The Book of Mormon and the Constitution

Associated Dates:

  • 1995, Published

Length: approx. 201 pgs.
Author: H. Verlan Andersen

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Epub

Mobi

Introduction

Just as a wayward child fills the thoughts of a righteous parent with sorrow, and saps that parent’s power, confidence and peace, a member who rejects President Benson by clinging to socialism brings a sapper into his own heart and mind for rejecting a prophet of God. The latter has the greater tragedy because he has control over his own faith, thoughts and beliefs. Rebellion against God’s prophet is to reject God with a knowledge of our rejection. This is true of course, only for those who believe he is a prophet.

This lack of unity will break down our strength, our power, our confidence and cohesiveness as members of families, wards and the Church of Jesus Christ. Instead of seeing the rock cut without hands filling the earth we fall back to the prophecies of Nephi, Christ, Mormon and Moroni who saw us, warned us, talked of our individual apostasy from Christ’s Church in the latter days and our being swept off. Our armor will turn to rice paper, our resolve will falter, and our apostate enemies will take courage in seeking to undo our prophet.

While the world cheers the apparent faltering of communism we too are tempted to join in, as if peace is about to be ushered in. Daddy realized the communists in Russia were not our greatest enemy, as does the prophet. Righteous nations have always been protected. Read the following words of President Benson who, according to the world, can’t see what they see so clearly.

I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (D&C 1:14–16; 84:49-53). It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (Ether 8:18–25) (Ensign, November 1988, p. 87)

Daddy agreed with the prophet. It’s clear to all but those who reject the prophet that while many joined the world in celebrating the demise of communism, President Benson was making his strongest statements ever about our sad state of affairs and the increasing power of the enemies of Christ. He, like Nephi on his tower (Helaman 8 ) was accusing us [p. vi] of joining with the Gadianton Robbers. Nobody believed him either, when he said they were ripening for destruction. His detractors talked of their great power as a nation, and pooh pooh’d the idea they had corrupted their laws and in doing so had joined with the Gadianton Robbers.

This was of particular interest to our family because as far back as we can remember, Daddy taught us the Book of Mormon was written for us who have it. In particular, he taught us the period of their history coveting Alma, Helaman and the first part of 3rd Nephi are only a foreshadow of our own time leading up to the millennium, just as the Nephites had their shorter millennium. He taught us that their self-rule, their Church, their secret combinations, apostasy, their priestcraft etc. are laid out for all of us to see.

One of the things Daddy pointed out was that the Book of Mormon, between the Nephites and Jaredites covered over 3,000 years. Yet, over 40% of the pages of the Book of Mormon cover the relatively short period of 125 years before Christ came to the Nephites. This period of time, if it truly is a foreshadow of our day, is packed with information we need to study, apply to our own situation, and try to draw the applicable parallels. Where else in recorded history do we read of a people having at the same time: the gospel, self-rule, and a separation of church and state. Daddy has addressed these parallels in this book. He realized this was part of the message President Benson was trying to deliver in his constant reference to the Book of Mormon. One such reference follows.

The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior’s visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior’s second coming. The Nephite civilization had reached great heights. They were prosperous and industrious. They had built many cities with great highways connecting them. They engaged in shipping and trade. They built temples and palaces. But, as so often happens, the people rejected the Lord. Pride became commonplace. Dishonesty and immorality were widespread. Secret combinations flourished because, as Helaman tells us, the Gadianton robbers ‘had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils’ (Helaman 6:38) ‘The people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning’ (3 Nephi 6:12) And ‘Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches and the vain things of the world,’ even as today (v. 15).

Mormon noted that the Nephites ‘did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them’ (v. 18) (Ensign, May 1987, p. 4) [p. vii]

President Benson used the term “parallels.” This was a common belief of Daddy and the prophet’s that went back many years. One of the letters to Daddy from President Benson illustrating this common belief years ago is at the end of this introduction. No doubt this is one reason President Benson urged Daddy over the years, to finish this book.

