Mormons and Libertarianism

Article excerpt


The article about whether one can be a good Mormon and a good Democrat made me think ("Church and state," Page 1, Sunday). I believe we cannot be a good Mormon and a Democrat or a Republican. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) doctrine is completely libertarian in nature. Mormonism's and libertarianism's foundational premises allow people to do anything they wish as long as they don't harm another's person or property. Ninth LDS President David O. McKay (among others) stated in several LDS General Conference addresses: "Teach the highest ideal in the social and political life of man; namely, perfect liberty of action so long as you do not trespass upon the rights and privileges of others."

LDS doctrine states that Lucifer, before his fall from heaven, proposed that mankind be forced to do good and to avoid evil. His ideas were rejected in favor of man's having "agency" to do as he pleases. LDS doctrine says that God sent men to Earth with freedom as a test "to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" (Abr. 3:25). Former LDS President Ezra Taft Benson, who was secretary of agriculture under President Eisenhower, stated, "What is the devil's plan? To force men; to take away from them their agency; to compel them to do the bidding of somebody else, whether they like it or not." Forcing people to refrain from certain things that don't "trespass upon the rights and privileges of others" is of the devil. …