So #mormonmafia became a thing this week as our country is nearing the end of an election cycle like none other. More than ever before it’s becoming obvious that we humans tend to make our choices emotionally and rationalize them logically.
This particular hashtag has taken on a life of it’s own especially among those sympathetic to the faith. Better watch out or the #mormonmafia might show up and mow your lawn in white shirts and ties. They might bring you a jello salad and invite you to church of all things! Take a look at the twitter feed for more funny quips.
However, under the light hearted fun of it all, I think it might come as a surprise to most Mormon’s. (Especially the super nice ones out there mowing your lawn.) That there is a kernel of truth to the mafia tag that recently made headlines.
To understand we need to go back in history to the foundation of the LDS church. To a political movement called the Council of Fifty.
This organization formed by Joseph Smith was supposed to become Christ’s government on earth. They very much considered the return of Jesus to be imminent at the time. Here’s some words from BYU on this because I’m pretty sure the average Mormon is saying, ‘No way!’ right about now:
The Church already had a well-developed apocalyptic outlook, including belief in the latter-day collapse of existing governments before Christ’s return. In this framework, the Council of Fifty was viewed as the seed of a new political order that would rule, under Christ, following the prophesied cataclysmic events of the last days. (source)
The Council of Fifty was supposed to get Joseph Smith elected president of the USA. I think it’s kind of ironic1 that this #mormonmafia hashtag coincides with another guy vying for election that like old Joe uses his position of power and prestige to get the ladies to do his bidding. I will say this for Trump though, He seems to at least steer clear of the 14 year olds… sorry, I mean nearly 15 year olds.
Some other interesting things about the Council of Fifty:
- It ordained Joseph to become King of the earth. On 11 April 1844, the council voted to receive JS as “our Prophet, Priest & King.”
- It excommunicated William Law after he balked at practicing polygamy and had issues with Joseph’s efforts to combine church and state.
- It threatened members with death if they were to reveal the secret council to others.
This council was VERY active in the days leading up to the death of the prophet. They even gave instructions to the Danites to remove political enemies of the church by any means necessary.
The main goal of this council in 1844 was to establish a theocracy in the United States.2 Think about that for a minute and what the state of the Union was back then. The constitution of 1776 guaranteed the separation of church and state. The first amendment (right to free speech) and the 4th amendment (protecting against search and seizure of personal property) were ratified in 1791.
Then along comes Joseph Smith, setting up the city state of Nauvoo, creating a nascent theocracy and crowning himself King. He goes on to lie about his polygamy to the saints while at the same time vilifying William Law for exposing it.3 A few days later as mayor of Nauvoo, he orders the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, William’s newspaper.
Yep that’s right Joseph; recently ordained King of God’s new theocracy on earth, general of the Mormon armed forces and Mayor of Navuoo ordered a printing press destroyed for telling the truth about his ‘carefully worded denial’ of polygamy. He was running for president, he had secretly made himself King and he ordered the destruction of private property for exposing his deception. Let that settle in for a minute… Just think about that…
The people of this era had recently founded a country with a constitution explicitly preventing a new theocracy from rising. Parents and Grandparents of this generation had fought and died to protect against theocracy, against unwarranted seizure of property and against a government that might destroy their freedom of the press. This history of Joe Smith all happened less than a month before a mob overran a jail and killed him. Had he not clearly shown his disregard for these deeply held rights of a recently born nation of freedom?
This election cycle wether you are voting for Trump or Hillary consider for a moment how you’d react if one of them had just ordered a printing press destroyed. Assume it had just printed an article about what’s really in those emails. Consider the destruction of news station cameras a week after posting footage of some nasty comments about women. Then you might be able to see how the outsiders at the time viewed the Mormon faith of 1844.