Another applicable quote on point, which also throws cold water on those basking in the all is well spirit, follows. Is President Benson talking to us, or are we supposed to suppose he’s talking to someone else, and hope they hear it? What parallel could be drawn, even as today, that ties to Gadianton robbers seducing the more part of the righteous?

Now we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat falsehoods in socialism, rationalism, etc . . . . The situation in the world will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of God and quit building up and upholding secret combinations, which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of ancient civilizations. (Ensign, January 1988, p. 5)

What is socialism? What are its falsehoods the Book of Mormon will help us combat? How does a person quit building up and upholding secret combinations? Is President Benson just talking to be talking, and saying nothing? If you really want to know, you need to read this book.

As President Benson said time and again back in the 60’s, I am unalterably opposed to socialism, either in whole or in part, . . . (The Proper Role of Government). To those who believe in the law of the harvest, that in the next life we will be put with people who believe in allowing others the same amount of free agency we believe others should have, this book will be a confirmation of your resolve to avoid using government to enjoy the benefits of socialism.

Daddy loved the Book of Mormon. I still recall the day he excitedly came into my room to show me what he had just discovered in the Book of Mormon. He read to me 3 Nephi 3:7–10. He then said he had read that over a thousand times, if he had read it once, and had never seen it. It was the clearest proof the Gadianton robbers were communists and Satan’s sales pitch hadn’t changed over the centuries. He raised his voice as he went on to ask, “If I could miss something that clear, what else am I missing?” He studied the Book of Mormon with a real intensity.

A few years ago a former Church employee came to my office and [p. viii] asked if he could get a copy of the book, “your dad and the prophet were working on.” Since this work wasn’t public I asked how he knew about it. He said he had worked in the Church office building some years before, and he saw these manuscripts of what he assumed was a book, going back and forth weekly in the mail between Daddy and the prophet. He said the secretary there took calls coming in from President Benson at least once or twice a week to Daddy, and she wanted a copy too, as she too knew they were working on these chapters shuttling back and forth between them for several months.

I had heard enough conversations between Daddy and President Benson to know they had talked often about this book, over the years. In Appendix II is a copy of another letter from President Benson to Daddy back in 1967. No doubt President Benson had many friends who assisted him, but in going through Daddy’s papers, many letters and correspondence after he was gone, I was pleased to see Daddy was one of those friends.

We should conclude with the observation that this book was never in its final form. It was written when both Daddy and President Benson were still alive. We considered taking some literary license, and ‘fixing it’ in some places, but concluded our fixing would detract, not enhance it for the friends and family who will read it, so we left it as is. You’ll note some chapters overlap in scriptural references and thoughts. Daddy attempted to whittle it down two or three times, so when we reconstituted it, going through his old chapters and his new, we eliminated only obvious duplications. Where such an elimination could not be accomplished with ease, we left the material in.

Both the first and last chapter have the same title. Daddy spent more time working on these two chapters than any other. He believed that unity behind the prophet was critical to our cohesiveness as a Church. He realized from Jacob 5, that there would be a lot of strange fruit on the tree, but he hoped to reduce the odds of his friends and family being part of that strange fruit by stressing unity with the prophet. Even his last conversation with me shortly before he died was to bear his own testimony of the brethren, and of the need to always be loyal to the prophet. On a few occasions he mentioned people he ran in to, who said they agreed with him, but they disagreed with the Church’s lack of action. Daddy felt sorrow for people who lacked total loyalty to the Lord’s prophet, whoever that prophet was. In all his writings and in our many [p. ix] conversations over the years, I never once saw a hint, a trace, a doubtful remark about the prophets. The apostate is always miserable. He has no Moses and wishes he were one.

He felt bad he could not be more persuasive in his writings to bring all to such a position. He couldn’t settle on whether he could most effectively address this prime concern in the beginning or the end, so he addressed it in the preface and both the first and last chapters. You’ll also note the preface is long. We found two prefaces, and didn’t know which one he wanted, so we put them together as one.

