I am a 99% Mormon!
Tonight, as we prepare for our first nationwide general assembly, I write to clarify a few things.
First, I want to explain my reasons for standing with the Occupy Wall Street movement. I only stand with them, in as much as they continue to working to RESTORE our nation to its indivisible state (we are pretty divided) and preserve "liberty and justice for all.”
The bible asks us to “love one another”. To me that translates into making sure that everyone has what they need for safety, nourishment, and love. I believe that when people have what they need, they then have the freedom to make themselves happy and then that happiness spreads. The Mormon church teaches people to “remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support”
Mormons also believe that America was a divinely inspired idea, with the purpose of becoming a hub of the softening of our hearts towards each other. He saw an America devoid of want. He recognized that this was a really awesome place and that it would be able to give us all so much, if we helped each other we will want for nothing.
He had a vision of Earth will be restored to its most beautiful, abundant, and "celestial" state. He taught that the “the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.” Mormon theology teaches that there is no reason for anyone to want when the community rids itself of pride/ego.
The key to this is modernistic Zion-utopia is “helping people/help themselves”. In times of disaster, in widespread economic depressions and recessions, preparation is key. Due to the nature of living in a temporal world, many don’t have the resources to be properly prepared.
Early Mormons lived the “Law of Consecration”. A 'principle whereby men and women volunteer their time, talents, and material wealth’ to the improvement of community and to demonstrate God's love vicariously through ourselves. Basically, the law of consecration is supposed to teach us to be as generous as God while simultaneously teaching us to disconnect from the concepts of "possession" or "ownership".
This goal of helping people achieve their highest potential is key to the doctrine of the Mormon church. We work hard to help everyone "fulfill the measure of their creation". Which is part of the reason “the Lord has established some type of welfare program in every dispensation. In the early days, the Saints (Mormons) were given opportunities to live the law of consecration. They were unable to live this higher law, which caused the Lord to suspend it until his people prepared themselves properly. It was not repealed.[i]”
I joined the Church in large part because of King Benjamin's discourse (Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2-5). I feel like it is often misinterpreted. I felt like it was the most equanimous economic theory ever. He tells us simply to heal the hurt, feed the hungry, don't let people beg in vain.
He then addresses our human tendencies around charitable giving: "Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—" As if the guy knew Calvin was coming ...
His solution: "O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God."
i love that he says that the selfish "hath no interest in the kingdom of God". i think it is actually because, the way heaven works is all about sharing and not having ego or a need to have more than another. so the person who doesn't learn to share in this life, is not going to want to share in the next. (more on post-mortality in another post)
"For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" He goes on to explain that if someone is hungry and you condemn them for their want, you will end up having to suffer those karmic consequences.
We are all beggars. we all have begged, and we all will beg again, until we end greed and selfishness. King Benjamin reminds us, that when we feel want, we have got to check our own hearts and see if we honestly can say "if i had, i would give". i feel like this is key. most of the time giving and feeling my own abundance, keeps me grounded in all that i have rather than getting thrown off by all that i don't have. there will always be things i don't have ... but giving helps me get over it.
the "occupy" movement is rebelling against greed, and i love it. i love civil disobedience and when directed at something i hate as much as greed, its really hard not to be swooped up in the excitement. good thing i love my job ...
it sure feels to me like "a day dawn is breaking. the world is awaking. the clouds of nights darkness are fleeing away. the worldwide commotion from ocean to ocean, now heralds the time of the beautiful day". i do hope it is one of peace and rest ;)
 History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints, 1805-1890, Volume 1
[i] Brown, Victor; An Overview of Church Welfare Services ; Oct 1975 Ensign
[ii] UCHTDORF, DF; Providing in the Lord’s Way; Oct 2011; Ensign /Liahona
[iii] Hales, R. D.; Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings; Ensign
[iv] The Day Dawn Is Breaking,” Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no. 52