown renovation in Salt Lake City...
Lds, Inc. owns much of the land near DisneyWorld -- for commercial purposes:
* LDS Inc. owns .7% of Florida
* LDS Church ranch making big impact in Florida [From Mormon church-owned KSL.com]
* LDS Church ranch making big impact in Florida [From FR thread of KSL article]
When will the Workers of the world throw off the shackles of their proletariat & the bugeoisee masters? How many more Mormon success stories must we endure?
The Feds were threatening the Mormon church with disincorporation if they didn't yield on polygamy.
So Publicly the Mormon church yielded; privately, no. They retained polygamous families. And over the next 20 years (1890-1910), at least 250 additional polygamous unions were solemnized by Lds leaders...most in the 1890-1903 time frame.
To show you how much contempt grassroots Mormons treated the so-called "abandonment of polygamy" by Wilford Woodruff, B.H. Roberts had taken a THIRD simultaneous wife by around 1893 -- three years after Woodruff's manifesto -- and when Roberts ran for Congress in 1898, he won!
Townhall.com... what used to be a decent conservative Web site, ran an article claiming the Senator Smoot hearings to be a "persecution" of Mormons in the early 1900s when the Senate took four years to seat Sen. Smoot from utah over concerns re: polygamy. What the Townhall article failed to mention was the B. H. Roberts case in 1898.
Roberts, the early top Lds historian and a General Authority of the church, earlier was elected to Congress in 1898...but Congress wouldn't seat him because of his three-wives.
You see...in 1856 the fledgling Republican party said it would take on the "twin relics of Barbarism" -- slavery and polygamy -- and made good on its social issues promises.
It actually took longer to fully address polygamy than slavery (tho the economic effects of slavery were generational). In 1898, grassroots America sent 28 banners with 7 million signatures to Congress asking Congress to not seat polygamous Roberts. Congress sent Roberts home.
Townhall.com ignored the Republican party's commitment to root out polygamy when it ran the pro-Romney piece over the weekend. Shame on such an apologist piece for Mormonism!!!
Hey, I'm 100% for capitalism as well...but when we give non-profit status to such capitalists operating under the guise of a "church" (vs. the incorporation it is)...that gives the Mormon church an unfair competitive commercial advantage.
Even an Lds church member facing this was disturbed enough to comment publicly in AgWeekly:
Farmers face off with LDS Church
Are you critiquing this Lds farmer?
Declo farmer Mark Darrington, however, is also concerned the church intended to take over management and does not see that as being in the best interest of his community. "I am an active member of the Mormon Church, but facts is facts, he said. I did not want them to turn this into a big corporate farm because of the impact on the local community. For one, he said, local vendors are bypassed. I think that puts a bad taste not just in non-members mouth but also in members mouth. ...He said the church setting up a large entity and garnering large potato contracts would have an adverse effect...The church tends to not cooperate with growers, he said.
Additionally, the Mormon church has -- beyond its 55,000 young missionaries -- 20,000 "service missionaries" -- most of whom are retired...
Many of them will come to the huge farms the Lds church owns & operates in states like Florida, Washington, Idaho, Hawaii, etc. -- and work for free...In fact, they pay their way.
So if the Lds church doesn't have to pay taxes on its commercial enterprises -- some of which is indeed used for non-profit purposes...and doesn't have to pay its workers...(in fact, their workers pay them)...you can see that is lucrative "capitalism."
A private group of people of there own free will join together to do something collectively is no more communist then a husband wife and kid , a Church pot luck, or a barn raising...private free will vs public government imposed....by that logic a free republic fund raising is a tax on the public
You are preaching to the choir, my fellow traveler.
We must tax our way to fairness.
The lds-org denies that Jesus is the Creator, that everything was created THROUGH Him, BY Him and FOR Him.
They deny that Jesus created even the angels out of nothing.
They do NOT teach the truth about Jesus.
Well, let's distinguish 19th century "United Order" Mormonism from today's Mormonism. Even George Givens, a Mormon author, described Brigham Youngs communist-built community of Orderville, Utah as pure communism:
"When Brigham Young established Orderville and similar United Orders, John Taylor was less than enthusiastic. He realized that enterprises such as Orderville were pure communism and not the law of consecration. He made this plain after he became President, when in 1882 he sent an epistle to all authorities of the Church in which he bluntly stated: 'We had no example of the 'United Order' in accordance with the word of God on the subject...Our relations with the world and our own imperfections prevent the establishment of this system [i.e. the system of consecration and stewardship spoken of at times as the 'United Order'] at the present time, as was stated by Joseph in an early day, it cannot yet be carried out.'" (George W. Givens, 500 More Little-Known Facts in Mormon History, 2004, p. 169)
The truly unfortunate thing for world history is that John Taylor didnt go far enough, for while he dismantled Orderville, he left another United Order community (Brigham City, Utah) alone.
Here is Givens again (a faithful Mormon author):
"One of the most famous utopian books ever written was Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, published in 1889. Some scholars believe Looking Backward had considerable influence in the making of Lenin's Soviet Russia. If this is true, then [ensuing Lds "prophet"] Lorenzo Snow and the Latter-day Saints must receive some of the credit--or blame. Hearing of the success of the United Order in Brigham City, Edward Bellamy made a special trip to Utah in 1886 to study its operation. There he spent three days with Lorenzo Snow, Brigham City's founder and forty-year resident. Impressed with the thirty to forty industries run by its 2,000 inhabitants and the vitality at that time of one of the most successful United Orders, Bellamy returned home and wrote his influential book." (500 More Little-Known Facts in Mormon History, p. 185).
Way to go, 19th century Mormon leader-prophets of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor & Lorenzo Snow!!! They all unwittingly fueled Soviet Communism!
I thought it was the Jews that owned everything.
The LDS Church pays taxes on all of its commercial enterprises.
(No, it’s those highly-materialistic Buddhists that do...:) /sarc)
"Even an Lds church member facing this was disturbed enough to comment publicly in AgWeekly: Farmers face off with LDS Church"
It’s not a church, it’s a business club.
Thanks, BM...not sure what happened with the link in that post...
So trying again: Farmers face off with LDS Church
You are exactly right. In fact, Communism works great when it is voluntary and done in small communities, on a local level.
It is when Governments try to impose it on large diverse populations that the results are disastrous.
I, for one, will not be piling on with the anti-Mormon brigade. Yes, they are quirky and have some strange and troubling practices, but by and large, Mormons are generally self-sufficient and responsible. I have personally not had any bad dealings with Mormons.
There are a million good reasons to oppose Mitt Romney. His Mormonism is not one of them. I’m more concerned with his liberalism.
.private free will vs public government imposed....
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You are missing the point, at the time in Utah, the LDS church WAS the government (the state of Deseret) and thus it was government imposed communism.
My gripe with this is not only did the LDS church turn away from a divine command of communism, but uses their non-profit status as a way of avoiding taxation on their business enterprises. I would object to any other church doing that as well.