We also added a fourth appendix on children and pride. Daddy had done a great deal of writing on children, and this seemed like a good place to add this information, since enforced priestcraft targets the destruction of the faith of children in our day.

Daddy had a wonderful experience serving as a General Authority, where he got to work with other Church leaders besides President Benson. Daddy’s funeral was held July 20, 1992. President Monson was the concluding speaker. A few of his remarks are given below.

Of all the individuals I know, who would like to be here today, it would be Ezra Taft Benson, the prophet of the Lord, and the President of the Church. For, he loved Verlan Andersen, and he loves all of us . . . .

As I describe my friend Verlan, I would like to say that he was a man of integrity. When he knew what was right he followed it. There was no dissuasion. There was no temptation . . . .

Verlan Andersen never endorsed that with which he did not agree, for he wanted to be able to defend his position, and his position was always on the side of the Lord. He truly was a man of integrity . . . . (p. x)

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
47 East South Temple Street
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84150

July 28, 1976

Dear Verlan,

I acknowledge with appreciation your letter of July 24 regarding the two pieces of legislation which you and your associates are supporting. I am very pleased to note that you feel that what you are proposing Is supported strongly by the Book of Mormon. I am a great believer in the Book of Mormon and feel strongly that it was written for our day and time. I have said to many people that a person will come to be better informed regarding what’s happening in the world today by reading the Book of Mormon than all the magazines and newspapers combined. My great concern is whether we have time enough through the legislative route and the great lack of support for sound principles to get the job done, because of the rate at which the subversive program is closing in on us.

I have Just listened to two tapes of the Alan Stang Report. I don’t know if you’ve heard of these, Verlan. This is a new service of the JBS and I understand some 150 stations are carrying the program now. It runs 5 minutes per day for five days of the week, all of which are on one cassette tape. The program is sponsored and purchased by business firms. KSL is running it on time purchased and the service purchased by Larson Ford and I understand it plays every day at 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may want to write to Alan Stang, Belmont, Mass., 02178 and ask them to send you a sample copy or their promotion tape.

It may be you could get it on a Provo station or it may be that a group of you could Join together and get it for your own personal use. I believe Reid Bankhead and some of the others might join with you, including Cleon Skousen, with whom I discussed the matter In the hope that he might find use for it. They are sending a copy to me weekly complimentary. It’s really news behind the news and is a job well done and most timely.

With warm regards.

Sincerely,

Ezra Taft Benson

H. Verlan Andersen
1155 East 930 North
Provo, Utah 84601 [p. xi]

Preface

The Book of Mormon and the Constitution—A Mixing of Religion and Politics

As the title of this work suggests, it consists of a discussion of the Book of Mormon and the United States Constitution. This involves a mixing of the subjects of religion and politics which to some may seem novel enough to require an explanation. Therefore, we are devoting this preface to a consideration of our reasons for doing so.

The Magnitude of the Problem of Government

For as long as man has been on earth, government has been one of his most difficult and serious problems. Both secular and religious history show that governments have caused more death, more destruction and more suffering than all other agencies combined. Even if we consider the losses caused by international wars alone, this is so. But when we add to this ghastly toll the millions upon millions who have been tortured, murdered, plundered, and enslaved by their own political masters, the problem of government looms above all others.

As serious as are the physical problems caused by government, it is submitted that those of a moral nature are infinitely worse. Of course, it is impossible to completely separate the two. But the adverse affect which governments are having on moral and religious values may be the most serious problem of mankind. [p. xii]

The Gospel Has the Solution to All Problems

It would be unreasonable to believe that the Lord has failed to provide the proper solution to the problem of government. To assume that He has not given us the correct answers would be to doubt or deny His love and concern for us. His gospel contains the knowledge necessary to solve every problem whether it be religious, political, financial, or moral. As Nephi said:

Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Ne. 31:3)

If the gospel has the solution to the problem of government, then we as Church members would appear to have an awesome responsibility to use our best efforts to implement its principles in the communities, the states, and the nation. We can most effectively do this by first coming to a unity among ourselves.