What if Hillary or Trump followers considered them to be the King of the last days prepared to take their place at the head of our nation? Is it that hard to understand why a mob might form in this situation? How a group of people could be concerned about a theocracy over taking the free nation they had just established? How they might feel like a need to take matters into their own hands?4
For me this shed some new light on core concepts that have been around since the LDS church was founded. Sure these days we are told the Council of Fifty doesn’t exist anymore. But something called the SCMC certainly does. Sure the church claims to have no political ambitions anymore. And yet they broke the law in funding proposition 8 in California. Sure they say every member chooses politics for themselves, but recently leaked videos show how important it is to them to have ‘church broke’ LDS faithful in government positions.
And finally, anyone that has been exposed to the LDS temple knows every stalwart member of the religion takes an oath. They promise to give everything the have to build up of the kingdom of God on earth. Meaning specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sure, these days it isn’t a death oath in the temple like it was pre 1990. But it is an oath none the less. This faith at its very core believes it will save the nation by taking it over in the last days. It has all along, ever since the Council of Fifty.
So amidst all the giggles about the Mormon Mafia taking you out with green jello and cheese salad. Try to consider some of the legitimate fear a non-mormon feels about this institution getting too much power.
- Always remember irony is a sign of enlightenment from the Fridge! ↩
- JS specifically called it a theo-democracy, a kind of a hybrid church and state if you will. If you look at the sustaining vote in today’s LDS church though you can see how ineffective a dissenting opinion is in practice. Plus reading through the bylaws of the council you discover a dissenting member of the Co50 is essentially ejected from the committee.
Personally I can’t see any legitimate democracy in this theocracy. Feel free to disagree in the comments though, I will just pretend you didn’t :). ↩
- Not long before that William was the second elder of the church. It would be like Monson calling Erying liar in general conference. History of the Church Vol. 6, p. 408-412 ↩
- Don’t forget that Joseph had been in jail several times and had also started a fraudulent bank called the Kirtland Safety Society. Non believers would trust him about as much as a republican trusts Hillary given the background. ↩
FYI it was Kirtland NOT Kirkland. Also, it’s lowercase “d” with a -. Latter-day Not Latter Day. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not the SLC Brighamite sect.
Good catch, the Fridge loves you
Happy to see you made the comparison of Brother Joseph to Donald T. I suspect both were/are narcissistic sociopaths. I need to finish my essay on this subject…
Green jello is of Satan.
Which is why intelligent people want church and state kept seperate as it will not work well. putting them together in any society.IsIs want’s the same thing(fortunately they are a very small minority of the Muslim population and faith even though the media would have you believe other wise.After all if they posted a picture of a KKK meeting all those guys dressed up in sheets you would not think that represented the accepted “Christianity” would you?.Then why do alot of people accepted with out question mind you a bunch of Radicals bearing an IsIs flag as what is acceptable norm of the Muslim religion and I am not a pro religious person I just have this crazy idea that rational thought/logic and generally finding common ground and acceptance should be what we strive for.I would be very happy if relgion was seen for what it is divisive and damaging and incredibly restrictive for all people ).But I digress.Yup even Bro Joe wanted to rule the world with theocracy wow makes you wonder if his dying was not a good thing for the rights and freedoms we enjoy in the western world(I know that sounds really really harsh but how many of us in this part of the world want to live under a dictator religious or otherwise all you have to do is look back in history and not really that far back to see how bad that can be).Don’t kid youself the Lds church has a vested intrested in what happens politically and have proven many times they want to influence it to their advantage( as do many many other religions or special intrests groups etc).I have never understood why mankind is so obsessed with the end of the world.Good grief should you not be more concerned with making the time we have here better for us and the future instead of trying to destroy cause guess what if you work on the positive you never have to worry about the end of the world.Sigh one day mankind may wake up from their self imposed nightmare of irrational thoughts and fears.Be good
Great article. Wish I could somehow get all my believing family members to read this.
Honestly, the best chance you have is to share it. They might ignore you sure, but sharing and asking a loved one to just read it is the best chance you have for them to give it a shot. Cause they sure aren’t gonna trust a stranger posting it.
The next way to get people to read it is to get a lot of people to share it. That kicks in human curiosity and makes them wonder whats in there.