Today is Super Tuesday. We as a collective body of people are exercising our consent to be governed. Article 21 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares:
Article 21(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
We are voting for a President, whether a new one or to sustain the old one; either way the journey we now embark on will be life changing, not only for us, but for the next generation to come. I have read through some of the flyers that came in the mail, and once you wade through all the rhetoric, I feel that we as a people are being challenged to fight for our lives and our freedom. Everything that is familiar has the possibility of changing in a drastic way. We are voting in some areas to redefine a way of life; the definition of marriage and what constitutes a family unit under the law, which maybe 10 or 20 years ago was taken for granted. We are voting for how we live our lives going forward. Some of our votes may allow what was a once a taboo and illegal activity to become “legitimate” and could possibly affect the taxes we pay and also use funding our children schools as bait. In some areas we are voting to allow our policeman more authority and resources to protect us.
Thomas Payne quoted at the beginning of the Revolutionary War “These are the times that try men’s souls”, and they are. What happens tomorrow if my candidate choice doesn’t win, or your choice doesn’t win? How do we go on? When I pondered about this, I was praying and the word “appoint” came to my mind. Actually the entire sentence was “The Lord appoints all leaders, and works through them to accomplish His divine purpose”. You might think that politics is just too “dirty” for the Lord to become involved in. I had previously thought that the Lord only “observed” how men attempted to govern, that he allowed them to their own devices. The Book of Mormon is a great teacher of politics, of wars and secret combinations, etc. But not just the Book of Mormon, all of the scriptures. I have been studying the Book of Daniel and it is a book for our time. Does the Lord still “govern” through our elected officials?
In the book of Daniel chapter 1, the children of Israel have a new king. The unique thing about the children of Israel was that the Lord allowed them to choose “a king”. Even in their captivity the Lord would always have an inside man in the “government” as it were. See, I feel that even under these circumstances, the children of Israel exercised their “consent to be governed”. Even though the captivity of the Jews was due to their progressive rejection of God, he did not reject them, and the preservation of their status as a people was paramount to God.
In Daniel chapter 1, the last “king of the Jews” has been overthrown, and now begins the progressive captivity and enslavement of the Jews.
1 in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim the king of Judah; came Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon unto Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Who was Jehoiakim? He was a direct descendant of King Solomon and of King David, but he was an evil king and because of this corruption and evilness, his kingdom was given to another nation, the Chaldeans’. Nebuchadnezzar has been described as a megalomaniac. He worshiped many false gods and he had no respect for the God of Israel. There was a defining moment in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, he had a disturbing dream and God’s man, Daniel was able to interpret that dream. Daniel had prayed in intercession for the safety of his people and he also asked for the mercies of God, that he and his friends would not be destroyed because of the instability of the King. Daniel prayed a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving and one that can teach us of the greatness of God and his loving kindness toward us.
20 Daniel answered and said, blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
21 And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and setteth up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
22 He revealed the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwelled with him.
The comfort here is that God is on his throne and the earth is his footstool.
We are living in such exciting times, so many firsts, so many history making events. Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ran for President in 1844. I wanted to know why he decided to run:
Why Joseph Smith Ran for President
“I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on anywise as President of the United States, or candidate for that office, if I and my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious and civil rights as American citizens, even those rights which the Constitution guarantees unto all her citizens alike. But this as a people we have been denied from the beginning. Persecution has rolled upon our heads from time to time, from portions of the United States, like peals of thunder, because of our religion; and no portion of the Government as yet has stepped forward for our relief. And in view of these things, I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the protection of injured innocence.”Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:210–11.
He wasn’t affiliated with a party but he had a great platform and two planks stand out to me:
Joseph Smith’s Platform
1 The most important plank in Joseph’s platform concerned the powers of the president. Joseph wanted to give the chief magistrate “full power to send an army to suppress mobs … [without requiring] the governor of a state to make the demand.”
2 Eliminating slavery was another important part of his platform. Instead of simply calling for the abolition of slavery, Joseph Smith’s platform would have Congress “pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from members of Congress.”Happy voting everyone