Why Is the Gospel Not Utilized More to Solve Political Problems?

It will be conceded by all that little attempt is being made today to use the principles of Christianity to solve the problem of government. Seldom do we hear the Lord and His teachings mentioned in connection with politics. Today the test of the propriety of a proposed law or political platform seems to be how it will affect the economy. The politics of virtually everyone appears to have become largely materialistic. The effect of government action on morals, justice, and freedom seems to be ignored. Why is this so?

Perhaps some see no connection between religion and politics. Even members of the Church who have complete faith that the gospel has the answers, may fail to go to it for political guidance. A variety of excuses are offered for this neglect. Let us examine a few of them. [p. xiii]

Is it Constitutional for Religionists to Become Politically Involved?

In the minds of some, the doctrine of “separation of church and state” forbids religionists from becoming involved in political matters. The constitutional provision upon which this doctrine is usually based reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; (1st Amendment)

The restraint or prohibition is against government, not the individual. Congress is forbidden to pass laws respecting religion. Instead of prohibiting religious leaders and organizations becoming involved in politics, it guarantees it.

Should There Be a Separation of Religion and Politics?

The answer is obvious when it is recognized that government is an agency of force. It exists for the exclusive purpose of adopting laws and compelling people to obey them. Every law either commands or forbids certain conduct and carries a penalty for disobedience.

The problem of determining when it is right or wrong to deprive a human of life, liberty or property, is a moral issue of the most serious nature. In fact, there is no question of greater moral significance. Since this is the problem which must be answered with respect to every law, every decree, every rule, and indeed every act of government, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that everything government does is either good or evil.

Governments are necessary, and laws must be enforced which punish crime according to the nature of the offense. Scriptures such as the Ten Commandments with their related statutes and judgments justify and command that crimes such as murder, robbery and theft be severely punished.

If innocent conduct is punished, those befriending such laws must regard themselves as thieves, enslaver’s or murderers, whether it is an individual or a government. It is immoral to fine, imprison, and execute without justification. [p. xiv]

There are no members of society who should be more concerned about politics than those whose duty it is to care for the moral and religious needs of the people. As was stated by Lincoln, ours is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Every citizen has not only the right but the sacred duty to uphold, support and defend the Constitution.

Do the Scriptures Prohibit Political Involvement by Religionists?

The following two scriptures might be interpreted by some to have this effect:

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (Articles of Faith, #12)

Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.

Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns whose fight it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet. (D&C 58:21, 22)

The scriptures require Church members to be law abiding. Befriending that law which punishes innocent conduct is another issue which should be examined. In this connection let us consider the following scripture:

And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this cometh of evil. (D&C 98:5–7)

Church members as citizens, have the constitutional right to speak and write against unconstitutional laws. They have a religious duty to do so as well.

When we encounter laws which contravene our principles, we might recall what the Lord did in a similar situation. The scribes and Pharisees [p. xv] along with their predecessors, had corrupted the code of laws He had given the children of Israel. For this He severely condemned them. Nevertheless, He submitted to their unjust laws and even permitted Himself to be crucified under one of them. He told His followers:

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Matt. 23:2, 3)

Can Political Beliefs Affect Personal Salvation?

Some may remain aloof from politics because they believe it has nothing to do with salvation or exaltation. With this thought in mind let us look at this scripture:

We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man, and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them for the good and safety of society. (D&C 134:1)

In a nation of self-governing people like the United States, all citizens have a moral responsibility to the Lord for their political conduct. With the privilege of self-rule comes the obligation to exercise that privilege in accordance with the Lord’s commandments. Moral principle is as applicable in group action as in individual action.

When one decides to befriend or oppose a law, he exercises moral judgment. This judgment is also his personal political philosophy and code of justice. His judgment indicates whether he is just.

