Conservative Samizdat Samizdat (Cамиздат-Cам-"self, by oneself"; издат-"publishing house"): Translates to mean self published. Providing conservative news and opinion since 2009.
The first was in the online magazine Salon from Salt Lake blogger Troy Williams about how the Book of Mormon and Mormon history teaches Socialism. The article’s subheadline: “Joseph Smith would be horrified by the religion's present-day materialism — and uber-capitalist candidate.”In fairness, some of Williams' article was thoughtful and thought-provoking, but exactly why is it Salon’s role to glibly say what would horrify Joseph Smith?It’s off-putting, to say the least, when someone with an ax to grind cherry-picks elements of the Book of Mormon to bludgeon a political opponent or to score points in a public debate or to even try to further, as it seemed to me, the old trope that Latter-day Saints are hypocrites.
The Law of Consecration, as practiced by the Latter Day Saints, was for the support of the poor (Doctrine and Covenants 42:30). Latter Day Saints were asked to voluntarilydeed (consecrate) their property to the Church of Christ, and the church then would assign to each member a "stewardship" of property "as much as is sufficient for himself and family" for his "needs, wants, family, and circumstances." If consecrated property became more than was sufficient for the assigned steward, the "residue" was "to be consecrated unto the bishop" kept for the benefit of "those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied and receive according to his wants."
Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the united order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan. Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state to whom he must look for sustenance and religion; the united order exalts the individual, leaves him his property, "according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and his needs," (D&C 51:3) and provides a system by which he helps care for his less fortunate brethren; the united order leaves every man free to choose his own religion as his conscience directs. Communism destroys man's God-given free agency; the united order glorifies it. Latter-day Saints cannot be true to heir faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet. [Conference Report, April 1942, p. 90]
“Concerning the consecration of property:—First, it is not right to condescend to very great particulars in taking inventories. The fact is this, a man is bound by the law of the Church, to consecrate to the Bishop, before he can be considered a legal heir to the kingdom of Zion; and this, too, without constraint; and unless he does this, he cannot be acknowledged before the Lord on the Church Book therefore, to condescend to particulars, I will tell you that every man must be his own judge how much he should receive and how much he should suffer to remain in the hands of the Bishop. I speak of those who consecrate more than they need for the support of themselves and their families.“The matter of consecration must be done by the mutual consent of both parties; for to give the Bishop power to say how much every man shall have, and he be obliged to comply with the Bishop’s judgment, is giving to the Bishop more power than a king has; and upon the other hand, to let every man say how much he needs, and the Bishop be obliged to comply with his judgment, is to throw Zion into confusion, and make a slave of the Bishop. The fact is, there must be a balance or equilibrium of power, between the Bishop and the people, and thus harmony and good will may be preserved among you.“Therefore, those persons consecrating property to the Bishop in Zion, and then receiving an inheritance back, must reasonably show to the Bishop that they need as much as they claim. But in case the two parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, the Bishop is to have nothing to do about receiving such consecrations; and the case must be laid before a council of twelve High Priests, the Bishop not being one of the council, but he is to lay the case before them.” ( History of the Church, 1:364–65.)
The stewardship is private, not communal, property . The consecrator, or steward, was to be given a “writing,” or deed, that would “secure unto him his portion [stewardship]” ( D&C 51:4 ). Although it has been acknowledged that all things belong to the Lord, a stewardship represents a sacred entrustment of a portion from God to the individual. The stewardship is given with a deed of ownership so that individuals, through their agency, are fully responsible and accountable for that which is entrusted to them. The deed protects individuals if they are disqualified from participation as stewards (see D&C 51:4 ). For legal purposes, the stewardship was private property, even though the stewards themselves understood that it ultimately belonged to God. President Marion G. Romney explained:“This procedure [of providing deeds] preserved in every man the right of private ownership and management of his property. Indeed, the fundamental principle of the system was the private ownership of property. Each man owned his portion, or inheritance, or stewardship, with an absolute title, which, at his option, he could alienate [transfer], keep and operate, or otherwise treat as his own. The Church did not own all of the property, and life under the united order was not, and never will be, a communal life, as the Prophet Joseph himself said.“The intent was, however, for him to so operate his property as to produce a living for himself and his dependents.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1977, p. 119; or Ensign, May 1977, p. 93 .)