One’s political philosophy also contains his views on human freedom. Every act he would allow others their freedom to do is allowed by the laws he favors. Conduct which he wants to use force and the fear thereof to prohibit is forbidden by those laws. Thus, one’s political philosophy is an expression of his beliefs on free agency. When we recall what the scriptures have to say regarding the fate of those who made the wrong decision on this matter in the pre-existence, we may want to be certain we do not use force to deny a rightful freedom here. This is the question at issue with respect to every law and every government action upon which we pass judgment.

It seems that one can jeopardize his eternal welfare through group [p. xvi] action as well as through individual conduct. Even though one acts in concert with others, and even though there may be thousands or millions who join with him in punishing the innocent, in judging unjustly and in opposing freedom, he is not thereby absolved from personal accountability.

If Ye Are Not One Ye Are Not Mine

There is probably no subject about which there is more dispute, disagreement, and contention than that of politics. Because of this, some may abstain from political activity. Others may desist for fear they might offend. Recognizing that this is a highly controversial subject, and that they might lose friends, business patronage, or social standing by becoming involved, they remain aloof.

Of course we should avoid contention both in the Church and without. Many scriptures affirm this and declare that the penalty therefore is exclusion from the Kingdom of God. Where the Lord dwells there will be harmony, as this statement regarding the City of Enoch indicates:

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind . . . (Moses 7:18)

But do we become one by keeping our differences to ourselves? Can we achieve unity by remaining silent? Obviously we cannot. To become of one heart and one mind, demands a free exchange of ideas and views in an atmosphere of love and harmony. Furthermore, we must recognize the impossibility of finding the correct answers to the problems of government anywhere except in the scriptures. Until we cast away the misleading precepts of men and recognize the Lord as our King and Lawgiver, we shall neither find the truth nor come to a unity. We can become united only on the basis of truth, and a knowledge thereof comes only from God. Our Lawgiver has given us a simple scripture on this. It is one universal standard applicable to individual action as well as political laws. Our Savior called it . . . “the law and the prophets.”

Having agreed upon these two fundamental truths, the next step should not be beyond our reach. It should not be difficult to come to a unity of belief in determining which laws are in conformity with the Golden Rule. That is the one universal standard for distinguishing good [p. xvii] from evil which all men of every nationality and in every age know and can apply. The Savior in His infinite wisdom has provided us with a short, simple, easily applied rule of conduct with respect to laws and government which will enable us to obey His commandment to be one. President McKay has said:

Next to being one in worshipping God, there is nothing in this world upon which this Church should be more united than in upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States. (CR, Oct, 1939, p. 105)

Another observation regarding political unity is this by Brigham Young:

Let the Latter-day Saints be agreed upon their temporal and financial interests. I will ask the question: do you think the Father and the Son are agreed in their political views and their financial operations? Why every Christian in the world says yes, and we say yes; and we cannot be one, in the sense Jesus prayed for us to be, without this. (JD 11:278)

It is fervently hoped that what is contained herein will help Church members as well as others come to a unity of understanding regarding the laws and Constitution which the Lord has caused to be established. Our failure to do this soon may bring us down into destruction both temporally and spiritually.

One of the worst evils of which men are capable is to disobey the Lord’s commandments when acting through the agency of government. The punishments decreed for those who do so are among the most severe known. The reasons are easy to see.

When a government is prostituted from its God-ordained purposes so that instead of prohibiting evil, punishing the wicked, and protecting the work of the Lord, it does just the opposite; when, through its evil example it corrupts the hearts of all the people by teaching that good is evil and evil is good, it becomes the agent of Satan and causes abominations to reign. The Lord will not tolerate such a government. He will destroy it along with those who built it up because, as He has decreed, abominations shall not reign. This choice land has a special blessing for the righteous and a cursing for the wicked which only readers of the Book of Mormon are aware of. (Ether 2)

When the Lord establishes the government of a nation and grants unto its voting citizens the political opportunity to alter the laws He has [p. xviii] commanded them to obey, He thereby gives them the power to preserve liberty on the one hand, or to commit the awful wickedness described above on the other. He makes it possible for them to choose between His plan of freedom and Satan’s plan of slavery. In essence, those living under such a government are once more faced with the same issue which confronted us in the pre-earth life. However, since in this life we are walking by faith and without a full understanding of the issue, the penalties for choosing wrong will not be nearly as severe as before. Nonetheless, they are so painful that no one will want to suffer them.

The Lord has brought two groups of people to the Americas, established His Church among them and given them a government subject to the voice of the people. The first group to receive these blessings were the Nephites. They came here about six hundred years B.C. and lived under a monarchy for about five hundred years before the Lord gave them the privilege of self-rule. They governed themselves for about one hundred and twenty five years before they so completely corrupted their laws and prostituted the political power they possessed that the Lord found it necessary to destroy those who supported such wickedness.

The second group, who are called Gentiles by the Book of Mormon prophets, began arriving in the Americas about 1500 A.D. They lived under foreign monarchies for about three hundred years before the Lord saw fit to establish a constitutional system of self-government among them. While this system has already lasted about seventy years longer than did the Nephite government called the reign of the judges, there is much evidence that the Gentiles are using their power of self-rule to corrupt God’s laws, as did the Nephites. In this book we shall undertake to point out in what manner we are repeating their mistakes and what we must do to avoid their tragic fate.

The Nephites corrupted their laws twice. The record indicates that the first time the corruption occurred, it was due to the fact that many of the righteous people were seduced and deceived into doing so. It is concluded herein that the abandonment of the Lord’s laws in the United States is happening for somewhat the same reason.

It is entirely possible that the most pervasive and dangerous deception of this age is the belief that the laws of God do not apply to our political conduct. The only place the great majority of us use force to affect the freedom of others is through the agency of government, and so our political decisions are, in reality, decisions about human freedom. [p. xix]

It is suspected that, generally speaking, people do not realize that these are the issues they are deciding when they exercise their God- given powers of self-government. After life itself, freedom is the greatest gift God has to give. But with full political freedom comes the opportunity to choose Satan’s plan of slavery.

Herein we shall discuss these three basic truths concerning our political responsibilities: (1) With respect to those members of the Church who live under the Constitution of the United States, the Lord has commanded us to obey His will concerning the laws of the land. (2) This same group has been instructed to distinguish between the Lord’s laws which are constitutional and those which are not, for, as He has said, and as pertaining to law of man whatsoever is more or less than this cometh of evil. (3) The penalties we will suffer for failing to obey the Lord’s political commandments are most severe and include a loss of the power of the priesthood.

In discussing these truths we shall compare the features of the Nephite government called the reign of the judges with those of the Constitution of the United States. We shall develop a standard by which voting citizens may distinguish between those laws which are constitutional and those which are not. We shall contrast the political sins of the Nephites with those of the people living under the United States Constitution and point out that our living prophets are calling upon us to heed the warnings of the Book of Mormon in order to avoid the scourge and judgment which otherwise will come upon us.

There is only one Church on the earth today which was established by the Lord and has His approval. There is only one government and one set of laws which were divinely established in these latter days and had the Lord’s approval.

Those were the laws of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Gentiles belonging to the Lord’s Church and living under the government He established are as much obligated to obey His commandments respecting the one organization as the other. Our failure to obey God’s will concerning the laws of the land will bring to pass our destruction as it did in the case of the Nephites. Only by coming to a unity of belief regarding our political responsibilities and then fulfilling them can we hope to avoid the fate of the Jaredite and Nephite nations which preceded us on this chosen land. [p. xx]

Those who would live in a Zion Society, must be of one heart and of one mind,

And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tulmults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of-ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.

And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings . . . (Moses 7:18, 4 Ne. 1:2, 15–18)

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